CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - Visiting the area and looking to fuel your caffeine addiction? There are more than just your typical chain coffee shops to choose from. In hot or cold weather, there is a locally-owned coffee shop for you.
- Starting in the Mount Pleasant area, first on the list is Owl Bear Cafe. This gem is located just minutes from Isle of Palms with a cute indoor and outdoor area. The menu includes breakfast and lunch items all made in their kitchen. Their coffee goes down smooth and is never bitter. From coffee to tea, kombucha, and even beer and wine, you are guaranteed to find something for you. Still, the most unique aspect of this cafe is the vast board game options available to play at any time. A must-try: the homemade almond butter toast with an iced honey latte.
- Next on our list is Tidal Grounds Coffee, nestled right off of Highway 17 and Highway 41 in Mount Pleasant. The friendly faces, high-quality coffee, and spacious indoor/outdoor seating area is worth the drive. Always willing to strike up a conversation, the baristas won’t hesitate to recommend a drink based on your personal preferences. With over 10 flavors to choose from, there’s a drink for you. A must-try coffee: the honey cinnamon latte. Order it hot or iced and you won’t be disappointed. Not to mention the music playing in the cafe is always a 10/10.
- Next up: Brown Fox Coffee Co. This walkup coffee shop sits in the heart of the Old Village in Mount Pleasant with the most friendly baristas and the most unique drinks. The outdoor seating area is perfect on a warm, sunny day to meet friends or take it to-go and go for a stroll around the historic Old Village. A must-try drink: The Biz. This signature drink is an Americano with smooth hazelnut, cream, and an extra shot for a kick of caffeine. It is no wonder that this is one of the most ordered drinks on the menu. Overall, this is a must-try coffee shop right off of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant.
- One of the most underrated coffee shops on this list is absolutely Sena Cafe in Mount Pleasant. This European cafe is family-owned with its own unique delectable pastries, cakes, breakfast and lunch items, and more. The coffee is smooth and not bitter in any way. The cafe has immense indoor seating but on a sunny day, hang out outside on their spacious patio to enjoy a bite. Some must-tries: the lobster roll and the chipotle black bean burger, as for coffee, a cappuccino. An extra perk: the cafe is open late on most days in case you need a late-night pick-me-up.
- Cooper River Coffee Roasters is a quirky and hippy coffee shop located off of Ben Sawyer Boulevard, just minutes from Sullivan’s Island. They roast their own coffee in small batches available for pick up whenever you so desire. The espresso is delicious and you can tell the owners put a lot of effort into their craft. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions for coffee as they are extremely helpful and want you to have the best experience possible!
- The last shop that makes this list in Mount Pleasant is Metto Coffee and Tea, hidden off of Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. This quaint coffee stop has its own drive-thru, indoor seating, as well as a beautiful patio. The inside is cozy with comfortable seats and welcoming staff. Their vast menu almost guarantees that there is something for you. Their coffee is flavorful and they make their sauces in-house. When in need of a quick pick-me-up, Metto is the perfect place to hit the drive-thru for quality coffee.
- Hopping over the other side of the Ravenel Bridge, no matter where you’re coming from you will want to try The Daily. Located off of King Street, there is ample parking for all customers. They offer great service and are always friendly no matter what. They sell locally crafted items from totes, and t-shirts, all the way to the coffee they brew every day. The Daily slings coffee like no one’s business and offers a wide variety of flavors to compliment the notes in the coffee. Their menu varies from sweet to savory items made in their kitchen. Must-try coffee: the bananas foster iced latte.
- For one of the most charming coffee shops on this list, we’ve got City Lights Coffee. They moved out of their spot off of Market Street and will soon be opening again in late summer of 2022 off of Line Street. This tiny coffee shop was decorated with aged wood from top to bottom and had the coziest, inviting interior. For being in business for over 15 years, they have no doubt perfected the coffee shop aesthetic. Their lattes have incredible flavor and are whipped up in just minutes by baristas who make an effort to strike up a conversation with you. Once open again, try their peppermint mocha (available all year long!). This laid-back coffee shop is worth the trip if you are looking for a more chill, less intimidating environment.
- Also located off of Line Street is the hidden gem Sightsee. This coffee stop has its own gift shop inside where they sell their own merchandise for purchase. Enjoy a tasty coffee from one of their monthly guest roasters while you browse their collection. They also create their own Spotify playlists which are a must-listen.
- Moving on up the peninsula, our list continues with The Rise Coffee Bar. Located off of Wentworth Street underneath the Restoration Hotel, this modern coffee shop has a simple, yet tasty array of coffee and syrups to accompany. There is limited seating inside, but their patio is shady and perfect for a warm, summer day. A must-try coffee is their vanilla almond latte, a unique set of flavors that is hard to beat.
- Just a few minutes’ walk from The Rise is Second State Coffee located on Beaufain Street. This tiny shop sits snug in a neighborhood, has tons of windows and seating perfect for getting work done. Their coffee menu is simple, yet effective. They also have locations all over Mount Pleasant.
- Heading down to the market can be tiring and require a mid-day pick-me-up. Clerks Coffee Company located in the Emeline hotel is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and sit comfortably until you’re ready to hit the town again. It’s also a perfect place to bring out a laptop to get some work done. A must-try coffee is by far their dulce de leche latte.
- Next on the list is Harken Cafe located farther up the peninsula on Queen Street. This coffee shop is a character with a dark, vintage aesthetic and some of the best vibes. They play smooth jazz while you sip on your coffee and munch on one of their handcrafted items from their kitchen. Overall a must-try cafe.
- Take the drive to Highfalutin Coffee Roasters as it is most definitely worth your trip. Located in the West Ashley area, they roast their own beans to guarantee a quality sip every time. Grab a seat at the bar, a table by the window, or choose a spot on their one-of-a-kind patio. Order a cold brew or their chai latte and you’re set.
- Still hanging in West Ashley? You must try Charleston Coffee Exchange. They are a coffee shop and a wholesale roaster that creates their very own K-Cups! From flavored coffee to your traditional medium roast, there is definitely something catered just to you. The cafe has a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of seating inside and outside. Try their special honey latte with cinnamon on top.
- Want to make your way to North Charleston? Orange Spot Coffee located in Park Circle is worth the drive. They’ve got a full menu from coffee and smoothies to breakfast and lunch. They are open all day every day, perfect for those who work 9-5.
- Also in North Charleston is Mixson Market located near Park Circle. Order a gourmet coffee or sandwich and browse their selection of merch, retail coffee, and other gifts right in their shop. Sit inside or outside and sip away. Definitely worth the drive!
- If you’re looking to explore Daniel Island, The Dime is the right place for you. This has a beautiful, sleek, welcoming interior perfect for whipping out a laptop and doing some work. Being right on the waterfront makes this spot unique with its views and of course, delicious coffee. Grab a seat inside, outside, or even walk down to the pier!
- Head into Summerville for a nice change of pace and check out Coastal Coffee Roasters while you make your way downtown. They roast their beans in-house to guarantee freshness when you order. Learn about the different blends and roasts of coffee they offer while you wait. They are dedicated, hard-working, and are definitely worth your visit.
- While hanging out in Downtown Summerville, be sure to try Cuppa Manna located in the historic district. This quaint cafe offers not only coffee but bubble tea as well. This charming cafe also offers breakfast and lunch with an incredible drink menu. Choose from over 30 flavor options to add to your coffee or tea and hang out!
This concludes the list of just 20 of the best coffee shops in the Charleston area. If you were unsure of where to start, hopefully, this has given you some guidance. These coffee shops are all must-tries if you’re visiting or even if you live in or around the Charleston area!
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