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Best Independent Coffeehouse 

Readers' Pick

Lamplighter Roasting Co.

116 S. Addison St., 728-2292; 1719 Summit Ave., 447-2648; 26 N. Morris St., no phone
lamplightercoffee.com

Second Place: Black Hand Coffee Co.

Third Place: Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream

Lamplighter proved that isn't all about location. Its first coffee shop opened in a former gas station on the wrong side of Cary Street, but folks from every part of Richmond flocked to it for its expertly pulled espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. We were bowled over, it seems, with both the love with which the coffee was made and the heart that decorated the top. Owners Zach and Noelle Archibald hail from coffee mecca Portland, Oregon, and co-owner Jennifer Rawlings proved her mettle as master roaster at the 17.5 Ethos Cafe before Hurricane Gaston flooded Shockoe Bottom. The newer spots in Scott's Addition and near Virginia Commonwealth University are light and modern, but sometimes you want the old-school grunge and ad hoc design of the Addison Street original. Black Hand Coffee Co. went up against giant Keurig and won — you can get its grounds in convenient cups that fit in a purse or backpack. (Take a breakfast sandwich, too.) And Crossroads Coffee provided Richmond with a coffeehouse scene when the only shops offering a good cup of Joe (lattes) were anchored in Carytown.

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