If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee in downtown Portsmouth, we have you covered. From shops that offer specialty beverages to eateries where you can grab breakfast, lunch, or a sweet treat alongside your cup of joe, there is something for everyone in our walkable city. The following is a list of the best Portsmouth coffee shops (in no particular order) group by classic coffee shops, places that offer a bit more with hearty breakfast and lunch options, plus some honorable mentions just beyond downtown that are definitely worth a visit.
Also, if you’re looking for a place to pull out your laptop and enjoy your cappuccino, we tell you the 5 Best Coffee Shops in Downtown Portsmouth for Getting Work Done (free Wi-Fi included!)
- 6 Best Classic Coffee Shops in Portsmouth
- 9 Best Places in Portsmouth for Coffee, Breakfast, & Lunch
- 5 Best Coffee Shops in Downtown Portsmouth for Getting Work Done (free Wi-Fi included!)
- Honorable Mentions: Just Beyond Downtown, But Worth a Drive!
6 Best Classic Coffee Shops in Portsmouth
This café was opened in 2010 by a German baker, then purchased in 2016 by a family who carries on the tradition by serving German pastries and fresh coffee in a cozy spot on Daniel Street. Featured menu items have included Gedeckter Apfelkuchen (glazed apple cake) and freshly baked German pretzels. Stop by to see which German treat will next accompany your cup of afternoon coffee.
What they’re known for: Coffee roasted in-house and German pastries.
Caffe Kilim calls themselves an espresso bar, rug gallery, and Turkish market. They’ve been serving the New Hampshire Seacoast for more than 25 years and feature a variety of brewed coffee and baked goods. You can also explore their market, which specializes in Mediterranean and natural foods.
What they’re known for: Colorful woven rugs that hang on the walls (plus handwoven items you can buy, including pillows and towels!)
Almond croissants, cookies, baguettes, rosemary focaccia, cinnamon rolls, caramel monkey bread – the list goes on. Prefer something besides coffee? No problem. Their hot chocolate is a popular delicious alternative.
What they’re known for: A delicious assortment of coffee, pastries, and baked goods. Need we say more?
This coffee shop is owned by Jo Kelley and Joe Kelley (no relation!), who met through a mutual friend and named their shop after “a couple of Joes.” In addition to coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and salads, the eatery also serves cocktails and local doughnuts. Plus, they have an ideal setup if you want to bring your laptop and work in front of a big, wide window that faces downtown.
What they’re known for: Serving coffee (and alcohol!) alongside tasty sandwiches.
This familiar coffee chain has a location right in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. They’ve also instituted a reward program through their mobile app, which makes ordering and paying easier than ever. Plus, if you enroll, you’re rewarded with a free drink on your birthday.
What they’re known for: PSL, anyone? Starbucks is infamous for its signature Pumpkin Spice Latte (which, unfortunately for pumpkin lovers, is only available seasonally.) But they also feature a variety of other espresso and coffee drinks, including a Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, and flavored Frappuccinos.
This open-air Italian market and café that opened in July 2019 is one of the newest Portsmouth coffee shops. You can enjoy both outdoor and indoor seating and also enjoy a cup of gelato or a freshly baked pastry with your Tuscan-brewed coffee. Plus, you can score some pasta and homemade bread to take home for dinner.
What they’re known for: Tuscan-brewed coffee, Italian gelato and pastries, and a great location in downtown Portsmouth.
9 Best Places in Portsmouth for Coffee, Breakfast, & Lunch
A list of Portsmouth coffee shops would not be complete without The Works. Not only is this place a popular spot for coffee and bagels, but it’s also a top choice if you’re in the area and want to catch up on some work.
What they’re known for: An all-around good coffee and breakfast/lunch spot with free Wi-Fi. Plus, breakfast is available all day!
Colby’s is your spot if you’re craving the full breakfast experience. The menu boasts everything from cinnamon swirl French toast to blueberry pancakes (lunch options, such as pastrami sandwiches and clam chowder are also available). Plus, Colby’s only purchases products from local, independently-owned businesses within the area. It’s a small spot with a mighty menu, so we recommend arriving early!
What they’re known for: An overall great breakfast experience.
Popovers on the Square
8 Congress Street
Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. (kitchen closes at 8 p.m.)
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. (kitchen closes at 8 p.m.)
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
At this prime spot located in the heart of Market Square, you can enjoy sweet or savory dishes with your morning or afternoon coffee. And as the name would suggest, you can order popovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
What they’re known for: Not surprisingly, this restaurant is famous for its namesake – popovers.
Yes, the name says it all, but in addition to featuring an impressive rotation of craft beer, this spot is also a popular coffee and tea shop. Browse for a novel while enjoying an espresso or hot coffee (plus you can also grab a bagel, sandwich, or salad.) Book & Bar also features a busy calendar of events with a full lineup of live music, open mic nights, and other innovative and fun happenings.
What they’re known for: A place where you can grab coffee or a drink and read, work, or listen to live music surrounded by tall shelves jammed with books.
La Maison Navarre
121 Congress Street
Sunday – Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday – Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The menu boasts a wide range of beverage options, including espresso, café au lait, cappuccino, latte, mocha – and many more. And if you need a sweet fix, you must try a homemade macaron (with flavors ranging from lemon and salted caramel to coffee and Earl Grey).
What they’re known for: A decadent coffee-drinking and French pastry experience.
In addition to fresh bread and daily lunch specials, this spot offers a variety of good eats to accompany your hot or iced coffee: egg sandwiches, muffins, scones, croissants, and pastries. They even boast the fact that they make a ridiculous variety of cookies and bars. Some favorites? Orange pecan shortbread, Penhallow cookies (oatmeal, walnuts, and white and dark chocolate), peanut butter brownies – and many more.
What they’re known for: Freshly baked bread, pastries, and other assorted treats.
If you enjoy iced coffee, The Green Room is for you. This Portsmouth coffee shop features at least 10 flavors on tap, including Brown Toffee Crunch, Snickerdoodle, and Mocha Cinnamon Swirl. You can also opt for hot coffee or nitro cold brew – and the menu is worth a look, too. With everything from smoothie bowls and breakfast sandwiches to salads and wraps, you won’t leave hungry. Bonus: They also serve CocoWhip, a vegan soft serve!
What they’re known for: Iced coffee on tap – plus a variety of delicious menu items that can be made gluten-free or vegan.
This breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot boasts “fabulous food, funky décor, and a full bar.” Their extensive food and beverage menu includes all-day breakfast options and a variety of coffee drinks – with or without alcohol.
What they’re known for: Fun, funky food and drinks in a unique environment.
This market and café offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options to accompany your cup of fair-trade coffee or espresso. They also aim “to bring the community together with local, fresh food as well as local artists, farmers, and craftsman.” Their menu includes sandwiches, salads, bowls, wraps, salads, pastries, and more!
What they’re known for: They have a coffee bar that features everything from hot and iced lattes to cold brew and espresso (they also have a smoothie bar, too!)
5 Best Coffee Shops in Downtown Portsmouth for Getting Your Work Done (plus free Wi-Fi!)
Honorable Mentions: Just Beyond Downtown, But Worth a Drive!
These coffee shops are just beyond downtown Portsmouth (some even over the state line in nearby Maine!), but they’re definitely worth a visit.
White Heron not only features organic coffee and tea options and an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, but it’s also a well-lit, cozy spot for working. They also offer chai, organic espresso, hot chocolate, and smoothies. Plus, if you love their coffee, you can order some online or buy a bag in-store.
What they’re known for: Organic coffee and tea (plus a great place to work!)
Port City Coffee Roasters, which has been in business since 1992, says at least 90% of their coffees “are grown with ecologically responsible and sustainable practices.” At their café on Islington Street they offer everything from dark roast, house blends, and flavors to Central and South American and Indonesian coffees.
What they’re known for: Sustainable coffee that you can order by the cup, the pound – or even wholesale.
This popular Southern Maine coffee shop features hand-crafted beverages, including a variety of coffee and espresso drinks. Plus, they have a variety of tasty pastries and sandwiches.
What they’re known for: Their famous crullers. The flavors change monthly and have included maple bacon, lemon rosemary, and peppermint. Come early to grab one with your coffee.
This breakfast and lunch spot features an extensive menu of sandwiches, pastries, cakes, salad, and other sweet treats.
What they’re known for: Their artisan breads and baked goods.