Third wave coffee has arrived in Buffalo! Discover our picks for the best Buffalo coffee shops serving flat whites, cappuccinos and pour overs.
As is the case with most American cities, coffee is hot in Buffalo.
We’re not talking about diner coffee that you may associate with the hard-scrabble city with an industrial past. Nope. We’re talking about coffee crafted with lightly roasted, single origin beans.
Some people call this type of coffee third wave coffee. Others call it specialty coffee. As for us, we don’t care what it’s called. We just want to drink it every single day of the week.
Our Favorite Buffalo Cafes for Specialty Coffee
Buffalo now has hipster coffee shops downtown and in residential neighborhoods. As faithful fans of third wave coffee, we drank a lot of coffee during our week in New York’s Queen City.
These are our favorite Buffalo coffee shops:
1. Public Espresso
Located in the historic yet trendy Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo, Public Espresso has a cool vibe and serves equally cool coffee. Baristas craft drinks to order using globally sourced, locally sourced beans.
While their downtown cafe has been open since 2015, James Rayburg and Sam Scarcello started roasting beans two years earlier. The duo has since opened a second Public Espresso cafe in South Buffalo.
Public Espresso’s coffee drinks range from typical cappuccinos to more exotic options like the Bali espresso tonic that we couldn’t resist trying. Tall and cold, this unique drink inspired by cafes in Bali gave us the caffeine jolt we needed. Plus, it tasted really good.
Bring quarters so you can feed the meters and avoid parking tickets while you chill at Public Espresso.
Public Espresso has multiple locations. We visited the original cafe located at 391 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.
2. Remedy House
Remedy House would be the coffee shop we’d frequent if we lived in Buffalo.
Bright and airy, this cafe has large windows and a friendly vibe that make it ideal for both hanging out with friends over a cup or two of coffee. More important, its flat whites and pour overs are top notch.
Expect sun to stream through the those windows regardless of the temperature when you visit this Five Points cafe. We can only imagine the summer sunshine since we visited during the winter.
Also expect to drink coffee made with locally roasted beans. While this cafe originally sourced beans from Toronto, it now roasts its own beans and sells them by the bagful.
Not in the mood for coffee? Order a mimosa or G+T instead. Remedy House has a fully loaded cocktail bar.
Remedy House is located at 429 Rhode Island Street, Buffalo, NY 14213, USA.
3. Tipico Coffee
Originally located in Buffalo’s lower west side, Tipico Coffee is now a great spot to linger over crafted coffee drinks in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village. Despite moving to a different neighborhood, Tipico’s popularity has not waned. Instead, it continues to percolate and grow.
Jesse Crouse was a seasoned coffee veteran when he opened Tipico Coffee in 2015. Just two years later, Pete Herman joined the team and the two started roasting their own beans. Not surprisingly, Tipico’s Elmwood Park cafe is located near its roastery.
Popular food items include avocado toast and grilled cheese sandwiches. However, coffee is the main event and the primary reason why we visited Tipico. And, for those who match our obsession with brewing quality coffee at home, the cafe sells freshly roasted beans both online and at the cafe.
Switch it up and try a cold brew coco crafted with housemade coconut milk.
Tipico Coffee is located at 1084 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA.
4. Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery
Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery is unique compared to all coffee shops we’ve visited around the world – but not because of its third wave coffee program. Its uniqueness is due to the First Ward coffee shop’s building which previously operated as a funeral home. Yes, this Buffalo coffee shop had a former life that focused on death.
Also, unlike other third wave coffee shops in Buffalo, Undergrounds is female owned and operated. Erin Morris, Sara Heidinger and Bridget Morris opened Undergrounds Coffee and Roastery in 2016. Six years later, they opened a second cafe in Buffalo’s Seneca One Tower.
Despite (or perhaps due to) its unusual past and progressive ownership, the original Undergrounds Coffee has become a vibrant spot spot for Buffalo locals to relax over coffee and food. While the building’s quirky layout and morbid history add a unique twist, its freshly roasted coffee speaks for itself.
You’ll get a free mug if you join the cafe’s roastery clubs. And not just any mug – each of these mugs is designed by local artist Jody Selin and features the picture of a famous person who passed away.
Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery has two cafes. We visited the original cafe located at 580 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14210, USA.
Additional Buffalo Coffee Shops
Our favorite Buffalo coffee shops should be enough to kickstart your days in Buffalo. However, here are a few more to visit if you’re an overachiever when it comes to drinking good coffee:
Get a discounted quote for travel insurance to protect your trip from things like injuries, theft and cancelations. We never travel without protection!
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
We thank Visit Buffalo Niagara for sponsoring our trip to Buffalo to facilitate this and other articles.
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.