Nine Raleigh Coffee Shops to Work and Hang At

Here’s the dish on where to fuel your daily grind, whether you’re working, studying or meeting with friends. 

Happy National Coffee Month! If you’re someone who’s always looking to grab a cup of joe by any beans necessary, August is your time to shine—and it’s the perfect excuse to check out all the coffee shops we’re so blessed to have here in Raleigh. But with so many to choose from, how are you to know which one fits your vibe? Here, we take a deep dive into a few local coffee spots we love a latte

Sola Coffee Cafe

7705 Lead Mine Road

Socializing 🤝delish drinks. “Build relationships over delicious food and quality drinks.” Because the communal space is so busy at certain times, Wi-Fi isn’t available around the clock, so bring friends, fam and/or co-workers for a chance to disconnect and convene over a cuppa. And be sure to strike a pose in front of the super ’Grammable I Believe in Raleigh mural. 

Fiction Coffee 

4509 Creedmoor Road, Ste. 104

Fact or fiction? Fact: The coffee from the typically quiet Texas-based spot means business, what with plenty of outlets, office phone booths for private calls and a conference room for collabs that won’t bother others. The high-end coffee pairs well with the small snacks on offer, including muffins and breakfast sandwiches featuring beloved local Michael’s English Muffins. Pro tip: The lavender latte is a must. BRB, we’re playing Lavender Haze on repeat.

Idle Hour Coffee

1818 Oberlin Road, Ste.103

Cozy vibes serve up the perf perch for some idle time. Come for the coffee, stay for Tepuy Donuts (check out which flavors are featured online beforehand!). Post up on one of the homey couches inside—or, if it’s not too hot out, pull up a chair at the bright yellow-hued outdoor tables. Sounds brew-tiful!

The Optimist

1000 Brookside Drive

It’s giving earthy elegance with no decor detail forgotten—from plush green seats to dark wood trims and bright wallpaper in the bathrooms (!), NTM greenery throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces (the back patio is a major vibe). True to its name, the locally sourced menu—complete with breakfast and lunch ops—and atmosphere will no doubt leave you happy. Come weekends, stick around for live music from local musicians.

Cup A Joe

3100 Hillsborough St.

“It’s the best of both worlds…” Think a large room where you can chat with friends at any volume (dropping first and last names is highly encouraged… *sips tea*) and a red room boosting the unspoken rule of being a quiet work space in this eclectic caffeine spot. WKNC (aka NC State’s radio station) is always playing funky music in the large room, adding to the unorthodox yet welcoming vibe. And if you are on the rise and grind, you can grab a brew as early as 6am. Pro tip: Try the iced vanilla trainwreck on “Wired Wednesday”—you can thank us later. 

Sir Walter Coffee

145 E. Davie St.

Named for the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (aka Raleigh’s namesake), this Downtown coffee/cocktail bar touts historically good beans and specialty coffee cocktails if you’re in need of something stronger than a regular cuppa (!). Espresso martinis, always. And don’t sleep on the food either.

The Third Place

1811 Glenwood Ave.

From the oriental rugs to the vintage and local art to the antique pieces lining the wall, this Five Points stop is one of a kind. After browsing the colorful creations and eclectic glass lanterns hanging from the ceilings, be sure to try a macchiato with almond milk and a Salmonwich. Sounds like first place to us!

Global Village

2428 Hillsborough St.

Hence the name, this Hillsborough shop gives major worldly vibes. Be sure to come with an empty stomach to fill up on the paninis, scones and other delicious baked goods. And if you’re craving an organic brew on a weekday, go early or you’ll have to compete for a seat with the flocks of NC State students who trek across the street for an in-between-class coffee. 


2100 Hillsborough St.

200 Park at North Hills St.

8450 Honeycutt Road

With friendly baristas at all three locations, both indoor and outdoor seating, and a full lunch menu, this space is the optimal blend for any coffee stop, whether you’re trying to hunker down for a study sesh or chat with friends. The biscuits are a must-order—go sweet with a topping of fresh blueberry compote, or savory with egg, cheese and protein.

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.