Atlanta’s Best Coffee Shops According to a Local Who Knows Good Coffee
Once upon a time, the big cafes in Atlanta were all about coffee.
Now, there are many variables in what goes into making a great place – the location, the aesthetics, the friendly and talented baristas who can top a cappuccino with an Insta-worthy heart of foam, in-house roasted coffee beans that are ethically sourced (bonus if there’s a good cause attached to it) and of course great drinks brewed to perfection.
Based on those criteria, here are nine of the best coffeehouses in Atlanta worth checking out, according to a local coffee lover.
Address: 4320 Powers Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30342
Why you need to go: This upscale, full-service restaurant on the outskirts of Chastain Park near Chastain Horse Park and the amphitheater exudes a major NorthernCal vibe with its sophisticated design and interior, and the fact that it overlooks one of the most iconic golf courses in Atlanta.
The restaurant has a full-service coffee bar during the morning hours that serves made-to-order specialty coffees, matcha lattes, and fresh pastries among other stylish a la carte breakfast options.
There are plenty of outdoor seats where you can watch some of the best watchers in town.
The Good Nosh
Address: 65 Irby Ave NW Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 30305
Why you have to go: This full-service restaurant exudes an upscale European vibe with a fine French-inspired menu. Brunch, lunch and dinner options include savory galettes and the silkiest quiches ever, in addition to freshly baked gourmet French pastries.
Floor-to-ceiling draperies, a mirrored bar, crystal chandeliers, and gilded sconces give this place an old-world charm where guests dress to impress.
Le Bon Nosh is proud to partner with specialty coffee brand Intelligentsia and offers a walk-in coffee counter serving a variety of roasts, lattes and cappuccinos.
Coffee in the land of a thousand hills
Address: 352 S. Atlanta St, Roswell, GA 30075
Why you should go: This small chain of cafes serves specialty coffees in a community-centric environment, with warm and friendly baristas.
Their Roswell location in a converted tenement house has all the warm feelings of a family living room, especially when sipping on a warm oat milk and cinnamon latte.
Their location at Halcyon in Alpharetta includes a large common area and offers family game nights, live music, poetry readings, and more.
The company, which has several sites mainly in the South, imports its beans from Rwandan coffee trees and strives to improve the lives of farmers with wages, education, health care and clean water.
Address: 1680 Spring Rd SE B, Smyrna, GA 30080
Why you have to go: There’s the coffee, sure, but it’s the Southern charm that keeps customers coming back to this friendly, independent cafe on the outskirts of Atlanta.
Rev Coffee Roasters serves specialty beers, homemade treats and sandwiches, and more in a converted auto shop and manages to evoke an industrial feel while staying true to its small-town roots.
The cafe features artwork on display (and for sale) by local artists. They also roast their coffee in-house and are proud to share that they maintain a direct link with their coffee suppliers. The best part about Rev – they’re open late, which is a rare find in most Atlanta suburbs.
Refuge Coffee Co.
Address: 4170 E. Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Clarkston, GA 30021
Why you have to go: It all started with a dream and a red food truck. Founder and CEO Kitti Murray started Refuge Coffee Co. as a literal haven for the large community of refugees who have been granted asylum in Clarkston, just outside of Atlanta.
The Coffee Stop is a non-profit organization that focuses on job creation, training, and community advocacy for refugees acclimating to their new surroundings.
The original Red Refuge Coffee Truck still operates in downtown Clarkston, and Murray recently expanded to open 2 additional locations in the Atlanta metro area. Their latest fall offerings include Caramel Apple Cider, Pumpkin Lattes, and Honey Cinnamon Lattes.
B-Side Cafe at Deer and The Dove
Address: 151 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030
Why you need to go: This newly opened cafe is located next to chef-run restaurant The Deer and the Dove in the heart of Decatur, hence the name “B-Side.”
The store is located in Decatur Square, easily accessible from Marta Decatur Station. With its faded exposed brick wall, forest green accents, and banquettes adorned with camel-colored leather belts, this place has a distinct vibe.
Side B is known for its fresh, wood-fired bagels and offers cortados, cold brews, lattes, batch-brewed coffees, and a generous menu including fresh schmears, sandwiches, and burgers.
East Pole Coffee Co.
Address: 255 Ottley Dr. Ste. 105 Atlanta, Georgia 30324
Why you need to go: Before coffee culture even existed in Atlanta, there was East Pole Coffee Co. The store at Armor Yards has a simple, simplistic industrial feel, with a very limited menu.
Their modus operandi is focused on transparency: there is a roastery behind glass where customers can see how their coffee is produced. Although East Pole’s original location is located just off Atlanta’s famous Beltline, one doesn’t just stumble upon the cafe. Still, there is a very devoted following that continues to frequent the place. (Hint: it must be the coffee!)
The company distributes its coffees to various restaurants and breweries in the city and recently opened a second location in Poncey-Highlands.
Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
Address: 501 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312
Why you should go: Their name derives from an Aldous Huxley novel, and they pride themselves on being community-focused and forward-thinking, providing a space that encourages artistic dialogue.
It’s one of the most Instagrammed spots in town, but the baristas here are as approachable as they are passionate about their coffee. Chrome Yellow Trading Co. offers amazing drip coffee infused with homemade syrups made from local ingredients. Their latest concoction – Orange Almond Syrup – beckons us for fall.
Alchemist Trading Co.
Address: 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd Suite 138, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Why you need to go: If Harry Potter was a barista, his coffee would probably look a lot like this place. Alchemist Trading Co. has a cafe with geodes, a brick wall painted like the solar system, and coffee concoctions poured from scientific beakers.
This gem of a cafe located in Atlanta’s northern suburb of Johns Creek has a distinct otherworldly vibe and great coffee.
Their signature is their Dutch beer – a process that involves a slow 20-hour dripping from a medieval-looking device. They also make specialty drinks such as The Matcha-Spanner, a heavenly concoction of Dutch coffee, sweet heavy cream and matcha extract.
All research done in this article is by the author. Restaurants never pay to be on Narcity’s “Best Of” lists; furthermore, this list represents a showcase of great spots, and is not a numbered ranking.