Charleston is one of the most charming cities in the South, known for its southern charm, historical landmarks, and vibrant culinary scene. Amidst the picturesque streets and cobblestone alleyways, you’ll discover an array of coffee shops that will give you that pep in your step whenever you need it.
From cozy hideaways to trendy urban spaces, Charleston’s coffee scene offers a rich tapestry of flavors, artistry, and community. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado seeking the perfect espresso or a casual connoisseur in search of a warm cup of joe, this guide will unveil some of the best coffee shops that Charleston has to offer.
Best Coffee Shops in Charleston
1. Kudu Coffee & Craft Bee
A simple interior, a roomy outdoor space, amazing coffee, and local craft beer. What more could one ask for in a coffee shop? Well, let’s start with the menu. Besides coffee, you’ll also find a selection of hot and iced coffees and nitro cold brews, and a variety of food options including sandwiches, bagels, muffins, salads, and quiche, meaning it’s also a wonderful Charleston breakfast stop.
If you want a coffee refill, you’ll get a discount on your second cup. There’s no Wi-Fi here, so it’s a great place to head to if you just want to unplug and relax.
2. Mercantile and Mash
Before you get on with all the best things to do in Charleston for the day, consider a stop at Mercantile and Mash. What can be said about Mercantile and Mash? Well for one, it’s one of the most well-known coffee shops in the city for a combination of gourmet caffeinated beverages and quality food.
It’s also located in a former cigar factory but you wouldn’t think so judging by the stylish interior! Take a seat at the bar or find a comfortable workstation to catch up on email. Indulge with a sweet latte, espresso or hot, or cold coffee.
If you like something a little extra sweet on top, try one of the signature syrups. A visit to the Merc and Mash is the perfect start to any day of exploring Charleston or the perfect place to take a break from exploring.
As you approach Huriyali, you won’t have any problem picking it out amongst the other buildings because it’s bright blue! The interior is just as eye-popping with its chic décor and laid-back atmosphere. Coffee is always on and you can expect a rich, perfect cup every time.
If you crave something different, try the chickpea blondie or oat milk latte. A variety of food options are also available including delicious nachos and burritos. For those who don’t wish to get hyped up on caffeine, there’s fresh juice on the menu.
4. Second State Coffee
For locals, Second State Coffee is a favorite coffee shop in Charleston and it’s a favorite for visitors who can find it! If you stick to the main tourist areas of the city, you’d never know this amazing place exists. It’s tucked away in a cozy, simple building on King Street.
If you want to mingle with the locals, this is the place to go. It does get crowded but there’s lots of seating so you can sit down and take in the low-key, relaxing atmosphere. A distinctive feature of this café is the selection of homemade syrups that change with the seasons.
There’s a variety of caffeinated beverages available including some you’ve likely never heard of before like the Sweet Potato Latte. Avail of the excellent Wi-Fi service that is offered to catch up on things back home while you sip on your beverage.
5. Sightsee Shop
From the outside, Sightsee Shop looks unassuming but upon entering, you’ll realize looks really can be deceiving! This coffee shop is geared towards travelers and is a favorite among visitors from all over.
The shop also sells more than just coffee although the coffee, with its nutty and robust taste, is definitely a top draw. Inside, you’ll also find souvenirs, local artworks and other items that are hand-picked for the café’s typical clientele.
If you don’t make it to the shop, you may see the vintage Volkswagon bus that sometimes drives around town serving coffee and other goodies
6. Clerks Coffee Company
Not only does Clerks Coffee Company serve some of the best coffee in town, but it’s also one of the best places to go if you need to catch up on things back home or do some work on your laptop or phone.
With free Wi-Fi and a spacious seating area with plenty of tables, you won’t have a problem finding a quiet space to do whatever you need to get done while sipping your morning Joe. The café, which is situated downtown inside the Emeline Hotel, is often overlooked because it’s not right on the side of any main street.
The coffee served here is made with high-quality beans but if you want to try something other than plain coffee, the iced matcha and various espresso concoctions are popular choices on the menu.
7. The Daily
Located on King Street in Downtown Charleston, The Daily is a bright and modern café that specializes in lattes. Of course, those who are just in the mood for their usual morning coffee have that choice too and there are many other delicious beverages on offer including ube milk tea and whipped cold brews.
On the menu, you’ll also find a selection of food items including wraps, burritos, pastries and other sweet treats. If coffee is not your thing but you want something that’ll give you a boost to start the day, try one of the energizing smoothies.
8. The Harbinger
The Harbinger is a charming little coffee shop serving specialty coffee made with beans from the iconic Charleston Coffee Plantation and healthier-for-you food items, many of which are plant-based and gluten-free.
Relax in a cozy ambiance featuring vintage touches and unique ornaments. The veggie quinoa and cheese sandwich are popular items on the menu and any meal is topped perfectly with a café au lait, cappuccino, macchiato, or Americano.
Seeking something you’ve never tried before? Perhaps the Maple Latte is just the thing for you!
9. Harken Cafe & Bakery
Have you ever tried a lavender latte? It’s sweet, delicious, and energizing, and at Harken Café & Bakery, you can find this delicious caffeinated treat along with many other things including some of the best coffee in Charleston!
As soon as you come through the door, you feel as if you left the city and walked into a downhome country kitchen. Start your visit by eyeing the sweet display in search of something to go with your caffeinated beverage.
There are scones, loaves and biscuits but for something more filling to start your day of exploring Charleston, try a quiche or some avocado toast. Get ready for generous portions!
10. The Rise
At The Rise, the featured item is the delicious Rosemary Latte, a unique hot beverage that you won’t see in many other places. Of course, if you just want a cup of plain coffee, there’s that too along with a selection of iced beverages and flavored lattes.
Wi-Fi is available inside and on the side patio and because this coffee shop is situated inside one of the city’s best hotels, The Restoration, it’s the perfect place to take a break if you’re exploring or shopping in the downtown area.
11. Charleston Coffee Exchange
We’re ending this list of the best coffee shops in Charleston with one of the most famous in the city. Indulge in the epitome of Charleston’s coffee culture at The Charleston Coffee Exchange.
As a beloved coffee shop and wholesale coffee roaster since 2006, they have established themselves as a leading purveyor of exceptional coffee in the Southeast. With a commitment to quality, they meticulously roast and brew the finest beans, captivating the palates of locals and visitors alike.
Step into their inviting space and embark on a journey of exquisite flavors that have made The Charleston Coffee Exchange a cherished destination for coffee enthusiasts throughout the region.
EXPLORE THE AREA
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Plan For Your Trip to the South!
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