116 S. Addison St.
Second Place: Crossroads Coffee & Icecream
Third Place: Black Hand Coffee Co.
If you like your coffee black, with none of the bells and whistles, then you have a friend in Lamplighter. Conversely, if you take it souped-up with triple-shots of espresso, or with organic nonfat milk, a dusting of cinnamon and other fixings, then Lamplighter has a cup for you too. That's the thing about the Fan's quaintest coffeehouse, despite its reputation as a haven for scenesters: The brainchild of co-owners Zach and Noelle Archibald and Jennifer Rawlings has found favor with everyone from crusty bike punks to West End doyennes. How? Lamplighter does two things very well: food and finely roasted coffee. "We wanted to create a place that didn't exist in Richmond at the time," Archibald says of the coffeehouse's 2009 opening. "We wanted the top-notch, best-possible coffee beverages you began seeing in coffee shops in larger cities on the West Coast, but we didn't want the snooty, pretentious attitude that goes with that." The outdoor patio, situated with benches to accommodate large parties, doesn't hurt either. Crossroads is a longtime favorite; Black Hand is the new kid creating lots of buzz.