Good morning, Raleigh. ☀️If you’re like us, you’re always on the hunt for a perfect cup of joe served in cozy + eclectic atmospheres. Coffee shops are a great place to visit when you want to escape the hustle and bustle, catch up on the neighborhood gossip, visit with friends, read a good book, or just feel like you’ve escaped quarantine for a bit.
Did you know? The tiny powerful beans that make up your morning brew have been bringing communities together since the 15th century.
This guide is meant to help you find your next go-to coffee spot, since Raleigh is brimming with cafés that each stand out in their own way. Whether you’re looking to sip locally roasted coffee or try Taiwanese tea, the city’s handcrafted beverage offerings can appease any coffee fanatic.
Perk up your daily routine with some of our featured coffee houses. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to let us know if we missed any of your local faves + be sure to share this list with your favorite coffee cohort.
This café emulates the experience of stepping into an authentic French patisserie. Their menu features a variety of crafted beverages, pastries, and savory lunch offerings. Founder + chef Daniel Benjamin has brought his expertise of working for some of the country’s top pastry chefs right to the heart of downtown Raleigh. TryThis: macaron ice cream sandwich + iced Larry’s coffee.
If you’re looking for an Asian inspired shop that features coffee, teas, sake, pastries, and entrees, look no further. Their coffee menu offers beans originating from South America and Africa + all brewed teas are sourced from Taiwan, Laos, or Japan. The kitchen offers Asian fusion dishes inspired by Southeast Asia from breakfast to dinner.
This coffee shop is now in their “soft launch” reopening mode to bring back their drinks to-go. All tea, coffee, and milk is sourced locally from NC. The summer menu includes iced tea, nitro cold brew, lattes, drip coffee + so many other café classics. You can also pick up extras like syrups and pastries to top off your order.
Working directly with the communities abroad from where they source their coffee, this shop is all about fostering direct trade relationships with dedicated farmers worldwide. All the coffee used in their specialized beverages are roasted by Counter Culture Coffee in Durham. If you’re craving a quick bite their menu features breakfast staples and sandwiches. TryThis: biscuit with sweet blueberry compote or the bacon pimento sandwich.
☕ BREW Coffee Bar
BREW is known for its hot chocolate + cortados, nitro cold brew, and drip coffees.This family-owned café partners with Triangle-area businesses for their selection of food, beer + coffee. You can pick up small bites like bagels and granola to accompany your beverage order.
Founded by John and Jeanne Luther, this family-owned coffee shop has served Durham-made Counter Culture Coffee in Raleigh for 8 years. Their menu is split into morning, day, and evening offerings + they craft their coffee into hot and iced drinks with various flavored syrup options. Aside from lattes and cold brews, you can purchase loose leaf tea, smoothies, beer, and wine.
Founded in 2015 by twin sisters Amanda and Ashley, the coffee bar emulates childhood nostalgia inspired by the sisters’ neighborhood treehouse. The decor of the café is composed of discarded items + artwork from 50 local artists. All of their coffee is roasted in Durham, and they source their milk from NC State’s Howling Cow.
This quaint coffee shop was founded in Spring 2020 (yes, during the pandemic) by a husband-and-wife team with a mission to be your go-to neighborhood coffee house. Their menu features a daily assortment of pastries, teas, seasonal beverages, hot + iced coffees, and house made syrups. TryThis: the strawberry mocha + treats from Layered Croissanterie.
For the past 30 years, this coffee company has been a staple in Raleigh. With two locations, you can pick up daily specials like Milkshake Monday and Thursday Mocha Madness.The shop also features artists through their calendar installation program, showcasing local work in both spaces. All coffee is roasted in house + they have savory and sweet menu options, including a keto breakfast.
Established in 1994, this coffee shop is owned by David Benson — the artist that designed the acorn for the New Year’s Eve acorn drop. The atmosphere is meant to be cozy + eclectic with a menu featuring go-to drinks like Café Au Lait or chai tea. You can also pick up any of their sandwich or salad options inspired by global cuisine.
This coffee house offers the usual classics + coffee and tea cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available) and bubble tea. Their menu features an array of beverages, small bites, burritos, sandwiches, waffles, and grab-n-go meals. ProTip: Don’t forget to check out the art while you’re there.
When visiting this shop — located inside the Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown — the iconography of a friendly panda will greet you. B&W brings coffee beans from around the world straight to the Oak City. Want even more? The subscription service delivers a favorite coffee of the month right to your doorstep, and you’re looking to brush up on your coffee knowledge and creation skills, B&W also offers classes ranging from espresso to brew.
Inspired by the waffles of Brussels and Luxembourg — plus serving up traditional Italian coffee — this shop was opened in 2010 by husband-and-wife team Steven and Keta Halaszi. Their menu features authentic Belgian waffles, savory bites, pastries, tea + roasted coffee from South America and Africa. They also have a cycling club with Tuesday evening rides and events in the Raleigh area.
As a specialty coffee roaster, this coffee company opened their coffee in 2019 serving up their on-site roasted coffee. Their coffee bar serves java classics + teas, juices, and a wide variety of milk alternatives. If you’re looking to drink + munch they get fresh daily deliveries of baked goods from Strong Arm Baking and veggie burritos from Umma Foods.
This new “coffee lab” is soon to open this summer in their new Glenwood South location. Once opening the café they will serve coffee from Black and White + other offerings to be announced.
This modern meets mid-century inspired café offers small batch coffee hand roasted on site + specialty items including Vietnamese coffee and banh mi. The shop will be opening soon, so look out on their website for updates.
Contributed by Phoenix Berman