Best Coffee In the Triangle
While usually one associates great coffee with Seattle, the fact is that the Rainy City doesn’t have a monopoly on well-roasted, quality beans. The Triangle region of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill offers a number of great venues for superlative coffee, as well as an intriguing coffee experience. Here are five of the top places to go for a great cup, professionally served.
- Helios Coffee:
just outside of the Downtown Raleigh business district, this modern-looking café is right across the street from acclaimed wine bar and bistro, Enoteca Vin. While the café suffers a bit from its selection of roaster – the uninspired and formerly trendy Counter Culture Coffee – the baristas are well-trained and knowledgeable about their product. The atmosphere is clean and bright, and you barely realize the massive amount of traffic outside. Great for a lunch-time cup or a fix on your way into work. Live music and local artists appear frequently, but it’s still a little lackluster when it comes to a good place for a romantic date.
- Fowler’s Gourmet:
Nestled in the heart of the Brightleaf Square shopping district, Fowler’s Gourmet has been a staple of the Durham gourmet scene for decades. It’s coffee counter has dozens of quality varietals and blends, and they have rotated vendors often enough to ensure plenty of variety. While the prices on whole bean coffee might be a tad high, the customer service and rare and unusual offerings make this gourmet supermarket a must-stop place to go for all of your high-end foods. Their tea section is likewise impressive.
Originally started as an authentic Bakery and Patisserie, this gorgeous little bistro/bakery/coffee bar has become a favorite of the Triangle. Succulant artisan breads and pasteries, coupled with a great selection of coffees from local roaster Carrboro Coffee Company, make Guglhupf a perfect place for Sunday Brunch or a casual meeting spot with friends. They’re located next door to the once-trendy-now-trashy Foster’s Market (known informally to Durham residents as “Granny Sarah’s Cuntry Sto'” and derided for its ability to attract shiftless Duke students and their laptops) on 15-501 between Durham and Chapel Hill and are closed on Mondays.
- Open Eye Café:
Located in tiny downtown Carrboro (“The Paris of the Piedmont”), the Open Eye is an unabashed success story in a ruthless business. Started with the help of the venerable, but sadly defunct Broad Street Coffee Roasters, Open Eye was once literally a hole-in-the-wall amongst the antique shops and bars of Carrboro. It has expanded significantly since then, quintupling its seating and offering a wide variety of food and pastries. It now roasts its own beans in the back under the name Carrboro Coffee Company, with the expert eye of Mark Leatherwood, formerly of Broad Street Coffee Roasters, and arguably one of the finest craft roasters on the east coast. Open Eye has a casual-but-popular attitude that has earned it the title “Carrboro’s Living Room” and a record-setting five TOPS awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Best place ever for meeting up with friends before going barhopping in Chapel Hill.
- Caffe Driade:
You can’t see this place from the road – indeed, once you do find it, you can sit in it’s gorgeous outdoor setting, less than 100 feet from the busy thoroughfare of Franklin Street, and never realize that there’s a road there. Caffe Driade (pronounced “dree-AH-dee”) is so thick with charm you could walk on it. It was originally an outbuilding of some sort, but has been converted into a high-class European-style caffe. Offering a superb selection of specialty beans from Carrboro Coffee Company, the baristas here are, hands down, the best and most knowledgeable of their art in the Triangle. Have a difficult specialty coffee drink in mind? These baristas can handle it.
Driade also serves a small selection of high-end beers and wines as well as some wonderful pastries, but it shines brightest in the coffee department. It’s interior seating is small – less than a dozen small tables – which makes it challenging to enjoy in the colder months. But once Spring occurs, around thirty additional outdoor tables make this one of the largest and most scenic cafes in North Carolina. Driade offers a constantly changing gallery of local artists and is a great venue for acoustic musicians. It borders the Chapel Hill greenspace and is one of the only cafes in North Carolina that can be reached by trail, as well as by road. It is absolutely ideal for first-dates and romantic evenings, especially in the Summer months. It has tied the Open Eye Café in neighboring Carrboro in the record-setting number of national TOPS awards, and its baristas have frequently placed in the Southeast Regional Barista Competition. If you want the best cup of coffee in the Triangle, look no further than caffe Driade.
There you have it:
the five best spots for coffee in the Triangle. Try them all, and you’ll be impressed – but make sure you tip your barista. They’re professionals, after all! For the best taste, the high-grade coffee delivery online will be made available to the person. Expert advice can be taken for the selection of the right website to buy the beans.