As the days grow shorter and the temperatures slowly drop, walking around the city is made complete only with something warm and delicious in hand to fuel the holiday shopping, workday lunch break, or Saturday morning errands. Not matter what you’re doing in the Queen City this time of year, we have compiled a list of hot drinks—some sweet, some savory, some bold—for you to grab and enjoy this season. And don’t worry: if you’re not a coffee lover, we’ve still got you covered.
Summit Coffee Co: Café Americano
Located in a 100-year-old building on the main street of Davidson, Summit Coffee’s flagship store combines historic vibes with awesome brews. It’s hard to choose a favorite from here, but the Café Americano stands out among the rest for being exactly what an Americano should be: rich, flavorful and smooth. Grab one of these drinks to stay warm while you stroll through charming Davidson.
Not Just Coffee: Cortado
With three locations to choose from now, enjoying a warm coffee made with fresh ingredients and crafted by talented baristas is available all over the Queen City. Honorable mentions go to their Caramel Latte drink, which is made with their in-house caramel. But it’s the Cortado which has a warm spot in our hearts; full-bodied espresso with creamy steamed milk that hits the spot every time and gives just enough of a caffeine buzz to satisfy any coffee connoisseur.
Amelie’s French Bakery: Brown Butter Pecan Café Crème
The original Amelie’s is a NoDa gem with both amazing food and baked goods. But their drinks are just as stellar: their Brown Butter Pecan Café Crème is guaranteed to bring about all sorts of holiday feels. It combines brown butter, white chocolate, espresso and milk and is complete with delicious whipped cream and candied pecans. This drink is seasonal, so grab it while you can.
Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastry: Pour-Overs and Hot Chocolate
Another NoDa staple, Smelly Cat is a quirky, inviting coffeehouse with stellar, full-flavored pour-over coffee options offered daily, including the favorite Costa-Rican blend. But if you’re not in the mood for a classic cup of coffee, the hot chocolate is another great drink that is both creamy and sweet. It’s also a good option for the caffeine-free kiddos.
Central Coffee Co: Spicy Mocha and Dirty Chai
If you’re up for something new, Central Coffee’s Spicy Mocha will keep you warm in a totally different way. A delicious mixture of savory chilies and sweet chocolate, this drink is spicy and sweet. If you wish for something a little more traditional in taste, their dirty chai is one of the frothy coffee-less drinks that stands out with its blend of holiday spices.