Coffee rules the world—but which cup of coffee rules the streets of Pelham?

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A lot of people “run on Dunkin,” but with so many great local coffee sources in town, everyone should take advantage of the quality caffeine we have available to us right here in the hometown. I went to the coffee powerhouses of Pelham to find out which cafe, restaurant, or coffee shop has the best cappuccino.

I based my score on richness, presentation, ambience, and overall taste. I ordered the same drink at each place; a cappuccino with almond milk. After all, I’m still a millennial.

Cappuccino from Caffe Ammi

Caffe Ammi

A new favorite for many, I would say Caffe Ammi has mastered the cappuccino. Caffe Ammi is actually a roastery, so you can be sure that their coffee is the best in Pelham, and among the best in Westchester. Nonetheless, I still have some criticisms.

With its home on Sixth Street, Caffe Ammi’s location is rather unfortunate. However, that doesn’t seem to stop many people, as it was relatively busy when I went. Still, though, it had enough seating. Regardless of its location in a residential part of town and not the business district, Caffe Ammi has a very relaxed, Brooklyn-esque vibe. As soon as you walk in, you get a strong coffee whiff that will wake you up even before you taste it.

Caffe Ammi scores major points for their presentation. I appreciate that they served it in a mug, and the beautiful heart made of foam was an added (but necessary) plus. The coffee had a very strong taste, but I found that the almond milk made it a little watery. Also, I love foam, and this cup of cappuccino just didn’t have enough for my preference.

Nevertheless, the coffee taste was the strongest of all three shops and had the best presentation. The coffee was rich, smooth, and just the right temperature. If you haven’t gone yet, it’s worth the trip. For being the “new place in town” Caffe Ammi proved themselves in quality and ambience, earning a well deserved  8.5/10.


Cappuccino at Pelville

Pelville is also relatively new, but they have quickly established themselves as a go-to for a delicious breakfast, lunch or delicious cup of coffee. Pelville is the quintessential suburban cafe; although it doesn’t quite have the city vibe of Caffe Ammi, I think that it’s a great addition to Pelham.

Even on a Sunday afternoon, Pelville was able to seat every other hungry Pelhamite. Also, Pelville’s owner is very friendly, and I find it comforting that they cook and bake their products in situ. Moreover, it’s nice to see Pat from the now-closed Four Corners Bakery back in action at Pelville. However, the cappuccino wasn’t as great as their other products.

Firstly, they served the cappuccino in a glass. Although this isn’t detrimental, I prefer it in a mug as at Cafe Ammi. The coffee was more bitter than the other places, but it was delicious nonetheless. Also, this cup had the most foam I’ve ever seen in a cup of cappuccino, and I loved that. I believe their coffee taste was most like that of Starbucks: bitter, but strong. Additionally, the taste of almond milk wasn’t too overwhelming as is the case with other coffee places.

Since Pelville doesn’t brand themselves as a coffeehouse as Ammi does, it would be unfair to not mention the great food options they have including their freshly baked treats and a variety of breakfast foods.

Pelville was certainly not as smooth as the other coffee places I visited, but it made up for it with the foam. Pelville is very different from Cafe Ammi, but it’s a unique place in its own respect that, unlike the other places I visited, offers a simple, relaxed dining experience. Though it wasn’t my favorite cappuccino, Pelville is a great place to meet up with friends or gather for a  Sunday brunch. What they lacked in quality of coffee they made up for in unique setting, friendly faces and delicious foam, earning them an 8/10.

Cappuccino from J Cafe

J Cafe

I will admit that I doubted the cappuccino at J cafe. Since its change from STEAM, to MAD and now J, I haven’t been a frequent a visitor to the long-standing Pelham restaurant.

Although J Cafe brews Cafe Ammi’s coffee, they truly were able to take the same drink and serve it in their own way. J Cafe served their cappuccino in a cup and not a mug, which was at first disappointing. To their credit, however, the cup was eco-friendly.

Though J Cafe did not make the loved-by-millennials heart on my cappuccino, they compensated for it with the perfect amount of foam. They also balanced the espresso with almond milk to perfection, allowing for a rich coffee taste and deliciously smooth flavor. The temperature was perfect and their small size was just right.

J Cafe is the biggest of the three places I visited, but it was still not overcrowded and had a fun, busy vibe that I appreciate. Also, J Cafe moved quickly despite being somewhat full. Additionally, the owner of J Cafe was super nice and flashed a bright smile as soon as I walked through the door.

I think J Cafe’s coffee truly had the best taste; it was rich and smooth, sweet and not bitter, and fresh without the overwhelming taste of the almond milk. I will be sure to frequent J Cafe more often for their delicious cappuccino, friendly environment, and comfy couches. I have very few complaints against J Cafe and can say for certain that it was the best place I visited, earning them a 9.5/10.

Final Verdict

After visiting J Cafe, Pelville and Cafe Ammi I can conclude that Pelham is very lucky to have each of these places, as they each offer their own unique product. If you want a quality cappuccino look no further then Wolfs Lane; wherever you choose to go, you will not be disappointed. Although J Cafe won overall for its quality, each place wins in ambience and quality of experience.

Which Pelham food institutions should I review next?