There are those mornings when it’s hard to move one foot out from under the covers, much less drag our entire bodies out of bed. We’ve found that bribing ourselves with a good cup of coffee is the only thing that can get us up and out the door in minutes.
Where we go next depends on if we’re looking for an on-the-go morning boost, a place to work for the day where our commanding conference call voices don’t drown out the music, a meet-up spot to catch up with a friend, or just a free bathroom. While some places are more intent on getting you served and sending you on your way, others encourage you to stay for a while by serving food and supplying enough outlets to keep all your battery-powered devices charged. Every place on this list puts out a great cup of coffee but, with that part settled, we want to help steer you toward the right spot for the right time.
These are the 13 best coffee shops in Atlanta.
You’re meeting up with someone and you’re really not sure whether it’s a date or not. Because Taproom serves both coffee and alcohol, you have plausible deniability if they really just want to hear about “how exactly you broke into your industry.” This Kirkwood spot makes coffee with beans from local roaster East Pole and serves cold brew, tea drinks, and nine beers with a heavy focus on local breweries. It’s also a great spot to eavesdrop on the mishaps of someone’s neighbor’s construction projects with a non-alcoholic nitro beerspresso (flash-brewed iced coffee, hops, and amber malt) or tap out your last hour of work while sipping a pilsner at one of their long, communal wooden tables.
You’ve been doing some soul searching lately and need a spot to meet up with your cousin’s designer friend who’s helping you choose the color palette for your next business card. Chrome Yellow Trading Co is your spot. The quality nitro cold brew, lattes, and natural lighting bring a consistent stream of artists and people discussing the proper care instructions for succulents through the doors. Between the caffeine, the clean white walls, and all the speedy conversations happening in the room, you’ll be debating pale pink colorways and monochromatic hunter green schemes before you even get halfway through that iced oat chai.
Equal parts coffee shop, live music venue, and community center, Waller’s is a place where you’ll want to spend a few hours. You can come with a few friends and get inappropriately competitive over a game of UNO or bring the whole family for a lazy hang by the creek out back on Sunday afternoons. There’s also a good amount of space to spread out on a weekday if you want to do a little work before a bluegrass jam, open mic night, or any of the other events they host here several nights a week.
Octane on the Westside has been around so long it basically introduced Atlanta to the idea of obsessing over coffee. The French presses and espresso drinks have been helping people reach their goal of dropping ten buzz words a minute while in a meeting where half the people are on computer screens since 2003. It’s best as a quick stop to grab a drink when you’re in the area, though there are a few tables and bar seats in the comfortable space if you want to perch with some work during the week.
This Mediterranean-leaning coffee shop and bakehouse serves things like shakshuka and mini falafel burgers, alongside fried chicken biscuits and a lamb brisket sandwich. If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, though, grab a few pastries and a Turkish coffee instead, all while listening in on the Georgia State students who come through. There’s lots of room to spread out and the countertop seating has plenty of plugs if you’re looking for some temporary office space.
Walking into Dairies Coffeehouse and Cold Brew Bar, you’ll see Edison lightbulbs, ferns, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a newsletter-length menu. But instead of feeling too trendy or cliche, it all makes for a really comfortable (and attractive) place to grab some caffeine. Choose from 10 draft cold brews and teas, such as nitro cold brew with Captain Crunch-infused milk, or give a keto coffee, mushroom chai, or turmeric gold milk latte a try from the part of the menu called functional beverages. As a bonus, each table has two USB ports, two power outlets, and a small vase of fresh flowers so you can sit and see how your body responds to the beetroot powder in your latte before deciding between a grain or acai bowl for lunch.
From the same team as Lloyd’s - and right next door - Dekalb Athletic Club has no weight machines or ellipticals, though it does have some satirical sports banners and we heard they might be installing a punching bag. It’s actually just a coffee shop with a fun name and some great biscuit sandwiches. The garage door entranceway gives this place lots of light and an open-air feel that they fill with the sounds of indie rock and the grinding of espresso. Their coffee beans come from Radio Roasters in nearby Avondale Estates, and the food comes fresh out of the kitchen at Lloyd’s.
Your old tech job spoiled you with skylights, your own personal desk fern, and cold brew on draft. Now you’ve made the jump into freelancing or are in the back-to-school part of the year and you’re trying to spend less time in what you call your “home office” (aka your bedroom). Head to the deck of Banjo Coffee, an Avondale Estates coffee shop opened by a husband and wife team that perfected their cold brew recipe in their basement. They’ve also started canning their nitro cold brew so you can get it at grocery stores and farmers markets if you live in a part of town that would require taking three different highways to get to Avondale.
This Toco Hills coffee shop always has a steady stream of people coming through for strong espresso drinks and coffee brewed from some of the best roasters in the country. Seating can be tight so we usually take our drinks to go, but if you do manage to snag a table and want to eat something, order cinnamon sugar toast, avocado toast, or a bowl of heirloom tomato shakshuka. They also have a bunch of tea options, hot cocoa, and original drinks like The GOAT with ginger beer, oat milk, turmeric tonic, and honey.
Few coffee shops in Midtown encourage you to hangout for a few extra hours as much as Momo Cafe, the coffee shop counterpart to Japanese restaurant Momonoki. Specifically, we like to plant ourselves in the quiet nook upstairs with a laptop, an espresso, and some matcha soft serve. This place has a pristine, white-box feel, not unlike an Apple Store, but instead of selling you things that’ll be obsolete in two years, they’re pushing pastries that’ll be eaten in under two minutes. And if you decide you need a more substantial meal, just head next door to Momonoki for ramen, a poke bowl, or a katsu sandwich.
On the border of Inman Park and Virginia-Highlands, JavaVino is a North Highland staple and will caffeinate you by day and pour you a glass of wine at night. They have their own coffee farm in Nicaragua and roast the beans in Decatur so if you’re someone who likes to pretend that you can smell the difference between beans, you’ll enjoy it here. This place is small and quiet, so we wouldn’t bring a first date unless you want an opportunity to test how good you are at sitting in awkward silence. It’s more of a third or fifth date spot - when you’ve gotten to the point where you actually care about the details of your date’s personal origin story.
With your first step into Brother Moto on Memorial Drive, you’ll immediately smell espresso with undertones of motor oil. This coffee shop doubles as a do-it-yourself motorcycle garage, but don’t start imagining grease streaked floors and piles of dirty rags. The white walls, high ceilings, and generously-spaced tables are great for group meet-ups or carving out your own space with a laptop.
This bookshelf-lined Candler Park cafe is kind of like entering a real life Mad Hatter’s tea party. It’s technically more of a tea house than coffee shop, but if you’re looking to sit and sip a hot beverage, whether tea or coffee, in an antique armchair under a paper lantern and umbrella-covered ceiling, this is the best (and probably only) spot to go. You can also call ahead for a proper high tea reservation to get the full treatment, which includes tiered trays of scones, clotted cream, jam, quiche, and finger sandwiches followed by a tasting of sorbet. Ask yourself or your friends some unanswerable questions and stay a while.