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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

One of life’s simplest pleasures is a good cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than settling into a coffee shop with a latte and a snack while tackling my work. Pittsburgh is a fantastic city for those who share this fascination—with every corner of the city revealing a new cafe, some outstanding, others not so much. As someone who’s made it my mission this year to explore as many as possible, I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite cafes—specifically targeting those outside South Oakland for those eager to explore more of the city.

Kaibur Coffee – Polish Hill

Kaibur was an accidental discovery for me—during a bus ride to the North Side through Polish Hill, I glanced out the window while changing my song on Spotify and noticed the cafe as we passed. A quick Google search later, I made it my mission to visit the coffee shop at some point before the semester ended. When I finally did, I wasn’t disappointed.

Not only does Kaibur offer great coffee (seriously, try the chai), but their breakfast sandwiches are among the best I’ve had since arriving in Pittsburgh. Finding satisfying mock meat can be challenging as a vegetarian, but Kaibur’s vegan bacon, offered for their sandwiches, is amazing. They also offer tofu scramble as an egg substitute and non-dairy cheese for vegans. Its location in Polish Hill adds to the appeal—Kaibur is nestled next to Pleasant Dreams Records and Doomed Planet Comics, both of which are delightful to explore.

Jitters Cafe – Shadyside

The abundance of great coffee shops in Shadyside alone could fill an entire list, but Jitters is definitely among the best. Sitting at the end of Walnut Street, Jitters boasts an ideal location. It’s conveniently close to campus, making it an easy walk, and if I’m not burdened with work, I love grabbing my latte and leisurely exploring the many stores along the street.

What I appreciate most about Jitters is their seasonal menu. They introduce a new list of exciting drinks for every holiday—my favorite so far was the butterbeer latte they offered for Christmas (a must-try for fellow Potterheads like me). The last time I visited, I tried their red velvet latte for Valentine’s Day, which was amazing. I haven’t sampled their food, primarily pastries, but their coffee alone is enough reason to keep me going back for more.

Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee – Downtown

Rock ‘n’ Joe is a cafe I couldn’t wait to try when I saw it exploring downtown. It combines my two favorite things—coffee and music—into a rock-n-roll-themed coffee haven. Situated next to Market Square, it offers the convenience of grabbing coffee and wandering through the shops.

What I love most about Rock ‘n’ Joe are the unique latte flavors they offer: lavender, rose, honey, caramel…the list is extensive, and every option I’ve sampled has been delightful. They also boast an impressive selection of breakfast items (I highly recommend the veggie & hummus wrap). It’s a spot well worth visiting if you find yourself downtown and yearning for a good drink.

Soluna Coffee and Mezcal – Strip District

The Strip District is filled with hidden gems of stores and restaurants, and Soluna has been one of my favorite finds in the neighborhood. It’s slightly off the beaten path from the main stretch of stores, positioned closer to downtown and the 16th Street Bridge.

Soluna offers the perfect blend of greatness in coffee, food and vibe! With ample seating spread across two main rooms, finding a spot to settle in and work is never an issue. The interior is thoughtfully decorated, compelling me to snap photos of the wall decor with each visit. Menu-wise, it’s hard to go wrong here, but I highly recommend their overnight oats—they’re absolutely fantastic, and their beverages are equally impressive.

Georgie’s Corner Cafe – Shadyside

To say I saved the best for last on this list would be an understatement. Georgie’s currently holds the throne as my favorite cafe in Pittsburgh. Nestled on Walnut Street, just a short stroll from Jitters, its location is ideal. But it’s the exceptional coffee and culinary offerings that truly set it apart.

As a self-proclaimed latte aficionado, I can confidently declare Georgie’s lattes the best I’ve ever had. Each visit tempts me with a new flavor, and remarkably, each new taste surpasses the last. Beyond their stellar beverages, Georgie’s culinary delights are amazing. Like Kaibur Coffee, they offer mock meat options, earning extra points in my book. Despite its cozy size, Georgie’s consistently provides enough seating for me to hunker down and work for a few hours.

South Oakland boasts an impressive array of cafes, each with its own charm. Yet, if your coffee adventures have been confined to the immediate vicinity of campus, I encourage you to venture outwards to some of the ones I’ve listed. You’ll be surprised by the diverse and exceptional offerings each Pittsburgh neighborhood has to offer.

Sienna is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. When it comes to writing, she likes to tackle topics like movies, television, music, celebrities, and any other pop culture goings-on. Sienna is a biological sciences and sociology double major at Pitt with a goal of attaining a certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. In addition to being a writer at Her Campus, Sienna is in the Frederick Honors College and is a member of Women in Healthcare, Pitt Democrats, and Bookmarked. After her undergraduate education, Sienna hopes to go to medical school and become a cardiothoracic surgeon. When she's not reading or studying, Sienna loves crossing films off her watchlist, reading new books, and trying a latte from every coffee shop in Oakland.