For richer or pour over, San Jose’s coffee shops are what keep us going in the morning. Our city ranks among the top coffee cities in America thanks to factors like cafes per capita and the price of beans.
The great 408 has no shortage of masterful baristas, aromatic roasts, and foamy lattes. But if you’re having trouble deciding on a spot, gather some brews clues with our guide to some of the best coffee shops in San Jose.
Pro tip: If you need to refine your order, review the different kinds of coffee before stepping up to the counter.
Spectra Coffee, 5353 Almaden Expy., Ste. 52 | This cafe begs you to go outside of the box with fun-flavored latte choices like honey lavender, banana creme, and orange blossom. Got a hankering for chocolate? Try the Dandelion Chocolate Mocha infused with oranges.
Coffee & Water Lab, 603 Saratoga Ave., Ste. 40 | The baristas craft each cup with scientific precision, with pour-over techniques like no other. Get a taste of the single-origin cold brew mixed with maple cream, or one of the coffee floats for a sugary kick with your caffeine.
AM Craft, 481 E. San Carlos St. | If you’re indecisive when it comes to ordering that perfect cup of joe, look no further. This cafe offers caffeinated flights, featuring a “drip flight” from local, out-of-state, and international roasters. There’s also a “red eye flight” which gives you a taste of its drip, espresso, and cortado.
T-Square Coffee and Tea, 1102 Bird Ave., Ste. 20 | Looking for some tang with your espresso? Try this cafe’s Mango Thai Coconut Latte or Thai-style Coconut Latte — a refreshing twist on the classic.
Phin Bar, 1161 Ringwood Ct., Ste. 100 | This urban brew-bar specializes in Vietnamese-style steeped coffee made from organic coffee beans sourced from Taylor Lane Coffee in Sonoma County. Taste the richness of the brew with this cafe’s special phin filtering technique.
Con Azucar Cafe, 101 E. Santa Clara St. | Along with delicious horchata lattes and Jamaica refreshers, this cafe specializes in conchas — offering concha ice cream sandwiches and a “Concha Gigante.” You’ll never guess how gigantic it really is.
Dr.ink, 77 N. Almaden Ave., Ste. 70 | Yes, the Butterscotch Latte is to die for and we can’t get enough of the Blue Coconut “Lattea,” but you’ve got to try the soft serve — either the Black Nougat or Ruby Black Tea — with honey boba in the cup.
Roy’s Station, 197 Jackson St. | Where else can you get Spam musubi at a coffee shop outside of Hawaii? Also, get a taste of the pastries — delivered by Golden Bakery daily — like the one with char sui pork baked into a milk bread bun.
Events and pop ups
Nirvana Soul, various locations | Along with delicious specialty drinks and tasty waffles, this cafe hosts “Nirvana Soul After Dark,” where an open mic invites anyone to share their poetry, spoken word, or musical talents. Seasonally, you can also find different local artists’ work displayed around the shop.
Academic Coffee, 499 S. Second St. | This cafe opens its doors to local vendors. Follow it on Instagram to see when Hash n’ Dash will be serving hot breakfast in front of the cafe, or if you can grab fresh flowers with your latte on your next visit.
For latte art lovers
Hannah Coffee, 754 The Alameda, Ste. 80 | It’s the attention to detail that keeps us coming back. Along with whimsical latte art, Hannah Coffee also specializes in adorable handmade cupcakes to go with your cutesy cup of joe.
Voyager Craft Coffee, various locations | Nothing is more gorgeous than this cafe’s rainbow latte art. Voyager specializes in coffee aesthetics, sprinkling each of its lattes with some edible glitter for that extra shine.
Lookout Coffee, 2135 S. Winchester Blvd., Ste. 100 | Dining in is the way to go at Lookout — you can enjoy your latte in a nice mug with a carefully crafted foam heart on top. We recommend trying the Coconut Brown Sugar Latte for a sweet, but not too sweet, treat.
Plenty of outlets and internet connection
Caffe Bene, 181 E. Tasman Dr., Ste. 80 | Stay awhile in this cozy cafe which offers plenty of seating, strong WiFi, and a delicious Lavender Vanilla Latte. Also, this spot hosts various K-Pop events — just follow it on Instagram for updates.
Crema Coffee Roasting, 238 Race St. | Located on The Alameda, Crema Coffee is a perfect spot to meet up with study buddies, or to write up your next novel solo. We recommend cozying up with a Red Velvet Latte while enjoying the free Wifi.
Living Room Coffee Craft, 1711 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell | It’s in the name — this cafe welcomes you to feel right at home. Your coworkers will say, “What a nice home you have!” as you sit on the couch next to the fireplace with a latte in hand. Don’t worry, it’ll be a secret between you and SJtoday.
In-house roasted beans
Voltaire Coffee Roasters, 360 S. Market St., Ste. 80 | This coffee house specializes in roasting its own beans in-house and sourcing from “fair-trade markets that work with local farmers.” We recommend trying its Organic Brazil Blend with notes of chocolate, peanut butter, and stone fruit.
Chromatic Coffee, 460 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 10 | You can find Chromatic’s beans — sourced from producers in Central + South America, Ethiopia, and elsewhere — in many NorCal and Pacific Northwest grocery stores. You can even find them in Camino Brewing Co.‘s coffee milk stout.
What did we miss? If you know a coffee shop that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.