The Best Coffee Shops for Fall in Portland Oregon
FALL. IS. HERE. Nothing is better than pumpkin latte season, am I right?! Or maple or cardamom or apple… Mmmm. It’s early October and even the warmer days are beginning with that cool, crisp Autumn air in the morning. It’s a perfect excuse to grab a beverage in one of those signature Fall flavors you’ve been waiting for all year. But there are so many coffee shops out there… Where should you go?!
Luckily for you, our very own Doula Caitlyn has traveled all around to test some small coffee shops out and has recommendations for you no matter what part of the Portland metro area you are in!
Caitlyn rated each coffee shop on a scale of 1-5 in four categories:
Drink menu variety
COVID-19 safety measures
She even got her black-coffee-drinking, “I don’t like sweet drinks” husband to taste them for a second take on those delectable fall beverages.
So, without further ado, here are her picks!
Flavor: 3.5 Wait time: 4 Drink menu variety: 5 Safety measures: 4
(Ran payment card myself, everyone was wearing masks, there were signs about mask requirements, there are some indoor tables, distance was difficult to maintain inside.)
It was a warm day when I visited Jim and Patty’s, so I went for an iced hazelnut praline latte. It was refreshing and enjoyable, not too strong as far as coffee flavor goes and a little on the sweeter side. I liked this one but will probably try a different flavor from their huge drink menu next time I go! There are a few spaced out tables indoors, but I really enjoyed sitting on their outdoor patio next to a fountain in the open air.
Pastry tip: Go early if you want a bigger selection. Only choose the chocolate chip scone if you REALLY like chocolate.
Black coffee drinking guy says: “Not my favorite, too sweet.”
Flavor: 3.5 Wait time: 5 (very quick!) Drink menu variety: 3 Safety measures: 5
(Ran payment card myself, outside tables only which are spread apart but busy, you cannot go inside at all but order to-go from a table at the door, staff and guests wearing masks, they have 6 ft. space marks on the floor)
On this rainy-day trip, I opted for the classic fall drink: a pumpkin latte. It was almost not sweet at all but was very creamy with a good blend of spices (if you like some sweetness, I suggest adding a little sugar to it). They carry several Sparrow Bakery pastry options and a good tea menu as well! I spoke with the cashier and she said they were just about to roll out more fall flavors including their honey bee latte (honey, black pepper, ginger, and an option to add cayenne) or a horchata latte made using one worker’s family recipe. I will definitely be back to try that!
Pastry tip: Get the banana chocolate chip muffin. It’s to die for.
Black coffee drinking guy says: “Too milky! But better with sweetener.”
Flavor: 4 Wait time: 5 (no line) Drink menu variety: 2 Safety measures: 5
(Separate enter and exit doors, everyone wore masks and there was posted signage, there were barriers past the cashier blocking off the former seating area, limited bar seating outside.)
This little coffee shop is tucked back in a corner, but definitely worth seeking out! There is no written menu, so you can order any basic coffee/espresso drink or ask the barista for specials. They suggested the turmeric latte for me, so I gave that a go and had them add a shot of espresso for that caffeine fix. It was super creamy (I got oat milk!) and full of spices; I’d call it more savory/spicy than sweet. I really liked this one, but would like to see what else they have to offer on my next visit.
Pastry tip: They carry Jen & Bee’s, who are basically pastry magicians, so you truly can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Just be sure to choose something, you won’t regret it.
Black coffee drinking guy says: “Mmmmmm, that’s what Fall tastes like.”
Cedar Mill- Near Nike Campus
Flavor: 4.5 Wait time: 4.5 (no line) Drink menu variety: 3 Safety measures: 5
(Ran payment card myself, no inside seating, everyone wore masks, outside table spread apart.)
When you walk into Haven Coffee Co., it’s clear that life is a little different than it used to be. You can tell what a comfortable space this used to be, but all tables have been removed for safety, leaving it feeling a little empty. They have a letterboard next to the cash register highlighting their three Fall drinks: a maple latte, a pumpkin spice latte, and hot cider. I chose the maple latte this time and was surprised by some beautiful latte art on top! It was creamy and delicious if a little lacking in maple flavor. One other notable detail was that I received my latte at a drinkable temperature for me, whereas I normally wait around 20 minutes for them to cool off. Sadly, I was unable to try any of their pastries since they had completely sold out before I arrived at 10:45am. However, they told me they usually have a full case, so you’ll all have to report back to me on how they are!
Pastry tip: Based on my experience, I’m going to say get there early!
Black coffee drinking guy says: “I don’t get maple. It tastes like a latte.”
Flavor: 4 Wait time: 3.5 (not great if you’re in a hurry) Drink menu variety: 3 Safety measures: 4
(Table in front of the cashier to create space, everyone in masks and offered some if you forget yours, ran my own payment card, there are tables outside and inside with a roll up wall that was open for fresh air.)
This was a really fun one! Cathedral Coffee is cute and cozy and left me wishing I could stay for hours. My husband and I each got one of their specials: his was an orange cardamom latte and mine was a creation called chaider. Both were delicious! Chaider is a great Fall-themed coffee alternative made with spicy ginger chai, organic apple juice, hemp milk, and nutmeg. The latte was pretty coffee-forward with lots of flavor and the orange helps lighten it up a bit. They also have in house baked goods if you’re looking for some sustenance!
Pastry tip: The citrus roll has amazing lemon curd but is quite dense. Their savory fold overs are the way to go; we opted for turkey pesto and loved it.
Black coffee drinking guy says: “Both were quite tasty! The latte was not too sweet and the chaider tastes like Fall.”
Flavor: 5! Wait time: 3.5 Drink menu variety: 2 Safety measures: 4.5
(Ran payment card myself, you cannot go inside at all but order to-go from a counter at the door, no tables, everyone was wearing masks, you look at pastry options through a window, you can call ahead to order if you wish.)
Now, this one is actually a bakery, not a coffee shop, BUT I had to include it for two reasons. 1. Their pastries are amazing. 2. They have the most perfect latte I have ever tasted. I got the maple latte (one of only a couple drink options) and it was creamy, just sweet enough, with great maple flavor, and incredibly smooth espresso. I wish every latte tasted like this one. We arrived right as they were opening and a line was already forming, but they got through it fairly quickly. Their bakery menu is currently limited, but there’s still plenty to choose from!
Pastry tip: Get the super flaky Katie Bun. With a sweet and a savory option, you can’t go wrong.
Black coffee drinking guy says: “I see why you like the drink. I like the pastry.”