Apotheos Coffee Houses and Roastery
Locations in Virginia-Highland and Candler Park
Doug and Tanya Bond recently rebranded San Francisco Coffee in Va-Hi and Candler Park to Apotheos Roastery Atlanta. The quintessential neighborhood gathering spot for 30 years still roasts its own coffee and bakes most of its pastries. What’s new are four nitro-infused cold canned brews, like The Purist (unsweetened) and The Adventurer (Georgia chocolate), from Apotheos’ production facility in a refurbished Kennesaw church. No worries If you’d prefer a hot cup of Joe or crafted espresso drink. Try their signature “Fog Lifter” made with coffee, caramel syrup, espresso and steamed milk. And treat yourself to a warmed Nutella croissant (weekends only), giant peanut butter cookie or slice of banana nut bread.
468 Moreland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Since 1992, Aurora has served as a central gathering spot for musicians, writers, academics, and passersby in need of a pick-me-up. The Little Five Points shop’s long-standing relationship with Batdorf & Bronson, and a crew of top-notch baristas have crafted a menu filled with full-bodied and highly-caffeinated coffee excellence. Stop in for a no-nonsense cup of espresso, cappuccino, or cold brew. Sweet and savory pastries including bagels from Emerald City, make for an excellent snack on the go, or a leisurely afternoon of stimulating conversation and people watching on the patio.
Blue Donkey Coffee Co.
Locations at Grant Park, Georgia Tech, Memorial Drive, Emory University, Peachtree Green Market, Peachtree City, and Roastery location in Fayetteville.
Brazilian street eats, quality coffee, and some of the city’s most creative cocktails—Buteco has it all.
Located in Grant Park’s The Beacon complex, Buteco fosters a tightly-knit community around weekly live music, dance parties, and an array of Latin libations.
“Buteco” means “bodega” in Portuguese. The name represents owner Rafael Pereira’s mission to provide “a little bit of everything” to Buteco’s customers. Stop by earlier in the day for a cup of house blend coffee from Chicago’s Intelligentsia. Pay a visit in the evening to knock back a cachaça (a Brazilian spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice).
When it comes to food, you can’t go wrong with Buteco’s savory bites, which include crispy tapioca tots, pulled chicken croquettes, and corn and cheese rissole. We also think they may have the best egg sandwich in town (Sunday brunch only).
During the pandemic, Buteco expanded its menu to include new items such as “feijoada,” Brazil’s version of soul food. More new items are on the way. Meantime, every new recipe is taste-tested and tweaked by Pereira’s mother (is there a better stamp of approval?), and the restaurant will have a brand new kitchen built this winter.
As life returns to normal, Buteco is revamping many of its regular festivities. Many, like Friday’s “Smiling Hour,” are curated by DJ and tastemaker Mike Zarin. In February, the shop hosts the greatest Carnivàle celebration in town.
Chattahoochee Coffee Company
Locations at Walton Westside, Walton on the Chattahoochee and Riverview Landing
2094 N. Decatur Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
Tucked away in the North Decatur Plaza, ChocoLaté Coffee is filled with sofas, armchairs, high-tops, and a window perch for conversing with regulars or getting work done.The Decatur shop (2094 N Decatur Rd) is an Emory hangout, complete with a set-up for open mic nights and small gatherings (There’s also a location at 2558 Shallowford Rd.).The menu features gourmet desserts and fresh pastries, hot and cold brews, espresso, lattés, and more made from their signature blend of organic Brazil, Mexico, India Malabar, Peru, espresso, and house blend beans. Ask anyone in the neighborhood and they’ll tell you the star of the menu is the chocolate chai. Get it iced or hot.
Chrome Yellow Trading Co. was founded in 2013 by husband-and-wife duo Kyle and Kelly Taylor. The pair began operating out of pop-up spaces before opening a permanent coffee and dry goods shop on Edgewood Avenue in 2015. The shop has since become a staple of the Old Fourth Ward arts and social scene.
Chrome Yellow sells journals, greeting cards, coffee brewing equipment, candles, and Chrome Yellow branded apparel, mugs, pins, hats, and such. Additionally, Kyle and Kelly love introducing smaller fashion lines to Atlantans and promoting quality DIY craftsmanship and brands.
Chrome Yellow’s trademark Neighborhood blend was crafted as a celebration of Old Fourth Ward’s history, influence, and resilience. Thus, a portion of every sale goes to support Old Fourth Ward’s vibrant community.
Other great blends include Colombia DelAgua Natural, a kiwi and strawberry compote flavored coffee that marks Chrome Yellow’s first partnership with DelAgua Coffee and their producing partner Adriano de Jesus Montoya.
Good news! After keeping its indoor seating closed for well over a year due to the pandemic, Chrome Yellow recently reopened its doors. Once again, the shop’s industrial-chic, plant-filled space is the perfect place to get work done or catch up with friends while enjoying a quality cup of coffee.
With locations in Buckhead, Midtown, Ponce City Market, and Decatur, it’s difficult to not stumble across Dancing Goats’ bustling storefronts.
Dancing Goats is the offshoot of Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, an Olympia, Washington-based company that’s had a significant Atlanta presence since 1994, establishing itself as one of the best roasters in town even before they opened cafes around the city.
So, why “Dancing Goats?” According to legend, one day a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats dancing and prancing after eating small red berries from a nearby bush. Thus, the magic of coffee was revealed.
The Dancing Goats blend is B&B’s signature brew. Its bold and toasty flavor features hints of almond, chocolate, and spice. Other blends include Exotic Spice, boasting hints of clove and peanut butter, and the Organic Whirling Dervish, a balanced and sweet blend with molasses, cherry, and chocolate notes. Try the single origin blends, too, sourced from Costa Rica to Ethiopia.
The PCM location’s enormous indoor-outdoor patio is an especially great place to relax with a book and people watch. Their selection of snacks and pastries are from Emerald City Bagels, Duck’s Cosmic Kitchen, and other local bake shops. —Holyn Thigpen
East Pole was born in a Grant Park garage circa 2015, and has since flourished in its current warehouse space as part of the Armour Yards creative office community.
East Pole’s full-service coffee bar literally wraps around their roastery, making for an immersive, grounds-to-cup experience bound to thrill any coffee lover. East Pole’s specialties include “Popayan Reserve,” a sweet, floral blend sourced from Cofinet coffee growers in Colombia, and “Iyenga,” a Tanzania-sourced blend with notes of pineapple, raisin, and cherry.
The coffee bar features fun, nautical-themed decor and a pet-friendly patio. Plus, there’s bleacher-style seating in the lobby next to the shop where customers can hang out and work.
East Pole recently announced the opening of two new locations—one in the Plaza on Ponce near Plaza Theatre as well as a shop in Birmingham, Alabama—by early 2022. Even better, these new locations will offer expanded hours and transform into a wine bar in the evenings. How’s that for the best of both worlds?
Be sure to visit Rough Draft’s guide to local coffee as we continue to profile local cafes and roasteries. Send us your favorite coffee spot via our Instagram page. — Holyn Thigpen
Back in 2009, Rahel Belfield noticed that the tight-knit Grant Park neighborhood was missing one essential thing: a coffee shop! Soon, she began renovating a ramshackle brick building on Cherokee Ave, along the west side of the park. On Valentine’s Day 2010, Grant Park Coffeehouse opened its doors.
Belfield’s background as a pastry chef has shaped Grant Park Coffeehouse into a coveted destination for pastries and other delicious treats, all of which are made fresh daily. GPCH has something for everyone, from classic chocolate chip cookies to their trademark chicken sausage-stuffed breakfast pockets. Oh, and definitely don’t miss out on their colossal, customizable breakfast sandwiches (duly hailed as some of the best in the city).
For those muggy summer months, GPCH serves up a mean scoop of ice cream. The shop specializes in certified organic fair-trade coffee beans. Keep it simple with their home brew or, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out one of their funky specialty lattes.
Stop in for lunch after a trip to Zoo Atlanta or pick up some drinks to-go before you stroll across the street through Grant Park. Whether you’re working from the front deck or just stopping by, Grant Park Coffeehouse is the perfect place to spend a day in this historic neighborhood. —Holyn Thigpen
Locations on Moreland Avenue, coming to Decatur and Westside
1105 Euclid Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
Joe’s Coffee Shop
510 Flat Shoals Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30316
Just Love Coffee began in 2009, when Rob Webb and his wife, Emily, made the decision to adopt two children from Ethiopia.
On the trip there, Rob was inspired to begin hand-roasting coffee beans to help others while taking customers into a form of social partnership. Since then, Just Love has grown to help families fundraise and offset the expenses of adopting children.
Just Love’s Sandy Springs location opened in 2020. Under the guidance of franchise owner Amanda Singer and her team of baristas, the shop has built a loyal fanbase with its menu of specialty drinks like the Toffee Coffee latte, a mix of toffee nut and caramel and the dark chocolate-coconut Coco Loco.
The Just Love food menu is built around one staple: waffles! Whether you’re getting a bacon tater breakfast sandwich or an Italian caprese, rest assured that it’ll be put into the waffle press.
The menu is filled with supremely Instagrammable treats, including chocolate chip cookie and Fruity Pebbles-stuffed waffles. Whether you’re coming for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this waffle-rific menu is sure to please. —Holyn Thigpen
Land of a Thousand Hills has a mission: Get people thinking about the who, what, and where of their morning cup of joe.
The company partners with Rwanda coffee farming communities to provide farmers with secure and sustainable income. Their project Do Good Health builds health clinics to serve the communities of Kivu and Ruli, with a goal of providing over 10,000 farmers with basic healthcare. They’ve also implemented the Evergreen Water Project, which works with Water for Life to create water catchment systems.
Thousand Hills always honors its Rwandan roots. The Nziza Collective Microlot Blend pays tribute to its growers, 200 women who are single providers for their families and live by the motto, “Strong through coffee!” Another blend, Vooba Vooba, translates to “quickly, quickly!” in Kinyarwanda. Made from a mix of Rwandan and Brazilian beans, it has a bold, nutty flavor and makes for a perfect shot of espresso.
Land of a Thousand Hills believes that coffee should not only taste good but also do good. Stop by one of their several metro Atlanta locations to join this inspiring mission and create lasting change. — Holyn Thigpen
Sarah O’Brien opened her French inspired bakery, The Little Tart Bakeshop, in 2010, first setting-up at farmers markets and eventually settling into a space she shared with Octane Coffee at the Jane in Grant Park. Locations in Krog Street Market (2014) and Summerhill (2019) followed.
[In full disclosure, Little Tart has a special place in the Draft’s history as the concept and business plan was hammered out over many coffees and too many chocolate pistachio croissants at the pre-pandemic, three-seat bar at Krog.]
While all of the baked goods are noteworthy, when we took our pre-teen nieces for breakfast, they remarked, “why aren’t other croissants this good?!” That seems to be the conventional wisdom. Malcom Gladwell is a fan and Anthony Bourdain paid a visit on The Layover in 2013.
The pastry case is always stacked high with both sweet and savory delights and their dedication to the art of crafting an exceptional cup of coffee has raised the bar high for the rest of the city to follow.
The milk is from Southern Swiss Dairy in Waynesboro, GA and the beans are Counter Culture.
Little Tart’s cafes are back open and they now occupy the whole space in Grant Park (437 Memorial Dr SE). As noted earlier, the Summerhill (68 Georgia Ave SE) location is an anchor of that neighborhood and the Krog Market stall is really peaceful in the early mornings (they open at 8 a.m.).
Check their square store to see what’s on the menu.
1046 N. Highland Ave. NE and 2380 Hosea L Williams Dr NE
Perc Coffee Roasters was born in Savannah, GA’s Starland neighborhood circa 2010, when founder Philip Brown started roasting beans and peddling them around town—literally selling bags of coffee out of his backpack while riding his bike.Since then, the company has expanded exponentially. In the summer of 2020, Brown partnered with Alan Fischer and opened their first Atlanta location at 2380 Hosea Williams Drive (near the Hosea & 2nd development). Now, Perc’s second ATL spot is open for business in Virginia-Highland (1046 North Highland Avenue NE), with talk of a third new location on the way that will serve as Perc’s new HQ.In the meantime, stop by the shop for a selection of drip or manual coffees ranging from “mild” to “wild,” cold brews, teas, and espresso drinks. Pro tip: The nitro cold brew and the good times latte are the true gems of the menu. Baked goods fill the pastry case, including a blueberry pop-tart emblazoned with Perc’s trademark lighting bolt in icing. And the grilled pimento cheese sandwich is a beacon for anyone with hankering for savory and exquisite comfort food on the go.
“Coffee so good we drink it ourselves” is the Spiller Park Coffee motto, and it’s easy to see why.
Since 2015, they’ve been serving up a knock-out list of blends from nationally renowned roasters, including Chicago’s famed Intelligentsia Coffee and the Boston-based George Howell Coffee. The shop is named after Spiller Field, which was the home of Atlanta’s own minor league baseball team, the Crackers, for over 60 years.
Owner Dale “Coach” Donchey has filled the shop with homages to this bygone era, which inspired the creation of Spiller Park’s mascot, Hoolie, a bat-swinging bear.
Spiller doesn’t stop at coffee.
Their comprehensive toast menu is sure to have something for every bread aficionado. On Fridays and Sundays, they serve up fresh bagels from Donchey’s newest company, Dear Friend, Bagels, which he hopes to expand into a full bagel shop and delicatessen by early next year.
Stop by Spiller’s original Ponce City Market kiosk next time you’re out shopping or head to the Toco Hills location for some prime patio seating. With great coffee and baseball to boot, Spiller’s really in a league of its own. —Holyn Thigpen
Waller’s Coffee Shop
240 Dekalb Industrial Way
Decatur, GA 30033
Some may say that Waller’s is off the beaten path, tucked away at 240 Dekalb Industrial Blvd in Decatur. But, the unassuming location is one of its greatest assets. A bucolic creekside forest walk behind the shop is perfect when you need some Zen or bird watching with your cold brew or cortado (they serve Batdorf & Bronson). There’s a fridge full of craft beers and plenty of baked goods, snacks, and sandwiches behind the counter. The Outer Space Concert Stage behind the shop is regularly booked with local acts.