17 Best Coffee Shops in Raleigh: A Local’s Guide

Traveling to North Carolina and wondering where the best coffee shops in Raleigh are?

The city is home to a thriving coffee culture, with a plethora of cozy cafes and trendy shops to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up or a place to relax and enjoy a cup of joe, there’s a great coffee shop in Raleigh that’s perfect for you.

The Coffee Scene in Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina has a lot to offer tourists that frequently need a cup of Joe to get moving. It’s got culture, style, and lots of local coffee shops and specialty coffee roasters to choose from.

One of the most well-known coffee roasters in Raleigh is Counter Culture Coffee. Founded in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster that sources beans from all over the world. They even have a training center in Raleigh where they offer classes for coffee professionals and enthusiasts alike.

In addition to Counter Culture Coffee, there are many other local businesses in Raleigh that are worth checking out. Some of the most popular ones include Jubala, Sola Coffee Cafe, and 42 & Lawrence. Each of these coffee shops has its own unique vibe and offerings, but they all share a commitment to serving high-quality coffee.

Overall, the coffee scene in Raleigh is diverse and exciting. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just looking for a good cup of joe, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes. So grab a friend and head out to explore the local coffee shops – you never know what delicious coffee creations you might discover!

17 Top Coffee Shops in Raleigh

With so many options for you to get some amazing coffee in Raleigh, we decided to compile them all in a list. Make it a bucket list and check them all out, or find one or two near you to try. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this list of the best coffee shops in Raleigh, NC.

1. Morning Times

Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, Morning Times, at 10 E Hargett St, is a popular coffee shop that offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The shop serves Counter Culture coffee, which is known for its rich and bold flavor. In addition to coffee, Morning Times also offers a selection of pastries and breakfast items if you need a quick bite.

Sola Coffee Cafe Raleigh

2. Sola Coffee Cafe

Sola Coffee Cafe, at 7705 Lead Mine Rd, is a favorite coffee house among locals, thanks to its friendly staff and delicious beverage choices. Another server of Counter Culture coffee, this coffee house also has a variety of baked goods and sandwiches. Sola boasts beautiful outdoor seating on the patio, which is perfect for enjoying your coffee on a sunny day.

3. Jubala Coffee

Jubala Coffee, located at 145 E Davie St, is a must-visit for coffee lovers in Raleigh. The shop serves Counter Culture coffee, and also offers a variety of specialty espresso drinks. Jubala’s inviting atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot to hang out and enjoy a cup of coffee.

4. 42 & Lawrence

Drive over to 134 E Martin St in Raleigh for 42 & Lawrence, where coffee meets retail. This cozy spot offers top-notch coffee beans, lattes, and kombucha alongside a thoughtfully curated selection of coffee-related merchandise, making it a must-visit destination for coffee enthusiasts and curious shoppers alike.

5. Sir Walter Coffee

Sir Walter Coffee, located at 145 E Davie St, offers a selection of specialty espresso drinks and coffee cocktails. The shop offers a hint of a vintage atmosphere, as well as ample breakfast and lunch menus. Grab a pound of their coffee to go if you enjoy what you try at Sir Walter!

Heirloom Brewshop in Raleigh

6. Heirloom Brewshop

Head to 219 S West St to find Heirloom Brewshop, a unique local coffee shop that offers a variety of Asian-inspired food and drinks. You can find Little Waves coffee here, sourced from several countries such as Columbia, Brazil, and Kenya, as well as Raleigh’s own Counter Culture.

Peruse the selection of teas and matcha drinks offer there as well. Heirloom’s beautiful decor and friendly staff make it a great spot to relax and rejuvenate.

7. 321 Coffee

For a truly heartwarming coffee experience, head to 321 Coffee at 145 Hillborough St in downtown Raleigh, NC. This inclusive coffee shop provides meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Plus, they roast their coffee beans in house weekly so you can ensure you always get a fresh cup of coffee.

8. Cup A Joe

Cup A Joe, sitting at 3100 Hillsborough St, is a classic Raleigh coffee shop that has been around for over 20 years. Choose from a selection of caffeinated drinks (check out the daily specials!!) as well as pastries and sweets. Cup A Joe’s laid-back atmosphere rotates their decor every 3 months to feature local artists and their work.

Lucky Tree Coffeehouse in Raleigh

9. Lucky Tree

You will find Lucky Tree at 3801 Hillsborough St., offering a unique experience for coffee lovers. Founded by twin sisters and inspired by their love of their childhood treehouse, Lucky Tree is all about supporting local creatives.

Twice a month you can enjoy an open mic night for musicians and poets. Any time you drop by, you’ll find an assortment of art and handmade items for sale crafted by local artists.

10. The Optimist

The Optimist is a pleasant coffee shop, located at 1000 Brookside Dr, Suite 109, that serves both coffee and a full menu of breakfast and lunch. The founders are devoted to creating a warm, familiar atmosphere that will make you want to kick back and relax.

The Optimist partners with a number of local businesses, such as Black & White Coffee Roasters, Barrett’s Cookies, and Michael’s English Muffins.

11. Global Village Organic Coffee

Find Global Village Organic Coffee at 2428 Hillsborough St, is a unique coffee shop that offers a variety of organic and fair trade coffee. This coffee house’s main mission is to better the lives and health of their customers, and they do this through “good for you” coffees and teas.

12. ​Daily Planet Cafe

When it comes to the best places in Raleigh for java, Daily Planet Cafe is a standout choice. Located at 121 W Jones St, within the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, this cafe not only offers delicious coffee and espresso-based beverages but also provides a unique and inviting ambiance with its science-themed decor and views of the downtown skyline.

Full Bloom Coffee in Raleigh, NC

13. Full Bloom

Full Bloom, located at 141 W Main St, is one of the favorite coffee shops many locals recommend. There you will find handcrafted roasted coffee beans. Give their signature cold brew, Honey Brew, a try – you may love it so much you’ll buy it in bulk for your home!

The shop’s tasty breakfast offerings and sweet treats contain local ingredients to ensure optimal quality and flavor in every bite. 

14. Third Place Coffeehouse

Third Place Coffeehouse is a community-focused coffee shop that offers a variety of coffee drinks, as well as a cozy and eclectic atmosphere. Established in 1994, this shop is now owned by the artist that designed the Acorn that is dropped in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve. Stop in for Larry’s Coffee as well as full menu of sandwiches and pastries.

15. NoRa Cafe

NoRa Cafe, which stands for North Raleigh, can be found at 12333 Strickland Rd. Its peaceful environment makes it a great place to unwind after a long day or stop in for a quick, calming lunch.

Espressos, lattes, and and cold brews, made from the local Carrboro Coffee Roaster beans as well as an assortment of breakfast items are on the NoRa Cafe menu.

is a cozy coffee shop that offers a variety of coffee drinks, as well as a selection of pastries and breakfast items. The shop’s friendly staff and inviting atmosphere make it a great spot to hang out and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Benelux Coffee Raleigh NC

16. Benelux Coffee

Benelux Coffee is located at 402 Oberlin Road Suite 118, in the Historic City Market of downtown Raleigh. Inspired by a trip to Belgium by the owner, Benelux is dedicated to bringing the Belgian culture to North Carolina.

This cafe roasts all their beans in house to ensure the freshest coffee around. Pair one of their delicious coffees with their popular Brussels-Style Wafel for a delectable meal that will have you wishing you lived in Raleigh.

17. Deja Brew Coffee House

Visit Deja Brew Coffee House at 5001 Falls of Neuse Rd. seven days a week. With Raleigh growing and getting more of a “corporate” feel, locals choose Deja Brew for its warm and familiar atmosphere that has been in the city since 2009.

This coffee shop offers a variety of espresso, latte, and blended coffee options as well as breakfast and lunch menus, whether you want a quick java or to sit down and enjoy a meal.

Unique Offerings

When it comes to coffee shops, Raleigh has some unique offerings that you won’t find anywhere else. From Asian-inspired coffee and pastries to live music and events, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few sub-sections highlighting some of the best unique offerings you can find in Raleigh coffee shops.

Coffee and Tea Cocktails

If you’re looking for a unique twist on your coffee or tea, then Raleigh has you covered. Many coffee shops in the area offer coffee and tea cocktails that are sure to please. For example, Jubala Coffee offers a “Honey Lavender Latte” that combines espresso, honey, and lavender syrup for a sweet and floral flavor.

You can also try the “Dirty Chai” at Sola Coffee Cafe, which is a chai latte with a shot of espresso. If you’re more of a tea drinker, then you might enjoy the “Matcha Mule” at Heirloom Brewshop, which is a mix of matcha, ginger beer, and lime.

Asian-Inspired Coffee and Pastries

Raleigh has a growing number of coffee shops that are inspired by Asian culture. These shops offer unique coffee and pastries that you won’t find anywhere else.

For example, Heirloom Brewshop offers “Mochi Donuts” that are made with rice flour and have a chewy texture. You can also try the “Hot Mini Donuts” at The Morning Times, which are made fresh to order and come in flavors like cinnamon sugar, chocolate, and matcha.

If you’re looking for a unique latte, then you might enjoy the “Vietnamese Latte” at The Third Place, which is made with condensed milk and espresso.

Live Music and Events

Many coffee shops in Raleigh offer more than just coffee and pastries. They also host live music and events, making them a great place to hang out with friends or meet new people.

The Pour House Music Hall and Record Shop hosts live music events almost every night of the week. You can also check out the “Open Mic Night” at Sosta Cafe, which is held every Thursday and features local musicians and poets.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, then you might enjoy the “Board Game Night” at The Third Place, which is held every Wednesday.

The best coffee shops in Raleigh North Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated coffee shops in Raleigh?

If you’re in Raleigh and looking for a great cup of coffee, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the top-rated coffee shops in Raleigh include The Optimist, 42 & Lawrence, and Lucky Tree. These coffee shops are known for their high-quality coffee, friendly staff, and inviting atmosphere.

Which coffee shops in the Triangle have the best atmosphere?

If you’re looking for a coffee shop with a great atmosphere, you might want to check out Lucettegrace or Idle Hour Coffee. These coffee shops are known for their cozy, inviting atmosphere that makes you want to sit down and stay awhile. They also offer a variety of delicious coffee drinks and pastries to enjoy while you’re there.

Where can I find the best locally roasted coffee in Raleigh?

If you’re a coffee connoisseur looking for the best locally roasted coffee in Raleigh, you might want to check out Larry’s Coffee. This local roaster has been around since 1995 and is known for its high-quality, sustainably sourced coffee beans.

You can find Larry’s Coffee at a variety of coffee shops and grocery stores throughout Raleigh, or you can order it online and have it delivered straight to your door.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this extensive list of best coffee shops in Raleigh have given you a few local places to satisfy your caffeine cravings. There are many that provide a laid-back atmosphere after you’ve had a busy day of traveling or seeing the sites.

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