The Best Cafes & Coffee Shops in Charleston

While Charleston may be known more for its restaurants and bars, the city is also home to a thriving coffee scene. Grab a cup of Stumptown, opt for a carefully crafted pour-over, or enjoy your coffee alongside doughnuts, craft beer, and more.

481 King Street
It’s always hard to choose between the selections at Glazed Gourmet, because the menu of fancy flavors is always changing. If you don’t order today, will you ever get the chance again? The big chocolate-filled Black and White? The apple bacon fritter? Or maybe a honey bun... Always on the menu and always recommended is a cup of chai latte.
4 Vanderhorst St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
This mellow cafe is just north of Marion Square. They focus on coffee and craft beers (you can bring your own growler if you want to take some home), but you can pick up everything from pastries and sandwiches to locally made sodas and kombucha served from a tap. Kudu’s courtyard is calm and spacious: a great oasis in the middle of the city.
1503 King St, Charleston, SC 29405, USA
Charleston is a relatively small city to sport a food court, and Workshop’s out-of-the-way location on the Peninsula’s Neck underscores that. Situated in a Silicon Valley-esque complex of start-up office spaces, you’ll need to drive to get there, and once at the modern, industrial food hall, you’ll be faced with some tough decisions. The rotating vendors have included Juan Luis, a Tex-Mex spin from BBQ master John Lewis, and seasonal booths where the city’s up-and-coming chefs test out their latest concepts, from Japanese sliders to shareable Indian small plates. Although the vendors change regularly, there’s always a coffee shop, a craft pizza or burger stand, and a variety of ethnic options, making Workshop a must on any dining tour of Charleston’s latest and greatest. It’s also directly adjacent to Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co., a popular hangout and generally regarded among the city’s best breweries.
59 1/2 Cannon St, Charleston, SC 29403
The success of this tiny bakery, open on Cannon Street since 2007, rings like a harbinger of the change to the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood over the last decade. Two New York architects fled the big city to make cupcakes in a local nook. They’re not propped up by alcohol sales, and until the last few years, they were well off the Upper King Street walking route of most tourists. But they’ve thrived, due to a commitment to local farm-raised ingredients and uncompromising baked-daily cooking. Daily specials like Thursday’s Lady Baltimore cake sell out quickly, but don’t fret—there are plenty of cookies and cupcakes on hand until close (6 p.m. on weekdays). Although seating is limited inside—six can squeeze together, at best—you won’t be blamed for devouring the lovely confections on the spot. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with a chocolate bourbon pecan tart; even in a city full of food, it may be the best thing you eat all day.
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