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Coffee Shops

Best Coffee Shops In New Orleans In 2023

As a Northwest to Southeast transplant, I was a little worried about my quality of life in New Orleans (or NOLA as the New Orleanians call it).

By quality of life, I mean access to good coffee shops. After all, we’re not in Seattle land anymore, Toto.

Starbucks takes a backseat to PJ’s. Everybody’s buying Community Coffee at the grocery store. Chicory coffee reigns supreme, with fresh beignets, of course.

From one newbie to another, here is your official guide to the best coffee shops in New Orleans if you’re sipping in the Big Easy.

NOLA coffee shops

The 20 Best Coffee Shops in NOLA (New Orleans)

New Orleans is a surprisingly great city for independent and specialty coffee shops. But like so many things in the Big Easy, you either need to know where to go or just stumble into a hidden gem when you’re escaping the heat and humidity.

Here’s your guide to some top-notch New Orleans coffee shops located throughout the city.

1. Cherry Coffee Roasters

As the name suggests, Cherry Coffee Roasters is a full coffee shop and roaster combo.

Located in Uptown, New Orleans, on Laurel Street, Cherry Coffee Roasters is a cozy spot with warm wooden furniture and exposed brick. It’s well-lit and great for chatting or working, without feeling too sterile.

Owner Lauren Fink is especially passionate about the coffee bean supply chain. That’s why the shop name references the coffee “cherry”; Cherry Coffee Roasters is committed to focusing “on the coffee beans’ authenticity: from the very cherry that produces it,” through to the importation and roasting processes.

Their coffee menu is simple, but classic. You can also find treats or simple meals to fuel you while you work. Even better are their coffee roasts, which you can take with you or order online.

2. Mammoth Espresso

Founded by a “veteran” barista, Mammoth Espresso is a great coffee shop for serious coffee lovers. The sleek interior with muted colors, bright yellow accents, and clean lines fits New Orleans’ Central Business District/Warehouse District area perfectly.

It’s begging to be your secondary WFH office, or at least your favorite pick-me-up spot when you’re near Baronne Street.

All about artisan coffee, Mammoth Espresso has a full coffee menu, including less common classics like the cortado (basically a mini latte and my most recent obsession) and a black eye (stronger than a red eye).

They also have special drinks like the Golden Latte, which is almost tea-like with turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, and cardamom syrup.

Mammoth Espresso is a serious coffee shop that will tell you which roasts are brewing and offer you their provenance and tasting profile — even online.

If you’re an unapologetic coffee snob visiting New Orleans, seek out Mammoth Espresso.

3. Spitfire Coffee

Spitfire Coffee is one of the OG specialty coffee shops in New Orleans.

All about that Third Wave coffee, Spitfire specializes in a few coffees made (and roasted) well. Currently, they offer just traditional espresso drinks, cold brew, and V60 pour over thoughtfully prepared. They also have a few tea options, hot or iced.

Although they’re only doing walk-up window service now, you can catch some slow and seriously delicious coffee on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter.

You’ll be so busy sightseeing in this part of town that you won’t miss indoor dining. It will also give you an excuse to veer off Bourbon Street.

Spitfire Coffee may also resume serving their signature drinks, like the Tres Leches Flores latte (with lavender, orange blossom syrup, and rose petals) or the Brown Butter mocha as things open up.

4. The Orange Couch

You may not be able to actually sit in it, but whatever seat you find available in the Orange Couch coffee shop is sure to be pretty.

Named (it seems) for the singular orange couch in a bright, light, Instagrammable shop, the Orange Couch is probably the prettiest in Marigny.

If you’re all about those glowy, shiny Starbucks and yoga vibes but would rather get better coffee at an independent shop, here is your pretty sipping haven on Royal Street (which is also New Orleans’ antique haven).

They have a pretty extensive coffee menu with the basics, plus a few specialty items like affogatos and a mocha masala. The Orange Couch also has tasty treats like breakfast tacos, loaded croissants, and a few vegetarian items to “nosh.”

5. Church Alley Coffee Bar

Pour over fans, it’s time to go to church — Church Alley Coffee Bar, that is.

Chemex and Hario V60 are the psalms and hymns of this coffee bar. Of course, you can also get a classic drip, café au lait — you can see the French influence in the New Orleans coffee scene! — cold brew, and traditional espresso drinks.

Church Alley has a welcoming vibe with its mismatched furniture that feels like the cozy basement gathering place you and your friends had in high school — or wished you had.

You can bask in the down-to-earth, funky-fresh Mid City atmosphere by enjoying breakfast and lunch options like an apple, honey, and goat cheese scone or veggie bagel sandwich. There’s even a small grocery included inside.

So if you’re on Canal Street in Mid City, head to Church … Alley. You’ll find the same sense of community and some really fantastic coffee.

6. Undergrowth Coffee

Here is your No. 1 green coffee stop in New Orleans. That’s “green” as in environmentally friendly (but maybe this roaster and coffee shop would sell you some green coffee beans, too).

As the name suggests, Undergrowth Coffee is all about fostering the “ecological and social sustainability of our dear coffee industry.”

Undergrowth sources their beans from fincas (farms) using ethical practices and tries to reduce waste as much as possible on the bar. (No small feat with the dozens of syrup bottles and milk cartons most shops throw out every week.)

Their own products are either compostable or biodegradable.

This shop’s menu is pretty classic, with a few signature drinks like the spiced cinnamon cacao cold brew or lavender lemonade with a kick of jalapeno (called the Lavender Menace).

They also have some pretty sweet breakfast and lunch items that will actually fill you up, much like how undergrowth nourishes a healthy forest ecosystem (I think; I’m not an ecologist).

Nestled between West Riverside and the 11th Ward on Magazine Street, Undergrowth, its mission, and its excellent coffee all are not to be missed.

7. French Truck Coffee

For an article on New Orleans, the French influence has been a little lacking. Let’s add some back in.

French Truck Coffee is dedicated to roasting and brewing fresh coffee. Owner Geoffrey Meeker’s eyes were opened after his first freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee, so he dedicated himself — and French Truck Coffee — to serving the same to others.

French Truck roasts in small batches and delivers (or brews) quickly. You can even pick up a bag of French Truck Coffee if you head to several area grocery stores in New Orleans and in much of Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee.

French Truck is so good it has multiple locations. So if you can’t make it to one of their three locations on Dryades, Chartres, or Magazine Street (Freret, the French Quarter, or the Warehouse District), you can still enjoy French Truck Coffee at home.

8. The Bean Gallery

Brightly lit with simple but welcoming decor, The Bean Gallery is a great spot for getting a little work done or taking a break from sightseeing. In what looks like an old, renovated house, this comfy shop features delicious coffee and filling treats.

The Bean Gallery is so popular they’ve extended their hours until midnight five nights a week. So check out the awesome coffee and good food at this Mid City staple — if you can find a seat, that is.

9. Cafe Du Monde

You haven’t been to NOLA if you haven’t grabbed a chicory coffee and a fresh bag of beignets from Cafe Du Monde. 

Their coffee is quite good, and the atmosphere is unbeatable in the heart of the French Quarter, but it’s the beignets that have people lining up day and night.

The historic Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand opened in 1862 in the French Market, and it’s been blessing the Quarter ever since. The primary coffee shop is on 800 Decatur Street.

Cafe Du Monde is worth the wait, but you can cut the queue by going at odd hours — like 10:15 p.m. on a Friday night when most tourists are dancing (and imbibing) on Bourbon Street.

You can wash down the city’s best beignets with Du Monde’s famous chicory coffee. They could keep the tourists coming for the pastries alone, but Cafe Du Monde’s coffee is surprisingly good anyway.

The menu is simple: dark roasted coffee and chicory, served black or as a café au lait; beignets by the threesome, white/chocolate milk, orange juice, and, more recently, a few extras like soft drinks. Oh, and they serve decaf and iced versions of their coffees, too.

Stick to the traditional menu and eat outdoors to soak up more of the Quarter. It’s worth being a tourist here.

P.S. They have a second location in Mid City by City Park, too, if you need a pick-me-up after a visit to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

10. Coffee Science

There’s no denying there’s some awesome coffee at this shop. It’s just science.

Coffee Science boasts being New Orleans’ only zero emission coffee roaster. Coffee is usually a high greenhouse gas emitter, so Coffee Science’s commitment to zero net emissions in roasting is meaningful. 

And their commitment to making some seriously good coffee is also pretty meaningful.

Owner Tom Oliver is truly all about coffee science, and even a little engineering. He devised a V60-type machine that can batch brew without sacrificing quality. He’s also a New Orleans coffee legend who’s finally opened his own shop.

Coffee Science sources their beans from local roasters, often including some on this list like Mojo Coffee House or Cherry Coffee Roasters. So you know Oliver is keeping the New Orleans love alive in this neighborhood coffee shop.

You can check out Coffee Science on Broad Street between Tulane-Gravier and Mid City or catch their brews at the Mid City market.

11. CR Coffee Shop

CR (Coast Roast) Coffee Shop is all about simple coffee made well.

CR makes all of its syrups in house, which is why it offers fewer of them, and makes them with “real, natural ingredients.” They offer one size, medium, and fewer coffee options to keep it simple.

CR specializes in Coast Roast coffee and selling that coffee. But you can grab a simple, but delicious, coffee to go or stay awhile and work in their Crescent Room.

You’ll get world-class coffee that tastes a lot more than “simple” here. Don’t be a stranger if you’re on Magazine Street near the Irish Channel.

12. HiVolt Coffee

With some of the best espresso based drinks, smoothies (including a cacao smoothie!), and tea in New Orleans, HiVolt Coffee is not to be missed. This cafe also serves pastries and big, savory meals so you can stay awhile in this Lower Garden District gem.

Unassuming in its shotgun-shape corner building exterior, inside is a sleek, but cozy haven that’s perfect for getting a little studying or work done. Of course, you may want to kick back, relax, and enjoy the sweet treats.

It’s modern enough to help you feel focused, but not so modern that you don’t want to stay (or look over your shoulder for a disgruntled boss).

If you can tear yourself away from beignets and po’boys, try some good local eats and a killer cold brew at HiVolt Coffee.

13. Hey! Cafe

Many shops in New Orleans are trying to make the Big Easy the Big Green, it seems. Hey! Cafe is no exception.

Hey Cafe was a national finalist for environmentally conscious businesses for Best Business in America in 2018. It was also recognized for ditching its trash can and stepping up its composting and recycling game. They’re still working to lower their landfill use, as well.

Of course, HEY Coffee Co. is also known for its excellent coffee drinks and specialty roasts.

So check out this special New Orleans roaster and coffee shop on the Lafitte Greenway at St. Louis St. near Treme and Tulane-Gravier neighborhoods.

14. Park Island Brew

You know a coffee shop is good when it opens during 2020 and stays open.

New Orleans sometimes has a mixed approach to the pandemic, taking it seriously while also often embracing in-person or connected experiences when it can. Park Island Brew was opened in 2020 to bring positivity to the 7th Ward.

Offering coffees and tasty treats for all — kids and pooches, too — the shop still works to take measures for safety, like limited seating, without sacrificing connection.

Check out the sweet treats, coffee drinks, and community next time you’re near Park Island Brew. It’s the perfect way to pass the hours until the music starts sounding on Frenchman Street in the same neighborhood.

15. Mojo Coffee House

Speaking of community, Mojo Coffee House is yet another neighborhood cafe that’s ready for a little vacation read, a conversation with a good friend, or a little light work. Classic coffee shop colors meet mid century decor for an upbeat, but relaxed, home away from home.

Mojo Coffee House serves classic coffee drinks, a wide variety of specialty lemonades, and mocktails like the Espresso Tonic (a refreshing doppio poured over a glass of tonic water and ice). They roast their own beans offsite at Mojo Coffee Roasters.

They also serve pastries and some super savory noshin’ like breakfast burritos.

Located on Magazine Street (famous for its commitment to independent businesses) in the Lower Garden District and Freret in Uptown, Mojo Coffee House is a great source for good brews, good vibes, and locally roasted beans you can take home, to remember us in New Orleans by.

16. Who Dat Coffee Cafe

Who Dat? It’s world class coffee calling, cher!

Housed on Burgundy (that’s Bur-GUHN-dee) Street in Marigny, this colorful shop is the perfect place to grab a buzz and a bite with friends. You can enjoy New Orleans classics like crawfish etouffee or shrimp remoulade. I dare you not to leave in a good mood, and full.

Specialty coffee drinks include a King Cake inspired latte and a Dirty, Filthy Chai with espresso and kahlua.

If you’re not from down around here, you’ll enjoy the excuse to shout “Who Dat?” at this specialty coffee shop. Killer coffee and great eats are really a lagniappe (NOLA slang for something extra for free) at this New Orleans favorite.

17. Old Road Coffee

When you’ve soaked in the views at the New Orleans Museum of Art and worn yourself out walking around City Park, take a rest at Old Road Coffee.

The drinks are simple — but good. You can expect a traditional, well-made flat white here. And since their beans are sourced from Mojo Coffee and Congregation Coffee (an honorable mention in Algiers Point), you know the brews will be good.

If you’re lucky, Old Road’s monthly art market may be happening when you stop in. Ceramics, paintings, jewelry, clothes, culinary delights, and other local art are the perfect feast for the eyes when you’re nursing a cup of joe.

Even when the market’s not on, the shop is bright and cheery and welcoming, it’s worth getting up to Treme to see, and taste, it.

18. Pontilly Coffee

Need somewhere that serves pastries and a café au lait to set you up for a busy day of sightseeing? Stop by good ol’ Pontilly Coffee, located between Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Terrace.

Get a classic southern kolache — called a Nola-che (no-LAH-chee), as well as other savory goods and homemade pastries. They often have gluten-free and vegan options, too.

All proceeds from this family-oriented shop go to local substance abuse recovery programs. So you’re giving back to the New Orleans community one iced Americano at a time.

19. CC’s Coffee House

CC’s looks and feels a little like a cross between a PJ’s and a McDonald’s, but the atmosphere belies the great brews.

This Louisiana-based chain has multiple locations across New Orleans and nearby cities like Metairie. It’s always worth stopping in for a brew and a croissant.

20. Revelator Coffee Company

New Orleans is all about community, and Revelator Coffee Company is no exception to the rule, even though it’s an Georgia-born shop.

Revelator sources their coffees thoughtfully and seasonally and keeps a more fluid menu. They emphasize “quality and simplicity,” but their brews will taste much more than simple.

This Atlanta-based shop can now be enjoyed in New Orleans on Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse District.

Honorable Mention: Z’otz Cafe

Missing your goth phase?

Z’otz (named for the ancient Maya word for “bat”) will have you feeling like it never ended. Funky, artsy, and a tad dark, the mismatched furniture, daring (or weird?) collages and photographs and edgy doodles cover the walls.

Even the bathroom is mural-ed with wholesome skeletons in a Tim Burton-meets-Coco sort of vibe.

All baristas are friendly, and often quirky. One is famous in the Oak Street/Carrollton neighborhood for his standup routine at local comedy nights.

It’s dark and it’s weird here, but mostly, it’s friendly and a nice place to sit. And their coffee is fantastic. Check out regular offerings, a White Zombie (Ghiradelli white chocolate and espresso), or one of many iced teas. Stroll down Oak Street when you’re done.

One Last Thing

Great New Orleans coffee shops are not hard to find — unless you’re a tourist seeking out just one halfway across this maze-like city.

Don’t let the dizzying, endless names of New Orleans neighborhoods confuse you. Just use maps to see what’s close.

And remember — you’re in the Big Easy now. 3 miles is a lot further away here, but you’re never far from something good. Chances are you’re pretty close to a historic streetcar line, too.

No matter where you end up, your neighborhood coffee shop is sure to be good. Just ask the locals, and be sure to try a chicory coffee before you go.

Bienvenue to New Orleans, y’all.