An Athens coffee shop post is long overdue for this blog. Given that this city has been my stomping grounds for over three years now, I’ve gotten pretty well-acquainted with most of the local coffee shops that Athens has to offer. My inner coffee snob is making a reappearance on the blog today as I take you through my six primary coffee spots in good old Athens, Georgia.
Hendershot’s is the ultimate mixed bag. Part coffee shop, part bar, part café, part entertainment venue – you never really know what you’re going to get when you walk into Hendershot’s. This weekend, I came in to discover that they were holding a kids’ rock band recital, which was actually surprisingly nice study music. My favorite moment at Hendershot’s was when I was sitting at the bar studying for finals and drinking coffee while the dude next to me took three shots of whiskey. Was vaguely tempted to join in.
Jit Joe’s is actually more of a chain than an individual coffee shop – they’ve got a number of locations in Athens and even a few in Atlanta as well. However, Athens is their hometown, so I felt obliged to include them. They’ve got a very eclectic vibe going, although they’re getting more and more corporate as the years go on. Any location is a good choice for a study spot except for the one on campus – they upcharge the drinks by a couple dollars there.
If you didn’t know this shop was here, you might miss it. It’s a tiny little house on Prince Avenue, and it’s the best place to study when the weather’s nice. They have a deck area that’s open on warm days and closed up when it gets colder – combine the nice breeze that drifts through with an iced drink, and you’ll feel so relaxed you’ll almost forget you’ve been studying for three hours. My personal favorite drink there is a Mexican mocha, which is basically a mocha with a hint of cinnamon thrown in. It sounds kind of odd until you try it, at which point your life will be changed. You’re welcome.
If quality latte art is what you’re looking for in your coffee shop choice, look no further. Two Story’s lattes make up a significant percentage of my coffee pictures on Instagram, and it helps that they’re located in Five Points, which is super-convenient if you’re near campus. It’s also – you guessed it – two stories. The lower floor has larger tables and is typically filled with a combination of people having conversations and people studying. The upper floor has an unstated quiet rule – people rarely talk up there and it’s much more dedicated to people studying. If I had to pick a favorite coffee shop in Athens, it’s this one.
Much like Hendershot’s, Walker’s is also a coffee shop and bar. The seating is entirely booth-style and I’m a big fan of that layout. If you hang around for long enough that you need a different kind of drink, they’ve got some pretty cool-looking cocktails (none of which I’ve tried yet, but soon). It’s located downtown right across from the UGA Arch (and next to a Starbucks, oddly enough), so it’s a really convenient spot. I personally recommend their iced chai.
1000 Faces is indeed a coffee shop, but it’s also so much more than that. They roast their own coffee (it’s where I buy my coffee from when I’m in Athens), offer coffee-related classes, and partner with an amazing donut shop from Asheville called Vortex Donuts that make some of the greatest donut flavors I’ve ever encountered. 1000 Faces is also responsible for my most-liked Instagram picture to date, so that’s something. It’s currently a little out of the way from downtown Athens, but they’re moving into a new space that’s much easier to get to, and I for one am pumped.
Final coffee shop tip? During finals week, when everyone and their mother is taking up space in a coffee shop studying, go to the Barnes & Noble Starbucks. For some reason, students forget it exists.