Bad News: I live across the street from the best coffee shop in America [casual fri]

ultimo-coffee-cortadoBad news for my wallet, that is.

Yesterday reported that food website The Daily Meal announced that they had found Ultimo Coffee to be the best coffee shop in the country.

(Annoyingly, you have to sit through their slideshow of the 32 runners-up before getting to  the Ultimo feature. So, in my opinion, you’re better off clicking the article.)

Anyway, people that know me know that I’m kind of a coffee snob, and I can honestly say that I really do love Ultimo Coffee. I even giddily posted on this blog when I knew their second location, conveniently located across the street from my house, was about to open.

It’s an amazing shop with amazing people, atmosphere, and of course, coffee. I’m proud to be on a first name basis with most of the baristas and the owner (as well as secretly being the Foursquare mayor of that location). It’s certainly my favorite shop in the country. It’s great to see them rightfully being recognized.

If you live in Philly, I can’t encourage you enough to go to one of their two locations. If you’ve never had it before, I’d be more than happy to buy you your first cup. I’ve had the honor of doing so for many friends.

Go Philly coffee scene!


Ultimo Coffee Graduate Hospital

I live across the street from this. I. Can. Not. Wait.


Over four years ago Elizabeth and Aaron Ultimo were laying plans to move from their beloved community in Arlington VA/Washington DC back to Philadelphia PA where Aaron had gone to college years before.  It was a move that was inspired by the idea of helping lead the coffee revival in that city.  As they poured over the different neighborhoods that inspired their curiosity  they settled on a few that sounded like they would be perfect for their plans.  One was the quickly growing neighborhood of Fishtown.  The other was equally rapidly developing Graduate Hospital.  After weighing the two very different neighborhoods and visiting both they fell in love with the charm and beauty of the latter.  However, upon moving to Philadelphia opportunity took them to a different neighborhood to which they became very attached.  Ultimo Coffee Newbold was born.  It was their baby, their firstborn and it flourished beyond expectations…

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you can always tell the health of an urban neighborhood by…

… the number of trick-or-treaters.

I just frustrated a few middle schoolers (way too old to go trick-or-treating) who knocked on our door and were miffed that we had no candy to give. They were probably also confused by the fact that both my roommate and I had yelled “come in!” in reply to the door-knocks.

We had done this because last year my roommates and I bought a big thing of candy in anticipation of the trick-or-treaters and none showed up. And so we expected this year to be the same. We didn’t even think about the chance of any trick-or-treaters coming. But, alas, they won’t stop knocking on our door tonight; the street is teeming with them. At this point, we’re just ignoring the knocks, not wanting to incur the wrath of any more children.

So much must have happened in the past year in our particular neighborhood of Graduate Hospital in Southwest Center City Philadelphia. It’s exciting to watch all that is happening in this amazing city we call home.