Any day is a good day for a cup of iced coffee, and with an abundance of Philly cafes providing first-rate roasts and beans, your iced coffee options are nearly endless. (Photos clockwise from left by Kenny Louie, R. Kennedy for GPTMC, courtesy La Colombe, R. Kennedy for GPTMC)
Whether you’re looking for a major morning jolt with a bottle of cold brew to-go or a carefully poured icy latte to savor, Philadelphia’s coffee shops have your answer.
The Third Wave coffee scene in this city continues to grow, going way beyond standard cups o’ joe in favor of serving that consummate sip of java — be it hot or cold.
When the weather is fine, a chilly glass of iced coffee or an iced latte is just what the doctor ordered to perk up a mid-day (or early morning) lull.
With a number of cafes boasting locally roasted grinds, fair-trade coffee beans and plenty of cold brews — coffee brewed by steeping grounds in cold water for an extended period — you have your choice of a variety of iced caffeinated beverages.
In neighborhoods all over the city, cafes carefully curate their coffee to ensure enjoyment.
Our top picks for a chilly glass of iced coffee, below.
• La Colombe: La Colombe is truly a fine purveyor of coffee. The founders travel around the world to sample some of the world’s best beans, and bring home their favorites to serve under the La Colombe brand. With three brick-and-mortar shops in Philadelphia and countless distributors, you can’t go wrong with java from La Colombe. Indulge in cups of iced coffee, lattes or stock your fridge with potent Pure Black cold brews by the bottle.
• Ultimo Coffee: Earlier this year, Ultimo was named the best coffee shop in the entire country by The Daily Meal, and the Third Wave darling continually lives up to its title. Stop by the Graduate Hospital or South Philly location for an energizing cup of flavorful Counter Culture coffee, and look for the occasional guest coffee on the roster. Ultimo caters to its coffee-loving patrons with a featured iced coffee, which switches up roughly every month to match the season, in addition to a standard cup of iced coffee, both prepared by French press.
• Green Street Coffee: The 20-hour cold-brewed coffee at Green Street Coffee is available by the cup or bottleful and is sure to satisfy iced coffee cravings all around. The good people at Green Street Coffee roast their own coffee in the Point Breeze area of the city, and the locally roasted blends are available for purchase by the cup and bag at its jewel-box Spruce Street storefront.
• Rival Bros: Rival Bros Coffee Roasters satisfies Philadelphians with mobile iced coffee goodness most days of the week. The truck, which is frequently located at 33rd and Arch streets, houses a built-in pour over station, high-quality espresso equipment and much more. Grab some iced joe to go — have your pick of locally roasted options including a classic black iced coffee poured over ice, or an iced coffee made with sweetened condensed milk.
• Elixr Coffee: High-on-design Rittenhouse Square hangout Elixr Coffee welcomes coffee connoisseurs for a top-notch glass of iced coffee featuring four direct-trade brews each week. Snag a spot at the busy cafe to sip and ponder the rotating installations by local artists.
• ReAnimator Coffee: Coffee bean supplier ReAnimator Coffee recently opened its first cafe in Fishtown. Stop by for high-quality single-origin coffee, all roasted right here in Philadelphia. Enjoy a pour-over Japanese-style iced coffee at the Susquehanna Avenue cafe — sip outside or inside, as the cafe promises charming seating both indoors and outdoors.
• HubBub Coffee: HubBub Coffee started as a coffee truck in University City, and after immense success, opened its first brick-and-mortar shop on Logan Square. The shop serves Stumptown Roasters’ quality coffee, served with local milk for mixing and of course, tasty iced options.
• Federal Donuts: The haven for delicious donuts and fried chicken does not disappoint in the iced coffee department. Stop by Federal Donuts for a cup of refreshing cuppa of Topeka, Kansas-based PT’s Coffee. While you’re there, don’t sleep on the donuts, especially the hot variety — there are few better combinations than coffee and donuts. With a location in Center City and a location in South Philly, it’s easier than ever to stop at Federal Donuts for your morning jolt.
• Nook Bakery and Coffee Bar: Center City’s Nook Bakery and Coffee Bar serves up house-brewed iced coffee to Center City dwellers in search of locally or regionally-roasted custom blends. For those with a sweet tooth, pair iced coffee with a freshly made baked goods.
• Joe Coffee: The New York City-based Joe Coffee recently opened its first Philadelphia location on Rittenhouse Square. Guests have their choice of cold brewed or regular iced coffee. Savor an iced beverage while tuning in to Joe’s free Wi-Fi. Stay tuned, a University City location is slated to open soon.
• Green Line Cafe: With four shops in Philadelphia (three of which are in West Philly!), this coffee and sandwich shop specializes in tasty treats. Not only does Green Line Cafe have fair-trade, organic iced coffee courtesy of Equal Exchange coffee, but it also supplies patrons with discounted iced coffee refills for just $1.25 a pop.
More iced coffee spots, below.
• One Shot Coffee: Located steps from the Piazza at Schmidt’s, One Shot Coffee provides its patrons with iced joe made with highly regarded Portland-based Stumptown Coffee blends. Each week, the shop welcomes a new shipment from the roaster to ensure maximum freshness. While you’re caffeinating, enjoy your iced coffee with a side of One Shot Coffee’s brunch.
• Bean Exchange: Bean Exchange, the Bella Vista hangout, provides small-batch, house-roasted coffee in a variety of blends. Enjoy a cup of iced coffee while basking in the charm of the cozy spot that aims to be a historic reminder of Philadelphia’s first coffeehouse, The London Coffeehouse.
• Black N Brew: East Passyunk Avenue’s resident coffee shop brews La Colombe coffee by the bucketful. Tip: Stop by Black N Brew during happy hour (3-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) and grab an iced coffee for just $1.
• Anthony’s Italian Coffee House: Located smack dab in the middle of the Italian Market, Anthony’s Italian Coffee House serves up a fine cup of iced coffee. The baristas at the cafe add something special to each iced coffee — frozen cubes of coffee instead of iced cubes so not to dilute the beverage.
• Good Karma Cafe: Both Good Karma Cafe locations offer iced coffee made with Equal Exchange coffee beans, promising, as its name states, fair-trade brews. Every batch of iced coffee features added espresso, talk about a jolt.
• Old City Coffee: Located in Reading Terminal Market and in Old City, Old City Coffee roasts and brews coffee with the best of ’em. Enjoy a glass of urn-brewed iced coffee at either locale.
• Pure Fare: The healthy sandwich shop doles out New Orleans-style (think a sweet and syrupy iced coffee made with chicory) to customers. Stop by Pure Fare and enjoy a glass of the rich iced coffee alongside soup, salad or sandwich.
• Cafe L’Aube: With locations in both Rittenhouse and Fairmount, Cafe L’Aube serves coffee from the Wallonia area of Belgium in addition to blends from India, East Africa, South America and Central America. Be sure to try one of the restaurant’s sweet crepes, too.
• Cafe Ole: Old City’s Cafe Ole is a leisurely spot to enjoy an iced cup of coffee. Located on the corner of a fairly quiet Old City street, its the perfect spot to enjoy an iced coffee inside or outside.
• Ants Pants Cafe: Australian coffee reigns at Graduate Hospital’s Ants Pants Cafe. The loved brunch spot serves drip iced brews and Australian iced coffee — ice cream, espresso, milk and whipped cream.
• Red Hook Coffee and Tea: Located on Fabric Row in Queen Village, Red Hook Coffee and Tea specializes in fair-trade coffee and free iced coffee refills.
• Lovers and Madmen: Lovers and Madmen purveys Counter Culture Coffee (direct trade, organic coffee from around the world) along 40th Street. The cheerful coffee shop welcomes everyone, but is especially popular among University City students.
• Shot Tower Coffee: Shot Tower Coffee, the window-filled corner coffee shop, whips up iced coffee made from seasonally-appropriate Counter Culture Coffee beans.
• BODHi Coffee: BODHi Coffee overlooks Headhouse Square and churns out iced coffee made with beans from Stumptown Roasters, along with sandwiches and salads for an added bite. This is your stop for a coffee to sip while shopping the weekly Headhouse Square Farmers’ Market.
• Brodo: Looking for a good deal? Look no further than Brodo, a tasty soup, salad and sandwich spot that is also home to a $1 cup of La Colombe iced coffee.
• Cake and the Beanstalk: Take a cup of iced coffee to go, or enjoy it inside the Cake and the Beanstalk’s sunny indoor seating area in Washington Square West, complete with Wi-Fi and coloring books for youngsters.
• Mugshots Coffeehouse and Cafe: With three locations in the city, Mugshots Coffeehouse and Cafe provides a cup of fair-trade iced coffee just when you need it in Fairmount and Brewerytown.
• B2: For those with a sweet tooth, B2 in East Passyunk is your place. Indulge in a cup of chocolate covered iced coffee, and for those looking for something a little more tame, the traditional iced coffee can’t be missed.
• Volo Coffeehouse: Known for its minimalist vibe and convenient Main street Manayunk location, Volo Coffeehouse pours La Colombe coffee for sleepy-eyed patrons. The iced coffee is made with La Colombe’s Corsica blend and topped off with a shot of Nizza espresso.