Under-the-Radar Coffee Shops in Every State for an Inexpensive Cup

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Perk Up Your Ears

Why pay for expensive Starbucks coffee when your city likely has a righteous and robust coffeehouse where you can do so much better? Deep, fresh, flavorful drip coffee shouldn't be more than $3 a cup. But where can you find affordable joe somewhere around you that's actually really good? Travel with us to superb little cafes all across America where the locals swear by their brew — keeping in mind that the coronavirus has left shops with an array of rules to operate by, with some allowing in-store drinking, others keeping customers on patios, and others limiting business to takeout. Be sure to call ahead.

Related: 29 Surprising Facts About Coffee

Angel's Coffee Island in Huntsville, Alabama
Angel's Island Coffee/Yelp

Alabama: Angel's Coffee Island

A 12-ounce brew for $2.17 makes this 'Bama coffee spot a great find. Add to that, Angel's Coffee Island boasts a tempting ice cream frozen drink menu too. Hungry? Try the house-made fresh fruit smoothies, wraps, salads, and sandwiches.

Related: 25 Chains Where Drink Refills Are Free

Kaladi Brothers Coffee
Chad B./Yelp

Alaska: Kaladi Brothers Coffee

The hip Kaladi Brothers Coffee offers an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee made from fresh-roasted beans for $2. Kaladi Brothers also sells pastries and smaller noshes as well as bags of fresh-roasted coffee and loads of home-brewing paraphernalia for the novice or well-appointed home barista.

The Coffee Shop in Gilbert, Arizona
Hee Y./Yelp
2 Twenty 1
Mike F./Yelp

Arkansas: 2 Twenty 1

Little Rock
The signature drip coffee at 2Twenty1 is just $2.60 a mug, well complemented by a menu of sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and pastry.

Related: Best Coffee Roasters in America

Simone’s Coffee
Cat F./Yelp

California: Simone's Coffee

Beach-adjacent Simone's offers $2.25 fresh-brewed drip coffee plus espresso drinks, loose leaf teas, handcrafted blends, milkshakes, and real fruit smoothies. Simone's also serves baked goods, house-made granola as well as sandwiches and wraps.

Coffee House 29
SusieQ H./Yelp

Colorado: Coffee House 29

At Coffee House 29, fresh roast drip coffee starts at $2.75 a cup in a cozy yet spacious spot with breakfast burritos and Power Balls — a healthy, house-made energy bar — that can be ordered with your java fix.

Cheshire Coffee in Cheshire, Connecticut
Neil T./Yelp

Connecticut: Cheshire Coffee

The folks at Cheshire Coffee pride themselves on their quality beans and roast their own coffee, with a 12-ounce fresh-roasted drip coffee still going for just $2.15. Cheshire offers an array of pastries and other treats, including bagels and its own granola bars.

Related: Where to Find a Good, Cheap Breakfast in Every State

Abhilasha D./Yelp

Delaware: BrewHaha

Inspired by Italian coffee houses, BrewHaha roasts its own coffee beans and sells fresh-brewed small drip coffee starting at $2.25. Along with its variety of hot and cold coffees comes a selection of food breakfast and lunch treats. People particularly rave about the selection of cold sandwiches, especially the hummus and mozzarella wraps. 

Related: Best Sandwiches From Around the World

Downtown Credo Coffee Shop in Orlando, Florida
Kayla G./Yelp

Florida: Downtown Credo Coffee Shop

This is the first location of a local "chain" of nonprofit coffee shops where you set the price based on what you can afford (though a menu asks $2 for the smallest coffee). Downtown Credo's beans are high quality and fair-trade sourced from small farms in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Credo offers tea and baked goods as well.

Daddy Cate’s Coffees
Lauren S./Yelp

Georgia: Daddy Cate's Coffees

Daddy Cate's Coffees scores with fresh-brewed premium drip coffee at around $2 for a medium cup. It also offers breakfast croissants and muffins, rolls, biscotti, and bagels, as well as lunch offerings such as a tuna melt and a pimento cheese sandwich.

Maleko Coffee and Pastries
Courtney F./Yelp

Hawaii: Maleko Coffee and Pastries

Guests of the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel are lucky to have this seller of much-praised coffee, malasadas (a fried-dough pastry), and made-to-order pizzas so close at hand, though it's not much incentive to leave and explore the island. A small coffee at Maleko is $.175.

Flying M Coffee House in Boise, Idaho
Yulia N./Yelp

Idaho: Flying M Coffee House

A local landmark, the "M" has a 12-ounce cup of fresh-roast drip coffee that runs $1.85. The Flying M is a small, local chain boasting in-house roasted coffee beans and a selection of pastries, smoothies, and an interesting "potato cake" of hash browns, mozzarella, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes.

Damn Fine Coffee Bar in Chicago, Illinois
Diana O./Yelp

Illinois: Damn Fine Coffee Bar

Damn Fine serves coffee from the local roaster Halfwit as well as specialty coffees from roasters from around the country. A small drip coffee is $2. It serves Spirit Tea and fresh-baked pastries from Chicago's Floriole Bakery and vegan donuts from Do Rite Donuts.

Related: 31 Unique Doughnuts You Have to Try

Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company
Matt S./Yelp

Indiana: Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company

There's a lot to love about Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company, including its nonprofit foundation that donates within the community. Drip coffee from fresh-roasted beans starts at $2.50 and there are signature drinks and pastries to enjoy, including croissants, muffins, and cookies.

Magpie Coffeehouse
Jack P./Yelp

Iowa: Magpie Coffeehouse

Magpie is a great little cafe in downtown Decorah created by a defecting Californian in 2008. It offers $1.40 cups of freshly brewed house-roast coffee (with taxes, a nice round $1.50) and loads of fresh breakfast items, plus house-made soups and sandwiches and vegan options such as black bean burgers.

Arrow Coffee
Madison H./Yelp

Kansas: Arrow Coffee

Arrow Coffee serves freshly brewed drip for $2 and a range of other, fancier drinks. It also serves cocktails and sells family meals for takeout. A tasty bonus: baked goods such as french macarons, breads, and pastries made from scratch.

Left Bank Coffeehouse
Katy B./Yelp

Kentucky: Left Bank Coffeehouse

In the historic Licking Riverside district of Covington, the Left Bank Coffeehouse serves $1.50 cups of house brew from the finest locally roasted coffees. There's also an array of coffee drinks, tea selections, and an assortment of baked goods and other foods from local vendors.

Congregation Coffee Roasters
Sam 'Wags' W./Yelp

Louisiana: Congregation Coffee Roasters

New Orleans
Great for fun merchandise as well as coffee, Congregation Coffee Roasters is a local gem that roasts in-house and sells its brew starting at $2.75.

Bohemian Coffee House
J C./Yelp

Maine: Bohemian Coffee House

Bohemian Coffee House serves freshly roasted coffee and espresso drinks. Pastries are baked in-house daily and an 8-ounce house brew drip coffee is just $1.56.

Order & Chaos Coffee in Baltimore, Maryland
Vicky D./Yelp

Maryland: Order & Chaos Coffee

Order & Chaos is a quirky coffee shop that sells 12 ounces of fresh-brewed drip for $2.50. It offers quality coffee, muffins, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and famous "walking waffles" as well as healthier small snacks. 

Related: 25 Places to Find Amazing Waffles Across the Country

Marylou's Coffee in Quincy, Massachusetts
Sharon V./Yelp

Massachusetts: Marylou’s Coffee

Pretty in pink, Marylou's excels in an area of the country absolutely dominated by Dunkin' Donuts. Its basic cup of house brew is $2.09 and there's an extensive array of coffee drinks — hot and cold — plus Red Bull frozen blends and other frozen drinks. There are breakfast sandwiches too.

Live Oak Coffeehouse
Alex M./Yelp

Michigan: Live Oak Coffeehouse

It offers French-press coffees and all the usual suspects, with a fresh cup of house brew running $2.49. Live Oak is also renowned for freshly baked treats such as quiche, chocolate chip cookies, and house-made granola bars called No Nonsense bars that are vegan and gluten free.

The Goodness Coffee House
Christian M./Yelp

Minnesota: The Goodness Coffee House

The Goodness Coffee House brews up local roaster Peace Coffee's fair trade, organic coffee, and a cup of the day's brew starts at $1.85. You can score a grilled cheese sandwich, grilled Cuban sandwich, or a "S'morezini" of Hershey chocolate, marshmallows, and crushed graham on your choice of bread.

Related: You Have to Try These Famous Sandwiches in Every State

Finest Grind Coffee House in Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Amanda B./Yelp

Mississippi: Finest Grind Coffee House

Ocean Springs
Finest Grind Coffee House serves up a cup of fresh-brewed drip coffee for $1.95. It also sells baked and breakfast goods, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. There are teas and other non-coffee drinks, too.

Coma Coffee
Mary A./Yelp

Missouri: Coma Coffee

Richmond Heights 
Ignore the office building setting and order a cup of single-origin drip coffee starting at $2.25 — and maybe something from the menus for breakfast or lunch, with a separate section for toasts. Coma elevates the usual avocado with watermelon radish with cherry tomatoes or breaks away entirely with peach and goat cheese.

Zocalo Coffee House in Bozeman, Montana
Matthew W./Yelp

Montana: Zocalo Coffee House

An artsy establishment, Zocalo Coffee House offers up a 12-ounce cup of freshly brewed drip coffee for $1.50. The inviting brick-walled cafe serves basic coffee drinks, teas, scones, baked goods, and fresh cookies. It also serves craft beer and offers Wi-Fi and cribbage and other games.

The Mill Coffee and Tea
Larry M./Yelp

Nebraska: The Mill Coffee and Tea

Freshly brewed selections of the day start at $2.28, and an extra shot of espresso to add to any drink at The Mill is just 68 cents. Don't miss the candy selection, including chocolate-covered blueberries, cherries and, of course, espresso beans. 

The World Famous Coffee Cup Café in Boulder City, Nevada
Fatima A./Yelp

Nevada: The World Famous Coffee Cup Café

Boulder City
For a thrifty $2, you get a refillable cup of fresh-roasted drip coffee at The World Famous Coffee Cup Café, which is beloved for its Americana decor and cultural memorabilia. This family-owned establishment has a huge egg-centric breakfast menu and a belt-popping lunch menu that covers all the favorites. Come hungry.

Related: Best Brunch in Every State

White Mountain Gourmet Coffee
Roasted Unroasted C./Yelp

New Hampshire: White Mountain Gourmet Coffee

White Mountain has a wide coffee-drink selection with brewed drip coffee coming in small, medium, or a large cup at prices a flinty frugal New Englander can appreciate. There's also muffins, bagels, and pastries, and the menu even ventures into shakes and fruit smoothies.

Brewshot Cafe
Jinny T./Yelp

New Jersey: Brewshot Cafe

Jersey City 
This Liberty Harbor spot opened in 2012 invites people to linger with its bamboo-and-greenery interior, free Wi-Fi, and of course cups of drip coffee starting at $2.75. Brewshot also has teas, pasty, and breakfast to help people settle in.

Related: The Oldest Ice Cream Shops in America

Piñon Coffee House
Angela S./Yelp

New Mexico: Piñon Coffee House

A regular-sized drip coffee at Piñon is just $2.25, but locals often pick up a breakfast burrito (you can choose between bacon or vegetarian with red or green chile).

Related: Best Cheap Burritos in America

Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery
Brooke S./Yelp

New York: Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery

Undergrounds is an old funeral home converted into a coffee shop with a, wait for it, "creamation station," and it sells a rich cup of fresh-roasted brew for $2.30 as well as boasting an all-day breakfast menu and a lunch and salad plate menu.

Moji Coffee and More
Gabriele P./Yelp

North Carolina: Moji Coffee + More

Moji is a nonprofit coffee shop offering jobs to neurodiverse members of the community so you can feel good about your caffeine jolt. A small coffee is $2.25, and the smoothies, lattes, and baked goods get raves. Customers also enjoy the fun interior, art on the walls, coloring sheets, and colored pencils. 

The Boneshaker Coffee Co.
Bruce K./Yelp

North Dakota: The Boneshaker Coffee Co.

The Boneshaker has drive-thru where you can order a fresh-roasted drip coffee for $1.85. Fresh pastries and treats are available, as are grab-and-go lunches and breakfast sandwiches.

Kafe Kerouac
Drew S./Yelp

Ohio: Kafe Kerouac

Kafe Kerouac is an alternative cafe space selling records and books along with coffee, baked goods, imported beer, wine by the glass or bottle, and more. Its house coffee is locally roasted with fair-trade beans and ranges from $1.50 to $2 for a large cup. It also has whiskey and beer tastings.

The Red Cup in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Brennah L./Yelp

Oklahoma: The Red Cup

Oklahoma City
The Red Cup has a solid vegetarian breakfast and lunch menu with simple things such as loaded toast to hummus dips, vegan chorizo mac, and vegetable jambalaya. (There's also a burger.) Its fair trade organic cup of fresh drip brew costs a mere $1.38.

The Governor's Cup Coffee Roasters in Salem, Oregon
Brandon D./Yelp

Oregon: The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters

The Governor's Cup coffee shop is known for its in-house roasted java and fresh pastries, and local art is prominent insider. A cup of fresh-roasted drip brew costs $2

Mean Cup in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
John N./Yelp
The Shop in Providence, Rhode Island
Thalia L./Yelp

Rhode Island: The Shop

At The Shop, a rotating selection of single-origin, direct-trade coffees start at $2.50 a mug, and there's a select food menu as well, including durum or seeded multigrain bread as a base for avocado toast (with lime, chili flake, and Celtic sea salt) or ricotta, raw organic Oaxacan honey, and cracked black pepper.

Drip Coffee
Maddy E./Yelp

South Carolina: Drip Coffee

Drip serves its coffee — the pour-over is its specialty — starting at $2.15 but has a detailed and eclectic epicurean menu that stretches over pages and pages of food and drink.

Related: The Best Cities in America for People Who Love Food

Sweet Grass Eatery
Sweet Grass/Yelp

South Dakota: Sweet Grass Eatery

Wessington Springs
Located in a historic 100-year old building, Sweet Grass offers a great selection of made-to order breakfast items, lunch offerings, and even steak and seafood dinners to make this eatery a well-rounded, all-day destination. Its premium drip coffee starts with a 12-ounce cup for $1.35.

The Celtic Cup Coffee House
Kera T./Yelp

Tennessee: The Celtic Cup Coffee House

The Celtic Cup serves up "Auld World" scones, quiches, traditional breakfast breads, house-made soups, and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. The menu is larger than at most coffee spots. You can get a cup of freshly brewed coffee made with fair-trade roasted beans direct from its roasters for $1.75.

Bennu Coffee
Silas O./Yelp

Texas: Bennu Coffee

An independent cafe, Bennu Coffee is a 24-hour shop with locations in east and central Austin. Fair-trade coffee is served, and a cup of fresh brew begins at $1.90; fancier coffees include a personal French press service, seven signature gourmet mochas (including the Moby Dick, The Raven, and Great Gatsby mochas), espresso drinks, and trendy cold brew coffee. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner — including pizza from Hoboken Pie.

Sunset Coffee Company in Sandy, Utah
Katie F./yelp.com

Utah: Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii

Salt Lake City
This Utah location was the first mainland location for the Hawaiian chain more than 20 years ago. Customers of Bad Ass rave about everything from the coffee ice cubes used in cold drinks to the wide array of blends and  signature lattes ranging from Monkey Mocha to Snickerlicious. A cup of coffee starts at around $2.50. 

Related: Best Restaurants for Comfort Food

The Traveled Cup in St. Albans City, Vermont
The T./Yelp

Vermont: Kestrel Coffee Roasters

Kestrel Coffee Roasters serves up ethically sourced beans and drip coffee starts at $2.50, but don't overlook the homemade goodies such vegan pumpkin muffins topped with peptic seeds and homemade apple hand pies. There are savory prepared foods, as well. 

Lucky Cup
Isaac A./Yelp

Virginia: Lucky Cup

Virginia Beach 
At Lucky Cup a cup of freshly roasted brew coffee starts at $1.59, but you may not want to stop at a simple cup of joe. The shop also sells CBD-infused coffee beans as well as cupcakes, lemon bites, and bagels. 

North Town Coffeehouse
Sarah P./Yelp

Washington: North Town Coffeehouse

Located in an old train station, North Town has house drip coffee starting at $2.15 a cup, and lots of non-coffee drinks and creamy, house-made gelato.

Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee Shop
Molly S./Yelp

West Virginia: Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee Shop

Almost Heaven is a quaint cafe with paninis, salads, and a famous local pepperoni roll as well as toast, açaí bowls, desserts, and pastry. A cup of fresh drip coffee starts at $2.50.

Mallory B./Yelp

Wisconsin: Colectivo

Colectivo's large sidewalk patio and second-level mezzanine is a spacious area to enjoy your coffee or sip Letterbox Fine Tea, sample treats from its Troubadour bakery or order all-day breakfast, sandwiches, or bowls while people-watching. A freshly brewed 8-ounce drip coffee at this small chain costs $1.85.

Paramount Cafe
Kate C./Yelp

Wyoming: Paramount Cafe

The Paramount Building is a former theater in downtown Cheyenne. The Paramount Cafe's fresh drip coffee is locally roasted and costs $1.95. It also serves non-caffeinated drinks and pastry.

Soho Tea and Coffee
John F./Yelp

Washington D.C.: Soho Tea and Coffee

A cup of coffee is just $1.95 at Soho Tea and Coffee, but you can also order lunch or breakfast, which customers like for generous sizing and tastiness.