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Jan 1, 2010 04:10 PM

Book friendly cafe/coffee shop around Center City?

Hey Folks,

I'm from Europe where nothing was more fun than spending hours on a couch at some hipster coffee shop reading a book while consuming large quantities of hot chocolate/milkshakes/french fries/beer.

Since moving to Philly I haven't really found anything comparable. Like the slightly rundown places paneled in wood, run by aging hippies or investment-bankers-turned-bakers, filled with students lounging on sofas with the stuffing poking out.

Milkboy in Ardmore seems to be aiming for that ideal but even it seems more geared to "ladies who lunch" or live shows. Does something similar exist in the city? Or maybe university city? Just someplace one can relax for an hour or two in solitude...

Many thanks for your thoughts,

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  1. I like Chapterhouse on 9th just north of Bainbridge for that. I spent a lot of time studying for an exam there a few months ago and found it a pretty relaxed, peaceful place. Another hipster coffeeshop on my list is the Last Drop at 13th and Pine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: urbanfabric

      Second both of these in CC, though you aren't going to find french fries and beer at coffee shops in Philly. Last Drop has a very rundown-but-cozy feel to it. BTW Milkboy is opening a spot in Wash Square West pretty soon.

      In UC, Lovers & Madmen is good for this. In Northern Liberties, check out One Shot Coffee. In South Philly, B2 is good and I think still has the couch. None of these places are really rundown but they are pretty cozy.

      1. re: urbanfabric

        That's excellent, thank you guys! During college I spent more time in coffeeshops than I did in lectures so Chapterhouse sounds perfect. I'll try to check out a few of these today, thanks again!

        1. re: AgentRed

          Wow, chapterhouse was perfect! Found a couch, spent an hour, great tea. Plus it's so close to Sarcone's deli!

          Looking forward to trying the Last Drop, thanks again,


      2. Based on your criteria, I second the recommendation of Lovers and Madmen on 40th Street (just south of Market) in University City.

        Although I haven't been there in quite a while, I also like Kaffa's Crossing in West Philly, which has the additional bonus that you can get good Ethiopian food there.