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  • Writer's pictureTom Tran

Which American City Has Best Coffee Shops?

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Best city for coffee in America based on Yelp ratings

Methodology: I count the number of coffee shops with a rating of 4 or above in each major cities by neighborhood using Yelp search functionality sorted by number of reviews. For example, here is a search for most reviewed restaurants in West Village, Manhattan, New York. The goal is to have more coverage of neighborhoods rather than just downtown areas. These restaurants form a sample for each city. We look at the top 30 cities in the US. The requirements for cities and restaurants to be included in the comparison:

  • City must have many coffee shops: Sample must be 100 minimum

  • Coffee shop needs to have at least 20 reviews for rating confidence

  • Only top 10 cities with the most coffee shops in sample are retained for comparison

The goal of this exercise is to find consistent quality.


  • The data collected are only samples and the metrics does not reflect absolute accuracy for the entire population. However, the samples are large enough to provide confidence.

  • This methodology will exclude smaller cities

The results are as follows.

best coffee city

Averaging 77% of coffee shops with a rating of 4 or higher in the sample, Portland is American city with the best coffee shops. Close behind and tied at second place is Seattle and San Diego with 76%, while San Francisco is in fourth place. The West coast, especially the Pacific Northwest, stands out as the best region for coffee in this result, which reflects their coffee culture.

best coffee city

This result is also consistent with a study by WalletHub, which also ranks Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego at number one, two, three and nine respectively.

Please understand that the results are based on data. The point here is consistency. We look at restaurants across neighborhoods and cover a wide range of them. Your personal opinion of a few favorite restaurants in a city does not matter here.


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