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7 Best Coffee Shops in Charleston, SC That You’ll Love a Latte

May 24, 2022

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When it comes to an inviting atmosphere, delicately pulled espresso shots, creamy AF lattes, and warm, decadent pastries that smother you with flavor, the best coffee shops in Charleston seriously have it all.

Honestly, I’ve never been to a city where I loved ALL the coffee I tried.

But, to my surprise, Charleston coffee shops easily topped most I’ve been to in the US.

As a fellow explorer and coffee lover, I know you appreciate a good roast as much as I do, so trust me when I say you’ll love the ones Charleston is cranking out!

So in this post, I’ll be spilling the beans (see what I did there ;)) on where to get the best pour in Charleston, South Carolina.

All tried and tested by yours truly.

And for some additional help with planning your trip to Charleston, I suggest looking at my other helpful guides:

List of the Best Charleston SC Coffee Shops

  1. Harken Cafe
  2. Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer & Craft 
  3. Clerks Coffee Company
  4. Huriyali
  5. Sightsee Shop
  6. The Daily
  7. Second State Coffee

Don’t worry—we’ll dive into what makes each of these so great.

Later, we’ll also talk about which coffee shops are the cutest ;).

And here’s a little map of them for you! If you want a live version to use during your trip, click here!

map of the best coffee shops in charleston sc

Now let’s dive into the coffee! These are listed in no particular order.

#1 Harken Cafe

When conducting some Inspector Gadget-type research on where to find the best coffee in the city, I came across Harken Cafe quite a bit.

And wow, this place was underplayed.

As soon as you walk in the door, you’ve entered some enchanted fairytale. Antiques, brass accessories, luscious plants, and green accents fill the space.

It feels pretty romantic.

Harken is the perfect downtown Charleston, SC coffee shop to relax and enjoy a good cup of Joe after meandering—as if you couldn’t tell already.

I recommend grabbing one of their cookies while you’re there—chocolate chip is my go-to! 

#2 Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

Kudu Coffee is the hipster Charleston coffee shop you never knew you needed in your life. The staff is SUPER friendly and has no problem chatting you up if you snag a bar seat.

You’ll love that they offer a variety of drinks, locally roasted coffee, and 20+ beers on tap!

Additionally, their muffins are pretty great. However, the coffee cake one stole the show for us!

If the weather is nice, sit in their cute outdoor courtyard!

#3 Clerks Coffee Company

Clerks was an instant favorite as soon as I set foot inside. Located in the voyage-inspired hotel Emeline, Clerks Coffee Company serves up coffee perfection in the heart of historic Charleston.

The entire place feels so airy, fun, and bright.

It’s easy to imagine yourself cozying up in their plush plaid chairs, sipping a warm cappuccino on a rainy Charleston day.

Clerks offers breakfast, brunch, and lunch.

I snagged an apple coffee cake from them and loved it—it had all the right spice and that gooey apple filling was perfection between the soft bits of cake!

Once you’re done here, walk across the street to the Charleston City Market and explore!

#4 Huriyali

Huriyali was another coffee shop that took me by surprise! Its blue exterior will make you feel like you’re walking up to a hip Hawaiian acai cafe, and the inside does the same.

You feel like you’re on vacation! HA!

Honestly, though, as soon as I snagged one of their chickpea blondies (sounds sus, I know) and an oat milk latte, I was in H-E-A-V-E-N. 

It tastes like you’re eating mom’s homemade, raw cookie dough—YUM.

Totally something naughty bb Dani would do. And UGH, the coffee was rich and warm in flavor.

I mean, oh lawdy. That blondie will SEND YOU. The nachos are pretty good too!

And if you’re with someone who’s hungry for lunch or wants fresh juice, Huriyali has that too!

#5 Sightsee Shop

This next coffee shop looks humble on the outside, but it’s anything but on the inside! Sightsee is a travel-inspired Charleston coffee shop with a perfect 5-star rating on Google.

Every inch of Sightsee is curated with hand-picked goodies.

The Sightsee team loves to promote local artists and creators, which is how they source most of the knick nacks they sell inside.

The coffee’s smooth, nutty, and robust in flavor.

So, if you’re a super coffee lover, you’ll enjoy their pours and the vibes!

They have a vintage VW bus, Olive, they drive around and use to serve coffee. If you’re lucky, you might catch it by the ocean!

#6 The Daily

The Daily is a modern coffee shop located on King Street.

It serves up a LOT more than delicious lattes!

They have wraps, bowls, burritos, smoothies, and pastries you can enjoy. And if a basic ol’ oat milk latte isn’t your vibe, you can try one of their specialty drinks.

Try an ube milk tea, black sesame latte, and whipped coconut cold brew—YUM.

This is the perfect pit stop for when you’re enjoying a day in Charleston and need something with a little more punch than the afternoon pick-me-up.

#7 Second State Coffee

Second State Coffee prides itself on its sourced beans, as it should!

They gather the best roasts from across the globe to serve handcrafted coffee beverages coffee addicts will rave about.

And the vibes inside are immaculate! As soon as you walk into Second State, you feel much more like a local than you would at most places.

The staff aims to be as hospitable as possible, so they treat everyone like family.

The brown sugar oat milk latte and the lavender latte steal the show, being notable favorites you’ll have to try for yourself when you go!

Fun fact, Clerks Coffee Company serves Second State’s coffee!

Cute Coffee Shops in Charleston

Now, we can’t deny that the overall “vibe” of a coffee shop is a major factor in deciding whether or not we pay it a visit.

The ambiance is everything, and there’s something to be said about having a great cup of coffee in a place that makes you feel some type of way.

Cuteness adds to the experience!

So in this section, I wanted to quickly highlight the coffee shops from the list above that have an “it” factor—they’re photogenic too!

  • Harken Cafe—The MOST vibey of the bunch, in my opinion. You can’t argue with their cute interior.
  • Clerks Coffee Company—This coffee shop in Charleston is elegant without feeling stuffy. And its mint green accents are *chef’s kiss*.
  • Huriyali—The outside garden seating area makes you feel relaxed and cozy. The blue exterior and tropical-ish interior will make you feel like you’re on an island!

Picking Which Shop to Visit

Picking what coffee shop to go to can be overwhelming, especially when you have so many choices in Charleston! But here are some tips that helped me plan which ones I would go to.

These are especially useful if you have limited time.

Explore the Area

Some of the best coffee shops are in the nooks and crannies of Charleston that you’ll undoubtedly be exploring.

So when planning your itinerary, pick what coffee shop you’ll visit based on where you’ll be for the day!

If you need help with this, I suggest reading my Charleston 3-day itinerary write-up!

Use Them as Snack Time

Rather than having a full-on meal at a coffee shop, use them as a snack opportunity! Some of the best meals of my life came from Charleston restaurants that I had to make a reservation for.

Coffee shop snacking allowed me to enjoy amazing meals in Charleston AND visit multiple coffee shops for my snack cravings muahahaha.

Pick Your Vibe

Decide what kind of experience you want to have!

Clerks and Harken will be for you if you’re into cute and photogenic places.

Sightsee would be a better option for someone on the go! Second State or Kudu are probably the better options if you need wifi for the day.

Overall, I have nothing bad to say about any of the Charleston coffee shops I mentioned!

And I know you’ll love them too.

For more help planning your epic Charleston adventure, check out my other helpful posts!

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I'm a burrito loving explorer who got fired from corporate America and turned that into my dream career as a photographer and blogger. Now I'm here to help you explore life's magic. Thanks for stopping by!