Rose City's Java Gems: 10 Best Coffee Shops in Portland

Jun 07, 2023 • Leigh McDonald

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The "Rose City" nickname stems from the city's favorable climate for growing roses, as well as its official flower being the rose. Portland is known for its beautiful rose gardens and the annual Portland Rose Festival but it is also known for its impressive coffee shop scene. Portland is home to over 2,500 coffee shops! 

If you’re a coffee lover looking for the best coffee shops to explore in this buzzing city, you will appreciate some pointers on where to go and what to expect. We compiled a comprehensive list of the 10 best coffee shops you should visit in Portland, Oregon. Let’s dive right in.

A Deeper Look at Our Picks

Guilder Cafe

Guilder CafeGuilder Cafe

Guilder Cafe is inspired by the classic movie/book The Princess Bride. The cafe originated from the partnership of four individuals—Caryn, Mike, Toby, and Carrie—who first met while working at Food for Thought Cafe, a student-run establishment at PSU in the early 2000s.

Guilder West opens from 10am to 8pm and serves coffee, espresso, Tao of Tea, Desi chai, Lionheart kombucha, assorted cold beverages, pastries from Jen's Pastries, vegan/GF pastries from Shoofly Vegan Bakery, and features a food menu that includes items from Oma's Hideaway—a restaurant co-owned by Toby Roberts. Guilder West also serves beer and wine.

Transparency, community, and sustainability are core values for the company, and they hope to resume hosting events, art shows, and educational activities in the future. The cafe owners warmly welcome feedback, concerns, and assistance. They consider their business their "baby," as indicated by the 'Junior' in Junior's Roasted Coffee. A must-visit coffee shop! 

The Dragonfly Coffee House

The Dragonfly Coffee HouseThe Dragonfly Coffee House

The Dragonfly Coffee House Portland is a cozy coffee shop with amazing coffee and friendly staff. The Dragonfly coffee house menu is not limiting either; they have gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives as well as vegan pastries. The Dragonfly Coffee House is a nice coffee shop to work or study, thanks to the fast WIFI connection. 

There is plenty of outdoor and indoor seating where you can sit, sip your cuppa, and work. The best part is– Drip coffee refills for $1 per cup! And, if you love art, you will enjoy the mismatched furniture and old-wood flooring that is part of their decor. 

Cathedral Coffee

Cathedral CoffeeCathedral Coffee

Another neighborhood coffee house with an eye for vintage style is Cathedral Coffee. This Willamette Boulevard cafe serves specialty coffee, makes tasty pastries, and has vegan-friendly alternatives. 

Cathedral Coffee is located in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, and has an excellent reputation for serving great coffee. If you are looking for a great coffee house to work or study in Portland, you should consider this coffee house thanks to cozy indoor and outside seating with fast WIFI and well-lit indoor space.

Snow Bunny Coffee

Snow Bunny CoffeeSnow Bunny Coffee

If you are looking for the best coffee shops for a date or to socialize with your friends, Snow Bunny Coffee is a great coffee spot you should go to. Besides mixing, it also doubles up as a great coffee shop to read a book or finish work, thanks to plenty of natural lighting and spacious seating. The views and beautiful decor create a warm and inviting ambiance, while the outside views are breathtaking. In addition to our exceptional coffee and tea offerings, we proudly serve a delightful range of special Korean drinks, adding a unique twist to your beverage experience. Savor the flavors of our carefully crafted concoctions, highlighting the best Korean drink traditions.

Umami Café at Portland Japanese Garden

Umami Café at Portland Japanese GardenUmami Café at Portland Japanese Garden

At the Umami Café, you can find solace and rejuvenation amidst the beauty of the Portland Japanese Garden. Step into this tranquil haven and indulge in a harmonious fusion of exquisite Japanese tea, impeccable service, and delectable culinary offerings.

Drawing inspiration from Kyoto's iconic Kiyomizu-dera temple, the design of the Umami Café gracefully embraces the hillside, offering captivating vistas of the surrounding natural splendor. As you enter, the scenic views seamlessly blend with the serene ambiance, creating a truly immersive experience.

The Umami Café takes pride in its collection of world-class Japanese teas, carefully selected to delight your senses. From delicate green teas to fragrant herbal infusions, each sip promises a journey of flavors and aromas. The knowledgeable staff provides attentive service, ensuring that your tea experience is nothing short of exceptional.

Tov Coffee & Tea

Tov Coffee & TeaTov Coffee & Tea

Tov Coffee & Tea is a unique coffee shop in an old double-decker bus. The setup is pretty cool, and the seating space is upstairs. This cute coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, is a great hangout spot with friends. They serve Egyptian and Turkish-style coffee as well as tea drinks. If you want to try new coffee flavors, we recommend visiting this unique and cozy coffee shop in Portland. With its dedication to quality, community, and the art of coffee and tea, Tov Coffee & Tea is a must-visit destination for those seeking a memorable and satisfying beverage experience in Portland.

Coava Coffee Roasters

Coava Coffee RoastersCoava Coffee Roasters

As you step into their café, you'll be greeted by the enticing aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. The stylish and minimalist decor creates a modern and inviting atmosphere, inviting you to relax and savor your cup of joe. At Coava Coffee Roasters, the focus is on highlighting the unique characteristics of each coffee variety. Their skilled baristas are passionate about their craft and expertly prepare espresso-based beverages and pour-over brews, ensuring every sip is a delightful sensory experience.

Coava Coffee Roasters carefully roast their coffee and make delicious coffee. They have standard 10 oz cups, and you ghetto enjoy your drink with delicious pastries. A great chill spot to catch up with your friends.

Sisters Coffee Company in The Pearl District

Sisters Coffee Company in The Pearl DistrictSisters Coffee Company in The Pearl District

Sisters Coffee Company in Portland, OR, is a nicely decorated coffee shop with outdoor seating perfect for catching up with your buddies as you sample different coffee flavors in this coffee house. 

Enjoy house-roasted coffee drinks with pastries or sandwiches in a stylish space in this elegant coffee shop. The drinks are delicious, the staff are friendly, and the baristas know their craft well. They also have gluten-free pastries, non-dairy milk options, and sugar-free options for those on dietary restrictions.

Proud Mary Cafe

Proud Mary CafeProud Mary Cafe

Founded in 2009 by Nolan and Shari Hirte in Melbourne, Australia, Proud Mary is a culinary and caffeinated gem that redefines the art of starting your day. With a philosophy centered around the inseparable bond between outstanding coffee and exquisite food, Proud Mary's Melbourne and Portland locations offer an all-day breakfast, delectable lunches, premium teas, fresh juices, smoothies, and delightful pastries; all served alongside their meticulously crafted coffee. Their commitment to using fresh, healthy, locally sourced ingredients elevates every dish and drink.

Proud Mary isn't just a café; it's an experience that transforms mornings into magic. From the heartfelt ambiance to the harmonious marriage of flavors, every visit promises an unforgettable journey. Nolan and Shari Hirte's vision continues to shine through, delivering a fusion of taste, quality, and hospitality that's simply unparalleled.

Behind The Museum Cafe

Behind The Museum CafeBehind The Museum Cafe

Portland has a Japanese cafe that you should make a point to visit to sample their coffee drinks and cuisines. Behind The Museum Cafe serves English and Japanese coffee that you can enjoy with light Japanese nibbles. This coffee shop in Portland also has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating spaces with a Japanese accent that will make working or studying a breeze.

Portland cityscape in the sunrise

What is Portland's History?

Portland, Oregon has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. The area where Portland is located has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Chinook, Multnomah, and other tribes. European exploration of the region began in the 18th century, with fur traders and explorers venturing into the area.

In the mid-19th century, Portland's roots as a city began to take shape. In 1843, William Overton and Asa Lovejoy founded the settlement of "The Clearing," which would later become Portland. The city's growth was fueled by its strategic location along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, making it a key hub for transportation and trade.

Portland's development accelerated with the arrival of the Oregon Trail pioneers in the 1840s and the establishment of the city as the territorial capital of Oregon in 1851. The city's economy flourished with industries such as shipping, lumber, and agriculture. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1883 further bolstered Portland's growth and connectivity to the rest of the country.

Over the years, Portland has experienced periods of rapid urbanization, urban renewal efforts, and significant cultural shifts. The city played a prominent role in the environmental movement, embracing sustainable practices and becoming known for its commitment to green initiatives.

Portland's history also includes moments of social activism and advocacy. The city has been a hub for progressive movements, including civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental activism. It has cultivated a reputation as a progressive and inclusive city, attracting a diverse population and fostering a vibrant cultural scene.

Today, Portland continues to evolve and thrive as a major metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest. Its thriving food and beverage scene, renowned coffee culture, scenic beauty, and commitment to sustainability have made it a desirable place to live and visit. The city's history is celebrated and preserved through various landmarks, museums, and cultural institutions, showcasing its past while embracing its future.


In the heart of this city, where creativity and individuality thrive, coffee shops serve as the beating pulse to help coffee lovers get their dose of caffeine. Whether you seek a cozy coffee shop to study, work, unwind, or connect with like-minded souls, Portland's coffee shops will not disappoint you. We hope that this guide has given you a glimpse into the Portland coffee scene. Remember to savor every moment and engage with baristas as you try out their specialty coffee!


My coffee journey spans 15 years of diverse experiences. Starting from those first sips, my passion for the industry has grown steadily. I've enjoyed working at a local coffee shop, exploring cultures worldwide, meeting incredible farmers on plantation tours, and helping launch a family member's coffee roasting venture. Throughout this journey, discovering and buying coffee from local roasters to support community businesses has been a pleasure. Through Roast Love, I aim to create content that informs, raises awareness, and helps you, the reader, buy and brew that perfect cup of coffee.

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