The Best Cincinnati Coffee and Sweets Shops

By Torie Robinette, September 22, 2017

Need a Cincinnati coffee or sweets shop where you can schedule an off-site meeting? We’ve got you—and your taste buds—covered.

Coffee Emporium

The concept: As Cincinnati’s oldest purveyor of the morning (or all-day) pour, Coffee Emporium operates four locations in the city, and locals flock there for their daily fix. Try the artisan-roasted cold brew or bourbon barrel coffee, plus signature flavored coffees and made-from-scratch goodies.

Why it’s a must: In addition to serving just plain good coffee, Coffee Emporium does a lot of good. The company extends support to farmers in developing nations, like Uganda and Guatemala, who rely on the business of direct-trade coffee.

What people are saying: “Coffee Emporium is the epicenter of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. When you go there, you enjoy great coffee, food, atmosphere and the most friendly people.” —Barbara Hauser, manager, Ohio Community Relations, Proctor & Gamble

The Booksellers on Fountain Square

The concept: Nestled in Fountain Square, The Booksellers is a cozy nook for coffee lovers and bookworms. The locally owned literary hub is filled to the gills with fantastic reads, but it’s easy to make a beeline for the cafe, where delicate aromas linger, before browsing.

Why it’s a must: You’ve had your fair share of pumpkin spice lattes, but The Booksellers’ take on this seasonal favorite is steamy and dreamy. Any other time of year, tasty cappuccinos and simple black cups of joe hit the spot.

What people are saying: “The Booksellers on Fountain Square is a great spot for coffee. It’s right in the heart of downtown, which makes it easy to pop in and out for a quick pick-me-up during the day.” —Barrie Perks, vice president of sales and services, Cincinnati USA CVB


The concept: The Graeter family has been churning out frosty, handcrafted sweet treats since 1868. The brick-and-mortar parlors and outposts sprinkled around the city are constantly packed with patrons who crave the signature French pot ice cream.

Why it’s a must: Graeter’s has never strayed from its original method of employing French pot freezers to create 2-gallon batches of creamy goodness. Order the black raspberry chocolate chip to find out why this family recipe draws patrons in droves.

What people are saying: “They’ve figured out some sort of magical consistency for the chocolate pieces, which are found in most of their flavors. Even if I’m just there visiting for a night, I make a point to stop at Graeter’s. It’s that good.” —Rachel Martin, frequent Cincinnati visitor

Honorable Mention: Redtree Art Gallery & Coffee Shop

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