Atlanta Coffee Shop Crawl

I watched Julie & Julia for the first time last night. I've been trying to find someone who owns it for years and finally located a copy in Atlanta which was the sole reason for my trip really great. Besides making me wish again that Julia Child was still alive and would maybe invite me over to her home for dinner one day, it made me want to continue to go to deeper levels of food and the heart behind why I bother with blogging. It certainly isn't for monetary gain (I don't make money - does anyone?); it isn't because my blog is wildly popular - have you seen the followers tab? No, I blog food, write about food, cook food, try food for the simple and important reason that food is meant to be shared. I'm never in this because I think I'm the best choice. I'm in it because anyone can celebrate what it is to create food and share it with friends and family. No, I don't think I'm the first or best person to ever draw a parallel between food and community. I don't think I'm the only one who loves to cook for the pure joy of throwing ingredients together and an hour later bringing something (literally) to the table that will delight other humans. Food is important. You can't live without it. And there is no more common ground than the need to nourish ourselves and each other with the best eatables we can manage to procure.

Food. It's great.

There is my profound comment for your Monday. I hope somebody reading this was prepared for a lecture from Plato when they clicked on this link because man, did I deliver. My other occupation while in Georgia (besides visiting friends, staging The Great British Baking Show, unofficial American Edition) was an impromptu coffee shop crawl! While waiting to meet up with some friends who were stuck in errands/hellish Atlanta traffic, my sister and I compiled a list of the highest-rated coffee shops in Downtown Atlanta and set off. We hit five stops in two and a half hours that first day and rounded off the weekend by hitting up two more on the way out. Now that I've stocked up on caffeine in half the shops around town, I feel like I can accurately bring you some Atlanta coffee recommendations for the next time you brave the city of peaches, Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, and the gold dome! I've listed the coffee shops in terms of a good route to crawl through if you're looking to follow in our revered footsteps. Side-note: Atlanta has a lot of coffee shops and I know we hit only a handful. Most of ours were located in Old Fourth Ward/Edgewood/Highland. The only location West of I-85 that we tried was stop #5: Brash Coffee. So for planning purposes, if you want to replicate this little coffee-crawl, situate yourself East of I-85 and bring bikes or a vehicle - this isn't an easy crawl to accomplish on foot.

Stop #1: Dancing Goats at Ponce City Market
650 North Ave. NE
  Atlanta, GA
in three words: abstract, eclectic, bright
ordered: 12 ounce iced coffee
brews: Batdorf & Bronson 
special feature: roomy, covered patio

Stop #2: Condesa Coffee
480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA
in three words: modern, inviting, cool
ordered: cappucino
brews: Counter Culture Coffee
special feature: surprisingly delicious yogurt parfait

Stop #3: Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
501 Edgewood Dr. SE
Atlanta, GA
in three words: relaxed, spacious, quality
ordered: cafe latte
brews: Stumptown Coffee
special feature: hipster boutique at the back of the shop

Stop #4: Octane Coffee
437 Memorial Dr. SE
Atlanta, GA
in three words: industrial, focused, popular
ordered: "white lightning" pour-over
brews: house-roasted beans 
special feature: abuts to Little Tart Bakery

Stop #5: Java Vino
579 N. Highland Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA
in three words: super-chill, friendly, quirky
ordered: Vietnamese iced coffee
brews: Selva Negra Estate coffee (grown by the owners' parents)
special feature: you can buy beans from the extensive selection behind the bar

Stop #6: Brash Coffee
1168 Howell Mill Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA
in three words: tiny, pretentious, serious
ordered: iced almond milk latte
brews: house-roasted beans
special feature: built inside a shipping crate

Stop #6: Copper Coin Coffee
400 Chambers St.
Woodstock, GA 
in three words: casual, roomy, rustic
ordered: dirty chai latte
brews: Counter Culture Coffee
special feature: giant wooden "bleacher" seating

Hints: though Anna and I were way over-caffeinated by the end of this coffee-crawl, I would wholeheartedly recommend any of these coffee shops as a place where you are assured of a high-quality cup of coffee in pretty fantastic surroundings. For the most casual cup, try Java Vino and its almost Hawaiin atmosphere. For the most pretentious cup, hit Brash Coffee and be stared at by a barista who almost certainly thinks he's better than you but will definitely make a good almond-milk latte. For the best how-to-hang-out-with-ten-friends-at-once you'll want to the spacious Copper Coin Coffee in Woodstock. And if you only have time for one stop, definitely try for our favorite cup of the whole trip: Chrome Yellow Trading Co.! Also, when organizing a coffee crawl there is definitely no need for everyone to order his/her own drink. After our initial orders at Dancing Goats, my sister and I took turns buying coffee at each of the successive shops. Much less cost-prohibitive and far better for us in terms of caffeine consumed. The more friends you can get together, the more fun and less crash-prone your day will be. Plan well, have fun, enjoy all the coffee. Then come back here and let me know more coffee suggestions for next time. That is...if I ever get brave enough to stand Atlanta traffic again. Kidddddddding. I'd come back just for Condesa's yogurt parfait.

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