The South’s Best New Coffee Shops

You don’t have to be a coffee snob to appreciate a quality cup. These new boutique cafés serve up high-end joe with a side of Southern hospitality

illustration: Tim Bower

Compass Coffee
Washington, D.C.

As marines, Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez guzzled a lot of coffee; first, during training just to stay awake, and then while deployed in Afghanistan. Their habit turned into an obsession, which led to a critically acclaimed e-book, Perfect Coffee at Home, and now a brick-and-mortar café and wholesale roastery on Seventh Street, in the tricked-out hull of an old Laundromat.

The Daily
Charleston, SC

Excellent beans from the Portland-based small-batch pioneers Stumptown Coffee Roasters are almost an afterthought here, where Michael Shemtov—the man behind nearby gourmet sandwich shop Butcher & Bee—also offers a seasonal rotation of cold-pressed juices, wine, beer, grab-and-go groceries, and specialty pastries such as his savory Southern take on Turkish börek, stuffed with kale and feta and topped with benne seeds.

Figure 8
Austin, TX

Everybody wants to be a regular somewhere. And Figure 8 owners Ryan Hall and Kathleen Carmichael, who worked at Houndstooth and Cenote (pillars of Austin’s coffee scene) before opening their new space, know that in a city full of five-star coffee shops it pays to know—and like—your neighbors. A three-sided copper-topped bar encourages patrons to order diner-style; plenty of seating invites them to stick around and chat.

Little Tart Bakeshop & Coffee Bar
Atlanta, GA

The only thing better than the smell of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning is the aroma of just -baked, buttery almond croissants. That’s what Paris-trained baker Sarah O’Brien was counting on when she opened the second location of her popular bakery, at Krog Street Market, in partnership with the hot Atlanta roasters behind Octane Coffee.