Ordering a simple coffee as part of your morning routine or afternoon pick-me-up is a thing of the past.
My friend—and, admittedly, myself—often venture to various coffee shops to check out and sip their latte art. For the uninitiated, latte art is the creative whim of a barista who uses milk foam and espresso to paint designs atop your drink.
Frequent Instagram users may have noticed that #latteart is constantly trending, so it would seem my friends and I are not alone in our pursuits.
Recently, I went on a quest to find local cafes with creative—and delicious, of course—latte art.
My first stop was Elixr Coffee. It’s the closest café to my apartment, and naturally I didn’t want to pass up a reason to visit here on the daily. Picture this: Elixr features six rotating wall murals and installations both inside and outside the shop, so it’s fitting that the coffee here shows off artistic flair, too. A barista also gave me a tip after ordering my latte with soy: Whole milk creates the best art, so skip the skim.
Next up was Joe Coffee, conveniently downstairs from the Where Philadelphia offices. On this visit, I opted for a to-stay mug instead of my usual to-go cup. The result was welcoming: Chic white dishware enhanced the leaf design worked by the barista. While this café may be a chain, you won't notice when you step inside the cozy quarters. Also order the apple turnover; it is an ideal accompaniment.
Our last stop in Center City was at Square One Coffee. Intricate leaf designs pull you in, and a large selection of coffee roasts will keep you wanting more. All coffee is roasted at Square One's micro-roaster in Lancaster, Pa., and the freshness of beans hits you after one sip. Expect cool designs topping strong coffee and the chance to take the ideal Instagram photo, which I did.
Buzzed on caffeine, I hopped in a cab and headed to Old City for Bodhi Coffee.
I had actually never been to Bodhi before, but I always hear people talking in my travels across the city, so I was excited to give it a try. Plant designs are a staple of the latte art here, but if you’re visiting during a big event, you just may see something special—like a football in honor of the Super Bowl. Wood tables and large windows make it the perfect spot to snap a photo.
Vowing to share the next latte, a friend and I arrived at Milk and Honey for our final stop.
Nestled a block away from bustling South Street, this quaint cafe provided the perfect refuge from the crowds. Despite it being the middle of February, the weather was warm enough to sit outside and the perfect leaf design on my latte made it feel almost like spring had arrived early.