Let’s face it, your morning cafecito really sets the tone for the rest of your day. When it’s perfect, you know it’s going to be a great day, pero the rest of the day feels off if your café isn’t quite right. And when you discover a new coffee spot that has great drinks and is consistent the first thing you want to do is share it with your loved ones. Which brings us here, to share some of our favorite Latinx coffee shops around the country with you, our loved ones, because great cafecito with a side of community support always makes for the best days.
1. Cafe Santo – Montebello, CA
What started off as just a pop up coffee shop quickly became a cult favorite and now Cafe Santo has opened its brick and mortar doors in Southern California. Cafe Santo is most well known for their Oaxacan Mochas, which is made with authentic and traditionally made chocolate directly from Oaxaca, ethically sourced coffee from farmers in Oaxaca and Latin America, ground almonds, and cinnamon- a combination that makes this drink as rich in flavor as it is in tradition. The ultimate goal for Pilar Castañeda and Marlon Gonzales, the founders and owners of Cafe Santo, is to one day expand to Oaxaca and have the company work as a sort of exchange for Oaxacan baristas. Not a fan of cafecito? Cafe Santo also has jamaica coolers, matcha teas, and even Oaxacan chocolate shots for the true cacao lovers. Don’t forget to grab a memela for the full experience!
2. La Monarca Bakery – multiple locations, greater Los Angeles area
Champurrado lattes, pan dulce, tortas, and so much more make La Monarca Bakery a destination for anyone who loves their coffee with a snack. This Los Angeles staple is so beloved by the community that they have expanded to 12 locations across the greater LA area. Their mission is to not only make exceptional coffee and pan dulce, but also to “create opportunities in underserved communities and care for our environment.” In fact, they are partnered up with Ecolife Conservation and donate 1% of all their proceeds to support programs that protect and preserve the monarch butterfly population! If you’re not an LA local, you can check out their website and support their cause by purchasing everything you need to bring La Monarca coffee into your home.
3. El Cielito Cafe – South Gate, CA
The attention to detail and care that goes into a cup of El Cielito Cafe’s coffee is not something you’ll get just anywhere. This Latino owned coffee shop sources its beans from farms in Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and more, all while ensuring that the family, women, and Indigenous owned farms are paid fairly. Being this adamant about ingredients and so heavily involved in the process makes for a delicious cup of coffee of course, but you feel great knowing that the yummy latte or iced coffee is benefiting the community abroad. They’re also involved in their local community and happy to talk about coffee any time you walk in, so what’s NOT to love?
4. 1928 Bistro – Jacksonville, Florida
You really gotta know what you’re doing to make a good cup of Cuban cafecito and let me tell you…the folks at 1928 Cuban Bistro definitely know what’s up. This Latina owned business offers a wide variety of cafecito options, and in true bistro fashion also a large menu full of sopas, sanguiches, salads, and desserts. A second generation immigrant, Rebeca Gonzalez named her business “1928” in honor of the year her grandfather was born, and dedicates her family business to him. Can I have some tissues with my cortadito and my Cubano? I seem to have something in both my eyes.
5. Cafe Social 216 – Cleveland, OH
If you’re in Cleveland, Cafe Social is the coffee shop you need to check out ASAP. Lalo, the owner and founder, not only offers cups of joe made from beans that are sourced from all over Latin America, but also offers a safe place where la comunidad can feel at home. True to their name, Cafe Social 216 always has socializing opportunities planned and encourages visitors to get to know their community through book clubs and networking events. Next time you’re in the area stop by for a Bogota Boost, but if coffee isn’t your thing then you can try their agua de jamaica. Don’t forget to grab a treat for your pup, too!
6. Devoción Coffee – Brooklyn, NY
Devoción roasters prides themselves on being the only coffee company in the world to bring you cafecito made from beans so fresh, they left the farm 10 days ago. They cut the middle man and work directly with farmers, exporting their beans directly to your front door and preserving the freshness you will not find anywhere else. In addition to their downtown Brooklyn location, you can also find them in Williamsburg and in the Flatiron District in NYC. Can’t make it to NY? Order off their website and get your coffee delivered to your home. BRB, placing my order right now.
7. Café Con Libros – Brooklyn, NY
This Afro-Latinx owned coffee shop describes itself as “Brooklyn’s Intersectional Feminist indie bookstore & coffee shop.” That’s right, you can walk into this shop, grab an iced coffee, and browse their bookshelves for your next favorite author. Latinx authors make up less than 10% of the American publishing industry, and Café Con Libros does a phenomenal job at bringing a lot of them together in one place and making literature accessible to the local community. Check out their instagram page to find out when they get new books, what you should be reading, and when the next community event will happen. You can also browse their book selections via their website and support them from a distance.
8. Campesino Coffee House – Houston, TX
Campesino Coffee is a true hidden gem. With a mantra like “El Pueblo, Unido,” they really focus on unifying our comunidad and creating a space where everyone feels welcome. As a result, their menu is an amalgamation of the surrounding community and they offer cafecito such as Cafe de Olla, cafe con leche, horchata lattes, as well as treats like Salvadoran Pisque, pan dulce, picadillo empanadas, and so much more. They have indoor and outdoor seating, so switch it up on your next work from home day and enjoy some cafecito and a snack all while supporting a local small business. You’re welcome.
9. The Stockyard Coffeehouse – Chicago, IL
I know this is a cafecito article but have you checked out their food items??? Sandwiches, avocado toast, wraps, breakfast bagels…the list goes on and they all look delicious. To drink they offer regular and specialty coffee (cortadito please!), hot and iced teas, and their signature Mexican Mocha. Next time you’re in the Southside of Chicago, Stockyard Coffeehouse is definitely a must-visit.
10. Tinta Y Café – Miami Shores, FL
This Cuban owned cafecito shop has everything you love about Cuban food, and then some. I’m partial to Cuban or Medianoche sandwiches, but if that’s not your thing they also offer many alternatives ranging from sweet to savory (I counted 20 sandwich options on their website, surely there’s something for you). They have just as many options when it comes to their cafecito, pastelitos, soups, salads, and everything in between. You can also visit them at their Coral Gables location!
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