Greater Cincinnati Coffee Shops That Are Better Than Starbucks

From cappuccinos to Americanos or the simply perfect piping hot cup o' joe, there are plenty of top-notch local options for coffee fiends in the Queen City. Skip the Starbucks — supporting your local shop just tastes better. We’ve got you covered. Or, should we say, "caffeinated." Some coffee shops may be offering carry-out only due to the pandemic's restrictions. Please call ahead to confirm.
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Greater Cincinnati Coffee Shops That Are Better Than Starbucks
Coffee Emporium
110 E. Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine; 3316 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
A Queen City staple with multiple locations, Coffee Emporium has been serving up artisanal roasted beans for decades and offers up some of the best breakfast pastries in Cincinnati. Lunch options are simple and hearty, with daily homemade soups. A hip, laid-back atmosphere makes it feel like you’re at a book club meeting with 20 of your friends.
Photo: Emerson Swoger

Coffee Emporium

110 E. Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine; 3316 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
A Queen City staple with multiple locations, Coffee Emporium has been serving up artisanal roasted beans for decades and offers up some of the best breakfast pastries in Cincinnati. Lunch options are simple and hearty, with daily homemade soups. A hip, laid-back atmosphere makes it feel like you’re at a book club meeting with 20 of your friends.
Photo: Emerson Swoger
Deeper Roots Coffee
3056 Madison Road, Oakley; 1814 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Deeper Roots started as a roaster in 2012 with a primary focus on selling wholesale coffee beans. But as their single-sourced beans grew in popularity, selling to local favorites like Rohs Street Café, BLOC and 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, owner Les Stoneham says the coffee bar concept became the next logical step in his business model. With a white-walled minimalist design featuring a Modbar pour-over system, quartzite countertops, a coffee display case and a large wooden table with shared seating (and millennial pink legs), the OTR shop has a clear mission of bringing people together. In fact, the bar for customers is next to the La Marzocco espresso machine, on the same side as the barista, which Stoneham says was an intentional choice to help demystify the coffee-making process. 
Photo via facebook.com/deeperrootsoakley

Deeper Roots Coffee

3056 Madison Road, Oakley; 1814 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Deeper Roots started as a roaster in 2012 with a primary focus on selling wholesale coffee beans. But as their single-sourced beans grew in popularity, selling to local favorites like Rohs Street Café, BLOC and 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, owner Les Stoneham says the coffee bar concept became the next logical step in his business model. With a white-walled minimalist design featuring a Modbar pour-over system, quartzite countertops, a coffee display case and a large wooden table with shared seating (and millennial pink legs), the OTR shop has a clear mission of bringing people together. In fact, the bar for customers is next to the La Marzocco espresso machine, on the same side as the barista, which Stoneham says was an intentional choice to help demystify the coffee-making process.
Photo via facebook.com/deeperrootsoakley
Haven Cafe
332 Scott Blvd., Covington
This Covington coffee shop opened up in August and offers natural coffee, pastries and baked goods from local spots like Brown Bear Bakery and light bites like avocado toast. In addition to your typical coffee-based bevs, you can also order creative and tasty sips like the matcha lemonade, mint mocha latte and cereal milk latte.                 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Haven Cafe

332 Scott Blvd., Covington
This Covington coffee shop opened up in August and offers natural coffee, pastries and baked goods from local spots like Brown Bear Bakery and light bites like avocado toast. In addition to your typical coffee-based bevs, you can also order creative and tasty sips like the matcha lemonade, mint mocha latte and cereal milk latte.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Mom ‘n ‘Em Coffee
3128 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Mom ‘n ‘em is a passion project four years in the making for the Ferrari brothers, Tony and Austin. A “third place” that’s not home and not work, the Camp Washington coffee shop and wine bar is located inside a former 1890s home and is reserved for talking shop, drinking vino or a cup of joe and hanging loose for a handful of hours. With a table-and-comfy-chair-filled living room and dining room spaces, there’s a diverse offering of wines, coffee options, a full liquor license, snacks and even tinned fish. If you want to take a little of the Ferrari brothers’ spirit home with you, you can grab a bag of their special namesake-blend espresso, created in partnership with Deeper Roots Coffee. But it is best experienced in person. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Mom ‘n ‘Em Coffee

3128 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Mom ‘n ‘em is a passion project four years in the making for the Ferrari brothers, Tony and Austin. A “third place” that’s not home and not work, the Camp Washington coffee shop and wine bar is located inside a former 1890s home and is reserved for talking shop, drinking vino or a cup of joe and hanging loose for a handful of hours. With a table-and-comfy-chair-filled living room and dining room spaces, there’s a diverse offering of wines, coffee options, a full liquor license, snacks and even tinned fish. If you want to take a little of the Ferrari brothers’ spirit home with you, you can grab a bag of their special namesake-blend espresso, created in partnership with Deeper Roots Coffee. But it is best experienced in person.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Carabello Coffee
107 E. Ninth St., Newport
Husband-and-wife owners Justin and Emily Carabello roast and sell their coffee on the premises, but they’re also entrenched in local and international philanthropy, giving much of their profits to third-world coffee regions in Nicaragua and Kenya. The shop also carries frozen ice pops called Bello’s Bike Pops and features a six-seater Analog Coffee Bar, an intimate and interactive experience with baristas. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Carabello Coffee

107 E. Ninth St., Newport
Husband-and-wife owners Justin and Emily Carabello roast and sell their coffee on the premises, but they’re also entrenched in local and international philanthropy, giving much of their profits to third-world coffee regions in Nicaragua and Kenya. The shop also carries frozen ice pops called Bello’s Bike Pops and features a six-seater Analog Coffee Bar, an intimate and interactive experience with baristas.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Unataza Coffee
620 6th Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
This local coffee pop-up opened their brick-and-mortar location in fall of 2019 in Dayton, Kentucky. The coffee shop offers Honduran coffee drinks, a light breakfast/lunch menu and pastries.  
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Unataza Coffee

620 6th Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
This local coffee pop-up opened their brick-and-mortar location in fall of 2019 in Dayton, Kentucky. The coffee shop offers Honduran coffee drinks, a light breakfast/lunch menu and pastries.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
BlaCk Coffee
824 Elm St., Downtown
This newer coffee shop is from the owners of BlaCk OWned. BlaCk Coffee’s coffee is supplied by La Terza and their house “Wakanda” blend is a mix of Ethiopian, Rwandan and Brazilian beans. The popular downtown coffee shop offers more than just a cup o' joe. Their menu features a selection of teas, cider, fall-infused coffee bevs, hot cocoa and pastries like quiche or muffins. Now available on DoorDash.
Photo: Liz Davis

BlaCk Coffee

824 Elm St., Downtown
This newer coffee shop is from the owners of BlaCk OWned. BlaCk Coffee’s coffee is supplied by La Terza and their house “Wakanda” blend is a mix of Ethiopian, Rwandan and Brazilian beans. The popular downtown coffee shop offers more than just a cup o' joe. Their menu features a selection of teas, cider, fall-infused coffee bevs, hot cocoa and pastries like quiche or muffins. Now available on DoorDash.
Photo: Liz Davis
Rohs Street Cafe
245 W. McMillan St., Clifton
This not-for-profit coffeehouse close to the University of Cincinnati fully embraces ethical sourcing by offering only fair-trade coffees and teas. Choose from a selection of locally roasted coffees to sip with a fresh pastry. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Rohs Street Cafe

245 W. McMillan St., Clifton
This not-for-profit coffeehouse close to the University of Cincinnati fully embraces ethical sourcing by offering only fair-trade coffees and teas. Choose from a selection of locally roasted coffees to sip with a fresh pastry.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
BLOC Coffee Company
801 Mount Hope Ave., East Price Hill; 801 Plum St., Downtown
The shop primarily serves locally roasted Deeper Roots coffee. They also offer an all-day breakfast menu featuring items such as their Chipotle Egg Deluxe (egg, goetta, havarti, red onion, microgreens and Sriracha on an English muffin) and pastries either baked in-house or brought in from local bakeries. The majority of the coffee shop's proceeds go to BLOC Ministries, an organization that helps with job placement for formerly incarcerated people and supports safe houses for female sex workers, drug recovery programs and after-school programs for children in the neighborhood.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

BLOC Coffee Company

801 Mount Hope Ave., East Price Hill; 801 Plum St., Downtown
The shop primarily serves locally roasted Deeper Roots coffee. They also offer an all-day breakfast menu featuring items such as their Chipotle Egg Deluxe (egg, goetta, havarti, red onion, microgreens and Sriracha on an English muffin) and pastries either baked in-house or brought in from local bakeries. The majority of the coffee shop's proceeds go to BLOC Ministries, an organization that helps with job placement for formerly incarcerated people and supports safe houses for female sex workers, drug recovery programs and after-school programs for children in the neighborhood.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger