Best Coffee Shops In Mid/Downtown Atlanta
Atlanta doesn't exactly bring to mind visions of coffee shops, lattes and cappuccinos as with cities such as Seattle, Vancouver, New York and even Los Angeles. However, given the fact that Atlanta is home to more Fortune 500 companies than practically every other city in America means big business for the downtown district of this peach state metropolis. What's the connection you ask? Well, with such a large concentration of corporate heavy weights in one hub means a large influx of transplants from all over the country coming to work in this fine southern locale, not to mention a steady flow of people in attendance for conferences, conventions and trade shows. Regardless their respective fields, one thing these people have in common is their love of the almighty coffee bean as a morning motivator, and break time refresher, a lunch time recharge and an evening reason for social gathering. In other words, big business means even bigger business for the coffee industry.
Below you will find our picks for the best coffee shops in the midtown/downtown (business and tourist district) region of Atlanta, selected by quality product, service, decor and overall ambiance.
1000 Piedmont Ave NE, Midtown - Atlanta, GA
303 Peachtree St NE, Midtown - Atlanta, GA
Caribou Coffee is a growing coffee shop chain found in 15 U.S. states with locations in the east, mid-west and south, including Atlanta. With two locations in the Midtown district of Atlanta, Caribou has become one of the most frequented cafes in the area with steady traffic flow coming from the local population and tourists making their way along Peachtree Street. Convenience is far from the only reason for Caribou Coffee's popularity, in fact regulars will bend over backwards to take advantage of their unique blends of specialty beverages often only offered by competing establishments during holiday season and special occasions. The Turtle Mocha combines the chocolate of your choice (white, milk, dark) with espresso, caramel, and actual chunks of Snickers worked into the whipped cream topping. Mint Condition uses real chocolate Andes Mints on the whip, the Berry Mocha adding a hint of berry flavor as its unique twist and our personal favorite, the Campfire Mocha (we love mochas!), blends chocolate (white, milk or dark) with marshmallow flavoring and espresso and topped with additional marshmallow bits and chocolate chips. With scrumptious creations for espresso based concoctions, you can imagine what their food and pastry case looks like.
1009 Marietta St NW, Midtown - Atlanta, GA
The Octane Coffee menu wont read as creative as some trendy cafes such as Caribou and they tend to stick with the basics. Staple espresso based beverages such as the traditional americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos and mochas stand with integrity without complicating matters by adding flavors too far outside of the syrup spectrum. What happens (hopefully) when a cafe focuses on a smaller coffee menu is that they learn to perfect favored Italian classics and Octane Coffee is no exception to this rule. Their food selection is cafe heaven with sandwich favorites like Grilled Three Cheese and Homemade PB&J coming highly recommended. The staff is friendly, hip and often tattooed so expect a laid back atmosphere, which is exactly what you should be looking for when seeking out a Best Coffee Shop...anywhere.
Urban Grind Coffee House
962 Marietta St NW, Midtown - Atlanta, GA
In an atmosphere borrowed from the coffee culture of New York City comes Urban Grind Coffee House, established in Atlanta to bring its owner a taste of nostalgia from her days living in the Big Apple, and to the benefit of those in this far south state. On top of brewing one mean bean, Urban Grind has become a gathering place for artists, musicians, cafe addicts alike. They also (as with Caribou) have a Turtle Mocha, Mint Condition and a berry based mocha which made us think it may be a regional popularity thing and not a copy cat scenario. Everything about Urban Grind is original so they earn the benefit of the doubt. Their paninis are excellent and our personal favorites include the can't miss Pesto Chicken and the "tastes like pizza" Chicken Pepperoni.
Urban Grind has a steady stream of art based events taking place within its hipster walls so be sure to check out their events calendar to coordinate your visit around an Open Mic or Indie Film night. Every city should have a coffee house of this caliber, especially when so far removed from the regions well known for the aforementioned culture.
232 19th Street Northwest, Atlantic Station, Atlanta
Located in Atlantic Station, a highly functional self sustaining mini metropolis within Atlanta, Cafe Nineteen sits on the corner of 19th Street and Atlantic Drive as if it was a perfect little slice of the culture found enclosed by the borders of this trendy community. Inside, Cafe Nineteen is both comfy and cool with soft leather seating and dim lit corners for toiling away on one's laptop, sketch pad or journal. They are purveyors of the local arts and music scene and the crowd within the gallery type walls reflects this notion. Their coffee/espresso comes from illy and the wine and spirits list reads similar to that of any fine dining establishment in the area. For an anytime of day caffeine and sweet tooth satisfier, be sure to try the bombom which serves espresso with condensed milk. Cafe Nineteen is the perfect coffee shop complement to the new concept community of Atlantic Station.
190 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA
Not exactly original, no big surprise, and no long explanation needed. You already have your favorite Starbuck's beverage and snack so there's no need for our input on that either. Nonetheless, there is no denying that Starbucks remains to be one of the most popular coffee shops in town, in any town. Thus, we present you with the best location in the midtown/downtown area of Atlanta. The CNN building Starbuck's is a great sightseeing pit stop and prime people watching position with Turner Broadcasting TV personalities passing through from time to time to and from breaking news or otherwise. So order your favorite tall/grande/venti/trenta "frappamochalatteccino", sit back and enjoy the show.