The ultimate guide to 30+ Charlotte coffee shops

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Shake up your same old coffee routine and explore some of the lesser known and new-to-you options around the city. Here I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Charlotte’s traditional cafes, small-scale coffee bars in multi-vendor venues, and counter service bakeries and restaurants with full espresso bars.

I’ve also got a roundup of 8 more coffee concepts (from a coffee and banh mi shop to a roaster-brewery combo) that will hit the scene later this year.

Not Just Coffee

This slick, minimalist shop is slowly taking over the Charlotte coffee scene with three prime locations and a fourth on the way.

Address: 224 E. 7th Street (7th Street Public Market), 222 S. Church Street (HQ), 2104 South Boulevard (Atherton Mill)
Neighborhood: First Ward, Third Ward, South End, Dilworth (coming soon!)
Food: Assorted baked goods from Whisk & Wood and Megan Forbes. The HQ location has an expanded food menu with parfaits, avocado toast, etc.
Notes: If you get coffee at NJC and don’t Instagram it, it didn’t happen.

HEX

This traveling espresso bar found a permanent home inside Good Bottle Co. No one’s complaining about the combination of beer and coffee.

Address: 125 Remount Road, Charlotte, NC, 28203
Neighborhood: South End
Food: Assorted baked goods from Whisk & Wood
Notes: In the summertime, the HEX Shandy (pictured below) is a required order — lemon juice, mint, simple syrup and cold brew. Trust me.

Score

This clothing boutique + cafe combo features an unexpected pour over coffee bar in the back of the shop where they serve up coffee, tea and homemade sweets. Try an alcohol-infused cupcake.

Address: 1200 E. 36th Street D, Charlotte, NC, 28205
Neighborhood: NoDa
Food: Assorted chocolates ($2.50), cookies ($2), virgin cupcakes ($3), alcohol-infused cupcakes ($5); Full Menu
Notes: Closed Sundays

Dilworth Coffee

Bypass Starbucks in favor of this local option at SouthPark Mall. They’ve got a few bistro tables so you can recharge and keep shopping.

Address: 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC, 28211
Neighborhood: SouthPark
Food: Smoothies, baked goods, grab-and-go snacks
Notes: Find it inside Belk. Mall employees get a discount.

For great coffee and service, stop into Dilworth Coffee on the main level of Belk in South Park Mall in Charlotte… See you soon!

Posted by Dilworth Coffee by Arthur's of Charlotte on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Central Coffee

Charlotte’s OG coffee shop expanded with a second location in South End earlier this year. Get a Central Shorty, owner Jimmy Kleto’s signature 6-ounce latte with a hint of vanilla.

Address: 719 Louise Avenue (original); 1700 Camden Road #101
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood and South End
Food: Muffins, pastries, cakes and some pretty legendary quiches
Notes: The quiche will change your life.

Corkscrew Coffee at The Vue

It’s wine by night and coffee by day at this cafe on the ground floor of The Vue.

Address: 215 N. Pine Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: Fourth Ward
Food: Small plates that pair better with wine than coffee — hummus, creamy spinach dip, cheese platters; Full Menu
Notes: Lots of hightop counter work stations if you want to bring your laptop.

inside-corkscrew-coffee

Rush Espresso

Address: 120 Brevard Court (Uptown), 14815 Ballantyne Village Way #140 (Ballantyne)
Neighborhood: Third Ward and Ballantyne
Food: The Uptown location is limited to assorted baked goods but the Ballantyne location has a full kitchen serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Full Menu.
Notes: The Uptown location (pictured below) is tucked away in Brevard Court. You’ll miss it from the so just follow the brick path.

Rush Espresso

Coco and the Director

Address: 100 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: Fourth Ward
Food: Sandwiches, baked goods, grab-and-go snacks
Notes: Find it inside the Marriott. Yes, people really do sit and work on the glowing staircase.

staircase-at-coco-and-the-director

The Third Place

This nonprofit, donation-based coffee house is located inside Caldwell Presbyterian Church.

Address: 1609 E. 5th Street, Charlotte, NC, 28204
Neighborhood: Elizabeth
Food: Assorted pastries
Notes: Instead of setting menu prices, they accept donations.

Mugs Coffee Shop

This cozy neighborhood cafe is a popular gathering spot for different social groups. They’ve got ample seating so you can settle in and get work done or bring a crew and socialize.

Address: 5126 Park Road #1D, Charlotte, NC, 28209
Neighborhood: Selwyn Park
Food: Assorted pastries
Notes: Check out their events for knitting groups, game nights, poetry slams and more.

mugs-coffee-shop-charlotte

Smelly Cat

This is a cozy coffee house with eclectic decor and an in-house roaster prominently displayed front and center.

Address: 514 E. 36th Street, Charlotte, NC 28205
Neighborhood: NoDa
Food: Assorted baked goods, biscuits, quiche and other breakfast items
Notes: Don’t miss their iconic “Be cool. Drink coffee.” mural on the side of the building. Prime photo op.

smelly-cat-coffee

photo: Tara Lilly

Fabo

This cafe doubles as an gallery featuring local art and evening art classes.

Address: 8428 Park Road, Charlotte, NC, 28210
Neighborhood: Quail Hollow
Food: Locally made muffins, scones, cookies, etc.
Notes: Check out their $30 watercolor classes.

Photo via Facebook

Sunflour

Although they’ve got a full espresso bar, it takes a backseat to their insanely good baked goods.

Address: 2001 E. 7th Street and 220 East Boulevard
Neighborhood: Elizabeth and Dilworth
Food: Full bakery with muffins, scones, biscuits, cupcakes, cakes and more. They also have breakfast sandwiches and soup.
Notes: The cheddar biscuits, flaky croissants and monster cinnamon rolls are major crowd pleasers. Don’t sleep in on the weekends. They’ll sell out.

Julia’s Cafe & Books

Caffeinate for a cause. This cafe and bookstore raises money for Habitat for Humanity. Win, win, win.

Address: 1133 N. Wendover Road, Charlotte, NC, 28211
Neighborhood: Grier Heights
Food: Pastries, snacks, salads and sandwiches from food vendors like Friendship Trays, Nova*s Bakery and Anderson’s Catering
Notes: Save time to browse the budget-friendly used books.

Cafeccino

Students and teachers at UNC Charlotte and CPCC created Cafeccino as a way to teach students the fundamentals of running a business.

Address: 2706 W. Mallard Creek Church Road (University) and 623 S. Cedar Street (The Foundry)
Neighborhood: University City and Third ward
Food: Breakfast sandwiches, waffles, sandwiches, wraps, salads
Notes: Check out their hands-on latte art classes.

Location: Cafeccino at Cochran CommonsDate: Dec 4th, SunnyTime: 1pReservation: GrouponPeople: 3Latte Art Class

Posted by Cafeccino on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Amelie’s French Bakery

The flagship location (Villa Heights/NoDa) is open 24/7/365 making it a popular late-night hangout and study spot for students.

Address: 2424 N. Davidson Street, 301 S. College Street, 7715 Pineville Matthews Road, Park Road Shopping Center Back Lot (coming soon!)
Neighborhood: Villa Heights, Second Ward, Carmel Commons
Food: French pastries, tartines, soups, salads and wildly popular salted caramel brownies
Notes: If you live south of the state line, they’ve also got a location in downtown Rock Hill.

Amelie’s Uptown

Charlotte Coffee Station

Bankers get a quick caffeine fix at this local alternative to Starbucks located inside Wells Fargo.

Address: 301 S. College Street #275, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: Second Ward
Food: Assorted pastries
Notes: You’ll find it inside One Wells Fargo at the top of the escalator.

Charlotte Coffee Station

Jackson’s Java

Uptown bankers get an afternoon pick-me-up at this coffee shop inside Three Wells Fargo.

Address: 401 S. Tryon Street #140, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: Second Ward
Food: Bagels and assorted pastries
Notes: You’ll find it inside Three Wells Fargo on the ground floor down the hall that leads to The Green.

Jackson's Java

The Modern Cafe

The cafe at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a hidden gem in the Uptown coffee scene.

Address: 420 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: Third Ward
Food: Baguette sandwiches, tartines, salads, quiche. Full Menu.
Notes: Closed Tuesdays

Modern Cafe Bechtler

Lady M

Lady M is a coffee shop, wine bar and cafe serving up exquisite cakes. You might remember it as The Gallery but it recently rebranded.

Address: 1320 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202
Neighborhood: South End
Food: Baguette sandwiches, tartines, salads, quiche. Full Menu.
Notes: You have to try the mille crepes, layers of paper-thin crepes layered with pastry creme to create a cake.

inside-the-gallery-south-end

Earl’s Grocery

One of my favorite non-office places to work. Plenty of seating, lots of food and big garage doors that open up on nice days so you don’t feel like you’re working.

Address: 1609 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC, 28204
Neighborhood: Elizabeth
Food: Prepared deli foods, breakfast sandwiches, grit bowls, grain bowls, salads, baked goods. Full Menu.
Notes: Located right on the trolley line so you can easily zip over from Uptown

Earl's Grocery Charlotte

The Mayobird

This is a popular office away from office for people looking for flexible work space.

Address: 1531 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, 28203
Neighborhood: Dilworth
Food: Chicken salad, soup, sandwiches, skillets, frittatas, etc. Full Menu.
Notes: Try to fight your way to the cowhide chair.

mayobird breakfast casserole

Mocco Bistro

Bakery and cafe from the same family behind Nefelie’s in Uptown

Address: 4004 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, 28209
Neighborhood: South End
Food: European pastries
Notes: Closed Mondays

Mocco Bistro Charlotte

Coming Soon

Undercurrent Coffee – A new cafe coming to Plaza Midwood. Read about it.

Not Just Coffee Dilworth – This will be the brand’s fourth location

Amelie’s at Park Road Shopping Center – They’ll be adding a location in the Back Lot. Read about it.

Waterbean – A coffee and banh mi shop coming to N. Tryon. Read about it.

Hyde Brewing – A culinary cafe, coffee bar, fermentation lab and craft brewery. Read about it.

Charlotte Yoga South End – A pour over coffee bar is in the works for the South End studio

South End Grind – A coffee bar inside Urban MVMNT. Read about it.

Dilworth Tasting Room – This new wine bar plans to roll out coffee service later in 2017. Read about it.

Header image Amelie’s French Bakery via Facebook

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director