Destination Coffee: Java Hotspots in Raleigh NC

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Raleigh Coffee Shops

Today on Destination Coffee, I’m going to take you on a java tour of my hometown -Raleigh NC.

Raleigh is not only the Capital City of North Carolina but a top destination for coffee and curated beverage lovers as well.

Working from home in software tech sales, I love to treat myself to a good cup of coffee or tea during my lunch break. One of my best friends and I meet up for our ‘coffee club’ where we try new roasts and coffee spots in Raleigh and beyond.

Today I’m spilling the beans on my favorite coffee haunts in Raleigh and a few new spots I’m looking forward to trying soon.

Cup of Joe:

A Raleigh institution for over thirty years – Cup of Joe is a gathering spot of NC State students and the community. The decor is not fancy – but rather you feel as though you are a guest with friends. The coffee is arguably the best in Raleigh. Hand roasted on site – their slogan is ‘Don’t Forget Your Beans’ so you can brew your own cup of Joe blend at home.

What I love about Cup of Joe – Raleigh is what they brew up for monthly specials. No other coffee shop creates such delectable and original handcrafted coffee, tea and smoothie treats…Example: George Bailey’s Peppermint Wreck at Christmas with homemade peppermint whipped cream to Shanaleigh Irish Creme Latte for St. Paddy’s Day or even a Banana and Peanut Butter selection for Elvis (a favorite of the owner).

While I enjoy the coffee at Cup of Joe – my favorite drink is the Blackberry and Dairy Smoothie with yogurt and whipped cream. It is fresh, delicious and fills you up for a busy day at work or before you hit the travel trail.

Learn more here.

Black and White Roasters at Videri Chocolate Factory

Coffee and Chocolate – could life get any better? Videri Chocolate Factory on Davie Street in downtown Raleigh (not far from the Warehouse District) allows you to learn about how this renowned chocolatier crafts its bean to bar chocolate. You can also enjoy a chocolate themed coffee in the chocolate cafe, where Wake Forest NC’s Black and White Roasters serves up the perfect mix of chocolate meets coffee. The hot cocoa is amazing!


Address: 327 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC

Jubala Coffee

With several locations in Raleigh, Jubala focuses on a coffee experience worth celebrating with their mix of espresso to lattes and more.

Jubala has full bodied roasts from local vendor Black and White Roasters (also in Videri Chocolate in Downtown Raleigh). They feature a unique mix of handcrafted coffee drinks from back to basics high quality espresso or a Tumeric Tea Latte or Almond Latte. Jubala also has a earthy health-conscious and delicious menu.


The Third Place:

A Raleigh establishment since 1994, I started going to The Third Place in elementary school to grab an Italian soda, in my former Five Points neighborhood…now I enjoy their dark roasts with a gluten free treat. My only call out with The Third Place is it has very limited hours since COVID and you have to go early in the a.m. to snag a drink and pastry.

Located: Five Points area -Raleigh


Sola Cafe

Located in North Raleigh’s Greystone Village, Sola Cafe is a gathering place for community. They are now for their delicious cinnamon donuts and amazing gluten free treats. Enjoy coffee, smoothies, ice cream and a great meal all in one.


Address: 7705 Lead Mine


Located in The Glenwood Shopping Center near Harris Teeter (near Oberlin Road) in the heart of Raleigh’s Inside the Beltline District, Hereghty’s is a popular neighborhood stop and often overlooked gem for pastry treats. It dubs itself as ‘heavenly delicious,’ with fresh baked pastries, muffins, cakes to pair with coffee, tea and wine.

I love their almond cookies with powdered sugar paired with a Raspberry Latte.

My only call out with Hereghty’s is it can be slow service if you are ordering a sandwich or non pastry food item. But this is due to staffing issues in the restaurant industry in general.


Address: 2603 Glenwood Ave #123, Raleigh, NC 27608

Idle Hour Coffee

Located on Oberlin Road in the greater Five Points area, Idle Hour is a newer entry to the Raleigh Coffee Scene…They have an exceptional drink selection from spirits to coffee. When I visited in October they had a unique fall drink menu – with maple, ginger and other flavors.

Where Idle Hour sets itself apart are the amazing desserts including a few gluten free options (I have Celiac)

Deja Brew:

In North Raleigh off Falls of the Neuse in the Quail Corners Shopping Center – Deja Brew is a mix of java, chai and smoothies that you want to return to over and over again.

My favorite is their Iced Vanilla Latte and a small Mango Smoothie with Whipped Cream.

They have a drive through, which makes it convenient if you are on the go…or you can enjoy drinks and good conversation with friends in their relaxing interior.


Address: 5001 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609

42 & Lawrence:

Run by one of the best coffee roasters in Raleigh, Larry’s Beans. Larry’s Beans is sold throughout the US and known for its amazing variety of blends sourced ethically and made in an environmentally responsible manner. Their downtown Raleigh location is known as a hot spot for java lovers. While parking is a bit of a pain during the week (for me), I do love stopping by for their delicious specials – the pumpkin latte in the fall is out of this world.


Address: 134 E Martin Street

Lucette Grace:

Known for the macarons and pastries (including delicious gluten-free options), Lucette Grace is just of Fayetteville Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh (near the Wake County Courthouse).


Address: 235 Salisbury Street, Raleigh NC 27607

Morning Times:

Located on Hargett Street downtown by sister restaurant, The Raleigh Times…this is housed in the old newspaper offices of the now defunct Raleigh Times. The coffee is fresh and will give you the jolt you need for the day. Ironically I’m normally here at night before a concert at The NC Symphony or IBMA Bluegrass Fest (September)


Address: 10 E Hargett Street

321 Coffee:

With locations at the Farmer’s Market (Raleigh) and Downtown Raleigh (near Pendo building); 321 Coffee is powered by those with developmental disabilities. Having a disability can be a super power – and these baristas are not afraid to show that they will not be defined by ‘disability.’ Website

Gabi’s Grounds – is another great local coffee roaster (her product is at Harris Teeter and online) that was founded by Raleigh native Gabi…She didn’t let down syndrome prevent her from having her own thriving coffee business – giving a hug in a mug…Learn more here.

Bad Cat Coffee

Located in the Morgan Street Food Hall in the revamped Warehouse District, Bad Cat Coffee is actually all about supporting cat rescue, with a percentage of coffee sales going to a cause dear to my heart -Safe Haven Cat Rescue (Raleigh). When I worked across the street, I’d treat myself to their mocha or black coffee. It is the best spot (in my opinion) in the otherwise over crowded food hall.


Location: Morgan Street Food Hall

Purr Cup Cat Cafe

This cat cafe also partners with Safe Haven for Cats – enjoy coffee or a craft brew while snuggling with cute adoptable cats in the cafe. If you like milk in your coffee – keep in mind they are vegan so you’ll have to bring your own creamer…but that’s a small ask given it is the ‘purrfect’ spot to get your caffeine fix and support cats.

Website: Sign up here for time to see the cats (donations help feed the cats); you don’t need appointment if you want a drink.

Address: 210 Prospect Drive Raleigh NC

My kitty, Cezanne – she was rescued by Safe Haven for Cats

Brew Coffee

A bit off the grid since they moved to their McNeill Place location (off Wake Forest Road), but worth the trip. They have excellent coffee and tea – plus one of the best gluten free monster cookies I’ve tasted!


Address:2310 Bale St. Suite 106
Raleigh, NC 27608

Yellow Dog Bakery

Located off Person Street in downtown Raleigh, this is a popular coffee and bakery for Oakwood residents. I’ve enjoyed a few visits, enjoying seasonal drinks and my go to vanilla latte.


Other local favorites:

Pine State Coffee: Hand roasted in Raleigh, they are a coffee wholesaler with a great coffee shop too. Located on Automative Way, off the beaten path but in close proximity to Raleigh’s central core.

Optimist Coffee: My coffee friends swear by The Optimist. I haven’t visited yet, but judging by their amazing online window I cannot wait to try it in person. 1000 Brookside Drive, Suite 109.

Sir Walter Coffee: located in the heart of downtown Raleigh near the Red Hat headquarters, this bustling coffeeshop serves up breakfast, coffee, tea and cocktails. Website

NoRa Coffee: Located in North Raleigh off Strickland Road, I just learned about this amazing coffee cafe. Less than five minutes from Lake Lynn – why not grab coffee or a gluten free treat to power you through your walk. Website.

Chains with Local Care:

Raleigh has a few chain coffee shops that have a community focus…I wanted to include those here as well.

  • Biggby Coffee: Brand new to Raleigh, this Michigan based chain has been brewing up drinks for two decades. I was introduced to Biggby in Indiana and fell in love with their freezes (kind of a smoothie drink) and Caramel Coffee…The Raleigh locations are locally owned and hyper focused on service and community involvement. Learn more here.
  • Caribou Coffee: I live near Caribou and it feels like you are part of the family at my location. They have a great drive through option or plenty of space to get work done or enjoy good conversation while having a Campfire Mocha or Strawberry Banana Smoothie| Edwards Mill Road and at Brier Creek

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