Raleigh has many wonderful coffee shops, but the Triangle coffee scene is so much bigger than any one city. Whether you're on the road to find a new café, hunt down a sensational season coffee (guilty) or just exploring the vibe of a new town, here are seven coffee shops across the Triangle that are more than worth the drive from Raleigh.
Perennial evokes memories of the classic cozy coffee shop tucked away in a narrow but inviting urban environment. The smartly designed two-story seating area with its exposed brick walls offers a peaceful respite to escape the bustle of Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street and is the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon treat. The iced mint latte is a favorite here. Made with fresh crushed mint, housemade mint simple syrup, and farm fresh milk mixed with a double shot of espresso over ice!
If you're looking for coffee on the go, Packhouse is your spot! This cute drive-thru coffee hut next to the railroad crossing in Youngsville is a must visit. While you’re up that way there is also a fun little antique shop next door to explore. Serving up locally roasted Red Roaster Coffee, this small coffee shop has it all offering coffee, espresso and smoothies. The fall menu has several seasonal drinks including a pumpkin cheesecake latte and an autumn spiced cold brew.
Located in the heart of downtown Wendell, 41 is a beautiful and spacious cafe with tons of seating options including large comfy chairs and a couch making it the perfect spot for meeting friends or a quiet afternoon of studying. In addition to coffee, they have a nice selection of baked goods and sandwiches. The baristas always have tasty drink suggestions with fall seasonal drink favorites including a white chocolate pumpkin spiced latte and their popular cinnamon spiced apple juice topped with homemade whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
Gray Squirrel recently moved into their new and much bigger space off Main Street in downtown Carrboro with a cool modern look inside and some great outdoor seating on the front patio. They roast their own coffee beans in house and are known for their amazing espresso drinks and cold brew made using the Japanese Kyoto-Style cold drip method that uses large glass towers. A must visit for any coffee nerd!
Cocoa Cinnamon’s Lakewood shop is their third location and serves as the headquarters for 4th Dimension Coffee roasting, the operation that supplies coffee beans for all their shops. No visit is complete without an order of freshly made hot churros to dip in your latte or sipping chocolate. The shop has a spacious community vibe and ample seating for large groups. This fall, look for special menu items like their Mayan-inspired hot chocolate and a harvest latte made with housemade pumpkin seed and cinnamon syrup, and spiced with ginger, allspice and cayenne.
When you go to Stewart’s Bistro in Wake Forest make sure you go hungry. Part coffee shop and part cafe’ Stewart’s serves up some tasty Carrboro Coffee alongside an impressive breakfast and lunch menu. One of their special drinks this fall is a maple pancake latte. For those with a sweet tooth, try the butterbeer made from a blend of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch combined with steamed half and half and topped with whipped cream!
Just a short drive from downtown Raleigh Full Bloom is a nice escape in downtown Garner. The shop is housed in a beautiful two-story historic building located just a few doors down from their own coffee roasting operation. Unlike most shops in the area, the baristas here use a manual press machine to pull shots of espresso. Be sure to check out both their cinnamon and peppermint infused organic cold brew coffee. Bonus, they recently starting offering local beers on tap.