From Segway tours to dreaded campus tours, if you’re a washed up senior like me whose main concern is getting through the grueling and increasingly frigid days of Work Forest, you’ve probably been wondering why the hell there aren’t any coffee tours.
If you’re tired of waiting in the ZSR Starbucks line that winds all the way upstairs or always irritated that North Starbucks never has cold brew, it’s time to venture downtown and check out these 8 spots. They’re sure to serve you up a cup of Joe that will make you jolt awake as it damn well should. We’re onto you, Starbucks… but back to coffee.
1. Camino Bakery
Consider Camino your jack of all trades. Its charismatic staff keeps customers coming back for more, whether it’s for a study spot, a place to have a conversation, or a way to culture yourself with tons of local art displays. Weekly specials, such as half-price cheesecake on Tuesday and half-price bottles of wine on Wednesday, keep your college wallet happy while its seasonal menu matches any mood during any time of year.
They’re vegetarian, nut, and gluten-friendly, and boast delicious breads, sandwiches, pastries, and desserts in addition to coffee, tea, beer and wine. You really can’t go wrong at Camino.
#SpoonTip: Wednesdays also offer half-price triple-layer cake slices. When you’re not pouncing on a vacancy in the comfy booth in the corner for a prime study spot, double up on cake and wine and use it as a pregame for your Wednesday night bar hop.
2. Twin City Hive
Coffee snobs/anyone from Seattle, this one is for you. Boasting the best cold brew in town, Twin City Hive is a local gem tucked in a corner on Brookstown Avenue that will transform you into a coffee sommelier.
No kidding: they have an entire menu dedicated to the flavor palates of each coffee they serve. For those who crave a flavorful twist, all syrups are made in-house. If you ‘re craving something sweet, they have a beautifully colorful array of gourmet truffles. Now that’s classy.
3. Atélier on Trade
If you’re still nostalgic from your semester abroad and all you need in this life of sin is pain au chocolat et un café au lait, get off of Kayak and head straight for this artsy little joint nestled on Trade Street. A Francophile’s dream, Atélier on Trade has a gorgeous display of freshly baked French pastries and imported French jams. And when it comes to coffee, it’s all fair trade.
An added bonus? The large tables and relatively quiet atmosphere make it a prime study spot, and its location is a hop, skip, and jump from fabulous restaurants and art galleries. It’s a perfect celebration of culture that any travel freak seeks.
#SpoonTip: After catching a hot power vinyasa class at Paz Studios a few doors down, high tail it on over to Atelier to keep the energy flowing.
4. Krankies Coffee & Kitchen
Krankies is the epitome of the quintessential localista’s dream. First things first, they roast every last bean in house. All of it. Fun fact, their coffee is actually served all throughout the majority of Winston-Salem’s restaurants. Mary’s Gourmet Diner, for example, has a special brew that is only served to Mary’s customers. They even collaborate with Camino in serving their pastries.
A newly opened in-house restaurant called Krankies Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’ve even got booze, too. Their rotation of local taps and live music makes Krankie’s feel about as Winston-Salem as it gets. And their freshly renovated space ensures you have plenty of room to enjoy it all.
#SpoonTip: Don’t make yourself cranky with parking—park on Patterson Avenue nearby for a lovely walk past Bailey Park and a guaranteed easy parking spot.
5. Krankies Airstream
in a hurry? we got your back A photo posted by @krankies_airstream on Apr 9, 2014 at 9:50am PDT
All the hipster of Krankies tucked into a convenient little silver trailer. It’s also a much prettier scenic drive through Winston’s Reynolda area, and a lot less hectic than the drive-thru line at Starbucks. Need I say more?
6. Café Olé Coffee House
Think of your mouth as the bull and any of Café Olé’s coffee beverages as the matador; you will be conquered, and you will be screaming “olé!” at the end of that third shot of espresso.
This spot is prefect for the adventurer. If you’re feeling like trying something radical, you need know just three words: brown sugar shot. Swirls of brown sugar mix artfully with the foam atop and pack a sweet, molasses-tinged punch with every sip.
#SpoonTip: The fun at Café Olé doesn’t stop at coffee. Grab your crew and wind down with one of the board games and full-service Nintendo Wii offered in-store.
7. West End Coffee House
Located just around the corner from Foothills Brewing Co. and Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro, West End Coffeehouse has a little something for everyone. For those with a serious sweet tooth, you can sample some of their award-winning gelato and jolt yourself awake all at once with an affogato: a shot of wicked hot espresso over, yes, a scoop of gelato.
8. Pepper Mill Coffee Shop
If you blink, you’ll miss it. Tucked on the quieter end of the usually bustling 4th Street, Pepper Mill Coffee Shop, or “PMC” as the locals say, is cozy, quaint, and quite possibly the perfect spot for those wishing to sample both local and international java imports.
PMC regulars flock there for its consistently great coffee and great service—it’s said to have the friendliest baristas in town. Its relaxing environment makes it a great study spot for when others on this list become a little too crowded.