Will Hardison

In the South, and the United States, Charleston has become a cultural hub filled with the finest architecture, dining, and lodging available. Travel + Leisure magazine has even named the College of Charleston the most beautiful college campus in the United States.

Charleston is the spot to be! As a local Charlestonian living and working in the city, I run on coffee so I expect my coffee to be high quality, and local Charleston coffee shops definitely deliver. The new batch of hip coffee shops is on the rise in town and I am here to serve as your guide for navigating them!


1. The Eclectic Café and Vinyl  - 

Located on the corner of Spring Street and Ashley Avenue, Eclectic has become one of my favorite haunts. The glazed wooden work counter, rustic furniture, and large windows provide the perfect work environment, and the wingback chairs make getting work done more comfortable.


Their coffee and tea offerings are straight to the point. Eclectic mainly provides classic coffee favorites, but they do it well. Their Honey Latte is one of my favorite lattes in Charleston.


(Image from The Eclectic Cafe and Vinyl Instagram)


2. The Harbinger - 

The Harbinger is nestled away in the North Central neighborhood of Charleston. It opened its’ doors this summer and its Yelp reviews have been sparkling since. Their menu is A+, and their Matcha Tea Latte has me hooked. If you aren’t a matcha fan, fear not!


Their menu is filled with classic items that are sure to please everyone. Besides the great coffee selection, their aesthetic and workspace are phenomenal. The quaint front bar area is great for people watching and the back area is filled with mixed & matched tables and chairs.


There is also hanging greenery that provides a soothing work environment for those who prefer the coffee shop environment. 




(Image by @sara.burd)


3. The Rise Coffee Bar - 

The Rise is tucked away in The Restoration Hotel, and can be hard to miss for some. However, it has quickly risen to a favorite spot of mine for on the go coffee. Their Rosemary Latte is unique and oh so delicious, as is all of their coffee offerings.


The aesthetic of The Rise is possibly my favorite out of this list. With marble countertops, exposed brick on the walls, and wooden accents, it provides a visually pleasing space that inspires creativity.


The staff at The Rise are definitely some of the most friendly baristas that I’ve encountered. Comprised of college students and locals, the staff are always talkative and make a point to remember returning customers, something that I value highly in a good coffee shop. Stop by The Rise Coffee Bar and check out their Rosemary Latte! 



(Image from The Rise Instagram)


4. Mercantile and Mash  - 

2015 saw the opening of Mercantile and Mash in the old cigar factory located on East Bay Street. Mercantile and Mash is an event space, bar, food emporium, and coffee bar. Their coffee menu is short, but it packs a punch. Their take on coffee is intriguing.


They offer little variations on their creations, but the Paris by Night and Spro Fizz are truly unique and keep me coming back!



(Image by @sara.burd)


5. Black Magic Café  - 

Café, coffee bar, and beach bum paradise make up the Black Magic Café located on Folly Beach. This one is a bit of a drive, but their take on the Chai Tea Latte is hands down my favorite chai latte in Charleston. Christmas in a cup is how I usually describe the drink to friends, family, and tourists.


This beach shack-esque café has so much character and charisma to it, plus you can grab a shot of vodka in your favorite coffee if you’re feeling extra feisty that particular day. If Chai is your go-to then the Black magic Café should be your new go-to!


(Image from The Black Magic Cafe Instagram)


What is your favorite spot?

Tag us in your favorite coffee spots around town @charlestongrit or use our hashtag #chsgrit