Working from home is great. I don't miss office life at all. BUT I do miss people. When you work from home you have to make a conscious effort to get out the house and be a productive member of society. Thankfully I have my gym friends, so that usually gets me out the house for an hour a day. Some days, I crave more than just an hour of civilization. I like a good happy hour, but some days I don't feel like drinking. That is where the coffee shop comes in handy.
I have to admit, I am bit of Starbucks junkie. Gold card member since 2015. There is literally a Starbucks right across the street from my house. As much as I love Starbucks, it gets noisy, and crowded. It's also not a local business. I realized there are so many other local coffee shops that I was missing out on. So I went on a journey to discover all the local coffee shops in Charleston. Here's where I went.
Sojourn is a quaint little coffee shop located across from the Starbucks near my house. Sojourn is not your modern/techie coffee shop. It is family owned and provides a very nice atmosphere. The coffee is good. I like that their ice coffee comes with the "good" crushed up ice. Their breakfast sandwiches are to die for. Literally, my favorite breakfast sandwich. The pricing is relatively close to Starbuck's pricing ($4 or so for the sandwich, $3-4 for coffee). It serves as a central gathering spot for politicians and those involved in the West Ashley community. It can get quite noisy when they are having their roundtable discussions.
Vintage Coffee is located across the bridge from me in Mt. Pleasant. I really like Vintage Coffee's outdoor space. I decided to venture to Vintage Coffee on a nice day to get out the house. I had my roof of my Jeep so I wanted to drive a bit and ended up there. It was a weekday early afternoon when I went. I was taken back by how crowded it was. It wasn't even lunch time or a prime time. The parking lot was full and I had to park next to the shopping center next door. All the picnic tables were full, so I grabbed my iced coffee and sat outside. The coffee was okay, nothing remarkable, but as I looked around me, people were ordering food. The food looked amazing. I have had their avocado toast there in the past and it was great. I enjoyed sitting on the porch looking out at people and cars passing by. It is definitely a family friendly place, so if you have kids, I would recommend taking them there. (They have a playground out back). I would definitely go back. (Maybe when the weather is a little cooler, with a laptop it can get quite hot outside and feels like my laptop is literally baking).
Collective Coffee was probably my least favorite coffee shop, although I hit it right before it closed for the day. I ordered an iced green tea. It was okay. I've heard the food there is fantastic, but haven't had a chance to try it out. The inside is a little quiet and stiff. If you are truly looking for a place to hunker down and study or churn out some work, then this is the place. They have a couple tables outside. I met a friend there and it was nice to be able to sit outside and chat for a bit.
Black Tap Coffee
Out of all of my coffee ventures, Black Tap was probably my favorite. The only downside is the lack of parking right there. I did the park and pray and at a meter with no change. I managed to get away with parking for two hours with no ticket. Anyways, the space inside is small. The day I went it was raining so everyone was inside. There was a small outdoor place to sit. I grabbed a latte. I typically don't drink hot drinks in the summer, but I was wet from the rain and it was a bit chilly, inside so I went with it. I found a small little spot with my own table. I liked how the crowd was diverse. You had working professionals (like myself) and some college aged kids (it is downtown, so that makes sense, although college was out at that time). The latte was AMAZING. Probably the best cup of coffee I have ever had. I slurped it down and debated getting another. I was able to work for a few hours from Black Tap. It did get a little loud and crowded at times, with people literally sitting on top of each other. Other than that, I HIGHLY recommend.
Other Honorable Mentions
Although, I did not visit these places during my coffee journey, I have visited both Kudu and Normandy Farms on Broad Street. Kudu is a great spot to grab coffee and a beer. It is on a highly trafficked area of King Street, so it's not ideal for parking. If you are within walking distance, I highly recommend going.
Normandy Farms also deserves an honorable mention. When I worked at the Brandon Agency on Broad Street, I would walk to Normandy pretty much every day and get a shot of espresso or an Iced Coffee. The sandwiches there are to die for. I would highly recommend it for a grab and go spot, but not necessarily one to sit and stay for a while. Although, there is a group of older gentleman who gather their daily and chat about politics and current events.
Haley Parler Moore
Charleston resident. Digital Marketer. Crazy Crossfitter. Bulldog Mom. Gamecock fan. Constantly clad in Lululemon.