The Best Coffee Chains, Ranked

By Doug Norrie | Published

Best Coffee Chains

Coffee lovers rejoice! We are about to break down the best coffee chains in the United States. And unlike our pizza, Mexican, and burger rankings, there are sure to be some strong feelings here. Coffee tends to bring out the best (and sometimes worst) when it comes to opinions.

Thanks to our friends at Marketforce, we have the definitive coffee chain rankings with some honorable mentions as well.

Honorable Mention - Caribou Coffee

Before we kick things off, there are a couple of honorable mentions here that didn’t make the overall rankings list. The first is Caribou Coffee which has more than 450 locations throughout the United States. Premium coffee and espresso is the name of the game for this coffee chain and their blends are popular as well. Their locations bring nice ambience and the service is as good as you’ll see in the local coffee shop.

Honorable Mention - Peet's Coffee

Peet’s Coffee has been around for almost 60 years and has steadily increased its imprint in the United States. The coffee is very high quality and hand-roasted. They offer Major Dickason’s Blend and also have a focus on espresso-based drinks as well. There is a ton of flavor here and the staff knows their coffee for sure. They only make the honorable mention list because they aren’t quite big enough. 

4. Tim Horton's

Tim Hortons is technically from Canada, but has become a worldwide chain with almost 5,000 locations around the globe. They are known for their coffee of course, but donuts are on the table as well. Come in for the Double Double coffee and grab some Timbits as well. Those are the tiny donut offerings which go perfect with a cup of Joe. Tim Hortons is affordable and consistent but doesn’t quite stack up with the big boys.

3. Dunkin' Donuts

They’ll want you to believe that America runs on Dunkin, and in some parts of the country that would very much appear to be the case. The national brand has more than 12,000 locations and many of them are packed to the rafters during morning commutes.

The brand loyalty is high in this place, and it makes sense. Their hot and cold coffee offerings are consistent across locations and the donut selection is solid. 

2. Starbucks

Starbucks is a massive, worldwide chain with more than 30,000 locations and about as good of branding as you’ll see from any chain. They’ve cultivated a higher-end corporate persona which is no easy feat in this industry. It makes sense that the brand loyalty ranks solidly here considering that in a lot of ways, it doesn’t feel like a chain at all. 

The atmosphere is cozy, consistent, and cultivated to attract a certain type of clientele and they’ve even made their drink choices distinctive. 

1. Dutch Bros. Coffee

Dutch Bros Coffee ranks sixth overall on the brand list among all chains and has one of the highest loyalty scores you’ll see in the industry. Primarily serving the West Coast of the United States, Dutch Bros has a quality drive-through component as well as an inviting atmosphere. They’ve been solid in giving back to local communities and are an example of maintaining high-quality levels even through expansion.

While not as popular (or widespread) as the others on this list, they win out as the best coffee chain nonetheless.