There is nothing better than a good cup of coffee to perk up your day. Although I'm living in Miami now, as a native South Carolinian, I have drank lots of coffee in Charleston, and know exactly where you can get the best ones. Whether it's early in the morning or the middle of the afternoon, these spots will not disappoint!

Neeve O’Reilly

1. The Harbinger

For those avoiding animal products, or just looking for amazing pastries, The Harbinger on Upper King is the perfect spot. This cozy cafe has amazing espresso beverages all made with local almond milk, as well as the absolute best vegan pastries I have ever had. Everything is made in house, and they offer plenty of vegan and gluten-free items. They also offer light lunch options such as sandwiches & salads. Even if you're not vegan or GF, the cookies will have you coming back on a regular basis. 

What to Try - Summertime Blues (seasonal espresso beverage with homemade blueberry-maple almond milk, espresso & a maple sugar cookie) and Honey Bunch Cookie (oatmeal cookie filled with tahini, halva topping, figs honey, and sesame seeds). 

2. Second State

With one location in the heart of Charleston and another over the bridge in Mt. Pleasant, there is no reason not to try Second State. Both locations are totally minimalistic, inviting lots of natural light, making it a comfortable and inspiring space to grab coffee and get some work done.

What to Try - Pour Over or Cold brew on tap

3. The Daily

With two locations in downtown Charleston, this is a convenient place to stop in for a quick pick-me-up. Whether you’re on Upper King or over by The Market, The Daily has delicious coffee, good food and unique pastries, as well as items for purchase crafted by local artisans. 

What to Try - Young Coconut with a shot of espresso (the BEST coconut water I have had to date. Seriously.)

4. Mercantile & Mash

Merc & Mash is a super unique spot. They have absolutely everything you need, from charcuterie to wine to coffee to donuts (Wednesday's only). It is located in the Old Cigar Factory along with other retail locations offering up local goods, making it a neat place to stop in to enjoy a cup of coffee and lunch.

What to Try - Stop in on a Wednesday, aka donut day, for your favorite espresso beverage with unique syrup, such as Paris by night, and a gourmet house-made donut.

5. Kudu

Need to unplug for a bit? Head to Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer for chill vibes and no internet. The patio is a beautiful, inviting area to relax with a cold brew, a book, and some friends on a hot summer day. Located just minutes from King Street and open from 6:45 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Kudu is a great, tucked away spot to un-wind early morning, mid afternoon, or late night.

What to Try - Refreshing cold brew on the patio

6. The Park Cafe

Besides offering an insanely tasty brunch menu, The Park Cafe has some of the most creative cold brew creations in the Holy City, such as Nutella and caramel-infused and shaken cold brew. Nestled right along the edge of beautiful Hampton Park, it’s the perfect place to pick up cold brew before heading to enjoy the park.

What to Try - The Siddhartha (Coconut and whipped Nutella shaken cold brew) & fried egg sandwich if you're hungry!  

Now it is time to go out & explore the best coffee in Charleston. Happy Caffeinating!!