Charleston: The Ultimate Local's Guide
After a pop-up stint in New Orleans’ hippest delicatessen/beer store, Stein’s Market & Deli, barista Lauren Fink set up shop on her own Uptown corner. (The Stein’s pop-up is still in business as well.) She’s committed to using coffee from micro roasters like Heart Roasters, Quills Coffee, Roseline Coffee, and Ruby, and offers cuppings to the public twice a month where the staff walks customers through the sensory experience of tasting coffee.
New Orleans has hit the big time now, with an Ace Hotel and attached Stumptown coffee shop. And just because Stumptown doesn't hail from New Orleans originally doesn’t mean it has discarded the historic coffee culture here. As Stumptown’s first Southern outpost, this shop is focusing on cold brew coffee (you know, ‘cuz it’s hot here), including refreshing coffee drinks like the "Endless Summer," a coffee variation on the mint julep. (Don’t worry, it still has all the awesome hot-brewing techniques in play.)
Jonathan and Darlene Riethmaier moved to New Orleans from Washington, DC to open their dream: Mammoth Espresso, a sleek, retro-meets-modern, family-friendly coffee bar. With beans from Madcap, pastries from Levee Baking Company, and Jonathan’s excellent brewing technique, this is a place you’ll be going back to.
Much more than a kick-ass coffee shop, Arrow hosts dim sum and taco pop-ups for lunch, sells bouquets of flowers from Pistil & Stamen, features pastries by Port City Pantry, and in general provides a laid-back space perfect for eating, drinking, and reading the coolest magazines published. The dedicated staff pull delicious espresso drinks with Four Barrel coffee.
Sólo serves gorgeously made, reasonably priced small-batch roast coffee, including Roseline Coffee Roasters and Ruby Coffee Roasters. It also often hosts local food pop-ups, with menus featuring Mexican, plant-based breakfasts, pancakes, and brunch. It’s a great way to support both the local culinary and beverage communities, all in one spot.
Using language to suggest that the caffeine addiction served here is an illicit one (referencing "dealers," "addicts," and "fixes"), Addiction wants you to know that it "gets" you. The logo is a picture of literal coffeeheads -- the generic man & woman outline with coffee cups for heads. Try the Miss Tracy’s Addiction Special, which is an espresso blended with coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper (also available iced). It's definitely willing to enable you in cultivating your coffee habit.
This little shop tucked away in the French Quarter has brought the new wave of coffee (i.e., non-chicory) to Downtown residents and tourists for over four years. Using beans from CREMA, Extracto, and BeanFruit Coffee Company, Spitfire turns out consistently excellent brews in this high-traffic neighborhood. You’ll probably have to get yours to go, as there are only four stools in the 250sqft space.
This funky shop transitioned from roasting beans for its own use to selling them all over town. It’s also branched out into how java can be consumed, partnering with NOLA Brewing and Left Hand to create a coffee saison, as well as rocking a nitro cold-brew coffee on tap. Yum.
The little yellow truck turned into a little yellow coffee shop on Magazine, and is now a grown-up cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, beer, wine, and evening snacks, in addition to coffee of all kinds. The new French Truck Cafe sources all its beans directly from farmers, which means staff take off for coffee-growing regions like Costa Rica from time to time. French Truck’s coffee beans are sold all over town in grocery stores, restaurants, and other coffee shops -- but it's worth trying out the wares at the original source.
Central Business District
For the bicycle enthusiast with a serious caffeine jones, Rouler moved over to the CBD from the other side of Canal several months ago and now it’s the go-to place for Downtown bike repair, riding apparel, and a damn fine chai latte. In addition to coffee, it also has a breakfast and lunch menu, making it a one-stop shop for the hungry cyclist.
Lower Garden District
This excellent creperie offers a wide range of sweet and savory crepes like the Frenchy, (ham, brie, apple, and spinach) as well as perfectly pulled espressos. Also, the chef can make your dish gluten-free using buckwheat flour, so no one has any excuse to not go and crepe it up.
Pretty much everything can be improved with ice cream seems to be the guiding principle of Drip Affogato. The shop features locally produced Creole Creamery ice cream and French Truck coffee to make all sorts of hot-cold, sweet-bitter concoctions. Try the Cookie Monster with Mexican hot chocolate ice cream, cookie crumbles, and hot chocolate, or the Classique, with Tahitian vanilla ice cream, pistachios, and stroopwafel topped with espresso. You can get just plain coffee or ice cream, but where’s the fun in that?
Algiers Point/West Bank
New Orleans’ newest micro-roastery opened a retail shop to serve locally roasted and responsibly grown coffee beans in the West Bank. Get a cappuccino made with the freshest ingredients, along with locally baked pies from Windowsill or pastries from Levee Baking Company.
The circle of coffee life can be found in this Magazine St spot, which has evolved from Rue de la Course into Ignatius Restaurant and now, Ignatius Espresso Bar & Cafe. It’s a great space for sipping a latte or cortado, and since it still has its alcohol license from its restaurant days, maybe an espresso-based cocktail. Or, if you’re in the mood, wine or bourbon straight up. It also serves sandwiches, so it truly covers all the bases.