Over the past few years I have have made it a point to try the best coffee shops in Tucson when I am in town. My top recommendations include:
Café Maggie (formerly Epic Café): I tried this café at 745 N. 4th for a mid-afternoon coffee and snack at the suggestion of the New York Times. It had a fun vibe. The staff was very helpful in helping me find some other Tucson areas to explore. It is located on the street car line of 4th Street.
Exo Roast Co.: Locals recommend Exo at 403 N. 6th Ave., near the Warehouse Arts District. I tried it and enjoyed the coffee and the atmosphere. Stop in as you explore the galleries.
I saw that they opened a second location south of downtown at 196 W Simpson in the colorful Barrio Viejo with colorful adobe houses, Mexican cantinas, brewpubs and the new galleries on S. Convent Ave. I went and loved how they turned an old house into a rustic coffee house. I highly recommend that you try it.
Caffe Luce: Sparkroot Coffee, at 245 E. Congress is now Caffe Luce. It is a great spot for coffee downtown in an attractive two level store.
Caffe Luce also has a location at Main Gate Square at 943 E. University Blvd., #191, near the University of Arizona. They feature coffee drinks and pastries.
Nearby is Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe & Bar, a Toronto based coffee shop, located at 988 E. University Blvd. They offer coffee, drinks, food and a library of many playable games.
Down the street is Espresso Art Cafe. This is trendy coffee shop, cafe, hookah lounge along with live music and local art. 942 E. University Blvd.
I recently heard of a new cafe, Yellow Brick Coffee, that opened in March, 2023. It is located east of the University at 800 N. Country Club Rd. Ste. 3180. It is owned by a brother-sister team who have been roasting their coffee since 2011. I am excited to try it when I am back in town next summer. In addition to coffee drinks, they have menu of pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and more.
Ombre Coffee: This is a new find. On a recent trip I found this local coffee roaster in Broadway Village at 2936 E. Broadway. I enjoyed it as I recovered from a long delayed flight from Chicago! It is in the same center as Bario Bread, Cashew Cow and the Bisbee Breakfast Club Broadway.
Cartel Coffee Lab: With other locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Austin and in Tucson. They are known for sourcing, roasting and brewing good coffee. They have two Tucson locations, 210 E. Broadway and 2516 N. Campbell. I enjoyed the downtown location on Broadway which is next door to Thunder Canyon Brewery.
Presta Coffee Roasters: Presta Coffee Roasters now has three locations in Tucson. One at 2502 N. 1st Ave. which is on the site of their roastery and one in the Mercado San Agustin at 100 S. Avenida de Convento. I loved it on my last trip for a Saturday morning break. I found a great mango empanada at La Estrella Bakery next door, and enjoyed people watching in the courtyard on a beautiful morning.
The newest one is located at 501 E. 9th St. which is located just east of N. 4th Ave.
Decibel Coffee Works is a great addition to Tucson and can be found in the Mercado District in the MSA Annex that was created from old shipping containers. 267 S. Avenida Del Convento.
One of my favorite new finds from my last trip, thanks to a local friend, is Ren Coffeehouse, located north of downtown in St. Phillips Plaza at 4300 N. Campbell Ave., #24. I loved the outdoor courtyard as I enjoyed a great latte and a pastry after my early flight from Chicago to Tucson. They feature a menu of coffee drinks, smoothies, breakfast items plus salads and paninis.
In June 2023, I found two new spots, Oralia Coffee + Kitchen and Savaya Coffee Market.
Oralia Coffee + Kitchen is a recently opened coffee shop at the corner of 6th St. and 6th Ave. Their restaurant will be opening soon.
Savaya Coffee Market serves Tucson with five locations. I went to the La Encantada location at 2905 E Skyline Dr #287 enjoyed a great latte while exploring and eating gelato from FROST gelato next door. The family has been in the coffee business since the mid-1500s in Turkey. Today they feature “a variety of beans from 40+ different origins grown from around the world cycle through the stores season to season.”