Welcome back to The Abroad Blog! This comprehensive list of the best coffee shops and cafes in Charleston, SC has been sitting in my blog’s drafts since I moved down south in August 2021. 1.5 years and a few thousand calories in lattes later, here we are. Please enjoy this round up of my absolute favorite coffee shops in the greater Charleston, South Carolina area. These recommendations only made this list if they were reviewed by yours truly in terms of atmosphere, menu, service, etc.
PS. If you’re looking for the perfect three day itinerary for Charleston, this is the post for you!
Best Coffee Shops In Charleston, SC
Babas on Cannon
There’s two Babas in Charleston – one on Cannon Street and one on Meeting Street. I prefer the one on Cannon Street, although it is smaller. There’s some outdoor, cafe-style sidewalk seating a few seats inside. This place has a full coffee + tea menu and a few pastries, including literally the best banana bread you’ll ever have in your life. Get it toasted with butter… trust.
Brown Fox Coffee
Brown Fox Coffee is just a little to-go window, but it’s precious AND delicious. Located in Mount Pleasant, it’s known for its seasonal lattes and charming exterior. Don’t miss this sweet small business, it’s one of the best coffee shops in Charleston!
Clerks Coffee Company
Located within Hotel Emeline (a common trend in Charleston – take advantage of the boutique hotels here!!), Clerks is great for remote work. There’s ample seating, a full menu of caffeine, nearby street parking, and WiFi.
Kudu is a local favorite of mine! Located right near Hotel Bennett off King Street, Kudu is a coffee shop turned craft beer bar at night. It has a well-known courtyard with string lights to enjoy and my favorite tasting coffee in town. The owner hates weak coffee, so even a small here comes with 2 shots of espresso! I love the iced vanilla lattes at this downtown Charleston coffee shop.
La Pâtisserie offers coffees, teas, pastries, and breads to-go or for dine-in in the chic cafe area. This French-inspired spot is attached to the Hotel Bennett, so it’s located centrally on King Street but usually has a bit of a line. It’s the best French cafe in Charleston, SC.
Rise Coffee Bar
Probably the most Instagrammable coffee shop in Charleston, the Rise Coffee Bar is located right off King Street in the Restoration Hotel. It has limited seating but an entire wall of plants inside, a deck with outdoor seating, and delicious counter-served espresso drinks.
Pro-tip: I recommend trying the Charleston Blend Tea here!
Second State Coffee
Second State is a chain down in the Charleston area. There’s two main locations I frequent – the downtown location and the Mount Pleasant location. Since Mt.P is more of a suburb, this spot is much bigger and has a bit more food. The downtown location just has one large communal table and some bar seats, but the coffee here is rich in flavor.
Best Cafes In Charleston, South Carolina
Brown’s Court Bakery
Although there’s dozens of other cafes in Charleston, SC, Brown’s is one of the best places to eat in Charleston. Try an iced latte and Rosemary + Sea Salt bagel from Brown’s Court bakery. This neighborhood gem is located in an old, two-story CHS home and has no seating. It’s just a window off a deck on the lower level. It’s hard to miss – just look for the line.
Pro-tip: The bagels here are literally the best you’ll ever have (and I’ve had many New York bagels). They sell out fast, so get here early… by like 9 / 10 am on the weekend.
Caviar & Bananas
Caviar & Bananas (as strange as it sounds) is the perfect quick-service spot for lattes, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and paninis. Located right on the College of Charleston’s campus, it’s a popular spot amongst college students. The Aztec panini here ROCKS!
Pro-tip: If you’re hungry in the airport, there’s a small Caviar & Bananas located there too.
This cafe is also located on Upper King, so you’ll have to drive to get here if you’re staying downtown. It’s worth it though! It has such a cozy atmosphere and really strong WiFi, making it another sweet work spot. The Harbinger menu is also mostly vegan, so their homemade foods are full of veggies and flavor.
This is Harbinger’s sister cafe! This one is located on Queen Street in Charleston and has a more of a restaurant atmosphere. Harken is known for its sweet treats, succulent salads, heavenly sips, and their traditional biscuit. This sweet spot is one of the best cafes in Charleston, SC.
Pro-tip: You can’t use a laptop at the tables in the dining room here, so it’s not the best for remote work, but I love meeting friends for a latte and quick bite here.
Mercantile and Mash
Merc & Mash is my favorite coffee shop in Charleston for remote work. It’s much bigger than the others on this list, making it suitable for corporate meetings and collaboration. They have a very full food menu here, making it a popular spot around peak lunch hours. They also stay open until 4 pm on weekdays, which is a bit later than the others on this list if you are looking to work remotely.
Located on Upper King, the Daily is a bit out of the way for a cafe in downtown Charleston, but it’s worth the trek. The Daily has a more full breakfast menu and amazing seasonal drinks. The whipped feta toast with honey is literally to-die-for.
Located across the Ravanel Bridge in Mount Pleasant, Vintage is a must! They’re known for their seasonal lattes and breakfast sandwiches. This spot also has pretty limited indoor seating, but a fantastic outdoor area – complete with picnic tables, high-tops, and even a playground for kids. It shares some real estate with Coastal Crust, one of my favorite pizza spots in the city.
Although this spot isn’t super work-friendly, 132 Spring is great option for all things coffee, tea, breakfast, and brunch. The inside has charming cafe vibes, loads of plants, and some cute merchandise for sale.
That completes my list of the best cafes in Charleston, SC. I hope you get the chance to visit a few of these cafes next time you pass through the city.
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