Ulitmo’s the ultimate coffee shop in America

Ultimo, South Philly’s homegrown “Third Wave” coffee shop, was named the best coffee shop in America by TheDailyMeal.com, which was reported first by the Insider.

Ultimo/Brew at 15th and Mifflin, pic from Flying Kite
Ultimo/Brew at 15th and Mifflin, pic from Flying Kite

The shop, at 15th and Mifflin streets with a new location at 22nd and Catharine, was cited for high standards of customer service and great atmosphere without the attitude. Bonus points for sharing a corner with craft-beer sixpack shop Brew.

Normally, we don’t cotton to these kind of click-magnet listicles, but hell, if someone here is No. 1, that’s pretty damn cool. One reason we don’t like this one, is that you have to click through 33 pages to get to Ultimo’s write-up. Another is that they gave the stereotypical backhanded Philadelphia compliment – akin to “It’s not as bad as you think!”

So you don’t have to waste time clicking, and as payment for our annoyance, we basically copied and pasted the entire blurb below.

What makes Ultimo tick — and brings in Philadelphians in flocks? Simplicity, and a little bit of love. In the constant battle over which cities have the best coffee culture — East Coast versus West Coast, New York City versus Philadelphia — it frequently boils down to the people behind the counter. And many will argue that Philadelphia, often seen as the underdog to the big cities of the Northeast, is hands-down the winner for the best cup of coffee because the coffee scene there is hardly home to the snobbery that can come with “Third Wave” coffee.

Sure, you’ll find pour-over drip coffee and Chemex batches at Ultimo, along with niche coffee roasts (all from Counter Culture Coffee Roaster) and artisanal sandwiches (new from American Sardine Bar). But what you won’t find at Ultimo is an attitude — and that’s exactly what our panelists noted Ultimo so highly for in the customer service and atmosphere categories. In an interview with Counter Culture Coffee, co-owner Aaron Ultimo put it simply: it’s about a good cup of coffee and a good atmosphere in which to enjoy it. “In the end, I love the people in and around the industry, and I love the coffee that I get to drink every day,” he said. That, plus the shop’s dedication to educating the public with free cuppings and tastings, makes it worthy of a heavy title.