Kensington/Northern Liberties: Five Coffee Shops Worth Visiting

Gentrification of Northern Liberties and Kensington has shifted these neighborhoods into a new direction. With many diverse people living the area, it has caused a rise in the openings of new cafes.

According to a 2015 report on the city’s independent economy published by the Center City District, the number of self-employed people ranges from 30,000 to 35,000. Some come to cafes to have a change of scenery and get work done. Here are five cafes in Kensington and Northern Liberties where you can get work done, or just come and relax on your day off.

fivelist_1Reanimator Coffee 

Located in Kensington, this coffee shop attracts locals from all over the city.

“We get a good amount of people who are hanging out, some of them are students and others are professionals that are having meetings,” said employee Nate Cochran. “There’s a lot of other people who come for recreational purposes.”

Founded in Philadelphia, the coffee shop has another location in Fishtown, but this location is where all of the coffee grinding occurs.

fivelist_566Gryphon Cafe

Located next to John Moffet Elementary School in Kensington, this location attracts many teachers and staff members.

“We get a lot of teachers here because Teach for America is here – they’re right next to us,” said employee William Lyon. “I feel like it’s a lot of people who are doing meetings. But we definitely get people that stay for a couple hours to study, too.”

Gryphon Cafe also has other locations in Rosemont and Wayne, Pennsylvania.

fivelist_1333Front Street Cafe

Front Street Cafe is more than just coffee – the cafe serves a variety of food that is made with locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients. Front Street Cafe’s mission is to provide a friendly atmosphere to all local residents where they can enjoy food, coffee and smoothies. The cafe held its opening party on Nov. 18, 2015, and since then expanded from just a coffee shop to a full-blown restaurant and bar.

fivelist_16Higher Grounds

Located in Northern Liberties, this coffee shop has been around since 2006. The shop exhibits local artwork and hosts open mic nights for musicians in Philadelphia. Because of this, the location attracts students, artists and business people from all over the city.

“I like being here a lot – there’s a lot of seating and it’s nice and quiet,” said frequent visitor Colin Brown. “It’s not as busy as the coffee shops in Center City, so it’s easy to do work.”

fivelist_19Soy Cafe

Located in Northern Liberties, this cafe’s mission is to provide healthy options for customers in an enjoyable atmosphere. The menu not only provides a variety of coffee options but also has food that includes vegan and veggie options for its customers.

The cafe attracts a mixed crowd and stands by their philosophy that “all are welcome. We strive to create an omnivore’s haven, where friends can enjoy wholesome meals together.”

– Text and images by Raya Abdelaal and Emily Ganser.

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