Food & Drink

The Best Coffee Shops in Atlanta

Experience the magic of caffeine.

How do Atlantans get through the terrible traffic? With plenty of caffeine -- and there’s no shortage of it in the metro area. From sleek, modern coffeehouses to cozy bakeries with excellent coffee programs, Atlanta has all of the bases covered. Whether you’re looking to hideout with your laptop, chat with friends, or just need a good cup of Joe, there’s a coffee shop to suit every mood. Here are the best in Atlanta.

Best spot for good vibes: Muchacho

The bright jewel box of a coffee shop was designed by Elizabeth Ingram, which means no detail was left unaccounted for. The aesthetic is retro California with its orange, blue, and gold motif, vintage furniture, and plenty of plants. Even the yellow and white espresso machine fits the theme. It’s small, so you may be hard pressed to find a seat at rush times (which sometimes feels like all the time), but if you go on a sunny day you can grab a seat on the patio. Bonus: It’s right off the BeltLine.

Best for local art lovers: Rev Coffee

Smyrna isn’t known for much, but it does have Rev Coffee, which is an excellent local hangout spot. It’s especially good to know about if you find yourself at the Battery (just 10 minutes away) for a Braves game. The space was once an auto repair garage so it’s funky but without being harshly industrial thanks to plenty of natural light and comfy seating. The walls are lined with local art which changes frequently. If you’ve been meaning to add to your collection, this is a good starting point.

Best for something more interesting than drip coffee: Dairies Coffeehouse and Cold Brew Bar

If you love cold brew coffee, then you’ll love Dairies Coffeehouse and its 14 taps of cold brew. There’s truly a cold brew for everyone, but standouts include the nitro oat milk latte, nitro cold brew, and the Captain on Tap, a decadent drink made with cereal milk. The coffee menu is actually pretty extensive beyond the cold brews on tap, but their cold brews are so smooth and refreshing we’re not sure why you’d order anything else. 

Best for interior design lovers: Sheep & Meadow

Peachtree Hills
If you want coffee with a side of interior design, head to Sheep + Meadow. The coffee shop is found in Holland McCrae’s furniture showroom and it happens to be close to ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center). It’s no surprise, of course, that Sheep & Meadow is ridiculously stylish with furniture and decor sourced from the showroom (including art by local artist Michael Dines). It’s a chill spot to hangout and feel inspired while sipping Methodical coffee.

Best for when you’re stuck in Buckhead: Brash Coffee

Compared to other parts of town, Buckhead is a bit of a coffee desert. If you do find yourself in need of a pick-me-up while in the area, though, head to Brash at the Atlanta History Center. You don’t need to pay admission to get to the coffee shop, which happens to be filled with plenty of seating and natural light. If the hunger pangs kick in, you can grab a bite from Souper Jenny, which happens to share the same space.

Best for getting work done: East Pole

Armour Yards
East Pole isn’t the easiest spot to get to, it’s tucked back in that weird part of town that’s not quite Buckhead and not quite Midtown. But the mission is worth it, because East Pole roasts their coffee right on premises (you can even see them do it) and there is plenty of space to post-up and work for a bit. The modern space practically sparkles on a sunny day making it all the more inviting. The crowd can be pretty quiet on weekdays which is great if you’re hoping to concentrate while drinking that pour over.

Best if you’re in the suburbs: Valor Coffee

Alpharetta City Center
The suburbs will never be as cool as the ITP neighborhoods, but wistful suburbanites can find comfort in Valor. Found in downtown Alpharetta, the bright coffee shop feels like it was meant to be Instagrammed. From the millennial pink tables outside to the retro vibes inside, the space is modern and inviting. The coffee, roasted in a facility nearby, rivals some of its in-town counterparts. If you’re feeling fancy, try the seasonal latte crafted with house-made syrup.

Best for Francophiles: Little Tart Summerhill

Little Tart may be located in Summerhill, a neighborhood just south of Downtown, but the French vibes are strong. The coffee, made with Counter Culture, is good, but you’d be remiss to visit and not try one of the pastries (even Anthony Bourdain ate one on Layover). If you want something heartier than a flaky croissant or kouign-amann, there are heartier options. The quiche and egg and cheese sandwich is always available for breakfast, and on the weekends, you can order cheddar waffles and French toast (good luck trying to decide). 

Best for feline fanatics: Java Cats Cafe

Grant Park and Marietta
If you’ve ever wanted to pet a cat while drinking a cup of coffee, good news: you can at Java Cats Cafe. Guests can spend up to an hour in the cat lounge with about 15 to 20 cats in it. While you’re in there you can have a cup of local Firelight Coffee Roasters (one cup is included in your reservation as you cuddle the cats to your heart’s content). The best part: All of the cats are adoptable through PAWS Atlanta. 

Best for when you’re feeling cultured: Ovation Coffee & Libations

No trip to the Woodruff Arts Center is complete without a stop at Ovation. The coffee shop is tiny, so if you want to sit down plan on sharing a table or sitting outside. If you need a little caffeine buzz before catching a show at the Alliance Theatre or after strolling through the High Museum this is the place to get it. They serve Rev coffee and have light bites on hand, too.

Best for Japanese-inspired treats: Momo Cafe

Set inside Momonoki (meaning Peachtree in Japanese), Momo Cafe features pastries with a Japanese twist. The sunny spot has excellent coffee, the drip is satisfying as are the more creative takes like the black sesame latte, but really, you have to get a pastry. Creative options vary, but have included matcha chocolate chip cookies, black sesame escargot, and kumquat hoji cha (a green tea variety) cheesecake. There’s also soft serve if you need something cool.

Best spot for some Pin-spiration: Sessions Stand

Historic Marietta
Located about a half mile from Marietta Square, Sessions Stand is like a speakeasy coffee shop. Set among charming historic homes, Sessions Stand is dreamy with its brass tables, string lights, and blue and white accents. You may even be tempted to buy one of the colorful bouquets arranged by Dianthus & Co. Just know, there is only outdoor seating so you may not want to come on a rainy day. Order at one of the windows and grab a table. The pastries are baked at the stand by co-owner Katie Pfister, a pastry chef for the stand’s sister restaurants, The Butcher The Baker and WR Social House.

Best for pre-shopping fuel: Dancing Goats at Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market can be a little overwhelming, but Dancing Goats is right there to give you all the fuel you need to take it on. They serve Batdorf & Bronson coffee and the baristas churn out reliably crafted drinks. The coffee shop’s interior isn’t as design-y as others in the area, but that’s okay because you can take your drink to go (besides PCM, you’re steps away from the BeltLine and Historic Fourth Ward Park). If you do want to hang out, the covered deck is a comfortable spot regardless of the weather.

Best spot for coffee geeks: Chrome Yellow Trading Co.

Old Fourth Ward
It’s a little tricky to find parking, but the reward for going to Chrome Yellow is an expertly crafted drink. They take their coffee seriously at Chrome Yellow, and it shows when you chat with the baristas about the beans they’re currently brewing (they rotate among Stumptown, Methodical, and other roasteries). The space is slightly industrial, but it always seems to be buzzing with energy from the creatives who post-up there. If you get hungry, they sell hand pies made by local company Happy Camper.

Best for bookworms: Bold Monk Brewing

Recently opened in West Midtown, Bold Monk has it all: a brewery, restaurant, and, yes, a coffee shop. Head upstairs to “the abbey” and you’ll find an impressive space with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and Mondrian-inspired stained glass windows. That’s also where you’ll find the coffee and books (which are all available to purchase). They serve Methodical coffee as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So basically, you never have to leave.

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Lia Picard is a contributor for Thrillist. 
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