Location: Philadelphia, PA
Rating: 6+ [see key]
During my late high school and early college years, I would often stroll the area around Philly's South Street looking for a great coffeehouse to patronize. Sadly, in that era there were few decent options and I often spent a lot of time walking around weeping silent tears. Years later, great spots began popping up here and there, making for a full turn around for the local coffee scene. But of all the current spots that would have appealed to me both past and present is 3rd Street's Ox Coffee.
Located in a tan bricked store front with a large display window, Ox's pendant sign draws one's gaze as they head down 3rd towards their awaiting arms. Inside, the store has a stylish front bar beautifully accented by superb lighting. As you continue through the shop, there exists additional seating in a back room as well as their gorgeous back patio.
For coffee, they proudly purvey Stumptown. On my most recent visit, I ordered up an espresso of Hairbender and an Ethiopian via pourover. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, conveyed notes of chocolate, lemon, powdered sugar, basil and buttery cookie, proving smooth and rich. The pourover also rocked, with notes of fig, cherry, tomato, shortbread, seaweed salad, a little caramel and some Italian bread in a light/medium body.
Needless to say, Ox Coffee provides a tremendous asset to the South Street region. Whether you're a resident of the area or popping in just to walk around, definitely make a stop by for some great coffee.