Top 10 Best Coffee Shops In Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia, a city brimming with history, culture, and a vibrant community, boasts a plethora of charming coffee shops that cater to locals and visitors alike. From cozy nooks perfect for savoring a quiet moment to bustling hubs of creativity and conversation, Athens’ coffee scene offers something for every taste and preference. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 10 coffee shops in Athens, delve into the historical significance of coffee in the area, discuss the diversity within the coffee shop community, examine the role of coffee shops in shaping the city’s culture, and provide essential insights into coffee shop etiquette. So grab your favorite mug and join us on a journey through the rich tapestry of Athens’ coffee culture.

Top 10 Coffee Shops In Athens, Georgia

  1. Jittery Joe’s: A beloved institution in Athens, Jittery Joe’s has been serving up expertly roasted coffee since 1994. With multiple locations across the city, each Jittery Joe’s outlet exudes a cozy ambiance and offers an extensive menu of coffee drinks, teas, and pastries. Their commitment to quality and community engagement has made them a staple in the Athens coffee scene.

  2. Two Story Coffeehouse: Nestled in the heart of downtown Athens, Two Story Coffeehouse is a cozy retreat for coffee enthusiasts. Housed in a historic building with, as the name suggests, two levels, this charming café offers a relaxed atmosphere, delicious coffee blends, and a selection of gourmet sandwiches and pastries.

  3. 1000 Faces Coffee: Dedicated to sourcing ethically and sustainably grown coffee beans from around the world, 1000 Faces Coffee is a favorite among conscientious consumers. Their commitment to quality extends from bean to cup, resulting in rich, flavorful brews that delight the palate. Located in the Chase Park Warehouses, this hip coffee spot also hosts community events and educational workshops.

  4. Hendershot’s Coffee: Combining the best elements of a café and a live music venue, Hendershot’s Coffee is a cultural hub in Athens. Boasting a cozy interior adorned with local artwork, this popular spot serves up delicious coffee drinks, craft beer, and light fare. Live music performances add to the lively atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

  5. Cali N Tito’s: While primarily known for its mouthwatering Latin American cuisine, Cali N Tito’s also offers a delightful selection of coffee drinks. Situated in a colorful, eclectic setting reminiscent of a tropical paradise, this unique café provides a refreshing twist on the traditional coffeehouse experience. Sip on a café Cubano while soaking in the vibrant ambiance.

  6. Walker’s Coffee & Pub: A true hidden gem tucked away in the historic Five Points neighborhood, Walker’s Coffee & Pub offers a cozy retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. By day, it’s a quaint coffeehouse serving up expertly crafted espresso drinks and pastries. By night, it transforms into a lively pub where locals gather to unwind over craft beers and cocktails.

  7. Dondero’s Kitchen: This family-owned café combines Italian-inspired cuisine with a cozy coffeehouse ambiance. Nestled in the historic Cobbham neighborhood, Dondero’s Kitchen is known for its friendly service, delicious coffee blends, and mouthwatering pastries. Whether you’re craving a cappuccino or a cannoli, this charming café has you covered.

  8. Ike & Jane Café and Bakery: If you have a sweet tooth, Ike & Jane Café and Bakery is the place to be. Specializing in delectable pastries, donuts, and gourmet coffee drinks, this beloved café has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. With a cozy interior and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to indulge in a decadent treat.

  9. Sips Espresso Café: Located just steps away from the University of Georgia campus, Sips Espresso Café is a favorite among students and faculty alike. This cozy café offers a wide range of coffee drinks, teas, and smoothies, as well as a selection of sandwiches and salads. With ample seating and free Wi-Fi, it’s the ideal spot for studying or catching up with friends.

  10. The Expat: Inspired by the owner’s travels abroad, The Expat brings a taste of European café culture to Athens. Situated in the vibrant Normaltown neighborhood, this cozy café exudes a relaxed ambiance and serves up delicious coffee drinks and light fare. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic espresso or a decadent affogato, The Expat has something to satisfy every craving.

Historical Overview

The history of coffee in Athens, Georgia, mirrors the broader cultural and economic trends that have shaped the city over the centuries. While coffee consumption in the United States dates back to the colonial era, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that coffeehouses began to proliferate in Athens.

One of the earliest coffeehouses in Athens was Jittery Joe’s, founded in 1994 by Michael Ripps. Originally located on East Broad Street, Jittery Joe’s quickly became a popular gathering spot for students, artists, and intellectuals. Its laid-back atmosphere and quality coffee drew in a diverse clientele, laying the groundwork for Athens’ burgeoning coffee scene.

In the years that followed, more coffee shops began to spring up across the city, each adding its own unique flavor to the mix. From cozy neighborhood cafes to trendy urban hubs, Athens’ coffee culture continued to evolve, reflecting changing tastes and preferences.

Today, Athens boasts a thriving coffee scene that caters to a wide range of clientele. Whether you’re in search of a quiet spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book or a lively venue to catch up with friends, you’re sure to find the perfect café to suit your needs in Athens.


One of the most striking aspects of Athens’ coffee scene is its diversity. From the eclectic décor of Cali N Tito’s to the cozy charm of Walker’s Coffee & Pub, each café brings its own unique cultural influences to the table. This diversity is not only reflected in the aesthetics of the coffee shops but also in the variety of coffee blends and culinary offerings available.

For example, 1000 Faces Coffee prides itself on sourcing ethically and sustainably grown coffee beans from around the world, reflecting a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Similarly, The Expat brings a taste of European café culture to Athens, with its emphasis on artisanal coffee drinks and light fare.

This diversity extends beyond the coffee itself to include the clientele that frequent these establishments. Coffee shops in Athens serve as gathering places for people from all walks of life, providing a space for socializing, networking, and cultural exchange. Whether you’re a student, a local resident, or a visitor passing through town, you’re likely to find a warm welcome and engaging conversation at one of Athens’ many coffee shops.


Coffee shops play a multifaceted role in shaping the cultural fabric of Athens, Georgia. Beyond simply serving as purveyors of caffeine, these establishments serve as hubs of creativity, community engagement, and cultural exchange.

One of the most significant roles played by coffee shops is their function as gathering places for the local community. Whether it’s a group of friends meeting for a study session at Sips Espresso Café or a neighborhood book club gathering at Ike & Jane Café and Bakery, coffee shops provide a neutral ground where people can come together to connect and collaborate.

Additionally, coffee shops serve as venues for cultural expression and artistic exploration. Many coffee shops in Athens host live music performances, art exhibits, and literary readings, providing a platform for local artists and musicians to showcase their talents. By nurturing a vibrant arts scene, coffee shops contribute to the cultural vitality of the city and help to foster a sense of pride and identity within the community.

Furthermore, coffee shops play an important role in supporting the local economy. By sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, hiring local staff, and contributing to the tax base, coffee shops help to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Athens. Additionally, coffee shops often serve as incubators for small businesses, providing aspiring entrepreneurs with a low-cost entry point into the retail market.

Coffee Shop Etiquette

While coffee shops are generally laid-back and welcoming environments, there are some basic etiquette guidelines that patrons should observe to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Respect other patrons: Be mindful of the noise level and avoid disruptive behavior that may disturb others. If you’re chatting with friends, try to keep your voices at a moderate volume, especially in smaller, quieter coffee shops.

  2. Clean up after yourself: Whether you’re enjoying a pastry or sipping on a latte, be sure to dispose of your trash properly and clean up any spills or messes. This helps to keep the café clean and inviting for other patrons.

  3. Be mindful of seating: If the café is crowded and seating is limited, try not to monopolize a table for an extended period of time. If you’re finished with your drink or meal, consider giving up your seat to make room for others.

  4. Tip generously: While tipping is not mandatory, it’s always appreciated by baristas and café staff who work hard to ensure a positive experience for patrons. If you receive exceptional service, consider leaving a tip to show your appreciation.

  5. Follow the café’s policies: Be sure to familiarize yourself with any specific rules or policies that the café may have regarding outside food and drinks, Wi-Fi usage, or seating reservations. Respecting these guidelines helps to create a harmonious atmosphere for everyone.

By adhering to these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your experience at Athens’ coffee shops is enjoyable for yourself and fellow patrons alike.


In conclusion, Athens, Georgia, offers a vibrant and diverse array of coffee shops that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. From the cozy ambiance of Jittery Joe’s to the cultural immersion of Cali N Tito’s, each café brings its own unique flavor to the city’s coffee scene. Beyond serving as purveyors of caffeine, coffee shops in Athens play a vital role in shaping the cultural, social, and economic landscape of the city. Whether you’re seeking a quiet retreat for reflection or a lively venue for socializing, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to satisfy your coffee cravings in Athens. So grab your favorite mug and explore all that Athens’ coffee culture has to offer!