Working at a coffee shop for a number of years makes you either become infatuated with coffee or loathe the very smell of it. Luckily, I’m the former, and after spending almost half a decade making lattes I can proudly call myself (somewhat of a) coffee connoisseur. That being said, I’m always on the prowl for a good cup and have spent the last few months compiling a list of my favorite local cafés.
Octane is the one of the first non-commercial coffee shops I ever visited. Not only are they a nationally ranked coffee house, but they’ve also recently expanded into a nice little spot in Grant Park, making them the go-to spot for great espresso.
Unlike the other cafés on this list, Octane has a much broader food and drink section, which, given their spacious and diverse layout, suits them quite well. As well as offering a variety of different specialty coffees, each cup of coffee comes in a French press, making Octane the perfect place for the perfect cup.
Next is Decatur’s own Java Monkey. Java Monkey is one of the coziest cafés in Atlanta. Period.Along with their organic, fair-trade coffee, Java Monkey also has excellent full-leaf teas, and boasts animpressive wine bar. Java Monkey is also home to an expansive array of creative events, like open mic nights, wine tastings, stand-up, and spoken word. Java Monkey is open later than other coffee shops, making it my quintessential coffee joint at night. Whether you’re looking for a quaint and comfy place to study, or just looking for an excuse to get up and wipe the potato chips off your shirt, Java Monkey comes highly recommended.
My third stop takes us all the way down into Historic Roswell with Land of a Thousand Hills. While there are three Atlanta locations, my favorite is situated on South Atlanta Road. Land of a Thousand Hills is as much a novel as it is a coffee shop. Emphasizing quality over speed, the barista’s make sure each drink is crafted perfectly, and every crafted drink is topped off with beautiful latte art. Though the drinks may be a bit more expensive than other cafés, the quality and message is always there, making them a star in a cloudy sky.
Next on my list is Java Lords, located in the heart of Little Five Points on Euclid Avenue. Though the name may sound like something straight out of a 1980’s metal band, Java Lords has really good, organic, fair-trade coffee. The espresso is stronger than many other places and the coffee, albeit dark, is always smooth and rich. Though most coffee shops provide ample accommodation for studying, reading,etc., Java Lord’s (with its dimly lit café) is not one of those shops, though the patio out back is a nice touch. Java Lords is adjacent the Seven Stages Theatre, and though the décor is somewhat odd, the paintings and artists they feature are sometimes amazing, lest to say alwaysunique.
Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party is another one of my favorites. Though the name may sound more like an event-themed birthday party than a café, it’s simplyjust another reason why I find itso iconic. Nestled nicely near the Flying Biscuit in Candler Park, Dr. Bombay’s is arguably the coolest-looking café in Atlanta. Chock full of numerous antique bird cages hanging from the ceiling, and other, random, classic memorabilia, Dr. Bombay’s is home to an appetizing array of vegan, organic, and/or gluten-free pastries. The building itself is reminiscent of an old English cabin, and the walls are full of used discounted books. And, like the name suggests, Dr. Bombay’s also hosts High Tea, from 3:30-5:30 every day, which is definitely worth checking out.
Though there’s literally a plethora of other good, genuine coffee shops in Atlanta, these aremy favorites. Whether it’s for ambience, amusement, or simply taste, I find it hard to go wrong whenever I visit any one of these aforementioned cafés.