In this post, you'll find a complete guide to the best coffee shops in Louisville!

The 15 Best Coffee Shops in Louisville, Kentucky

I drink a lot of coffee. Like, I have a Lorelai Gilmore level addiction. On my honeymoon, I even stayed at an organic coffee farm in Costa Rica, The Finca Rosa Blanca (which I can sometimes get at Sunergos!). No matter if it’s drip, espresso, or a sweet syrupy latte – I do not discriminate, I’ll take it all.

Luckily, Louisville brings tons of variety to its local coffee: each of the best Louisville coffee shops has its own personality and unique take on bean sourcing, roasting, and aesthetic. That means I can proudly drink local whether I’m craving a delicate single-origin pour-over, a sweet blended drink, or just a place to work or hang out with friends. In this post, you’ll find a complete list of the best coffee shops in Louisville!

Need some food to go with your coffee? Check out a few of these other posts:

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Woman standing with coffee in front of Quills coffee shop in Louisville Ky
Quills is Let’s Go Louisville founder Lia’s favorite Louisville coffee shop!

Louisville Coffee Shops with Single Origin Brews

I love when a bag of beans reads like a wine label citing location, producer and flavor notes. If I want it big and bold, you know I’m swiping right on that local roasted single origin. These 3rd wave coffee shops in Louisville appreciate the ~nuances of quality beans.  

 
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Sunergos Coffee shop in Louisville KY
Sunergos Coffee is a third wave coffee shop that roasts their own beans and makes a damn fine espresso.

Sunergos

I started coming to their roasting location on Preston Street back in my UofL college days. Their flagship coffee shop is directly next to Nord’s Bakery – undeniably home to the best donuts in town – so let’s just say I might have arrived late to class more than once. 

But Sunergos was my first introduction to good quality black coffee. I always find the baristas to be extremely helpful and passionate about everything they brew. Their single origins are roasted to be expressive and fragrant, and whatever is on espresso is always rich with a little acidic kick. 

The daily drip rotates so much I typically ask the barista their opinion. That is, unless they’re brewing the delicious Papua New Guinea Timuza with notes of lime, almond and clove, or the Brazil Legender with notes of malt, hazelnut and raisin, in which case I am getting a cup of that!

There are currently four Sunergos locations.

Quills Coffee

If you’re a coffee snob, you’ll be in good company at Quills Coffee! Quills baristas are very knowledgeable, and take a lot of pride in preparing each cup. Order a pour-over, and you’ll feel as if you’re watching a carefully measured lab experiment with scales and a Chemex Erlenmeyer flask.

Quills has a handful of locations around Louisville, however the Firehouse location in NuLu is my favorite. It’s beautiful with a giant brick and steel awning at the entrance that creates a breezeway from the back courtyard. 

I usually like to hit up Quills in the middle of the day (after I’ve already had a hot cup or two) to get their Mystic Coffee Soda (Gilmore level addiction, remember?). 

Now I know it sounds blasphemous to go to a specialty coffee shop and not order rich in-house roasted pour-over blend that has bloomed to golden cup standards by a patient barista who has perfect gooseneck kettle technique. 

But ya’ll: their coffee soda is so refreshing! It’s bubbly, with a hint of oily orange, and a bold chocolatey espresso backbone. I crave this drink whenever it’s warm outside!

See also
9 Places to Get the Best Donuts in Louisville

Bean 

Former Safai roaster and Bean owner Billy Seckman is an artful roaster. He has a background working in restaurants, as his father did before him, and he brings that culinary love to the roaster. 

He strives to find the “sweet” spot for each bean he sources and dial his roasts in to perfection. All Bean coffee is roasted on-site directly in their back seating area (which, yes, smells incredible).

But something I love about Bean is it’s honestly hard to tell if they love coffee or the community more!

Bean’s coffee shop is inviting and friendly: their seating area in the back is bright with tons of natural light and furnished with eclectic seating and workspaces. So enjoy the roasting aromas, and grab yourself a cup of their Natural Nensebo Rifesa, an Ethiopian bean with notes of raspberry and oak. 

Oh, and if sweet lattes are your thing (no judgement here) they make a delicious in-house vanilla syrup – and it’s incredible!      

Bean has just one coffee shop, located in Germantown on Goss Avenue.

Interior of Safai Cafe coffee shop Louisville KY
Safai Cafe works to make a positive impact in the world. They are also one of the best Louisville coffee shops to order a single origin pour-over!

Safai Coffee

Safai Coffee roasts their own organic, specialty coffee beans in micro-lots. But more importantly, this Louisville coffee shop is making a real positive impact in the coffee industry.

The SAFAI foundation works directly to aid Honduras coffee farmers. This foundation has helped replace devastated coffee crops, and most importantly, helps farms move away from using harsh pesticides to become USDA certified organic farms. 

They also brew 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. The Rainforest Blend is a light-to-medium roast, so it’s a perfect smooth option to start the day.

The farms that Safai sources from generally produce pretty small batches, so when you visit Safai, always go for the day’s single origin pour-over to appreciate all the variety.  

Safai has two locations, one on Bardstown Road in the Highlands (that also makes some damn good crepes!) and one inside the Logan Street Market

Cup of coffee with whipped cream surrounded by coffee beans at Red Hot Roasters Louisville KY
Retro-chic is what you’ll find at Red Hot Roasters. And some damn fine coffee too! (Photo Credit: Red Hot Roasters)

Red Hot Roasters 

Red Hot Roasters is a small roasting garage just off of Lexington Ave. I love the retro branding, and the fact they are USDA-certified organic.

Their location is drive-thru only, but you can definitely walk up to the window as well if you’re enjoying the day at Breslin Park across the street. 

Their coffee is straightforward, with options of dark and light roast (personally, I’m a light roast kinda gal). And if you want to take some home with you, everything is packaged in OG coffee tins.       

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Ntaba Coffee Haus

Ntaba Coffee Haus is the real deal when it comes to direct trade, single origin African coffee. If you love the citrus fruity notes of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or the nutty chocolatey notes of a South African bean, you have to try the drip from Ntaba. 

Coffees like their new Gorilla are dark roasted in “haus” with notes of white grape and caramel (which definitely pairs well with local Kizito cookies).

Ntaba has two locations, one on Brownsboro Rd and one on Mellwood Ave inside Mom’s Music.

Oh, and fun fact: owners Stella and Robin not only speak German, Zulu, Afrikaans, and several other South African languages (umm hello I’m still struggling with basic English), but they are also South African tourism experts and run tours to South Africa with their other business, Ntaba African Safaris!

Heine Bros Coffee in Louisville Kentucky
One of the many Heine Bros Coffee locations in Louisville! Heine Bros is the original Louisville coffee house and the perfect place to hole up for several hours and get some work done.

Louisville Coffee Shops to Work From

Before 2020, I loved my open concept house. The wide-open floor plan seemed like such a great lifestyle – until a global pandemic forced my husband and I to both work from home.

I mean, we generally work really well together, but sometimes there are days I need to get out of the house and zone into a workspace with an endless supply of caffeine.

Thankfully, these Louisville coffee shops are the perfect place to hole up with a laptop, a pair of headphones, a delicious drink and a strong WiFi signal. See ya there!

Heine Bros. Coffee in Louisville KY
Heine Bros is truly an original Louisville coffee shop!

Heine Brothers’ Coffee

Heine Bros Coffee is a Louisville staple and the self-proclaimed “Original Louisville coffee house”. With 18 locations around both Louisville and Southern Indiana, wherever you are in town there’s a strong chance are you’re not far from a Heine Bros. (Starbucks who??)

This local coffee chain only serves 100% organic fair-trade coffee and espresso, and they take a lot of pride in their community impact.   

But honestly, they truly thrive when serving up a delicious sweet drink topped with whipped cream and blended to perfection! Try a Vint Julep, made with whiskey-infused sugar and fresh mint – it’s giving Kentucky Derby all year long. Or a creamy frozen Chaiberg, a delicious frozen blended spiced chai milkshake which tastes like a warm early fall day. Truly, no amount of coffee snobbery will make me turn down something that indulgent.

Heine Bros a great open place to hang out solo for a work deadline – or just to sit quietly and read a copy of LEO Weekly. If you’re a bit more social, move your Carmichaels book club to their newest location in the Highlands, in front of the Mid City Mall.

Coffee from Clever Moose Cafe Louisville KY
Work from Everyday Kitchen Cafe and enjoy the coffee and kitschy retro aesthetic.

Everyday Kitchen Cafe

Everyday Kitchen Cafe is part of the Lodgic coworking space in NuLu, but is open to the public. 

The colorful orange and teal retro space was designed specifically for remote working (bless). The cafe is wide open, with an indoor/outdoor garage opening that’s perfect for particularly nice days when you just don’t want to be stuck inside working at a desk! (Or, er, from your couch. If we’re being honest.)   

The menu at Everyday Kitchen Cafe is small, but they serve both Safai and Sunergos coffee – hello, 3rd wave deliciousness! – as well as a sweet Vietnamese coffee made with sweetened condensed milk.

See also
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Old Louisville Coffee Co-Op

While you are exploring Old Louisville, swing by the Old Louisville Coffee Co-Op for a delicious cup of joe. Worker-owned and open late for your evening caffeine fix (open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday), this new coffee shop is dedicated to building up the Old Louisville community in an environmentally friendly way.

Current partners in the business include some renowned local names, including Kizito Cookies and Sis Got Tea, as well as Three Keys Coffee, a Houston-based, Black-owned craft coffee roaster. As a LGBTQ+ affirming business that strives to encourage diversity and inclusion in the community, pick up a cup of coffee and a glorious sweet treat you can feel all-around good about grabbing.

Old Louisville Coffee Co-Op opened just this year, so come out and show some support for this growing local business and its wonderful mission. They also plan to host events in the future like open mics, poetry readings, comedy nights, art nights, drag brunches, and more!

A Gralehaus Latte is best served with brunch (and a tiny cookie).

Louisville Coffee Shops to Cozy up with Friends

Drinks shared in good company, just taste better – it’s a fact. And a good local coffee shop is made up of equal parts quality coffee and a cozy atmosphere.

And when I say cozy, we’re talking lots of seating options for you and your crew: high and low stools, mismatched chairs, and BONUS points if there’s a claimable couch. Yes, y’all: we’re manifesting the coffee shop in Friends! (Actual friends may not be not included.)

I love these Louisville coffee shops for all my social sipping!

Please and Thank You 

While not technically a coffee house, we are always blown away by the quality of locally roasted Good Folks coffee at Please & Thank You

The drip coffee here is the best in Louisville, and their specialty drinks – like a Butterscotch Latte with espresso, milk, sea salt, and butterscotch sauce, or a Ganache Latte with espresso, dark chocolate, milk, and marshmallows – are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Of course, you can’t go to Please & Thank You and not pick up one of their incredible chocolate chip cookies, packed with buttery, salty gooey goodness. They pair perfectly with a cup of coffee, and truly, they’re literally the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. Yes, we’re prepared to fight about it.

Stop into one of their 3 locations and bring a friend – you know, just in case you need an excuse to order another cookie.   

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Crescent Hill Coffee

This Louisville coffee shop is full of local art and is perfect for an indulgent cup with friends.

Yes, I said indulgent. Because when it comes to caffeine – I do not discriminate!  And when I go to a 2nd wave coffee shop, like Crescent Hill Coffee, I love seeing the creativity of the menu. A place that loves playing around with flavors for that extra kick that feels like a real treat. 

The seasonal offerings at Crescent Hill Coffee are trendy and indulgent – even if you order them with oat milk and a vegan treat on the side

However if black coffee is your thing, locally roasted Good Folks is on drip, so you can’t go wrong either way.

Cup of coffee with cookie at Fante's Coffee House in Louisville KY
Fante’s Coffee House is the quintessential adorable, cozy cafe. And they serve their drinks with a teeny cookie! Win!

Fante’s Coffee House

Owner Leo Fante was very intentional when creating Fante’s Coffee House. He wanted a European-style house for both work-related and social gatherings – and it must serve exceptional coffee.

His long history in the coffee industry helped him make that dream a reality, serving up hand-selected high quality beans that he roasts on site in the cozy coffee shop. 

The coffee shop, located on Grinstead Avenue, stays open until 8pm. The warm glow of the bay windows, the pockets of intimate seating, and the occasional live music create the perfect ambiance at Fante’s, especially in the evening!

But what I really really enjoy is the Lilly Latte when I’m feeling like ending the night on a sweet note. It’s made with lavender & honey, and is super indulgent.

See also
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Day’s Espresso & Coffee

A Highlands staple and LGBT-friendly hotspot, Day’s Espresso & Coffee has been serving up coffee and cozy community since the 90’s. 

Walking in, you’ll instantly be warmed by the dining room. It’s warm and humble, and may or may not run solely off of good vibes. 

Day’s has a variety of seating: booths for friends, a window counter for studying, and curved armchairs for lounging. 

But the best part of Day’s? Their daily sandwich board sign on the sidewalk. I don’t know who’s in charge of making up the daily witticism, but I will go well out of my way each day to read it!

So stop in a grab one of their espresso specialties, an intensely deep americano, a creamy jolt macchiato, or my favorite, the silky smooth cortado.   

 Gralehaus 

Gralehaus is really where baristas, brunch, and bartenders blend. The European-inspired diner serves North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee alongside one of the best brunches in Louisville. The coffee program at Gralehaus has gained the coffee snob respect and approval badge because of their dedication to quality.

On the weekends, when drinking early is socially acceptable, I love starting off brunch with a Beer and a shot: a draft beer – I always go for the refreshingly bitter Taras Boulba – and a shot of foamy espresso.  I also love their caffe corretto, an espresso and amaro shot.

Even if doing shots at 10am with your best friends isn’t your thing, the coffee is still worth a visit. Try the Honey Bee Latte: it’s super rich and made with quality local honey and bee pollen – perfect for soothing those lovely Ohio Valley allergies!      

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Riot Cafe 

During the BLM marches and police brutality protests in 2020, The Limbo tiki bar in downtown Louisville provided refuge and supply protection for mourners and protesters. The tiki bar came to be nicknamed “Riot Bar.”

So Limbo owner, Olivia Griffin, was inspired to continue the social justice mission and create Riot Cafe to continue the safe space commitment. It’s the perfect place to bring your diverse friend group – or host a local activism meetup.

At this social justice-focused cafe, you’ll find a performance space for poetry slams and local art on display including a large mural of Breonna Taylor, as well as an in-house book club, all intentionally designed to foster hard conversations. 

For as heavy as the manifesto might feel, this cafe also has a lovely sense of humor about itself, from goat yoga, to the Basic B*tch PSL Latte (which, let’s be honest, is a total guilty pleasure!), and even a tip jar that reminds you to “Tip a B*tch”! 

And when caffiene just won’t cut it anymore, you’ll find a few cocktails on the menu, too.

See also
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Map of the Best Coffee Shops in Louisville

Bookmark this page so you can access this map next time you need a caffeine fix!


Which of these coffee shops in Louisville are you most excited to try? Were you as gutted about Highland Coffee closing as we were (RIP nitro cold brew)? What questions can we answer about these Louisville coffee shops? Drop us a comment below!

Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts:


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Each of the best Louisville coffee shops has its own personality and unique take on bean sourcing, roasting, and aesthetic. In this post, you'll find a complete list of the best coffee shops in Louisville!
 
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8 Comments

  1. You should add Pregame Coffee to your list. It’s a great place with a great vibe anytime, not just before a game. If you like a quiet Sunday morning latte or Jasmine tea with a breakfast burrito or scone, check them out. They may get rowdy at game time, not sure about that! We just found them at their new location on Frankfort Avenue.

  2. You should definitely do a best late night study spots for loca Louisville students like myself! Ever since Covid many things close early, but I would love to see what all stays open late! 🤗

  3. I can’t believe the timing of this! I was driving in an unfamiliar part of town the other day trying to figure out the best coffee place on my route and wishing someone cared enough to map out all the wonderful coffee spots in town! This blog is now my #1 reference for people who are asking me about where to go or what to do in Lou. Excited that Lia is moving back home. Also, you must drink a lot of coffee based on the descriptions of the various offerings you have provided!

  4. I have to say I had the worst cup of coffee from Heine Brothers that turned me off to ever returning. When they were out of fresh brewed coffee, instead of making a fresh pot, the barrista made a shot of Expresso, poured it in a cup and filled the rest with hot water. He stated it was the same as brewed coffee when I questioned it. As I was walking out I tasted it and the disgusting flavor had me throw it immediately in the trash and I never returned. This was the Chenowith lane location.

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