Cafes in Charleston

Select Local Merchants

Twenty Six Divine serves up a wide range of specialty homemade sweets and savories for daily meals and special events. An extensive à la carte lunch menu changes daily, like a kitschy wicked witch trying on different Dorothy heads. Past offerings have included wraps, paninis, and soups, as well as dishes such as seared beef tenderloin with bacon, caramelized onions, and roasted tomato over homemade olive bread ($6). Gourmet take-home dinners include turkey meatballs with egg noodles and creamy mushroom sauce ($6) and can also feed two people or sixteen self-sufficient automatons. Assorted fresh-baked rolls and crackers ($3–$5) are on hand daily for simple noshing, and sweet teeth can sink into specialty à la carte desserts, including marble-glazed pound cake ($3), peanut-butter chocolate cups ($3.75) and peaches 'n' cream charlotte with fresh raspberries ($4.25).

682 King St
Charleston,
SC
US

A warm, passionate band of locals staffs the comfy communal environs at both Muddy Waters Coffee Bar locations, each dedicated to serving tasty, Counter Culture Coffee-approved fair-trade coffees. A host of flavorful, creative bean-bound beverages adorns the menu like so many gilded ribbons on a break-dancer's pantaloons. Swathe a chilly tongue in a hot coverlet of hand-quilted espressos such as the latte ($2.80–$3.65) or muddy mocha ($3.35–$4.20), or impress an island hotelier with all-inclusive blended drinks such as the caramel frappe ($4.20¬–$4.60). The coffee bar's iced coffee ($2.25–$2.60) pairs well with its myriad pastries, which arrive from local vendors like Sticky Bakery, Nicole's Nutty Goodness, and Grawnola. A cozy, welcoming environment fills both locations, underscored by uncannily warm, helpful baristas and frequent, community-focused in-house events.

1331 Ashley River Rd
Charleston,
SC
US

Charleston Tea Company is a house of leafy luxury that brings together more than 50 varieties of tea from around the globe to quench querulous thirsts. Sip a cup of mango-chai-flavored tea, a blend of Masala chai tea and mango ($5.70/oz.), or relax with other loose-leaf and medicinal teas and fresh-brewed iced tea. Turn a fire hose on stomach infernos with fresh, made-to-order food from either the breakfast or lunch menus. Diners can delight in breakfast sandwiches such as the egg, cheese, and tomato ($3.99), or lunch sandwiches including the turkey and brie melt ($6.95).

24 Ann St
Charleston,
SC
US

At Southern Brews Coffee, baristas concoct hot and icy espresso favorites to combine with locally sourced bites of baked goods, sandwiches, and frozen treats. The business makes it a point to remain a cornerstone of the Johns Island community, by learning the names and secret superhero identities of each customer and hosting events that dole out proceeds to local charities. Inside the café, they continue the philanthropic theme by offering free WiFi to patrons as they sip freshly roasted brews, including cappuccinos, mochas, or the Nobel Prize latte, which is infused with english toffee, french vanilla, and milk. Outdoor seating beckons visitors during warmer months, and a drive-thru window distributes pick-me-ups as early as 6 a.m. on weekdays.

2812 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island,
SC
US

Angie Bellinger’s rolodex of recipes is culled from a long line of dishes created by her family members. Her Southern comfort food includes fried chicken, barbecue ribs, meatloaf, and pork chops. Proteins pair with such sides as creamy bowls of macaroni and cheese and golden chalices filled with lima beans.

1837 N Grimball Rd
Charleston,
SC
US

Locally owned and operated, The Bagel Shop specializes in authentic, New York–style kettle-boiled bagels, made fresh daily in 12 different varieties. Bread-ring biters can make a meal out of a single bagel ($1.10), available in flavors such as pumpernickel, garlic, and poppy seed. Slather plain housemade cream cheese on a multigrain bagel ($2.40), or experiment with exotic cream cheese flavors, freshly folded with such tasty accoutrements as jalapeño cheddar, scallions, and sun-dried tomatoes ($3.50 with bagel). Wash down a mouthful of bagel benevolence with a cup of Intelligentsia direct-trade coffee ($1.85–$2.05) or a loose-leaf organic oolong tea ($2.50 for regular / $3.75 for seasonal), served hot or iced.

41 George St
Charleston,
SC
US