So, who has the best cup of coffee in Charlotte? And I'm not talking about Starbucks, y'all. There seems to be one on every corner. Okay, not really, but they certainly dominate the coffee scene here. I'd say, we can do better than that… So I've made it my mission to find the best coffee in town. I must say, it's been a fun and tasty mission.
Pretty much every weekend involves some sort of exploring, whether it’s a neighborhood, apartment complex, or place to eat/drink (coffee included!) I like to think of it as professional development ;) Kevin and I have covered lots of ground- from South End and Uptown to Dilworth and NoDa. I’m happy to report that I’ve found the best cup in the city. That is of course, in my opinion. But based on the wait time for a cup of this coffee (over 15 minutes!) I'd say, it's certainly not just my favorite! So without further ado…
The absolute best coffee in Charlotte: Not Just Coffee. With locations at 7th Street Public Market and Atherton Mill, and now Packard Place, getting our weekend caffeine fix is terribly convenient. They must do a little magic behind the counter because the flavor or their drinks is impeccable (read: addicting.) Without fail, we go every weekend and order a Vanilla Sugar Latte. I think everyone else does, too. They of course serve other things but it's hard to not recognize the "VSL" written by the baristas on everyone's cup. NJC uses great beans, which is obviously a huge differentiating factor between them and the competition. Most of the time, they’re using Counter Culture coffee, which happens to be one of my favorites (usually what we brew at home.) They also have a dairy free option- almond milk, which I always get and actually prefer it to cow’s milk in the latte. It’s sweet and nutty and warms my heart and soul. Can you tell I adore coffee? Another great thing about both Not Just Coffee locations is that they’re located in markets- so in addition to coffee, you can get a crepe, a grilled cheese, a great dessert, a pretzel, pizza, and a wonderful assortment of local produce, meats, and so much more. We have a habit of getting a VSL with a Banana Berry Cin crepe from Hazelnuts at the 7th Street Public Market. So, so good! And a must try for anyone who is visiting Charlotte.
Is it Saturday yet...?
And now for some other great spots to grab coffee in Charlotte (sans Starbucks.)
Hex Coffee (NEW!) - South End
A coffee shop within a bottle shop- genius! We love this little spot right on Remount. Their almond milk lattes are legit. They also told us they're working on some even more "alternative" milks including pistachio! Can't wait for that one.
Crispy Crepe - South End.
Super fun lattes for the not so serious coffee drinker. Try the Cookie Butter Latte- sweet and slightly spicy. And duh, get a crepe!
Amelie’s – NoDa + Uptown + Carmel
Gotta love this Charlotte dessert institution. I don't know about you but coffee pairs perfectly with pastry. Love their eclairs and fruit tarts. And the Uptown location never closes.
Smelly Cat- NoDa
Dropped in here a few times and love their lattes. Their almond milk is beyond- with a nice, milk sweetness, that requires nothing else.
Sunflour Baking Company – Elizabeth + Dilworth
Love this cafe. So excited they opened a second location in Dilworth. They serve Counter Culture Coffee, hooray! Be sure to get a croissant- totally worth the calories.
Central Coffee Co. - Plaza Midwood + South End (Coming Soon!)
A solid cup is what you'll get at this Plaza Midwood staple. They're also bound to have some sort of vegan or gluten free goodie (donut, pie, dessert, etc.) And yes, they also have almond milk (score.) And even more exciting news, Central Coffee just signed a 5 year lease in South End- so soon, there'll be two locations. It should be opening up late Fall on Camden Road. Yay!