I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like coffee. Fast forward 20 years and one of my favorite weekend pastimes is visiting new Coffee Shops in Atlanta. With more than a handful of local coffee shops popping up in each of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, it’s impossible to showcase them all but I have rounded up my list Atlanta’s Prettiest Coffee Shops. The criteria for entry are ample natural light, unique design features, beautiful coffee designs, delicious pastry display, must be inside of Atlanta’s perimeter (I.E. inside of 285) and it doesn’t hurt when they have bistro seating and open patios. In no particular order are my favorites:
Atlanta’s Prettiest Coffee Shops
1. Bread & Butterfly. Inman Park.
While Bread & Butterfly is not just a coffee shop, it is one of the prettiest places to grab a cup of coffee. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a marble and copper bar hiding a barista behind its counter and a glass case of freshly baked pastries to choose from. Try to grab a seat on the patio (bonus points if you get there in the Spring time when they open the French doors), and dine at one of their beautiful marble coffee tables and charming bistro chairs. One of my favorite Atlanta interior designers, Square Feet Studio, designed this space and kept true to Bread & Butterflies eclectic yet sophisticated inspiration from Lewis C. Carrols “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”
2. Kaldi’s Coffee. Emory Campus.
Kaldi’s Coffee gave us SUCH a runaround. Located on Emory’s campus, this hidden gem is typically filled with collegiate studying away. Don’t let the collegiate atmosphere that surrounds this place deter you, the coffee service is nothing short of sophisticated. When I ordered a cappuccino, the finished drink was served with club soda and dark chocolate espresso beans to help my palate taste its way through this unique coffee experience. The pastries are second to none. There is ample outside seating. The interior is bright, inviting, and every so often you are rattled by the passing of a train. It’s worth the detour.
3. Cakes & Ale. Downtown Decatur.
Cakes & Ale split its space in half to be a restaurant and a coffee shop. This downtown Decatur spot has all the makings of a chic classic: marble bistro tables accompanied by wicker bistro chairs, a beautiful provincial blue painted exterior, marble-clad bar with exposed brick on the interior and it’s intimate enough for a solo or group coffee date. The large windows in the front allow ample light to pour in making room for the perfect Instagram shot.
4. Muchacho. Reynoldstown.
Muchacho is like the cool Californian guy who just transferred to your high school: everyone is obsessed with his bold colors and vintage surf vibes. Aesthetically, I’ve never walked into a place and just been gobsmacked by the commitment to a theme. From the vintage toast master sign to the enamel 70s style coffee cups and vintage plates they serve their food on, everything has committed to this retro theme and they somehow made Coffee & Tacos an acceptable/ desirable combination.
5. Chrome Yellow Trading Company. Old Fourth Ward.
Chrome Yellow is beautiful and has great vibes. On a Sunday, it wasn’t overflowing with a crowd as I had expected and I was still able to find a light-filled corner to work in throughout the late morning. The coffee bar is gorgeous with its butcherblock colored countertop and provincial blue painted base. The pasties, although not made in-house, are delicious and warmed upon request by the friendly baristas who work there. The exposed industrial ceiling doesn’t feel cold and closed off because of all the natural light that pours in. Bonus: they have great Atlanta souvenirs like ATL clad pennants, mugs, tees, and more.
6. Read Shop. Vinings.
Read Shop scooted inside the perimeter just by the hair of its teeth! The outside seating is comprised of charming bistro chairs and tables, then you walk inside and you realize, “There is a heaven, and it is composed of books, beautiful coffee bars, and hale navy.” The vintage rugs and midcentury modern furniture are illuminated by huge windows that help you capture the perfect Instagram shot. It’s small and intimate, so you won’t find people lingering too long here so there is sure to be a seat for you to sit at whatever time you go.
7. Star Provisions. Westside.
Star Provisions is more than just a coffee shop, it’s a light filled artisinal market, fromagerie, delicatessan and purveyor of exceptional food things as well. They’re new location opened up last year and is beautifully adorned with a mosaic tile register and lovely light pine tables. While not as convenient as it’s previous location, the beautiful coffees, hand made breads and delicious cheeses are worth the stop!
While I haven’t been able to get around to all the places I’ve wanted, here are some honorable mentions that you will see popping up later on:
East Pole Coffee Co
Caravaca Market – Midtown
Little Tart Bake Shop – inside Krog Street
Spiller Park Toco Hill