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Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Publishing and “the world’s largest English language publisher of travel and tourism information,” has named its Top 15 Indie Coffee Shops in America. Milwaukee-based writer Kristine Hansen penned the feature, which includes Milwaukee’s very own Colectivo Coffee Roasters on the list. Hansen’s picks all include cafes that either have had barista competitors in the United States Coffee Championships, offer manual pour-over options, or a combination of the two.


There’s no shortage of “top” cafe lists making the rounds these days – most are loosely just thrown together, or draw reference from a hodgepodge of dubiously reputable sources. Hansen’s list seems deliberate, well-informed, and at times surprising – which is why we like it, although you’ll never catch us authoring something similar. We prefer to bait for clicks with cats and nudity, thank you very much.

Here’s Fodor’s complete fifteen:

Intelligentsia Coffee
Chicago, NYC, Los Angeles

Blue Bottle Coffee Company
NYC, San Francisco, Oakland

George Howell Coffee
Newtonville, Massachusetts

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, NYC

Brooklyn Roasting Company

Colectivo Coffee
Milwaukee, Madison

Daylight Mind Coffee Company
Kona, Hawaii

Zoka Coffee Roasters and Tea Co.
Japan, Seattle, Kirkland

Let’s take a break from this list for a Fodor’s fun fact:
Founder Eugene Fodor was a keen traveler, but felt that the guidebooks of his time were boring, uninspired collections of quickly outdated facts and figures. He decided to address these shortcomings and wrote a guide to Europe, On the Continent—The Entertaining Travel Annual, which was published in 1936 by Francis Aldor, Aldor Publications, London. – Wikipedia

Not only was Eugene Fodor a renowned travel writer, he was also a decorated U.S. Army veteran, and aided in espionage during World War II. According to this article on, Fodor’s accomplishments included “specializing in psychological warfare for the Americans and later providing cover for CIA operatives masquerading as travel writers for his guides.”

Back to the list:

Victrola Coffee Roasters

Panther Coffee

MADCAP Coffee Company
Grand Rapids and Washington, DC

Handsome Coffee Roasters
Los Angeles

Coffee By Design
Portland (Maine)

Parisi Artisan Coffee
Kansas City

Buona Caffe Artisan Roasted Coffee
Augusta, Georgia

Read why these cafes were chosen here. was in no way involved in the selection process, nor do we endorse its findings – we simply find the publication of this particular list to be of general interest. Please direct any and all complaints, angry emails, or threats to the following staffer. 

Photo: Kate Blackman, Parisi Coffee’s director, leads a cupping at their cafe in Kansas City.

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