Once upon a time, great coffee shops in Atlanta were all about coffee.
Now, there are many variables in what goes into the making of a good place — location, aesthetics, friendly and talented baristas who can top a cappuccino with an Insta-worthy heart of froth, in-house roasted coffee beans that are ethically sourced (bonus if there’s a good cause attached to that) and of course, good drinks brewed to perfection.
Based on these criteria, here are nine of Atlanta’s best coffee spots that are worth checking out, according to a local coffee aficionado.
Address: 4320 Powers Ferry Rd N.W., Atlanta, GA 30342
Why You Need To Go: This full-service upscale restaurant located on the outskirts of Chastain Park near the Chastain Horse Park and the amphitheatre gives off major NorthernCal vibes with its sophisticated design and interior, and the fact that it overlooks one of the most iconic golf courses in Atlanta.
The restaurant features a full-service walk-up coffee bar during morning hours that serves made-to-order specialty coffees, matcha lattés, and fresh pastries among other elegant à la carte breakfast options.
There is generous outdoor seating where you can take in some of the best people-watching the city has to offer.
Le Bon Nosh
Address: 65 Irby Ave N.W. Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 30305
Why You Need To Go: This full-service restaurant exudes an upscale European vibe with an elevated French-inspired menu. Brunch, lunch, and dinner options include savory galettes and the silkiest quiches ever, in addition to freshly baked gourmet French pastries.
Rich-looking floor-to-ceiling draperies, a mirrored bar, crystal chandeliers, and gold sconces give this place an old-world charm where patrons dress to impress.
Le Bon Nosh proudly partners with the specialty coffee brand Intelligentsia and features a walkup coffee counter serving various drip roasts, lattés and cappuccinos.
Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee
Address: 352 S. Atlanta St, Roswell, GA 30075
Why You Need To Go: This small chain of coffee houses serves up specialty coffees in a community-centered environment, with warm and friendly baristas.
Their Roswell location in a converted residential house exudes all the warm feelings of a family living room, especially when sipping on a hot oat milk cinnamon latté.
Their location at Halcyon in Alpharetta includes a large communal space and features family game nights, live music, poetry readings, and more.
The business, which has several locations primarily in the South, imports its beans from Rwandan coffee farmers and strives to better farmers’ lives with wages, education, healthcare, and clean water.
Rev Coffee Roasters
Address: 1680 Spring Rd S.E. B, Smyrna, GA 30080
Why You Need To Go: There’s the coffee, sure, but it’s the Southern charm that keeps the customers returning to this friendly, independently owned coffee shop in the outskirts of Atlanta.
Rev Coffee Roasters is serving up specialty brews, homemade treats and sandwiches, and more in a converted auto shop and manages to evoke an industrial feel while remaining true to its small-town roots.
The café features art on display (and for sale) by local artists. They also roast their coffee in-house and are proud to share that they maintain a direct connection with their coffee suppliers. Best part about Rev — they are open late, which is a rare find in most Atlanta suburbs.
Refuge Coffee Co.
Address: 4170 E. Ponce de Leon Ave N.E., Clarkston, GA 30021
Why You Need To Go: It all started with a dream and a red food truck. Founder and CEO Kitti Murray started Refuge Coffee Co. as a literal refuge for the large community of refugees that were granted asylum in Clarkston, just outside of Atlanta.
The coffee stop is a non-profit that focuses on job creation, training, and community advocacy for refugees who are acclimating to their new environments.
The original Red Refuge Coffee Truck still operates in downtown Clarkston, and Murray has recently expanded to open 2 additional metro-Atlanta area locations. Their latest fall offerings include caramel apple cider, pumpkin lattés, and honey cinnamon lattés.
B-Side Cafe at The Deer and The Dove
Address: 151 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA 30030
Why You Need To Go: This newly opened café is located beside chef-driven restaurant The Deer and the Dove in the heart of Decatur, hence the name “B-Side”.
The shop is in Decatur Square, easily accessible from the Marta Decatur Station. With its washed-out exposed brick wall, forest green accents and booth seating festooned with camel-colored leather belts, this place has a distinct vibe to it.
B-side is known for its fresh wood-fired bagels, and features cortados, cold brews, lattés, batch-brewed coffees, and a generous menu featuring fresh schmears, sandwiches, and burgers.
East Pole Coffee Co.
Address: 255 Ottley Dr. Ste. 105 Atlanta, GA 30324
Why You Need To Go: Before coffee culture was even a thing here in Atlanta, there was East Pole Coffee Co. The shop at Armour Yards has a no-frills and simplistic industrial feel to it, with a very limited food menu.
Their modus operandi is all about transparency: there’s a roastery behind glass where customers can see how their coffee is produced. Although East Pole’s original location is located right off Atlanta’s popular Beltline — one does not just stumble upon the café. Yet there is a very dedicated following who continue to frequent the location. (Hint: It must be the coffee!)
The company distributes its coffees to various restaurants and eateries in the city and recently opened a second location in Poncey-Highlands.
Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
Address: 501 Edgewood Ave S.E., Atlanta, GA 30312
Why You Need To Go: Their name derives from an Aldous Huxley novel, and they pride themselves on being community-driven and forward-thinking, providing a space that encourages artistic dialogue.
It’s one of the city’s most Instagrammed spots, yet the baristas here are as approachable as they are passionate about their coffee. Chrome Yellow Trading Co. features amazing drip coffee infused with homemade syrups made from locally sourced ingredients, Their latest concoction - orange almond syrup - beckons us for fall.
Alchemist Trading Co.
Address: 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd Suite 138, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Why You Need To Go: If Harry Potter were a barista, his café would probably look much like this place. Alchemist Trading Co. has a coffee bar with geodes, a brick wall painted like the solar system, and coffee concoctions poured out of science beakers.
This gem of a coffee shop located in Atlanta’s northern suburb of Johns Creek features a distinct otherworldly vibe, and very good coffee.
Their signature one is their Dutch brew — a process which involves a 20-hour slow-drip from a medieval-looking device. They also make specialty drinks such as The Matcha-Spanner, a heavenly concoction of Dutch coffee, sweetened heavy cream and matcha extract.
All research done in this article is by the author. Restaurants never pay to be featured on Narcity's "Best Of" lists; furthermore, this list represents a showcase of great spots, and is not a numbered ranking.