The Best Coffee in the Holy City
We love coffee! And coffee loves us. Coffee keeps us going. For many, it is the first thing they reach for in the morning, and then a few more times throughout the day. But coffee is more than just a caffeine boost. Coffee is culture. Coffee is a first date, a business meeting, a study session, a book reading, a long layover, a mood booster and an ice-breaker. And oh the versatility: Strong coffee, mild coffee, lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, americanos, macchiatos. Finding a place to get coffee pretty much anywhere is not very difficult, especially after certain chain brands have swept the nation. As they say, all roads lead to… a Starbucks eventually. But finding good coffee can be difficult, especially when visiting or moving to a new city. We love quaint, local, artisan coffee shops. They weave differently and more intimately into its community than a national chain, and foster different relationships to other local businesses breweries, artists and schools. They are small community centers where people go to be alone, or to meet others. Students do their homework or study together. Something about the atmosphere and the scent of fresh coffee and baked goods lifts spirits. It helps us focus, get motivated and inspired. Many a CORE Language student has picked their local coffee shop as the classroom of choice. Not only do they have delicious coffee, but they have a uniquely peaceful atmosphere that is ideal for studying and learning. We love coffee, we love Charleston, and we love supporting local businesses. So here it is, our list of our 5 favorite coffee shops in Charleston, SC.
Second State Coffee (previously Black Tap), has two locations, one in Downtown, and one in Mt. Pleasant. The downtown location is within walking distance to the College of Charleston, so you can take a stroll through the College’s beautiful campus, or you can stay and enjoy your coffee and a baked good in their bright, boutique style shop. The Mt. Pleasant location is just over the Ravenel Bridge, and offers an extensive lunch menu and outdoor seating. Their locally roasted coffee combines combines delicious and exotic tasting notes. Guests can buy beans in the store, or can subscribe and have them shipped to their home every week, every other week, or every month.
Located in the North Charleston neighborhood of Park Circle, Orange Spot is a wonderful place to get one of the best tasting coffees in town. It was founded by a former member of the peace corps and her friend. During her travels, she found comfort and solace in visiting the same coffee shop, which featured an orange iced-tea drink, named Cha Yen, which inspired the name “Orange Spot”. Orange Spot is also a great place to grab a bite to eat. The menu includes various sandwiches and paninis, quiche and pastries, all of which you can enjoy indoors and outdoors.
Located in Mt. Pleasant, Metto Coffee & Tea is a small coffee shop with a delicious selection of salads, made-from-scratch pastries, a locally famous home-made quiche, and of course, great coffee with unique tasting notes and flavors. For those in a hurry, Metto has a convenient drive-thru window. For those who are not, there is cozy indoor and outdoor seating. Metto also offers catering services!
Started back in 2005, serving only coffee, Kudu now offers an extensive selection of local craft beer and wine, a light food and snack menu, and great tasting, locally roasted coffee, which guests and their dogs can enjoy in their beautiful outdoor courtyard. In 2018, Kudu, which is located conveniently in the heart of downtown Charleston, was featured in Reader’s Digests’ list of the best coffee shops in all 50 states.
A little tucked away, East Coast coffee is located right off of Dorchester Rd, within a few minutes of the Bosch Charleston plant. Not only is their coffee delicious, but their freshly prepared breakfast bowls, and their fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies are as well. Their indoor seating is open and spacious, and their outdoor seating is next to a quiet turtle pond, perfect for reading and studying.