If you are anything like me, coffee is an essential to get you through everyday life. Wake up – drink coffee. Go to class – drink coffee. Study – get coffee. Going through a life crisis – get coffee. Due to the fact that these are reoccurring instances in my life, I’ve found the best local places around downtown Charleston to get a good cup of coffee that isn’t Starbucks.

1. Black Tap

This beautiful little coffee shop is a treasure hidden a few blocks away from campus. It has a really relaxed vibe and a great staff. Grab a lavender latte or another specialty while you stay and study with their free wifi or take it to-go on a walk around nearby Colonial Lake or back to class with you.

2. City Lights Coffee

A small coffee shop off of King by Market will give you one of the best cappuccinos in Charleston. Looking for something sweeter and iced? Move over Starbucks, because you’re not the only coffee shop around that has frappes in this city! It may not have a lot of seating, so grab a seat if you can, or take your coffee to go and stroll around the market.

3. The Daily

This Butcher & The Bee owned coffee shop on Upper King is a great place for grabbing a beautiful latte, pastries, breads, and cold-pressed juices. It has a great atmosphere and is worth the walk from campus.

4. Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

possibly the most beautiful coffee I have ever purchased #kudu ☕️

A photo posted by Kristen Kornbluth (@kristenkornbluth) on

Kudu is the staple for any College of Charleston student. It’s close by and has beer on tap, the best croissants near campus, the best staff, and, most importantly, some kick ass coffee drinks. While its downfall is that it doesn’t have free wifi, the outside courtyard with a fountain and lights makes up for that. Leave your laptop at home and spend some time in the courtyard reading or writing instead.

5. Tricera Coffee

Congratulations @hannahgabc for a beautiful first attempt at a Rosetta!

A photo posted by Tricera Coffee (@triceracoffee) on

Still relatively new to Charleston, Tricera Coffee has made a mark at the College of Charleston. With specialties like the saffron latte, it’s a must try for any coffee lover downtown. Tricera also has specialty waffles and breakfasts that are almost too good to eat.