Warm up this winter at one of the many cozy cafe’s snuggled throughout the city (pun intended!). The polar vortex may have you wanting to stay inside, but this list of hot spots will have you walking out the door, wearing your favorite pair of gloves.
Our first stop is located on 9th and Federal Streets, right in the middle of the Italian Market. As you walk through the Italian Market, you will be captivated by the amount of cheese and butcher shops, restaurants, bakeries, and cafes that catch your eye. One in particular is Rim Cafe, an eclectic cafe known for its elaborate chocolate beverages and in-house made unique desserts. Since 1982, Rim Cafe has been creating award-winning hot chocolates (the Volcano is a fan favorite!) and their very own famous Rene Espresso, which is named after their owner!
Originally, Rene Kobeitri began his around-the-clock service at a market in Nice, France. Rene successfully brought his expertise to Philadelphia and created a family-feel environment in a large city. Not only does the feel of the restaurant warm you up, but the world’s first baked cannoli does, too—it’s served hot from the oven! This may seem like a puzzling concept, yet some customers say they will never eat a cold cannoli again! Which item on the menu will you choose?
Old City Coffee
Next on our list is Old City Coffee. Before we get into the cafe itself, can we talk about the aesthetic of Old City? Every corner of this historic neighborhood has an undisturbed, tranquil vibe that will keep you feeling toasty inside regardless of the weather. If the wind chill becomes too much, definitely stop into Old City Coffee, nestled amid the cobblestone streets. The great thing about this cafe is that it is also located in The Reading Terminal Market (for those of you who are too cold to travel to Old City!). When you first approach this cafe, you are welcomed by tall blue windows that cover the front of the building.
The walls are lined with an arrangement of coffee beans that welcome you in with their delectable smell. As you approach the counter, a variety of soups, snacks, and desserts come into sight: The South Philly Minestrone, Three Bean Chili, and the Spicy Carrot Ginger are just a few of their seasonal soups. Another staple item to keep you warm this winter is the selection of aromatic teas. These teas are described as mild, with a pleasant fruity flavor—what more do you need to feel warm?
Elixr Coffee Roasters
If you are looking for a more modern feel, then Elixr Coffee Roasters is the place for you! Elixir Coffee Roasters is located near Rittenhouse Square on South Sydenham Street, just off of Walnut Street in between 15th and 16th. This cafe is known for its single-origin, hand-poured brews & espresso drinks. While enjoying one of these beverages inside, you will be captivated by the flower ceiling, hardwood floors, and rustic walls. This unique look contains many patterns and colors that will have you intrigued from the beginning—definitely an Instagram- worthy cafe!
Besides the aesthetic, the coffee has won many awards on a national level, including: 2018 2nd Place United States Barista Championship 2015 and 2017, and Business Insider 50 Best US Cafes. The coffees range from Beekeeper espresso, Lunar Lander Seasonal, and Treehouse Blend—an array of fascinating names. They have done so well, that they also supply wholesale coffee to the city (so you can even bring some home!). In 2018, Elixir was even named the best coffee shop in Pennsylvania by MSN by Microsoft News.
The last cafe on our list is Higher Grounds, located in Northern Liberties, which has live acoustic music, plus local DJs and musicians, to relax and entertain every guest. You can check out their calendar on their website! Guests can even rent out the space for meetings or parties. The room is full of exposed brick walls, comfy couches, board games, and one-of-a-kind artwork. Higher Grounds Cafe offers sixteen loose-leaf teas and their very own unique green tea lattes (hot, cold, or blended!).
The menu consists of many lunch options and a variety of pastries, but one pastry stands out specifically: the chocolate chip cookie. This is not any ordinary chocolate chip cookie (in fact, nothing here is ordinary) but this cookie is giant, and even has massive chocolate chips throughout, which makes it even more tempting. No need to have fancy desserts when a melted, warm cookie is the perfect way to warm up!
Text your friends now and tell them to meet you at one of these cozy cafes to warm up this weekend in Philly! Start your morning with a hot cup of coffee in one of these unique neighborhoods before you set out for a day of exploring, or spend the afternoon cozying up with a good book. Follow Campus Philly on Instagram for even more recommendations of places to go, sites to see, and all the best eats @CampusPhilly.