Coffees of Philadelphia

I spent three days in rainy Philadelphia last week while attending (and presenting at) the biennial ACRL national conference.  This was my second trip to Philly – the first being three years ago, when we drove up to visit Karin, ate a lot of bacon, and generally spent the weekend making mischief.  This trip was slightly more professional, but no less busy – or delicious.

last drop
Photo by taulu

After a rough flight, I paid a little extra to get on Jackie’s train, and we fancy ladies made our way up the east coast and landed at The Last Drop, a totally adequate coffeeshop around the corner from the apartment we were renting.  Now, there’s not much about The Last Drop to commend it in comparison with the lovely Spruce Street Espresso around the corner, but I wouldn’t object to having The Last Drop in my neighborhood.  Here’s why: the coffee’s cheap, they have an array of baked goods, and the The Smiths were on the stereo the whole time we were there – just the sort of thing I loved about Caffe Paradiso.

Elizabeth studying at Paradiso on a Friday night
Me at Paradiso waaaay back in the day, photo by Oldtasty

I’ve made this complaint before – that Ann Arbor’s just a little too fancy, that there’s nothing good-grungy about it.  There’s no place to settle in with a sandwich and a cup of coffee for an afternoon of grading, or for a decaf and a brownie with friends in the evening.  We tried to go out for dessert in our first month or two in town and ended up spending $35 for two drinks and a shared treat.  So it’s kind of funny to me that I was disappointed by exactly the sort of place I miss so much.  The same thing happened Friday morning, when I went to Cake and the Beanstalk for breakfast on my way to the Convention Center – totally adorable, but my toasted bagel was still cold, and there was nothing special about my bagel.

Cake and the Beanstalk

Spruce Street Espresso, on the other hand, met my requirements for good coffee and a cute neighborhood vibe. Alas, I didn’t have time to stick around and enjoy my excellent cappuccino, as I had a presentation to give. I’d love to have Spruce Street in our neighborhood as well, though Comet fills the niche quite nicely.

Photo by confusedbee

If you go:
The Last Drop
1300 Pine St (corner of 13th and Pine)

Cake and the Beanstalk
1112 Locust St (near the corner of Locust and Quince)

Spruce Street Espresso
1101 Spruce St (corner of 11th and Spruce)


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