As a part-time freelance writer, coffee shops have come to be something of a religion to me. I love their atmosphere and warmth, from the gentle hum of laptops to the rhythmic whir of espresso machines.

I’ve done a bit of exploring of the Atlanta coffee scene, and I’ve come up with my Top 5 favorite coffee shops around the city.

Note: Scoutmob is a great local deal company in Atlanta, with a focus on providing discounts to homegrown favorites around the city. They offer a mobile app, in addition to their website, with great deals around Atlanta. If Scoutmob offers a deal for any of the coffee shops I list below, you’ll see a note with the discount amount. I use Scoutmob often, and if I’ve mentioned a deal here, I’ve used it personally. Enjoy!

Here is my list of my top 5 favorite Atlanta coffee shops.

 

Octane Coffee

Neighborhood: Grant Park and Westside locations

With two Atlanta locations, as well as a new shop at the Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead, Octane is a staple on the Atlanta coffee scene.

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Octane Westside- photo from Octane’s website
Octane's Grant Park location. Photo from the Free People blog
Octane’s Grant Park location. Photo from the Free People blog
Octane's shop at the Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead. Photo from Octane's website
Octane’s shop at the Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead. Photo from Octane’s website

Octane is well known for its simple menus and decor that’s an effortless mix of sleek, modern, and earthy. The Grant Park location, which happens to be next door to my office, serves up treats and small bites from The Little Tart Bakeshop in addition to its signature brews.

Little Tart at Octane in Grant Park. Photo from Yelp
Little Tart at Octane in Grant Park. Photo from Yelp

Both locations also serve up booze in the evenings, and are open late most nights, with occasional events like tap takeovers and art exhibitions.

 

Java Vino

Neighborhood: Poncey Highlands

Like the name suggests, Java Vino combines two of life’s greatest pleasures: coffee and wine.

Located in Poncey Highlands just off Freedom Parkway, Java Vino is the perfect spot to work, meet up with friends, or enjoy a glass of wine on the patio. This hybrid coffeeshop serves up the best of all worlds, and is warm, unassuming, and cozy.

Photo from Java Vino's website
Photo from Java Vino’s website

For a coffee shop, Java Vino has an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, in addition to pastries and baked goods. The prices are super reasonable (around $3.50 for breakfast items, and around $6 for sandwiches), and there are plenty of healthy options to choose from.

The coolest thing about Java Vino? The house coffee, which hails from Nicarauga, is produced by the family that owns the shop at their Atlanta-based roasting company.

If you use Scoutmob, you can receive 50% off your order, up to $5.

 

Corso Coffee

Neighborhood: Buckhead

While I don’t often venture into Buckhead, this beautiful cafe was a must for my favorite list of Atlanta coffee shops.

Corso Coffee, with locations in Atlanta and New York, is a sleek, modern adaptation of an Italian espresso bar. The decor has a vintage flair, but the space has clean, elegant lines and upscale touches throughout.

Photo from Eater Atlanta
Photo from Eater Atlanta

While the cappuccinos were delicious and artfully crafted, the extensive food menu was even more impressive. The caprese sandwich, stuffed with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil pesto, was the perfect mid-afternoon treat to accompany my coffee. Also available are a variety of well-priced breakfast options, in addition to steeper assaggini (first course platters), soups and salads, and fish dishes.

Service typically isn’t a big component of the coffee shop experience- however, the service at Corso was wonderful. My barista walked me through the menu, checked in with me every so often on how my food was, and hand-delivered my cappuccino to my seat at the coffee bar.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Corso as a spot to spend hours doing work- the atmosphere is a bit more refined than your neighborhood brewhouse. It’s the type of place to enjoy a leisurely lunch and coffee date with friends, especially if you have the opportunity to sit on the outdoor patio.

Note that if you visit Corso, you’ll most likely have to pay a small fee to park in the adjacent lot to this upscale shopping and dining area.

 

Inman Perk

Neighborhood: Inman Park

All play-on-words aside, Inman Perk is one of my favorite coffee shops in Atlanta. A grungy, earthy shop that is the complete opposite of Corso mentioned above, Inman Perk is full of mismatched furniture and cozy nooks, making it perfect for hours of serious blogging.

Photo from Creative Loafing Atlanta
Photo from Creative Loafing Atlanta
Photo from Inman Perk website
Photo from Inman Perk website

Located on Highland Avenue in the heart of Inman Park, the shop offers a variety of sandwiches and pastries, in addition to a broad selection of coffee, tea, smoothies, and even beer & wine.

While their coffee isn’t my personal favorite in town, the atmosphere can’t be beat. It’s the quintessential neighborhood haunt of writers, bloggers, and even students from nearby Georgia State or Tech.

Inman Perk often features emerging artists in their free community gallery program, and occasionally hosts art installations and live music.

The best thing about Inman Perk? The first time you visit and use their Scoutmob deal, you’ll receive your first beverage (a medium coffee or tea) 100% free.

 

Dancing Goats

Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward and Decatur locations

With two of the most prime locations in city, Dancing Goats is one of the hottest coffee companies in Atlanta.

The original Atlanta location, nestled on the main fairway in homey downtown Decatur, opened in 2007, and has been serving up award-winning Batdorf & Branson coffee ever since.

The Decatur shop is a cavernous yet inviting space; a contrast of dark wood and bright lighting, there is ample seating for both larger groups and individuals, even on busy weekday mornings.

dancing goats decatur
Photo from Creative Loafing Atlanta

Located in Old Fourth Ward, right next to the new Ponce City Market, sits the newest Atlanta Dancing Goats location. While the interior of the shop is small and primarily just for purchasing coffee and treats, there is a wonderful covered patio just outside with bright Adirondack chairs and great natural light.

dancing goats old fourth ward

 

I love walking to Dancing Goats on a Saturday morning for one of their perfect iced coffees; expect a line on weekends, when this small shop fills up with local O4W residents.

 

Honorable Mention

Parish

Neighborhood: Inman Park

Just a stone’s throw from Inman Perk mentioned above, Parish is a cozy downstairs breakfast and coffee spot, in addition to an upstairs French brasserie.

The neighborhood cafe features picnic table seating directly on the BeltLine, a small but pretty patio, and a stunning interior space that feels like a light, airy French cottage. The exposed brick, rustic fixtures, and pockets of greenery make this a comfy yet beautiful place to work, study, or meet friends.

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The cafe serves up a variety of sandwiches and daily-changing pastries, as well as rotating breakfast specials with a distinctly French feel. While some of the food I’ve tried in the cafe has been a little hit-or-miss, the coffee and pastry options, as well as the unique ambience and central location, make Parish worth a visit.

Note that brunch, in addition to dinner, is served upstairs in the brasserie.

Kavarna Coffee

Neighborhood: Decatur

Located on a developing street a few minutes south of downtown Decatur, Kavarna Coffee is a funky, lofty space that has a reputation for having strong support for the arts.

Photo from Creative Loafing Atlanta
Photo from Creative Loafing Atlanta

With weekly events, including live music, poetry readings, and Stories on the Square, a monthly spoken word performance, Kavarna is buzzing with fantastic local art in addition to caffeine.

While the coffee selections are pretty standard, prices are reasonable; beer and wine are also available, in addition to a variety of Mediterranean-focused snacks and sandwiches.

 

Have any beloved Atlanta coffee shops you think I need to visit? Pass them along in the comments below.

 

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