Judging Java: Gasoline Street Coffee

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Co-News Editor

4 Globes out of 5


I want to make something extremely clear before I begin my review. Despite having the word gasoline in its name, Gasoline Street Coffee does not contain gasoline. Drinking gasoline can induce vomiting, cause heartburn, drowsiness, slurred speech, loss of consciousness and result in death. If you drink gasoline—go to the hospital. If you drink Gasoline Street Coffee, you will not have to go to the hospital because their coffee does not contain gasoline and is, in fact, rather pleasant.

A second thing that I’d like to make clear: Gasoline Street Coffee is not located on Gasoline Street. No such street exists in the city of Pittsburgh. It is instead located on First Avenue, relatively close to the First Avenue T Station. The name instead refers to the visual aesthetic of the shop, which is designed to vaguely resemble a gasoline station.

The atmosphere of Gasoline Street Coffee was incredibly distinct. While other coffee shops that commit to a theme can feel pretentious and cold, Gasoline Street Coffee offers a warm and welcoming environment. The walls are decorated with novelty bicycles and signage taken from older gas stations. A large “GULF” logo taken from the road sign hangs proudly near the front.

Overall, it feels incredibly cozy, and, were it not for a global pandemic, I would have loved to sit down on one of the sofa chairs and read while I enjoyed my coffee. Unfortunately, I instead took my coffee to the streets, where I spilt it on my hand and burnt my tongue. As Thanos would say in that one meme format: “a small price to pay for salvation.”

And salvation the coffee was. This is one of the best cups I’ve reviewed for this column, and I greatly enjoyed it. It was very flavorful, featuring hints of nuts alongside a bitter backdrop. It was also one of the more aromatic coffees I’ve reviewed; it smelled pleasant.

While I reviewed their house blend, Gasoline Street also offers two different kinds of Cold Brew coffee, as well as a variety of blended drinks, teas, and smoothies. They also offer breakfast sandwiches and pastries, but I did not purchase any of those, so I am not qualified to review them.

That being said, I did order one thing alongside my coffee: a pretzel. Gasoline Street is known for their pretzels, which they get fresh from a bakery in the South Side every day. The barista toasted the pretzel for me, which made it that much better. Having a warm, toasted soft pretzel alongside your morning cup of coffee might not sound great, but trust me, the salted, buttered pretzel alongside a stiff cup of coffee is to die for.

Overall, I cannot recommend Gasoline Street Coffee enough. (I also cannot recommend drinking gasoline). The atmosphere is unforgettable, it’s relatively close to campus, the staff is extremely friendly, the pretzels are delicious, but most importantly: the coffee is exquisite.