The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte
Photo by tradeandloreclt

The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte

By Julia Forbes
Tuesday, Mar 20 2018

If you're a caffeine fiend, Charlotte is booming with coffee shops and roasters to try. Whether it’s a silky smooth latte or a carefully crafted pour over, the baristas of the Queen City have you covered. Here are 15 amazing Charlotte coffee shops that every coffee lover should check out.

Fuel up!

Get A Caffeine Buzz at Not Just Coffee at Not Just Coffee - Atherton
Photo by @cltchomp

Not Just Coffee

NJC has unique, vibrant, and ultra-hip locations in five different locations within the city. Founded by owners Miracle and James Yoder, this family-owned coffee chain really prides itself on the education and quality of their coffee. It shows through delicious drinks like the vanilla sugar latte or a nitrogen infused cold brew. As the name hints, they also offer a variety of delicious adult beverages, teas, and even a wide food menu at their new Dilworth location. Pro tip: for a chill brunch day, check out this location for avocado toast with sundried tomatoes paired with a cold brew coffee. Plus, their Instagram is aesthetic is on point and worth checking out.

Get A Caffeine Buzz at Not Just Coffee
$   .  Not Just Coffee - Atherton   .  Charlotte
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Score Authentic Creations at Lincoln's Haberdashery at Lincolns Haberdashery
Photo by @cltchomp

Lincoln's Haberdashery

LH is arguably one of the hottest hangouts in the city right now. This place is a hipster’s paradise- peruse the items and foodstuffs for sale. You’ll see delicious pastries in the case, a wide variety of wine and craft beers, and prayer candles of the Golden Girls. The coffee menu is just as interesting—the seasonal menu includes a “Rosy in the Streets” latte with champagne marshmallow versus “Spicy in the Sheets” latte with Guajillo caramel.

Score Authentic Creations at Lincoln's Haberdashery
$   .  Lincolns Haberdashery   .  Charlotte
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Sip a Purfect Brew at Mac Tabby Cat Café at Mac Tabby Cat Cafe
Photo by @_alllicat

Mac Tabby Cat Café

Cat cafes are super popular all over the country right now, and Charlotte just got one! Sip on Lenny Boy Kombucha or a Pure Intentions Coffee. All the cats at Mac Tabby are adoptable as well! Look for cat yoga classes, parties, and events happening daily here. If you wanna chill with the feline fur babies on your own, make sure to secure a slot via their website’s “Book Meow” tab. It’s $12 an hour, but so worth it.

Sip a Purfect Brew at Mac Tabby Cat Café
$   .  Mac Tabby Cat Cafe   .  Charlotte
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Sip a Signature Brew at Waterbean Coffee at Waterbean Coffee
Photo by @waterbeancoffee

Waterbean Coffee

Waterbean has a unique array of coffee and tea that you won’t find anywhere else in the Charlotte area! French Press, AeroPress, and personal pour overs are all options that await you on the menu. Delicious Vietnamese coffee, and lattes are served with a chocolate covered coffee bean on the side. The tea and macaron menu are incredible as well. Not sold yet? You can get a coffee tasting flight, and also a “Mochigatto” which is Waterbean’s take on an affogato. Coffee is poured over the Japanese ice cream. Check out their Uptown location—they have parking!

Sip a Signature Brew at Waterbean Coffee
$   .  Waterbean Coffee   .  Charlotte
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Grab a Coffee and a Cronut at Coco and The Director at Coco and the Director
Photo by @cltbests

Coco and The Director

Hands down one of the coolest spaces to hang in—opt to lounge on long wooden beams covered in pillows with friends, or grab a table on the top floor to do some work. C&D serves fair trade, single origin coffee to give the people of Charlotte the best coffee. Choose from pour overs, flat whites, mochas, and even get your cold brew growler filled up here. Pair it with one of the infamous kronuts (croissant donuts) from local baker @sugarrmann.

Grab a Coffee and a Cronut at Coco and The Director
$   .  Coco and the Director   .  Charlotte
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Fuel Up at South End Grind at South End Grind
Photo by @cltchomp

South End Grind

You can make an educated guess as to where to shop is located. From espresso, lattes, and even the mythical coffee in a cone, South End Grind has the answer to all of your coffee prayers. Housed in a super modern, minimalist space you can kick back and sip on your drink. Make sure to check out the variety of blends being freshly brewed at SEG from roaster Pure Intentions Coffee.

Fuel Up at South End Grind
$   .  South End Grind   .  Charlotte
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Sip & Search at Subsecreto at Subsecreto
Photo by @cltchomp

Subsecreto

Nestled in First Ward, Subsecreto is a spot serving up craft coffee and curiosity. The brainchild of two creatives, their motto is “Search for Secrets”. The coffee menu is bewitching, choose from drinks like “The Crucible” with turmeric and ginger or “Darkside” with El Paraiso espresso and onyx chocolate. Sip and shop while looking at jewelry and other products handmade from local artisans.

Sip & Search at Subsecreto
$   .  Subsecreto   .  Charlotte
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Add Some Sunshine to Your Day at Sunflour Baking at Sunflour Baking Company
Photo by @passportsandpancakes

Sunflour Baking Company

Sunflour is home to legendary cheddar biscuits and sweet treats. Their coffee is just as amazing, thanks to Pure Intentions and Counter Culture Coffee Roasters. All of their syrups are made in house, like their caramel and vanilla bean. Add a shot to your drip coffee, or try a French Press to bring out the complex flavor of the coffee. Don’t miss out on their dirty mocha latte with double espresso shots, white chocolate, and dark chocolate!

Add Some Sunshine to Your Day at Sunflour Baking
$   .  Sunflour Baking Company   .  Charlotte
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Sip Something Good at Central Coffee Co. South End at Central Coffee Co. South End

Central Coffee Co.

With two locations in Plaza Midwood and South End, this local coffee joint reminds one of the famous Seattle coffeehouses. Couches, tables to work at, and an overall warm atmosphere are some of the highlights of Central Coffee Co. Opened by owners Joey and Louisa Kleto, Central works to give back to the community and have a positive impact. The baristas will greet you cheerfully when you walk in. Just wait until you see the coffee menu, it’s extensive. Grab a pastry from the case and chill on a couch with your java. Make sure to try one of the flavors and syrups made in house, such as lavender and brown sugar.

Sip Something Good at Central Coffee Co. South End
$   .  Central Coffee Co. South End   .  Charlotte
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Drive Through CupLux For High Quality Coffee at CupLux Coffee Drive-Thru
Photo by @enderlycoffeeco

CupLux

Charlotte’s drive-thru coffee shop comes in clutch on days where you need a coffee fix while on the go. The seasonal menus are legit, the espresso sodas and lattes are incredibly flavorful. All syrups are made in house, and coffee roasters are rotated every few months to introduce new companies to the Charlotte coffee drinking community. Owner Ian is one of the most positive and kind humans alive, and the staff is incredibly friendly and conversational at the window. Pro tip: bring your fur child by, they keep dog treats by the window for your pet.

Drive Through CupLux For High Quality Coffee
$   .  CupLux Coffee Drive-Thru   .  Charlotte
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Sip on Something Good at Smelly Cat at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse
Photo by @mkgloll

Smelly Cat Coffeehouse

A quirky little coffee shop located in the heart of NoDa with a name you won't ever forget, Smelly Cat is an award-winning coffee roaster and shop with some seriously good snacks and drinks. Don’t miss out on their frappes, made with espresso and any house syrup of your choosing. Toasted coconut frappe for the win!

Sip on Something Good at Smelly Cat
$   .  Smelly Cat Coffeehouse   .  Charlotte
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Find Craft Coffee at Trade and Lore at Trade and Lore
Photo by @tradeandloreclt

Trade and Lore

Trade and Lore shares space with Salud Cervaceria and the vibes are unparalleled. Picture this: greenery and lights draped from the ceiling, dark wood booths, colorful artwork, and cozy nooks brightened with fun fabrics. Bonus, there’s coffee, tea, and beer on tap. Speaking of coffee on tap, their nitro cold brew served in a luchador glass is a great way to get your caffeine fix. Sit at the marble countertops and sip on a seasonal latte and listen to local musicians play tunes.

Find Craft Coffee at Trade and Lore
$   .  Trade and Lore   .  Charlotte
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Grab a Coffee at Hex Espresso Bar at HEX Espresso Bar
Photo by @cltchomp

Hex Espresso Bar

This small coffee counter housed inside of Good Bottle Company in South End has a lot of charm. With geometric designs and a minimalist atmosphere, sip on seasonal lattes like the “Rose Hips Don’t Lie” infused with rosebuds or a cold brew and browse the brews for sale in the shop. They roast their coffee beans, giving a unique flavor that you can buy and bring home to brew for yourself.

Grab a Coffee at Hex Espresso Bar
$   .  HEX Espresso Bar   .  Charlotte
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Amuse Your Bouche at Amelie's Uptown at Amelie's French Bakery & Café Uptown
Photo by @cltchomp

Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe

Bonjour, Amelie’s! Known for its 24 hour NoDa location, there are also locations now in Uptown and Park Road. Sit amongst the eclectic, vibrant furnishings and sip on a salted caramel brownie cafe mocha, or opt for creme brulee French soda with a shot of espresso. Any of the French sodas, coffee beverages, and teas here are sure to be decadent and delicious.

Amuse Your Bouche at Amelie's Uptown
$   .  Amelie's French Bakery & Café Uptown   .  Charlotte
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Savor a Bite at The People's Market at The People’s Market
Photo by @cltchomp

The People's Market

Who doesn’t love a good coffee and a vegan donut? Charlotte Coffee Co. is one of People’s Market coffee suppliers, and it is so fun to go to the counter and order a “Freedom Park Dark Roast” or a “Crowders Mountain Blend”. If you’re new to the QC, these are some the city’s beloved hangouts. The atmosphere here is fun, with upbeat music and colorful art on the walls. Prepare to set up shop at one of their many countertops or tables and chill for hours on end. This is a great spot to grind out some work as well.

Savor a Bite at The People's Market
$   .  The People’s Market   .  Charlotte
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A foodie on a quest to find the best locally owned places! Follow my Instagram @cltchomp, Facebook, or read more about my visits on my blog!
The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte
The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte