UPDATED NOV 4, 2019
In a city like Atlanta, you may want something more than your average Starbucks. Whether you crave chic, dog and cat friendly cafes or simply want a small, homegrown java lounge, Atlanta’s got it all and more.
Let’s talk about the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, now with four Greater Atlanta locations — Decatur, Buckhead, Midtown, and a cozy little spot at Ponce City Market. From their white chocolate mochas to their hot ginger teas, everyone raves about the quality taste that the Dancing Goats provides. And if you want to try something unique, ask about their special, Dancing Goats Blend with hints of chocolate and spice. While you’re at it, purchase one of their signature mugs — it, unsurprisingly, has a dancing goat on it.
You get to drink coffee and give back to a global mission project all at the same time. Land of A Thousand Hills, now operating five coffee shops, is part of a story that began in Rwanda. Several years ago, after a devastating Rwandan genocide, Jonathan Golden opened Land of A Thousand Hills in order to supply Rwandan coffee farmers with fair wages. Each cup of coffee you drink began as a few coffee beans overseas that were gathered by Rwandan farmers who are now guaranteed proper payment for their services. You can drink to a good cause at Land of A Thousand Hills.
Who wouldn’t want to try a drink called Kick in the Pants Coffee? Hodgepodge Coffee, at 720 Moreland Ave. SE, provides guests with a unique drink menu as well as your traditional favorite coffeehouse pastries, like chocolate chip banana bread, blueberry crumble, and breakfast popovers. But if that’s not enough, Hodgepodge hosts super-cool events—anything from open mic nights and comedy nights to art gallery debuts—so it’s a place to get your cultural fix too. FYI: for all you art people out there, Hodgepodge might be the place for you to land your first grown-up gig.
If you stroll down Edgewood Ave. SE looking for a yellow coffee shop, you’ll miss it. Chrome Yellow (actually painted navy blue) has a chic, fashion-forward style. Not only do they sell coffee, but they sell clothing and accessories, too. Journals, bags, hats — you name it, they’ve got it. But to ensure that you still receive the best quality coffee, for each new season, Chrome Yellow’s barista staff gathers together to test and sample new coffee blends.
Why have one coffee shop/roaster combo when you can have six? Yep, Octane Coffee / Bar has six locations in Atlanta: Grant Park, Westside, Buckhead, Homewood, Uptown, and a sleek space in Woodruff Arts Center. In addition to roasting their own beans, they also purchase their milk from local dairy farms. Local pride doesn’t keep them from branching out and creating their own coffee blends, though. Stop by and try Gravy, a sweet but strong coffee blend. Sample their White Lightning too; it’s a delightful, fruity roast. Fitt Tip: each Octane location has a different set of operation hours, so double check what time an individual Octane café is open before you stop by.
Not too far from Chrome Yellow on Edgewood Avenue SE, Docent Coffee has occupied the former Cafe + Velo space. But instead of cherishing bikes and coffee, Docent is all about art and coffee. Supporting local artists with spotlights on their site as well as in-shop curations, this neighborhood spot is classy and cultured. And as a roaster, cafe serving croissants, house-made sandwiches, and artisan toasts, and counter-serve coffee shop, the atmosphere encourages you to stay all day. That, and the coffee membership that can grant you unlimited coffee for one price.
This place is the cat’s meow, no joke. Java Cats Café partners with PAWS, an Atlanta-based, no-kill animal shelter, and fosters nearly 20 homeless cats in one of the coffee shop’s rooms. Java Cats also partners with The Gathering, a non-profit organization that helps the homeless find employment opportunities, particularly in their coffee shop. So, if you love cats and want to see The Gathering thrive, swing by the cat lounges on Memorial Dr. SE in ATL or Atlanta St. SE in Marietta.
At Joe’s East Atlanta Coffee Shop, you don’t have to wear a beanie or button-up flannel shirts to fit in. As long as you’re willing to try their quiche, cupcakes, or zucchini bread, then you’re cool enough. And if you have a thing for super-affordable coffee and super-bold-colored walls, that makes you even cooler. Stop by and check out this tucked-away coffee shop that locals rave over.
Inman Park, known as “Atlanta’s oldest neighborhood”, is also home to Inman Perk Coffee, a homegrown, locally created cafe. The masterminds behind Inman Perk wanted to establish a safe, family atmosphere for Inman Park locals to enjoy coffee and dessert. With hopes of sustaining a positive community, Inman Perk participates in local outreach projects and is committed to selling sustainable coffee.
Aurora Coffee’s dark walls and low-key atmosphere are perfect for a mellow coffee hangout or solitary espresso. Their mission as an individually-owned and operated business is to create a unique, non-formal, non-chainlike atmosphere where each person feels like they are a part of the family. Shot in the Dark, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Chai Teas are a few fan favorites at Aurora Coffee, and they are also known for their super-friendly staff, hot music, and cool vibes.
Yeah, you guessed it — this little café serves coffee and wine. Wanna know something even cooler than that? JavaVino has its own coffee farm and winery. You get the best of both beverage worlds here. Stop by their location on North Highland Avenue NE in Poncey-Highlands for a wine tasting, or try one of their very own muffins, scones, croissants, or cream cheese danishes with a cup of java.
ParkGrounds, on 142 Flat Shoals Ave. SE in Reynoldstown, allows guests to enjoy coffee, beer, sandwiches, and other brunch-like treats with their dogs. That’s right — you can bring your boxer, chihuahua, mutt, or any other cute canine for a fun coffee date. Their facilities include a fenced-in backyard park where you can do your work (with their free Wi-Fi) while your dog plays. Or you can ditch work and just play with your dog — that works too.
It didn't take us long to come to the revelation that Revelator is one of the best coffee spots around. This casual, Alabama-based roastery uses ethically-sourced coffee to craft their selection of espresso-based beverages and pour-overs. And no matter where you are in the city, chances are you aren't far from one of their shops. Stop by one of their five area locations for an afternoon pick-me-up, or grab a bag of their specialty coffee, like the Misfit House Blend with notes of dark cocoa and praline, to take home.
When it comes to coffee, this trendy Reynoldstown Cold Brew Bar and cafe sets the bar high. With over 14 cold brews on tap, all of them made with sustainably-sourced coffee beans that are roasted on-site, this place has your coffee fix covered. They even have an all-day food menu filled with tons of healthy options, including a Green Mango yogurt bowl and Chipotle Apple Avocado toast that we seriously can’t stop craving. Prefer something sans coffee? Try one of their other beverages, like the Pistachio Green Tea milkshake.