Y’all, I lived in Charleston for three months earlier this year and I’m so saddened to hear the news of Hurricane Matthew. I know Charleston has dealt with dangerous floods before but I’m praying and hoping all is well for any of you living along the path in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. I’m thinking of you guys! I’ve been meaning to post a blog about the coffee shops in Charleston for a while now and I’m hoping of course none of these are affected by Hurricane Matthew.

One of my fondest memories of living in Charleston (besides seeing the most amazing sunsets ever) was spending loads of time in all of the coffee shops in the city and surrounding area. The list below focuses on coffee shops for students hitting the books, for digital nomads that are bored with quiet co working spaces, and for those who just want a place to chill and catch up! I bring to you today: Chucktown’s Top 5 Best Coffee Shops.

Muddy Waters Coffee Bar on James Island

I’ve planned the perfect day for you. Head across the bridge into James Island (“JI”) which is nearby West Ashley and Avondale, where a ton of locals live and hang out. Go to Muddy Waters early, enjoy a chai latte and catch up on life to do’s with free wi-fi. Then, walk over to either Cory’s Grilled Cheese or Barberitos (order the queso blanco) for lunch — both guaranteed to be delicious. Proximity to these spots and a Harris Teeter next door makes this location convenient. The music inside is calming and set at the perfect volume. There is seating available but small enough where it doesn’t ever become too crowded.

Muddy Waters

Vintage Coffee in Mount Pleasant

Situated off a main road, Vintage Coffee is in “Mount Perfect” which is just over the Double Diamonds bridge (locals call it “the bridge”, really named the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge). It is in a white house with an outdoor patio in the front and back. They have a strong wi-fi connection and they also made the list because they have a delicious food menu. I enjoyed the Cinnamon Bun French Toast (because yessssss) and the Breakfast Burrito (very good). Perfect place to set up for the day especially when it’s nice out and you can enjoy the outdoors.


This place is the CUTEST! It’s so cozy, there are multiple seating areas and a backyard patio, I felt just at home here. You must order the cha yen (Thai iced tea) when you go, it’s one of their specialties and it’s oh so good. Note that there is 2 hour parking outside but I left my car out for nearly the whole day and they didn’t seem to be super strict over there (of course you never know, but that was my experience). Staff here are very friendly, I felt super welcomed and I even made a friend while working there!


Open seating area with couches or tables, this shop easily made my list. Dark yet homey feeling, it is perfectly located near all the action in the hipster hood of Avondale. You can get super cozy here in one of the couches, get your work done for the day and then take a quick walk over to one of the many nearby restaurants or bars to meet up with friends for dinner or happy hour. On rainy days, I really enjoyed spending time here and relaxing with a cup of coffee.

BLACK TAP COFFEE in Harleston Village

Ranked the #1 coffee shop in South Carolina in 2014, this is still considered a must stop today. Defined by being a “hip, minimalist setting for coffee and tea”, Black Tap offers a comfortable setting with a lot of light, which might sound weird to point out but some of these other shops are fairly dark. There are a few spots to sit, but because it is popular and nearby the CoC (College of Charleston) it fills up fast. If you go to their Yelp page, you will see they are known for their creative lattes. I tried the lavender and brown sugar lattes and both were really good!

Note: The much talked about coffee shop “Kudu” and “Daily Coffee” did not make the list because they do not have wi-fi. Pros and cons but since I primarily work at coffee shops I rely heavily on wi-fi. Great spot to hang out and catch up, Kudu has a delicious lavender latte.

Do you know Charleston’s coffee shop scene well? What do you recommend?