South Philly Coffee Shop Among Best in Country

Local java lovers can enjoy a cup of joe at one of the best coffee shops in the country, right here in Philadelphia.

For the second consecutive year, Daily Meal named South Philly’s Ultimo Coffee as one of the 50 best coffee shops in America.

"We have a reputation for our focus on the details and bringing the best possible cup of coffee to the table,” said Aaron Ultimo, owner. 

He opened the first location at 1900 S. 15th St. in 2009 and, three years later, a second shop at 2149 Catherine St.  

Ultimo, which topped the list in 2013, fell to fourth this year. Everyman Espresso in New York took the top spot, followed by Go Get Em Tiger in Los Angeles and Saint Frank's in San Francisco.

But the drop doesn’t bother the owner, who credits his baristas for creating a welcoming environment that helped them earn a spot on the list two years in a row.

"A lot of shops get a little too preachy,” he said. "We will go to the Nth degree if customers want to know about coffee or if they just want a cup and to go on their way, that’s fine too.”

The sincere, yet restrained style set Ultimo apart.

"Well-versed but unpretentious,” said Daily Meal Editor Jess Novak, "Ultimo stands out from the pack.”

Hand-brewed, individually prepared drip coffees are one way the shop distinguishes itself from others throughout the city and the country, Ultimo said.

"Everything we do is by hand with a kettle filter and coffee," he said. "We really went back to the old way and resurrected manual drip coffee brewers. At this point in time we don’t have any coffee brewing machines, other than an espresso machine."

And Daily Meal noticed more than the uncommon brewing style.

"Their space is bright and inviting, and their treats are delicious," Novak said. "Their chevre and fig spread on a bagel may be heretical to a New Yorker, but it’s secretly delicious – and pairs beautifully with a cup of their pristinely crafted brew.”

For hours and more information, visit Ultimo Coffee’s website.

Contact Alison Burdo at 610.668.5635, or follow @NewsBurd on Twitter.

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