So the weather outside hasn’t actually been all that frightful. But winter will join us eventually. And when it does, get thee to a coffee shop.
1. Collective EspressoThis brand new storefront on Woodward Ave. in Over-the-Rhine (just off of Main St.) is small but mighty. It’s also run by folks who clearly know their stuff: The available wall space is lined with legit euro-style standing counters, the hot chocolate is mixed with Snowville Creamery milk (otherwise known as the Real Deal), and the namesake espresso shot is made with love and care. 207 Woodward St., Over-the-Rhine, collectiveespresso.com
2. Sitwell’s Coffee HouseThis long-standing Ludlow shop made the list for two reasons: They put booze in their coffee drinks, and their cozy-factor is off the charts. Sidle up in one of the mismatched chairs and try the Kioki coffee (with cognac, Dark Crème de Cacao, Kahlua, and whipped cream). It’s intense, but it will warm you up right quick. 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton Gaslight, sitwellscoffeehouse.com
3. 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee LabWhile appearances aren’t everything, it’s important to note that this combo coffee shop-wine bar is darn pretty. They serve the Tazza Mia coffee you already love—plus wine flights—and their motto is “coffee all day, wine all night.” We second that emotion. 1215 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/1215WineCoffee
4. Awakenings Coffee and WineOver-the-Rhine didn’t write the book on hybrid coffee house bars. Awakenings has been doing their thing in Hyde Park for more than a decade, with 500 different bottles of wine from all over the world. Stop in for a latte, stay for one of the weekly wine tastings. 2734 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, awakeningscoffeeandwine.com
5. Highland Coffee HouseAnother Clifton institution made this list because where college kids congregate, coffee places will soon follow. University of Cincinnati students from decades past will remember gathering at this old school spot. Highland is still there to warm the palms and souls of undergrads. 2839 Highland Ave., Clifton, 513-861-4151
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