Top 12 Coffee Shops (Right Now)

Most people who know me know that I tend to exaggerate when I talk about the things I love and hate.  With that said, my favorite thing in the world right now is a latte.  In the words of Dorcas Lane, they are “my one weakness”.  Seriously.  So much so, that I plan trips based going to my favorite coffee shops.  So, here is a list of my top 12 places to get a latte right now.

Chattanooga:

Velo Coffee Roasters –  a local roaster here in Chattanooga, TN and where I got truly addicted to drinking lattes.  This is where I was weaned off having any sugar added.

Copacetic Coffee –  Paired with The Farmer’s Daughter, this is a must visit in Chattanooga.  And my go to place to get a latte (as it is just right across the way from Addiah at 1307)!  I love how pure, simple, and straightforward their approach to coffee is.  Their passion is evident and you cannot help but get excited too.  Always delicious and delightful!  Eventually I will try their cappuccino.

Camphouse – great for doing work or for taking a break from work.  Love the atmosphere and location.  (It brings back memories as it is located where I took sculpting lessons/did an apprenticeship of sorts with Cessna Decosimo.)  Plus, it is a great place to see a show or go to an event.  They have a constant line up of events that are worth checking out.

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Knoxville:

Old City Java – a latte paired with their almond croissant and a good book or the latest Kinfolk – perfect!  And an awesome stop along the way on trips up North.

 

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Nashville:

Crema – my favorite place to bring work and sip a latte while spending the weekend in Nashville.  Plus, they roast their own coffee which makes it all that much better.

Barista Parlor – totally awesome design.  There is not much that needs to be said here.  You just have to visit for yourself if you have not; and if you have, you know why I love it.  I tend to leave with a smile on my face after coming here.

Atlanta:

Octane Coffee (and the Little Tart Bakery) – love, love, love sitting outside at a German beer table at the Grant Park location enjoying a treat from The Little Tart Bakery and sipping a coffee, or latte rather. Definite recommendation:  the Earl Gray Shortbread cookies.

Charleston:

City Lights Coffee – loved the people!  Seriously, I was sold.  Plus, my favorite latte while in Charleston.  Cannot wait for my next trip to Charleston and to swing by for a drink.

Washington D.C. area:

Patisserie Poupon – I will admit that I actually get a latte macchiato here.  But, oh, are they good!  Most everything is though!  A great stop for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon treat.  Just be warned they are closed on Mondays.  If only my sisters and I could remember!

Baked and Wired – love their iced lattes!  They make them extra creamy and delicious.  I honestly go here just for lattes (but their quiche is pretty good too).  My sisters and I love to bike the Capital Crescent trail and then come here for a latte.  It makes the perfect afternoon.  The atmosphere is very trendy, and is not quite our kind of scene.  We are good with just getting drinks to go.  And be warned, their desserts are super, super sweet!  Definitely need a coffee if you get one!

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Modern Times Coffeehouse – old school type of coffeehouse.  It is housed downstairs in Politics and Prose (an awesome independent bookstore).  It definitely has that type of vibe going.  The food is good and worth a stop.  There is always an eclectic crowd, everything from students to families.

Philadelphia:

La Colombe – oh my goodness!  What a find!  While visiting Philadelphia months ago, my sisters and I stumbled upon this coffee shop.  Although they have locations all over, and are not based just in the Philadelphia area, I LOVE it.  The atmosphere was charming – I mean, literally – it charmed us with the simplicity and character of the place.  I felt transported back to Deruta while sipping my latte out of a mug and enjoying a most delicious biscotti at a tiled table.  They did not go over the top with their Italian design/influence, which I really appreciated.  Everything had a purpose, yet was beautiful and of obvious quality – I mean it was imported from Deruta.  We loved it so much that we could not wait to go back the next day!  We tried both locations while there and were not disappointed with either!  I am so looking forward to working Philadelphia into a trip this year just to go back and visit.

Our Perfect Day!

My sisters & I always seem to repeat the same day in different variations when we are together.  Fun, outdoor activities followed with a delightful treat of meal.  Our perfect day!

So, here are a couple of our typical days (and our favorites)….

Capital Crescent Trail and Lattes:  Connecting Bethesda and Georgetown, the Capital Crescent Trail is great whether you prefer walking, biking, or running.  The trail totals roughly 11 miles one way, but depending on where you pick it up, mileage varies.  Make sure to allocate enough time to break the trip and stop for a treat before heading back.  It can get really busy after work and on weekends so be prepared.  My sisters and I usually use it as a means for a delicious latte.  We bike from Bethesda down to Georgetown, get a latte at Baked & Wired or Patisserie Poupon, and then head back to Bethesda.  Definite recommendations at Baked & Wired – any of their quiche, the ginger biscotti, and their lattes of course (iced or hot)!  Definite recommendations at Patisserie Poupon – Latte Macchiato, the almond croissant, and the Crudité Salad…definitely get the Crudité Salad!

The Billy Goat and cupcakes:  Located in Potomac, MD off the C&O canal, the Billy Goat is a fun hike with a climb up a rock face and rock scrambling.  My sisters and I always just do section A which is 1.7 miles and has most of the climbing of the three sections.  We never have enough time to do the whole thing, because we  want to fit too much into one day.  The actual Billy Goat trail is accessed by the towpath of the C&O canal (mileage varies depending on at which point you enter the park).  I also think it is a fun trail to do some running on.  You just have to be careful because there are definitely a lot of rocks and potential for tripping.  After a quick hike/run, we like to swing by Fraiche Cupcakery in Bethesda, MD.  They really do have the best cupcakes in town (or at least that we have found and we do look).  Fraiche Cupcakery makes all their cupcakes with natural and local ingredients when possible.  They have an assortment of daily flavors, as well as a list of weekly specials, with a savory cupcake flavor offered on the weekends.  Definite recommendation – the strawberry cupcakes are probably the best strawberry cupcake I have ever had from a store or bakery.  It tastes like homemade, from scratch baking.  Honestly, it is hard to go wrong there with any of their flavors.

*Note that the park service does caution hikers that the Billy Goat trail can be dangerous and it is not suitable for all hikers.