We were in the Lancaster area for a couple days for an Oakmoss Collective event and then to visit some friends. We’ve been to Lancaster a few times since we went to college less than an hour away. We knew that the city takes it’s coffee seriously and is full of different cafes to check out. Since we were only in Lancaster for one full day, we decided to do a coffee crawl. We asked all our friends and came up with a list of five cafes. Our friends Natalie and Mark live in Harrisburg and are coffee connoisseurs, and we were happy that they were able to come with us for the day!
Pour over - Daterra
If you search for cafes in Lancaster, Passenger will probably pop up the most. The interior design is gorgeous with tall windows, a huge letter board, and a lot of open space. It was a little tight on seating but we were able to snag a table near the end of our visit! They brought our pour over out in the cutest little coffee pot with glass cups! It was so fun to pour it ourselves. We never drink coffee black but this time we did. It was delicious and so full of flavor! This was our favorite.
Cappuccino and drip coffee
We were excited to try Square One as it is the other big coffee roaster in Lancaster. We got two different things to try and enjoyed both! We noticed a sign on the way out that said that if you brought your own mug, you got a discount on your coffee. We love when businesses encourage less waste! There are a few different rooms in the cafe which makes it feel cozy, and I know there is also an outside area, but it was way too cold to check it out!
Mocha latte with soy milk
By the late afternoon, we were freezing from walking around and were ready to warm up! We were interested to try Mean Cup as it was a bit away from the downtown Lancaster area we had been in all day. We ordered a mocha to share, and they loaded it with whipped cream! We made a plan for the rest of our evening while sitting at a really cool window seat. The day we got home from our trip, we were talking to someone in our neighborhood for the first time and when we told her all the cafes we went to in Lancaster, she told us she used to work near Mean Cup and go there all the time. What a small world!
Honey Badger latte
Our friends had told us to try Lancaster Cupcake and when we first looked, they were closed for the weekend. There are actually two locations, and luckily, the other one was open! There were so many different kinds of cupcakes, including vegan and gluten free! We got a red velvet (Nick) and a gluten free salted caramel fudge (Jess). They were honestly the best cupcakes we’ve ever had! Even the gluten free one was so moist. We also shared a honey badger latte. Even though we liked Passenger’s black coffee the best, this was our favorite latte. We’ve actually tried to recreate it at home (latte with almond/cashew milk, vanilla extract, agave nectar, and cinnamon), but it doesn’t even come close to how good this was.
Vanilla latte with oat milk
We’ve both been to Copper Cup before and we were excited to go back! They are on a main road and have a drive through, so if we lived closer, we’d probably be easily sucked into going way too much! All the syrups are housemade, which is a really cool part of it. They, and many other cafes in Lancaster, use Passenger coffee. We shared a vanilla latte with oat milk.
We actually visited Lancaster on the Sunday of Presidents’ Day weekend. A lot of coffee shops are closed on Sundays anyway, and even more were closed because of the long weekend. Some coffee shops close early, as well. Definitely check before your trip to make sure you are able to visit everything you want! Here are a few cafes that were closed when we went but were highly recommended to us by friends!
Dough and Co - Apparently an ice cream type shop for raw cookie dough. We are so bummed it was closed. We also heard they have great coffee from a roaster in South Carolina.
Commonwealth on Queen - From the pictures we’ve seen, this place is just plain gorgeous inside and out. It seems to be the place to go for brunch, but they also use coffee from a local Lancaster roaster.
Cafe One Eight - We had really hoped to stop by here, but this one is always closed on Sundays. They have a lot of vegan brunch foods, and the interior is gorgeous with white bricks and tall ceilings!
- Nick + Jess