Whether you’re looking for a cozy work space, a new hangout spot with friends or a relaxing place to kick back, Orange County’s collection of coffee shops is sure to surpass your expectations. If you’re itching for a coffee shop environment but aren’t the biggest fan of coffee, rest assured – many of these places offer other beverages, food and snacks, too. Additionally, there are several venues that specialize in tea. Here are some of our favorite spots, but there are many more to explore!
Chapel Hill:Perennial Cafe 403 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Located on Franklin Street, Perennial is an elevated coffee & tea experience using cocktail-like techniques creating unique and delicious creations as well as amazing standards.Tea Hill 318 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
A must try to experience Taiwanese culture, hand-crafted Taiwanese bubble tea and street food. Teas are brewed in-house using traditional Taiwanese teas: Black, Green Oolong and White Tea. Did you know that 20% of the world’s oolong production comes from Taiwan?Carolina Coffee Shop 138 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
This Chapel Hill tradition has been around since 1922. Located within steps of campus, this sit-down restaurant on Franklin Street offers an extensive food menu as well as delicious coffees, teas and alcoholic beverages. Many people frequent Carolina Coffee Shop during the colder months for its rich hot chocolate!
Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews 109 E Franklin St. Chapel Hill
The name says it all! Epilogue is an independently owned and operated bookshop and cafe - a community atmosphere where you can find a book while enjoying craft brews, a glass of wine, or churros and a cup of chocolate. When possible, they partner with other local and sustainable businesses. After perusing their large selection of books, check out the rest of the shop for gift boxes, journals, puzzles and much more.Caffe Driade 1215 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Independent, locally owned & national award winning Espresso bar, Teahouse and Wine bar, Caffé Driade welcomes you into a natural setting of greenery, sculpted gardens and patios. Relax and enjoy a choice of handcrafted espresso drinks, coffee, whole leaf tea and scrumptious baked goods. And for you coffee/nature lovers, you'll be happy to know that it's conveniently located near the Bolin Creek Trail, a 1.5 mile, 10' wide paved trail through meadow and woods that connects to the Community Center Park and the Battle Branch TrailCoco Espresso, Bistro & Bar 101 Glen Lennox Drive, Suite 180, Chapel Hill
You can feel good about getting your coffee, latte, tea and hot chocolate at Coco in Chapel Hill. They are 100% plant-based offering some pretty scrumptious breakfast eats. Coco partners with Carrboro Coffee Roasters (scroll down for more on CCR) and Beautiful Together animal sanctuary.The Poplar Cafe 1114 Environ Way, Chapel Hill
Cozy, cozy, cozy – like at home - that’s how you’ll feel when you step inside for some freshly brewed coffee, espresso, tea, bagels and much more!
Hillsborough and Carrboro:Cup-A-Joe 112 W. King St., Hillsborough
A favorite local gathering spot in downtown Hillsborough for craft coffee drinks. Visitors will enjoy the rotating galleries and pop-up markets featuring local art/artists and the homemade pastries inspired by the owner’s grandmother who was a daughter of Czech immigrants. Look for seasonal specialties.
Open Eye Café 101 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro
Sister to Caffe Driade, Open Eye Cafe is known as Carrboro's Living Room since 1999. Owner Scott Conary has built Farm Direct Coffee Relationships with farmers and producers all over the world through Carrboro Coffee Roasters, a premier small batch artisan roaster. Take advantage of their outdoor heated and covered patio while savoring some of the worlds finest coffee.Gray Squirrel Coffee Co. 360 E. Main St., Carrboro
Artfully crafted seasonal coffee roasted in small batches in-house. Just look for the "We are Community" mural on the side of their building and you'll find their outside patio welcoming coffee lovers and dog lovers.Oasis at Carr Mill Mall 200 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro
This café’s coffee, teas, smoothies and other beverages are full of fresh, local ingredients. If you want to combine entertainment with your coffee shop experience, come by on a Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. for live music!
Carrboro Coffee Roasters:
Since 2004 this small batch roaster has been equally dedicated to the art and the science of roasting their thoughtfully sourced coffee. Their success lies in an unwavering commitment to sourcing the finest coffee through their Farmer Direct Relationship Program, supporting coffee producers in their communities around the world. Each roast of these Farmer Direct Relationship coffees is individually tailored specifically for that coffee, guaranteeing the best roast profile is created to deliver the finest cup. Carrboro Coffee Roasters (CCR) partners with many cafés and restaurants in the region. Learn more & find their coffee here: https://carrborocoffee.com
Here’s a great tidbit from CCR:
“Grinding your own beans just before brewing is optimal for taste, because aroma and flavor in coffee are extremely perishable. The best grinder uses burrs that give the most consistent and even grind. A grinder is a great investment since the whole bean coffee stays fresher longer than ground coffee. We call these the ‘Chefs Knives’ of the coffee world – you spend a little more for a great tool you will use every day (probably even more often than those very expensive knives…), that will immediately make your coffee experience better!”
Check out all the coffee and tea shops in Orange County https://www.visitchapelhill.org/restaurants/coffee-tea-break/
We hope you have fun exploring these funky venues for your next cup of joe! Comment below to let us know your go-to coffee shop and order.