“Coffee is always a good idea”…it’s a quote we frequently see and one that we 100% attest to whether we are at home or on the road. One of the great things about traveling across the globe is that while there are many unique differences from one country to the next, coffee seems to be pretty constant wherever you go. Yes, it varies from one place to the next but just like experiencing a myriad of cultures, enjoying the variety of local coffee shops is an experience in itself.
When we travel domestically around the US, our philosophy remains the same…we simply have to try local coffee establishments! Our recent trip to North Carolina was no different and we made it one of our goals to find the best coffee shops in Fayetteville, NC.
Before we delve into the world of coffee shops and Fayetteville, it’s fair to say that we are constantly asked why we prefer local coffee shops over chain brands such as Starbucks? The reality is, Starbucks is everywhere!
While I don’t have any issue with visiting Starbucks (and actually I do enjoy the environment of hanging out in a Starbucks coffee shop!), whenever you visit a new destination, popping in to a local coffee shop is a must because you simply cannot experience that anywhere else and well, you never know if you will have the opportunity to return in the future.
Another reason is of course, supporting local communities and businesses! It’s a pretty fair statement to make that Starbucks isn’t going to hurt if they lose one single customer but to a local coffee roaster, that could be a make or break between them surviving or having to look at alternative income streams.
Anyway…enough of the local coffee shop vs chain store argument and let’s focus our attention on finding those epic local coffee spots in Fayetteville, NC that you simply cannot afford to miss when you are next in the Tar Heel State.
Best Local Coffee Shops in Fayetteville, NC
Let’s start by diving into the demographics of the city of Fayetteville, NC. For those of you that have never visited this part of North Carolina, it’s home to Fort Bragg, an active military installation, and therefore has a huge military population. With a population of over 200,000, it’s no surprise that Fayetteville has a plethora of coffee shops to support both locals and visitors alike.
While Fayetteville’s strong military presence helps bring folks from all corners of the US, it does tend to create a constantly changing population with folks heading back home and only a small percentage staying in the area and calling Fayetteville their home. However, for the locals who were born and raised in Fayetteville and for those visitors like ourselves that simply want to entertain the best local roasters in town, there are a variety of local spots worth experiencing including (but not limited to) the following:
- The Coffee Scene
- The Coffee Cup
- Rude Awakening Coffee House
- Jumpin’ Java Coffee Shop
- Dolce Aroma Coffee Bar
- Winterbloom Tea
The above list are six spots that we visited during our trip to Fayetteville and what we will cover in more detail, but there are other local spots including Beans and Things, Cumberland Coffee Roasters among others that we encourage you all to check out when visiting the area.
The Coffee Scene
The Coffee Scene is perhaps the most intriguing of all the coffee shops, not only because of the unique history associated with this location but also because the interior design is so cool and different to anything we have experienced before. What was once located inside the heart of a shopping center has now transformed into a standalone building off Morganton Road and McPherson Church Road.
The ambiance throughout The Coffee Scene immediately resonates as you walk through the door. The winding staircase is a focal point in the downstairs area and the open concept layout allows guests the opportunity to order their drink before deciding whether to head upstairs or remain on the ground floor, with ample seating available in both areas.
The Coffee Scene is perhaps the best coffee shop in Fayetteville in terms of ample space for you to relax and catch up on some work (or simply enjoy a favorite book or hang out with friends).
With a variety of hot and cold beverages to choose from, and a selection of breakfast pastries and other options available, visitors to The Coffee Scene will be spoiled for choice. Don’t forget to return later in the day to sample the decadent gelato or afternoon pastries if you have a sweet tooth!
3818 Morganton Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314 (910) 864-0555
The Coffee Cup
Ready to head to the historic downtown area of Fayetteville? While wandering around and exploring the historic museums, you will likely want to grab a cup of Joe to keep your energy levels high to enjoy your visit downtown. Hay Street is home to various coffee shops but if you are looking for the most creative selection of handcrafted coffee options, The Coffee Cup is perhaps the most unique.
While the interior of The Coffee Cup is relatively small, rather stereotypical of any coffee shop that is located in a historic downtown area, there is a really friendly vibe and perhaps that is associated with the welcome you receive from the barista. Take some time to peruse the menu because there are A LOT of options, all of which will likely spark your interest and it may take a while to figure out which route you want to go.
How does an iced Banana Creme Pie (creme de banana, white chocolate, espresso and milk) sound? Or perhaps the Fluffy Bunny (red velvet, raspberry, white chocolate and milk) sounds more appealing? These wonderfully crafted names are matched only by the carefully concocted drinks that will entice you to return…that is when you know you have found a local coffee shop that perfectly hits the spot!
108 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301 (910) 433-1119
Rude Awakening Coffee House
If you love quirky downtown coffee shops, the best example in Fayetteville is Rude Awakening which is another great option to sample a fine collection of coffee, pastries, sandwiches, chocolates, smoothies and coffee freezes. Located just a short walk from The Coffee Cup, Rude Awakening Coffee House has been serving locals and visitors alike since it open its doors in 1999.
Focused on serving organic, fair-trade and “green” inspired coffee, Rude Awakening is all about community and ensuring their baristas provide the best customer service to every visitor that walks through their doors.
While the interior is hardly conducive to sitting down and enjoying your coffee, after purchasing your chosen drink, head to the back of the coffee shop and experience the awesome courtyard which is the perfect place to relax and indulge in your favorite espresso. With seating available outside in front of Rude Awakening, there are ample opportunities to enjoy your drink while interacting with fellow coffee aficionados.
Along with the various menu items that will surely spark your interest, the iconic courtyard is perhaps the best reason for visiting Rude Awakening. The high brick walls, plethora of plant life scattered around, and strategically placed artwork creates the perfect urban setting to enjoy coffee either with friends or in relaxing solitude.
227 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301 (910) 223-7833
Jumpin’ Java Coffee Shop
Downtown Fayetteville is home to various coffee shops but for those willing to experience other locations around Fayetteville, there are many other options to choose from. One of our favorites that we stumbled across during our final day in Fayetteville was Jumpin’ Java Coffee Shop.
With a widespread collection of handcrafted espresso beverages to choose from, along with breakfast items (scones, cookies, breakfast sandwiches etc) and other drinks, Jumpin’ Java offers a myriad of options to enjoy while relaxing in a friendly atmosphere.
Heather ordered the wonderfully named “Royale with Cheese” which was Cherry, White Chocolate and Cheesecake blended together with milk and ice, creating a magical concoction which was almost like a milkshake! I opted for the “Sticky Maple Toffee” which was a combination of Caramel, Maple and English Toffee and accompanied by milk and espresso, this was the perfect “pick me up” to start the day with a little sweet twist to it.
Unlike the downtown coffee shops that face difficulties in terms of interior space, Jumpin’ Java offers plenty of comfortable seating options throughout the coffee shop and whether you are looking at catching up on some work or read your morning newspaper, you can be sure that there is ample seating to satisfy everyone’s needs.
7737 Good Middling Dr, Fayetteville, NC 28304 (910) 867-4444
Dolce Aroma Coffee Bar
One of Fayetteville’s newest coffee shops is the Italian inspired Dolce Aroma Coffee Bar. Connected to Elizabeth’s Pizza, this coffee bar is the perfect place to enjoy lunch or dinner before indulging in either your favorite espresso or perhaps indulge in a decadent slice of freshly prepared cake. With a variety of cake and pastry selections to choose from, anyone with a sweet tooth will find it difficult to resist one or more of these options.
The Double Decker Blackberry Cheesecake comprises of New York style cheesecake topped with blackberry jam, yellow cake and blackberry mousse and mixed with whole blackberries before being topped with a blackberry infused glaze. We couldn’t resist sampling this and while the picture doesn’t do this enough justice, it’s fair to say it was the perfect afternoon treat.
The drink menu is equally enticing, with a variety of hot and cold options to choose from. Heather opted for a seasonal apple cider and I chose the white chocolate frappe. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, the relaxing vibe and ambiance throughout Dolce Aroma makes this a perfect fit for anyone wanting to enjoy a late afternoon sweet treat.
1800 Skibo Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303 (910) 487-0588
For the non-coffee drinkers out there…yes, I know that may sound like a strange concept for folks like me but Heather does fall into this category so it’s only fair to look for the best options out there for this population, one of the best options in Fayetteville is the wonderfully named Winterbloom Tea located directly across from Rude Awakening Coffee House in the historic downtown area.
Passion for tea is something we wanted to share with everyone. We felt our city should not have to compromise to buy premium loose leaf tea.Winterbloom Tea
While I am fond of a stereotypical English breakfast tea, I have to admit that the plethora of options available at Winterbloom Tea was rather impressive. But the real highlight of this was the creative alcoholic concoctions that you can order at the bar.
Whether you are wandering around downtown Fayetteville and want a refreshing Forest Berries tea as Heather opted for, or perhaps you need a concocted cocktail with something a little stronger in there, the menu options at Winterbloom Tea are endless.
I immediately fell in love with the decor throughout this “tea shop” – with a variety of seating options available and a real urban feel to the design features throughout the shop, this is definitely a place you could enjoy your favorite tea while checking e-mails or reading your favorite book.
238 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301 (910) 491-3536
Fayetteville may be recognized as being home to the infamous Fort Bragg military base but after spending a few days exploring this area, we can well and truly attest that it should also be renowned as being home to a plethora of awesome local coffee shops. We hope you have the opportunity to visit Fayetteville and experience some (or all) of the above coffee shops and we would love to hear your feedback on which you think is the best.
As you have probably established by now, we LOVE visiting coffee shops and we always want to share our experiences with you. Do you have any lesser known towns that are home to a collection of local coffee shops that we should be inspired to visit?
Here are a couple of other locations around the world with great, local coffee scenes: