While Charlotte is known for its beers and breweries, the city has plenty of other drink options before happy hour. Coffee shops abound in each district of Charlotte and, this time of year, are the best places to get something warm and caffeinated to shake off the wintry chill. Here are a few local shops that have a little something extra, a unique, eclectic take of their own, to help keep you caffeinated in whichever area of Charlotte you may find yourself.
Smelly Cat Coffee House and Roastery – NoDa
The shop describes itself as “a quaint, local, neighborhood coffeehouse packed with personality,” and they certainly follow through in that claim. Located just off of the main strip in NoDa, Smelly Cat screams eclectic with the name alone. Offering coffee, pastries, and artwork, the coffee shop is a gem of the art district. Exposed brick, string lights, and an intimate space all work together to create a cozy and inviting, yet quirky, atmosphere.
Coco and the Director – Uptown
Located on Trade Street, Coco and the Director caters to Uptown’s (frequent) coffee needs. Defining themselves as not only a coffee shop but a “co-lab” space, Coco and the Director offers their local coffee selection in a unique setting: Walls of windows, second story and tiered seating, and calming brown tones compose a welcoming environment, while the wood flooring paired with industrial décor gives the space a warm-yet-edgy feel. Not only can you satisfy your coffee needs, but your food cravings are covered as well with their wide selection of pastries and smoothies.
Undercurrent Coffee – Plaza Midwood
Decorated in blue and white colors and natural light, Undercurrent Coffee is a charming space among the hustle and bustle of Plaza Midwood. Offering items such as coffee, house-made sodas, and chia pudding, the shop boasts a range of options for any taste. Soups, toasts, and breakfast items accompany the dozens of coffee and tea options that Undercurrent Coffee has to supply to their patrons. The space feels homey with comfy blue couches, shelved decorations, and a segmented floor plan that creates an intimate feel.
Crema Expresso Bar and Cafe – Dilworth
If you are looking for a soothing environment to fully take in your coffee experience, then step into Crema Expresso for a calming, art-filled experience. Located in Dilworth, Crema Expresso is a family-owned, local coffee shop taking pride in delivering a European touch to their coffee and atmosphere. Offering food items ranging from breakfast to charcuterie boards, you can undoubtedly find a perfect pairing with either coffee, tea, or one of the local beer or wine options that are also available.
Amèlie’s – Uptown
A classic staple in Charlotte, Amelie’s French Bakery is a lighthearted, French-inspired coffeehouse, and the surplus of seating makes this coffee shop ideal for meet-ups and study sessions, thus attracting the college crowd. The array of pastry options is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, and the establishment also offers sandwiches and salads to satiate your hunger. The coffee and tea selection, titled on the menu display in French with English subheadings, has everything from basic coffee options to more specialty drinks.