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This West Coast State Is the Country's Coffee Capital for 2024

According to a new study by Clever Real Estate, The Golden State dominates the 50 best coffee cities list, with San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco securing spots in the top five. The capital city of Sacramento claimed a place in the top 15. (AP photo)

Wealth of Geeks

Published: February 8, 2024

Portland, Oregon, wears the crown for the ultimate coffee city of 2024, but California reigns as the top state overall for coffee lovers. According to a new study by Clever Real Estate, The Golden State dominates the 50 best coffee cities list, with San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco securing spots in the top five. The capital city of Sacramento claimed a place in the top 15.
Even more impressive, not a single California city found itself in the bottom 10, including Riverside, which bounced back after being ranked near the bottom of last year's list. California cities ranked highly mainly because they house 58% more coffee shops per capita than the national average.
Coffee fans on the West Coast flock to Starbucks. According to internet search data, California cities comprise 4 of the top 5 cities with the most Starbucks lovers, whereas East Coasters prefer Dunkin' Donuts.
To see how other major metropolitan areas stacked up, check out this year's list of the best and worst coffee cities:
America's Best Coffee Cities
1. Portland, Oregon
Portland lands in the top spot this year, a 21-spot leap over its ranking in 2023. Known as a hipster haven and epicure's paradise, Portland boasts a coffee passion score of 91.9, surpassing the average city score of 78. Additionally, the city stands out with 27.8 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 120% more than the typical city in the study.
Known as the birthplace of the iconic Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland residents also enjoy a host of charming local java joints like Albina Press, Barista, and Roseline Coffee.
2. San Jose, California
Even though San Jose is one of the most expensive places to live, a cup of cappuccino in this high-tech hotspot only costs around $4.17, nearly a dollar less than the national average.
Perhaps better known as the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose features a host of local coffee spots that help fuel this techie community. With 29.6 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, San Jose has 135% more coffee shops than the average metro area. Local favorites include Voltaire Coffee House and Nirvana Soul.
3. San Diego, California
Known for its gorgeous weather and beautiful beaches, San Diego has also made a name for itself as a culinary destination for everything from tacos to artisanal cocktails and coffee.
San Diegans are serious about their brew, with top-tier independent coffee shops like the award-winning Monstra or small-batch roaster Ironsmith Coffee. The city is home to a thriving coffee roasting scene, featuring 1.5 coffee roasteries per 100,000 residents, a whopping 114% more than the national average.
4. Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City jumps an impressive 15 spots this year to the No. 4 in the best coffee city ranking. Denver is home to 1.4 coffee roasteries per 100,000 residents — 105% more than the average city, and 20.5 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, which is 63% more than the typical city.
Denver's thriving coffee scene is also among the nation's highest-rated. It earned an overall rating of 4.45 stars out of 5 on Yelp. The average city earns just 4.33 stars.
5. San Francisco, California
The most LGBTQ-friendly city in the country is also the No. 5th best coffee city in America. San Francisco features 38% more coffee shops per capita than the average American city.
Based on Google Trends data, The City by the Bay earned a 99.6 out of 100 for its coffee passion score, 27.7% higher than the typical city in the study.
While San Francisco's eclectic coffee scene has something for everyone, Irish coffee is what the city is best known for, which was introduced to the U.S. at the Buena Vista Café in 1952.
6. Providence, Rhode Island
Although Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the nation, its residents have a lot of love for their coffee. When it comes to preference, residents, by and large, choose Dunkin' over Starbucks. Providence has an impressive 304% more donut shops per capita than the average city and 37% more coffee shops per capita than the average.
Locals will be pleased to know that they pay 15% less than most cities for a cup of cappuccino, with a standard cup costing $4.39.
7. Hartford, Connecticut
Dropping five places to No. 7 this year is the city of Hartford, Connecticut. Just like Providence, Hartford can't seem to get enough of its donuts, which seems fitting since their baseball team plays at Dunkin' Donuts Park! The city features 7.1 donut shops per 100,000 residents, 255% more than the average. With 15 coffee shops per capita, Hartford holds its own among larger coffee cities.
Dunkin' Donuts is a favorite, but there are plenty of other independently owned shops in Hartford that locals flock to, like Donut Crazy and Neil's Donuts.
8. Boston, Massachusetts
Beantown residents are true java junkies, searching coffee-related terms 22% more than the average city. Boston has 18.2 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 44% more than the typical metro area. And while this truly is the epicenter of Dunkin' country, there are plenty of other options, like 3 Little Figs, Gracenote, and Broadsheet Coffee Roasters.
For New Englanders looking to get their daily caffeine fix, a daily cup of coffee in Boston adds up to just 1.30% of the average annual income, giving Boston residents a 21% advantage over the average city.
9. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas has seen a meteoric rise over the past year to land the No. 9 spot. The folks in Vegas are doing something right, with an average coffee shop rating of 4.48 stars out of 5 — one of the highest in the study.
In the city where "more is more," and the concept of sleep is a mere suggestion, it's unsurprising that there are a whopping 25.9 coffee shops per 100,000 residents, 106% higher than the average city.
10. Seattle, Washington
This list wouldn't be complete if Seattle didn't make an appearance. Home to the most famous coffee chain on the planet, Seattle has much more to offer than just Starbucks. There are 17.4 coffee shops per 100,0000 residents, 38% more than the average city.
Even more impressive, Seattle has a perfect coffee passion score of 100, surpassing the average city in the study by 28%.
America's Worst Coffee Cities
Houston, TexasMemphis, TennesseeAtlanta, GeorgiaSan Antonio, TexasDallas, TexasUnfortunately, not every city has great coffee. The bottom of the rankings consists of three cities in Texas, with Houston earning the undesirable crown for the worst coffee city in the country. It's a significant drop for H-Town, who ranked 29th in last year's survey. Even though Houston has a relatively low cost of living, the city has some of the most expensive coffee in the country, with the average cup costing a whopping $6.37, which is $1.21 more than the typical city.
This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.