Our latest dataset, Top Rated Coffeeshops in Every Philadelphia Neighborhood, utilizes user reviews on Google to quantify how the coffee scene stacks up across our hometown hoods.
Cafes and coffeeshops are some of my favorite places to spend time working, reading, or catching up with friends. Whether I’m traveling or just want a remote work hub for the afternoon, I’m always on the hunt for a great coffee-pouring establishment.
So when the FourFront team began brainstorming datasets to assemble, I selfishly jumped at the chance to aggregate a list of the best coffeeshops in our city. Using web scraping technology, our data team collected every Google Business Profile in the Philly area, allowing us to compare average Google ratings for each store across the city. Next, we cleaned the review data, enriched it with our Philly Neighborhoods dataset, and published the results for free on our website.
In this post, let’s breakdown what the data tells us—and which cafes broke into the top 10 list.
What the Data Tells Us
For this article, I did additional analysis to come up with a list of the top 10 coffeeshops across the city:
In order to create a high-quality list, this data has been filtered according to a few subjective rules. Most notably, stores must have collected at least 500 ratings. This was a nice, round number that got us to a clean top 10. (A lower threshold created scenarios where a top-10 was impossible, because there were too many ties.)
|Name of Coffeeshop
|J’aime French Bakery
|Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books
|La Colombe Coffee Roasters
|Elixr Coffee Roasters
|A La Mousse
|La Colombe Coffee Roasters
In analyzing the raw data, a few key facts emerged:
Many businesses have only a few ratings. The Bean2Bean Cafe at Billy Penn Studios in Ludlow has a perfect 5 stars, but only 20 total reviews. Does that mean it should outrank the 4.7 average rating that Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books commands—with over 1,100 total reviews?
There are a lot of coffee options in Philly! Our final dataset contains 436 cafes, to be precise.
The ratings users see in Google results skew high: In terms of average ratings—which is what appears in a business listing in search results—only about 30% of the stores had an average less than 4.0. Another third of the stores were rated between 4.0 and 4.5 (37%), with the final third rated 4.6 or higher. 19 coffeeshops had a perfect 5-star average at the time of data collection.
Raters tend to be generous. In terms of how many total reviews were left at each star level, the majority (61%) were 5-stars. Nearly 80% of all reviews left for coffeeshops in Philadelphia were at least 4-stars.
Some neighborhoods love their coffee. While we found coffeeshops in 117 distinct Philly neighborhoods, about 30% are in one of 7 neighborhoods, all of which are near the city center: Rittenhouse Square, Gayborhood, Center City, Society Hill, Powelton Village, University City, and Fishtown. Rittenhouse has a particularly dense concentration, with 35 coffeeshops located within its limits.
- Note: We have learned that neighborhood boundaries can be tricky, and much depends here on subjective decisions by our team and/or how the Google profile was labeled. For example, OCF Coffeehouse is labeled as residing in Spring Garden, a relatively small neighborhood that overlaps Fairmount. Some may argue it’s actually located in Fairmount.
Does Philly run on Dunkin’? There were 120 Dunkin’ locations in Philly, boasting about 28% of the total coffeeshops in town. However, the 3.9 average rating suggests relatively low satisfaction with the Massachusetts export. Of the brands with 3 or more locations, those with smaller footprints and local ownership outperformed the competition ReAnimator stands out with 5 locations and a 4.6 average rating across them, but La Colombe, Green Line, Ultimo, Elixr, and OCF also stand out as local highlights.
Potential Biases in the Data
Several points should be made about the biases baked into this dataset and our own top 10 ranking:
- The reliance on Google Maps ratings favors coffee shops that actively engage in online marketing and customer interaction.
- Newer or smaller cafés might be underrepresented due to fewer reviews.
- Moreover, this data’s reliance on Google Business Profile categorization might have led to the omission of some coffeeshops, as they either lacked a Google Profile or were not categorized in a conventional manner.
Thank you for joining us on this data-driven journey through Philadelphia’s coffee scene. We invite you to explore these top-rated neighborhood cafés and share your experiences—ideally through a positive review on Google!
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this dataset offers a unique perspective on the city’s coffee culture. For feedback, inquiries, or to share stories about your own coffee explorations, reach out to us at email@example.com.
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