Best Coffeehouses: South

From sweet Blueberry Cream coffee to a spicy and surprising ghost pepper latte, these South Jersey spots will certainly quench your caffeine craving.

The Honey Espresso, a double espresso lavished with honey, whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The Honey Espresso, a double espresso lavished with honey, whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Photo by Erik Rank

Avalon Coffee Company, Seven Cape May County Locations
A staple of the Southern Shore, Avalon roasts its beans in small batches for better quality control. The full-bodied Avalon Blend ($1.35) mingles Costa Rican, Kenyan and Colombian Supremo beans. Regular offerings include flavored coffees, a daily flavored decaf, espresso drinks; and fruit-yogurt smoothies. Club sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups and baked goods are all made in-house. The spacious seating area provides access to ample outlets.—KF

The Beanery, Point Pleasant Beach
Locals bop into the Beanery year-round for chai tea lattes, flavored coffees (including seasonal favorites such as blueberry and pumpkin) and the light-bodied house blend ($2, refills free). Big Train is a blended, iced coffee-based drink, available hot or iced in flavors such as cookies and cream, white-chocolate latte and decaf mocha. Take a seat at the coffee bar or in the separate dining area. 516 Bay Avenue.—KF

Bloom Coffee and Tea, Northfield

Grab a table or a spot at the bar in this spacious, upscale café. Go with the rotating coffee of the day ($2.30) or one of the specialty coffees like bright Huapo from East Timor, with hints of maple syrup. Espresso drinks come hot or iced. The small assortment of pastries includes some gluten-free options. The flat-screen TV is always tuned to the latest news. 1600 New Road.—KF

Bogart’s, Millville
South Jersey’s only independent bookstore café gets its beans from local roaster Kaffe Magnum Opus. Mini-pretzels and strawberries are chocolate-dipped in the kitchen by chocolatier Sheri Gatier. Shelves filled with new and used books provide a backdrop for the coffee counter and a smattering of communal tables. Flavored coffees include Bananas Foster ($1.50). Each week a different soup is featured from Hale and Hearty in Brooklyn ($4.95). The eclectic offerings include beef jerky and grain-free granola from Steve’s PaleoGoods in Pennsauken. Drop by at night for poetry readings and live music. 210 N. High Street.—TN

Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery, Hammonton
Caramel Casciano latte is one of about a dozen flavored coffees available at all times. Blueberry Cream is a summer favorite. The house blend is a mild Guatemala Antigua ($1.51). The Bocce Bomb, a frozen hot chocolate mixed with Nutella, offers a respite from cafs and decafs. Owner Linda Cashan also runs the nearby Kitchen 19 culinary center, which supplies fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and some of the baked goods. 212 Bellevue Avenue.—KF

Coffee Works, Voorhees
With a large food menu and an executive chef who roasts his own meats, this strip-mall spot veers toward restaurant status. It offers custom breakfast burritos all day ($5.50), hummus wraps ($7.95) and house-made focaccia for paninis ($7.95). Even so, Coffee Works deserves its name. Owner Wade Cohen roasts African, Latin American and Pacific island beans on-site and offers up to 15 single-origin and blended coffees at a time. Though his uniquely fruity Papua New Guinea beans are the most popular, Cohen prefers lemony Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and honey-like Nicaraguan estate-grown coffees ($1.69). At least five days a week, Cohen brings in live bands, presents jazz brunches, karaoke or open-mic nights. Ritz Center, 910 Berlin Road.—TN

Cool Beans Coffee House, Toms River
Facing the Ocean County Mall, Cool Beans attracts hungry shoppers with a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, quiches and wraps, hot and cold. The house blend is a bold South American dark roast ($1.50). Flavored coffees change with the seasons. Coffee and espresso drinks are served hot, iced or frozen. There are plenty of desserty drinks—many named after popular candy bars. 635 Bay Avenue.—KF

Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea, Mullica Hill
Spectacularly good hot chocolate is the biggest draw at this strip-mall location. Steamed with milk and discs of Girardelli chocolate (58 or 72 percent cocoa, your choice) and topped with whipped cream, the thick beverage can be spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg (Mexican), salted caramel, marshmallow (S’more), or raspberry or peppermint syrups. Chocolate also finds its way into mocha lattes and cappuccinos. The Aurora Borealis combines espresso, steamed milk, and white chocolate with raspberry syrup, topped with whipped cream ($3.93-$5.33). The nutty Morning Blend is offered every day alongside a different single-origin coffee ($1.89). Quiche, Asian chicken wrap and other dishes are made in-house. Nosh while relaxing in an overstuffed chair or sitting at a table. 141 Bridgeton Pike (Route 77).—TN

The French Press Coffee Roasters, Lakewood
This spacious coffee house roasts about 20 different single-origin coffees from across the globe. The house blend ($2.50) is a tangy Guatemala Antigua medium roast meticulously brewed by the pour-over method. Cookies, pies and cakes are available. Customers can order ahead via Square, a mobile app. 108 Ocean Avenue.—KF

Harvest Coffee Roastery, Medford
With 16 single-origin and blended coffees to choose from, the knowledgeable baristas at this tiny downtown spot are quick to help customers pick a coffee to suit their mood. Co-owner Joe Johnston, who opened Harvest with his son, studied roasting at the Coffee Lab in Waterbury, Vermont. The slow but rewarding pour-over brewing method is offered along with an array of flavor shots and 17 loose-leaf teas. Food is limited to baked goods and a yogurt parfait and seating is scant. Harvest isn’t a place to linger. 1 N. Main Street.—TN

How You Brewin’, Three Ocean County locations
The Manahawkin store is also a cupcake bar (no Wi-Fi). The house blend at all locations is Colombian Supremo ($1.50), a citrusy medium roast. LBI Blend, another medium roast, has enough acidity for a brisk finish on the palate. Flavored coffees include banana nut bread, salted caramel and toasted marshmallow. Only Manahawkin and Surf City are open year-round.—KF

Jersey Java & Tea, Haddonfield
There’s plenty of comfortable seating, including leather window seats by the gas fireplace and stools at the bar. The well-versed baristas can explain why Jersey Java’s Chemex, French press and cold-brewed ($2.75-$3.25) methods are superior to traditional drip. All beans come from Philadelphia’s Square One Coffee—usually one blend and two single-origin coffees per day. Quiches, pastries and biscotti are available, some made on-site. Live acoustic music sweetens the scene on weekends. 140 N. Haddon Avenue.—TN

MagicBrain CyberCafe, Cape May
A block from the beach, MagicBrain serves coffees from Lavazza, a leading Italian brand. Summer specialties include coconut- and blueberry-flavored coffees. Sweet-and-spicy ghost pepper latte is a new addition. Dairy alternatives include cashew, soy and almond milks. The café serves bagels, croissants, other baked goods and oatmeal. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with limited hours in shoulder season. 31 Perry Street.—KF

Revolution Coffee Roasters, Collingswood
Co-owner Steve McFadden roasts at least six mostly fair-trade, single-origin beans but favors two types: the balanced, sweet medium-roast Honduran Marcata and the light-roast Ethiopian Sidamo with blueberry notes ($2). McFadden calls light and medium roasts the next wave; dark roasts, he says, have been “done to death.” Revolution—housed in a factory building that has been converted into a cooperative art space—will deliver beans locally; it cold-brews its iced coffee—and sells it to go in beer growlers. 13 Fern Avenue.—TN

Revolutionary Lounge and Café, Toms River
El Libertador, a blend of espresso, hot chocolate and steamed half-and-half, with cinnamon ($3.65), makes for an invigorating quaff. The house blend ($1.65) is a dark roast that avoids bitterness. Flavored coffees, such as cinnamon almond, change with the seasons. Sandwiches, salads and burgers are made to order, and baked goods are prepared locally. In warm months there’s outdoor seating. 1776 Hooper Avenue.—KF
Saxbys Coffee, Haddonfield
The only Jersey branch of this Philadelphia-based chain occupies a busy corner of downtown Haddonfield—about two blocks from South Jersey’s first Starbucks. The beans, roasted in Seattle to a medium or dark finish, are mostly from Colombia, Central America, East Africa and Indonesia. Choose the coffee of the day ($1.75) or try one of nearly three dozen lattes—hot or cold. The British Islander (a mix of macadamia, white chocolate, and English toffee syrups) and the Moes Special (white chocolate and Irish cream syrup) risk sugar overload. Sandwiches, salads, soups and fresh-fruit smoothies are made in house. 104 Kings Highway East.—TN

The Treehouse, Audubon
This hippie-style hangout fills with parents and their children when school lets out. With a wide assortment of vegetarian, gluten-free and sugar-free dishes, parents can find suitable food for their eco-aware selves and their offspring. While there is meat (like turkey or ham-and-cheese paninis) on the menu, a breakfast bagel with vegan sausage and organic Jersey eggs is more in keeping with the prevailing vibe. For lunch, there’s vegan chicken on gluten-free bagel with vegan mayo. Locally roasted Randy’s Blend breakfast coffee ($1.75-$2.50) is always at the ready, and elaborate hot drinks like the Snickers (chocolate, hazelnut syrup, caramel; $4) can be spiked with up to four shots of espresso. 20 West Merchant Street.—TN

Ventnor Coffee, Ventnor City
This eclectic coffee house hosts live music Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights, but the iced mochas steal the show. The house blend ($1.75), which includes a bit of Jamaican Blue Mountain, is a medium roast. Flavored espresso drinks include Nutella cappuccino and banana bread latte. The Mocha Love (frothed milk, espresso, white chocolate, vanilla syrup, dash of cinnamon) is a local favorite. There are plenty of armchairs and books for browsing. 108 N. Dorset Avenue.—KF

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  1. friendx4

    Harvest Coffee Roastery in Medford not a place to linger?! It is our favorite place to sit with friends and catch up on our lives! When the weather is warm, there is outside seating. You can sit, relax and watch the world go by while sipping on the BEST cup of coffee in South Jersey.