Got the need for caffeine? Me too!
Updated: September 2019. When I travel, I love seeking new cafes and coffee shops that are favorites among locals. Not only do I love drinking coffee, but I love the coffee culture surrounding it all. Cute little cafes and quirky places for a cup of joe are pretty high on my list. I love going on massive walks in new cities, exploring downtown attractions, and finding those hidden gems. It’s always a great idea to take a coffee break in order to rest, recharge, and refuel. Needless to say, I was in search of the best coffee in Nashville when I traveled there. Priorities, right?
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When I spent 3 days in Nashville, I visited as many Nashville coffee shops as I could. As Nashville has quite a flourishing coffee scene, there are way more coffee houses in the city than I could try in three days. I’ll provide a list of several other cafes at the end of this article, which are other spots I’d like to visit the next time I’m in town. You’ll have to let me know your favorite coffee places in Nashville after you visit, too. Here’s my extensive list of where to find the best coffee in Nashville.
Best Coffee in Nashville: Frothy Monkey
The Frothy Monkey has three locations in Nashville (as well as one in Chattanooga and one in Franklin), and I visited the one in the 12 South neighborhood. Clearly, it’s one of the top coffee shops in Tennessee that spans multiple cities. This coffee place was super packed on a Saturday and there was quite the line-up for drinks. It’s popular and for good reason: the coffee is delicious. The Frothy Monkey is one of the best coffee shops in Nashville and it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. I ordered a soy latte and it was the perfect afternoon pick me up.
It was an unseasonably chilly day in Nashville, so it was wonderful to stay warm with a hot drink in my hand. From my table at an additional side room of the cafe, I was able to look outside and people watch. It even started to snow at one point, which was pretty rare for a December day in Nashville!
Best Cafes in Nashville: Portland Brew
Just down the street from the Frothy Monkey in 12 South, you’ll find Portland Brew. I checked out this coffee shop on my second trip to this neighborhood during my 3 days in the city. I ordered a black coffee and spent a little bit of time there to update my social media accounts while in Nashville. It’s one of the best cafes in Nashville to work in a quiet setting. Lots of locals were typing away on their laptops or enjoying mellow conversations with friends.
The staff members were really friendly and the coffee was reasonably priced. This would be a great place to get a little bit of work on done on my laptop, if I was looking to write or blog. The coffee was rich and flavorful, too. If you find yourself in East Nashville, there’s a second Portland Brew location out that way as well. Also, don’t miss the colorful murals on the side of the building and all around 12 South.
The Well Coffee Nashville
The Well Coffee Nashville has four locations in the city, and I dropped by their downtown location. It’s not only among the most cute cafes in Nashville. You can feel good about visiting the Well beyond drinking a soothing cup of coffee. The Well gives back to communities, both locally and internationally.
The Well Coffeehouse is a nonprofit coffee shop that help people around the world gain access to clean drinking water. They provide clean drinking water through their establishment of over 19 wells in several African communities, including villages in Togo, Malawi, Kenya, Congo, Chad, Senegal, and Central African Republic.
When you purchase a large mug of coffee at the cafe, you get unlimited refills. So, you get to drink fabulous coffee and give back to communities in Africa. It’s among the best coffee in Nashville, and you are helping others by drinking it. The Well is among the downtown Nashville coffee shops that you need to visit.
Crema Coffee Nashville
I was lucky because Crema was right near my accommodation. I walked over on my last evening in Nashville, and I’m so glad that I did. It’s possible that Crema has the best coffee in Nashville, and I think that this was my very favorite cup. Although the coffee was a little pricey, it was well worth the extra cost. It was rich, aromatic, and smooth. I savored every sip.
The decor and the coffee shop itself looks modern and hip, though I took my coffee to go that evening. If you’re looking for cute cafes in Nashville, add Crema to your list for both the caffeinated beverages and the vibes. I’d love to enjoy a freshly brewed mug of coffee with a friend here. Crema coffee Nashville is one cafe that I’ve thought about for a long time since departing the city.
Downtown Nashville Coffee Shops: Bongo Java
Seeking downtown Nashville coffee shops? Bongo Java has three locations in Nashville, two of which are downtown. One Bongo Java location is right inside the Johnny Cash Museum, so it’s easy to combine a coffee stop with a trip to the museum.
If you’re a music lover, I recommend picking up the Nashville Music Pass where you gain entry to five top Nashville music attractions (Johnny Cash Museum, RCA Studio B, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum). Even better, why not use the Nashville hop on hop off trolley to get around town to visit coffee shops (the Johnny Cash Museum is a stop on the trolley!).
I actually didn’t visit any Bongo Java coffee shops in Nashville. Instead, I was introduced to their coffee beans at my hotel, Stay Alfred SoBro. My hotel actually felt way more like having an apartment of my own in the city (read more reviews of Stay Alfred SoBro from fellow travelers). I had a French press at my accommodation with their coffee beans, so I was able to taste their coffee every morning when I woke up.
Their coffee was the perfect way to start my day. When I return to Nashville, I’d love to drop by their actual location for a drink, too. Alternatively, if your accommodation doesn’t have its own supplies for brewing fresh coffee, check out these ways to brew coffee on the road.
Pinewood Social: More Than Great Coffee
While I did have cocktails and beer at Pinewood Social, they’re also known as a coffee shop with delicious brewed beverages. I really need to go back to Pinewood Social because I’ve heard that they have some of the best coffee in Nashville. While you’re sipping coffee (or beer, or cocktails), why not take advantage of the bowling alley at the back of the bar?
8th & Roast
8th & Roast seems to top every list of the best coffee in Nashville. I had to add it to mine, even though I haven’t been able to drink it myself (yet!). They have two coffee shops in Nashville, and you’re able to order their beans online if you live out of town (they have a “roast of the month” club!). 8th & Roast works with a global network of fair trade farmers to source high quality beans. They’re one of the best Nashville coffee shops because they guarantee that their brews are the freshest.
Fido is owned by Bongo Java and serves their coffee beans. It combines the best coffee in Nashville with a casual restaurant. And it used to be a pet shop in Hillsboro Village, hence the name. They focus on fresh and organic foods in a warm atmosphere. Whether you stay for the coffee or for an entire meal, you’re sure to have a memorable experience at Fido.
Dose Coffee & Tea features Counter Culture coffee, single origin chocolate bars, and light fare. It’s a laid back coffee shop and I’d love to meet over coffee with friends here. They’ve got two locations: one in the west end, and one in Riverside Village. Dose is one of the best cafes in Nashville and it’s also a bonus that it combines delicious coffee with tea and chocolate.
Steadfast Coffee in Germantown might have a minimalist setting, but it’s one of the best coffee shops in Nashville. They offer a variety of espresso drinks and seasonal menu offerings. While coffee is at the core of their business, they’ve also experimented and created some caffeinated beverages that you won’t find anywhere else. On the menu, you’ll discover flash-chilled coffee (a unique way of brewing cold coffee), rested drinks (espresso and milk drinks that are created in batches and allowed to rest for a period of time), and their matchless coffee soda (a chilled carbonated coffee).
Barista Parlor has some of the best coffee in Nashville. With four locations, I’d love to pop in for a warm beverage. If you’re looking for coffee shops in the Gulch, head directly to Barista Parlor. I’d like to stop by after checking out some of the nearby street art.
Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea
Originally from St. Louis, MO, Sump Coffee has a cozy coffee shop near Centennial Park and The Parthenon. Again, if you’d like to pair your visit following a trip to a vegan restaurant, have a meal at AVO and visit Sump Coffee afterwards. They’ve got high quality coffee and a friendly atmosphere, making it one of the top coffee places in Nashville.
Best Coffee in Nashville Map
Here’s a listing of the best cafes in Nashville, and possibly the top coffee shops in Tennessee. You’ll find all of them plotted out rather nicely on this map. Go on your own self guided walking tour of Nashville’s finest coffee shops. You can use this map to find the coffee shop nearest you when you’re visiting Nashville, TN.
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