New England

Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State

Rain or shine, blizzard or heat wave, New Englanders love their java. Here are our picks for the best coffee shop in each state.

By Ian Aldrich

Mar 28 2022

Photo Credit : Courtesy of Onyx Tonics

Please note that many establishments throughout New England have modified their hours and/or operations in response to COVID-19. Always check for the latest information before making travel plans.

New Englanders take their coffee and their coffee shops seriously. And as the local-roasting revolution has hit the region in recent years, more coffee shops are upping their game and the quality of their brews. What’s the best coffee shop in each New England state? Read on for a selection of some of our favorite refueling spots.

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State
Ashlawn Farm Coffee | Best Coffee Shop in Connecticut

Best Coffee Shop in Connecticut:
Ashalwn Farm Coffee | Old Saybrook

The story behind Ashlawn begins on an early spring morning in 2002, when Carol Ann Adams began roasting her own beans in the milk roof of an old barn on a family farm. What began as a passion project soon morphed into a full-fledged café in Old Saybrook. Business boomed, and her family’s fledgling farm took on new life. You’ll love the setting almost as much as you love the coffee.

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State
The Local Moose Cafe | Best Coffee Shop in New Hampshire

Best Coffee Shop in New Hampshire:
The Local Moose Cafe | Manchester

In a world where coffee shops aren’t always known for their food, this Manchester favorite stands out. The java alone is worth the trip, but you’re missing out if you skip out on the gourmet doughnuts. Local food is actually king here, so if you’re into the whole farm-to-café thing, this shop, which sources its beans from a roaster in nearby Amherst, New Hampshire, is a worthy stop.

Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State (The Shop Providence Rhode Island) 2
The Shop | Best Coffee Shop in Rhode Island

Best Coffee Shop in Rhode Island:
The Shop | Providence

Tucked away in Providence’s waterfront Fox Point neighborhood, The Shop has absolutely no cafeteria vibes. Which is to say that, at this cafe, you definitely won’t find rows after rows of tables dotted with laptop users. Here, the smell of freshly-brewed, single-origin coffee hangs in the air and light streams through expansive windows which make the small space feel spacious. Customers chat quietly as friendly baristas serve up steaming mugs and snack-worthy platters. Natural wood floors and eclectically-patterned tiles decorate the floor beneath a community table and long bar top. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot by the window, you’ll have a perch perfect for sitting, sipping, and watching Providence go by.

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State
No. Six Depot Roastery & Café | Best Coffee Shop in Massachusetts

Best Coffee Shop in Massachusetts:
No. Six Depot Roastery & Cafe | West Stockbridge

The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Flavio Lichtenthal and Lisa Landry, this local favorite is where community and coffee come together. Housed in a retired train station building, the shop is a little bit of everything: small-batch roaster, café, art gallery, and event space. Come for a menu of sweet treats, sandwiches, and salads; stay for the local artwork and maybe a performance. Named a 2016 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Coffee Shop.”

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State
Onyx Tonics | Best Coffee Shop in Vermont

Best Coffee Shop in Vermont:
Onyx Tonics | Burlington

Owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Jason and Tiffany Gonzalez, Onyx places a heavy emphasis on sourcing and serves up a weekly rotating menu of more than half a dozen single-origin coffees. They do a ridiculously sumptuous version of the Italian coffee-based dessert known as affogato. You can also usually get Miss Weinerz doughnuts, a 2018 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Doughnuts.”

Best Coffee Shop in Boston/Cambridge:
Gracenote Coffee Roasters | Boston

The mighty iced coffee is held in high esteem at this centrally located shop, which makes its home amid Chinatown, South Station, and the Financial District. Serious aficionados go for the Nitro Cold Brew, which is made in batches and then stored in kegs infused with nitrogen. The result is something sweeter than your normal iced java, with subtle hints of oak and vanilla. The espressos are also high-octane crafted drinks. Compliment your caffeine fix with a selection of pastries from nearby Forge Bakery and Townsman Boston. Gracenote is also a roaster, which means you can bring plenty of its fine flavor home with you.

The Best Coffee Shop in Every New England State
Coffee by Design | Best Coffee Shop in Maine

Best Coffee Shop in Maine:
Coffee By Design | Freeport and Portland

Coffee by Design distinguishes itself most obviously with its eco-minded bean selection and a micro roasting process that produces superlative single-origin, peak-roast, dark-roast, blended, decaf, and flavored coffees. But it’s also a standout for its commitment to the community, as it supports local arts, sells cause-boosting coffees, and helps fund nonprofits such as Boys to Men and Portland Trails. There are multiple locations in Portland as well as one in Freeport. Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Coffee Shop.”

Which do you think is the best coffee shop in New England? Let us know!

This post was first published in 2018 and has been updated. 

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