Where To Find the Best Coffee and Tea in Portsmouth
The Local's Guide to Portsmouth
Kaffee Vonsolin Photo by Jasmine Inglesmith
The most essential places in Portsmouth are not churches or town halls; they’re cafés. These are the places you go to network, to connect with the people you want to see and avoid those you don’t. You can catch up with an old friend, interview for a job, or meet a blind date. Every Portsmouth café strives to have the best of two things: coffee beans and clientele.
163 Islington Street in Portsmouth
Kilim is the only coffee shop in town, according to the old-school Portsmouth residents. Yalcin Yazgan grew up working in his grandfather’s coffee shop in Istanbul, learning the tradition of good coffee that he and his family brought to Portsmouth nearly 25 years ago. Pushed out of downtown in 2006 due to soaring rent, Caffe Kilim is a relic of old Portsmouth. The colorful den is filled with Turkish music, wallpapered in postcards from all over the world, and heady with espresso steam and conversation. No trip to Portsmouth is complete without stopping into Kilim for a chat and a cup of its signature roast, Dancing Goats.
79 Daniel Street in Portsmouth
At first, locals were skeptical of the German coffee shop that took over Kilim’s old location, but they’ve been guiltily discovering that they like it. The tucked-away café has a European feeling, with tasteful dark wood and a sliding window that opens wide to the street in summer.
601 Islington Street in Portsmouth
The West End, dubbed “the Brooklyn of New Hampshire” by Thrillist, has become the new ground zero for young residents and entrepreneurs — and Jonathan Blakeslee is the West End’s Bruce Wayne. After years of honing his tea craft on the West Coast, he came back to his hometown to be the hero we need (and, some would argue, the hero we deserve), opening this community-focused teahouse in 2005.
Dropkick Murphys lead singer Al Barr at Caffe Kilim.
Port City Coffee Roasters
801 Islington Street in Portsmouth
Most people wouldn’t suspect the plaza across from Hannaford of having the best coffee in town, but Port City is famous for its beans. Caffe Kilim even got their start in Portsmouth using Port City roast. If you need further proof, then just look at their most loyal patrons: Portsmouth police. If anyone knows where to get good coffee, it’s the cops.
More places to find a cup of coffee or tea
Check out some of New Hampshire Magazine's favorite places.
Breaking New Grounds
14 Market Square in Portsmouth
La Maison Navarre
121 Congress Street in Portsmouth
(603) 373- 8401
Profile Coffee Bar
15 Portwalk Place in Portsmouth