The concept of the coffee house dates back to the second half of the 15th century in Constantinople. Though Constantinople didn't survive, the coffee shop did, exported from what's now Istanbul through Europe and eventually to England, whose colonists brought the concept to the New World. The American coffee shop is as old as America itself, and the best cafes are — and always have been — more than just a place to sip coffee, but about showcasing the arts, cultivating a sense of community, and giving an outlet for ideas and expressions ranging from politics to poetry. In celebration of International Coffee Day on October 1, here are some coffee shops that capture the spirit perfectly.
Note: Since some coffee shops are closed to in-person dining due to state and local orders for the pandemic, be sure to call ahead to confirm before visiting.
Related: 10 Local Coffee Roasters That Put Starbucks to Shame