20 "Buzz"worthy Coffee Shops in Columbia SC
Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:00 AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Whether you’re cuckoo for coffee, jivin’ on java or ecstatic over espresso, we’ve got your caffeine fix covered in Columbia SC.
Though the two locations on Main Street and Five Points may have completely different atmospheres, the quality remains the same. Indulge in the sweet heat of a Honey Habanero Latte, unwind with a Rose Cardamom Latte or get an instant jolt with a Vader – a bold mix of Coca-Cola and espresso – all with your four-legged friend in tow.
After getting their successful start at Soda City Market, husband and wife team Nick and Stefanie Hauser now have two brick-and-mortar locations – one in the North Main area of town and one in the historic Arcade Building on Main Street. Meaningfully named after the Indonesian word for beautiful, the beans are roasted in small batches with extreme care to the origin of the coffee they source. We recommend the Thai Coffee, a cold brew with prominent coconut and cinnamon flavors.
With a name that exudes intrigue and a menu to match, this socially-conscious shop welcomes all and often has a running Community Card tab that’s funded by generous patrons for those who are struggling and need something to eat or drink. Come sip on superfood lattes, signature drinks like a Rose Coffee Tonic or Campfire Cold Brew, and add CBD to your beverage if you don’t want to get too wired. Top your coffee off with their featured “Whip of the Week,” with past flavors including Chocolate Hazelnut, Orange Cardamom and Maple Cinnamon, among others. Pick up something for now and something for later, as they also sell craft beer and wine.
Delivering Central Perk-like vibes to Columbia, this Five Points shop is so much more than what first meets the eye. Cozy couches, eclectic décor, colorful signs and a wall of mugs instantly charm, but it’s their devotion to being a welcoming place for all and their job training program for people living with disabilities that truly warms the heart. Bonus: the incredible food menu boasts vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto and vegetarian options so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
What’s a college campus without a cool, local place to get some coffee, grab lunch and hang out? Here, The Perfect Man and Woman aren’t so hard to find – they’re right there on the menu! And atypical sandwich options like curry chicken salad and the Bacon & Blues panini with bacon, bleu cheese, blueberry & lavender jam and fresh spinach will make you realize that this is one afternoon pick-me-up spot that should not be missed.
Loveland’s massive new café and roasting facility is now open in Irmo, offering plenty of space in which to spread out and stay a while for breakfast, lunch or a pick-me-up. For those truly on the go, their quaint drive-thru kiosk is just the place for a quick pit stop that doesn’t skimp on quality. This family of specialty coffee roasters are also big on community collaboration. Fans of the Coffee Lager at Steel Hands Brewing in Cayce will be interested to know it’s brewed with Loveland’s own cold brew concentrate. Cheers!
Nestled behind the South Carolina State House, Immaculate Consumption has been serving up scrumptious sandwiches and in-house roasted coffee for over 20 years. Insider tip: Always get a side of grits with your breakfast and keep your eyes out for their Bahn Mi special. It goes fast!
This botanically-charged space on Devine Street makes their herbal syrups in-house and encourages patrons to “blum where you are planted.” Atypical seasonal flavors (think Brown Sugar Sage in the winter, Strawberry Basil in the spring, Rosemary Maple in the summer and Caramel Apple Butter in the fall, etc.) accompany other unexpected options like delightfully carbonated Coffee Sodas.
Serving coffee and tea by day, then beer and wine in the evenings, The Front is located by the river in Canalside. Come by on Thursdays for live jazz or take your beverage to go for a scenic stroll at Riverfront Park anytime.
Situated over on the Cayce side of State Street, Piecewise brought a local coffee option to that residential area when they opened in 2019, much to the neighborhood’s delight. Serving up signature options like the maple cold brew Mo-Jo, a subtly sweet Honeysuckle Latte, a bright Strawberry Matcha Latte and more alongside baked treats sourced from smallSUGAR, you’re sure to savor each visit.
The owners of 72 Company are behind this darling coffee shop that will open on Devine Street later this year. With drinks named after iconic female trailblazers like Dolly Parton, Michelle Obama, RBG and more, you’ll get your caffeine fix with an added boost of inspiration and empowerment.
Lexington’s only locally-owned coffee shop was born from the love of how coffee brings people together. Come during the day to get energized with coffee, tea, smoothies or a bite to eat, then come back at night when the space has transitioned into an idyllic date night dessert bar. They even have on site meeting space available because everyone knows the best kind of meeting involves coffee.
Columbia’s newest coffee spot just opened up on State Street in West Columbia. Owned by the same people that run Crepes & Croissants, The Hideout’s menu includes sweet concoctions like the Snickerdoodle latte or Strawberry Nutella latte, as well as your usual coffee and tea suspects. The drinks are supplemented with café fare like avocado toast, pastries, tartines and sandwiches.
Follow your nose down one of the alleys in the Vista and tucked away, you’ll find smallSUGAR. Owned by Chefs Sarah Simmons and Aaron Hoskins, the heavenly aroma of their freshly baked pastries is topped only by their taste. Grab a few (because it’s truly impossible to pick just one) and pair them with a Golden latte, a cappuccino or a cold brew, among others, and savor each bite and sip.
Pop into The Well Café in Rosewood to replenish your energy after a killer workout at Studio Fire (or hey, skip the workout altogether and just go straight for the pick-me-up). The organic and plant-driven menu includes superfood boosts, seasonal selections, Blender Bomb smoothies and more.
Oliver Gospel’s new coffee roasting operation off of Main Street offers much more than just a way to perk up in the morning. All proceeds go right back into the organization’s mission to serve those in need and the café provides a space to teach job skills in customer service, management and sales that will pave the way for a bright future.
Bart’s is original to the Chapin area, but recently opened up a location in West Columbia, too (and you might even spot them at Soda City Market every now and then!). Buy some beans to brew at home or sip on something on site to see what all the hype is about. They don’t call it crazy good for nothing.
It’s safe to say you most certainly will not go thirsty if Sweetwaters in the Vista has anything to say about it. You’ve got your energizing coffees, your invigorating teas, frozen concoctions for those sweltering summer days, there’s even handcrafted sodas. Not to be upstaged is the seriously stocked dessert case that will have you adding a slice of cake to your order before you even know what’s happening.
A book lover’s paradise, The Coffee Shelf in Chapin invites you to read and shop for books while enjoying your coffee. In keeping with the theme, the special drinks are all named after characters in literature – Hermione Granger, Tyrion Lannister and Eeyore are just a few examples.