Living in Charleston, a city of bustling industry and vibrant life, leads many to rely on a daily cup of coffee. Or two. Maybe three. Visitors often will pop into one of the many Starbucks, but seasoned coffee junkies know that the local joints are far superior to the chain stores. Below are five of the best coffee shops in Charleston, when you’d rather get a local caffeine boost instead of the regular Seattle import.

Tricera Coffee

Dinosaurs and coffee don’t typically go together, yet Tricera Coffee blends them into a truly unique experience. Located just off of King Street, many students from College of Charleston frequent the shop, which offers food in addition to drinks. Tricera offers a modern, grown-up take on the dinosaur love from childhood, and sources locally roasted grounds to make an incredible cup of coffee. Their signature drink? A saffron latte. Visit them at 41 A George Street in downtown Charleston.

Bitty and Beau's Coffee

While Bitty and Beau’s Coffee originally opened in North Carolina, the city of Charleston is lucky to have such a valuable addition to its many local coffee shops. Bitty and Beau’s is named for the founder’s two youngest children, both diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The three locations seek to employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This heartwarming quest for inclusion and equality makes their coffee, snacks, and smoothies, all the more sweet. You’ll find the Charleston location at 159 Church Street.

Harold’s Cabin

Stepping into Harold’s Cabin for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The vibe is a contradictory mashup of vintage, hipster, modern, and rustic. Offering food and drink options as eclectic as the decor, there is something for everyone. One of the most unique drinks is the Jackalope, a blend of espresso, ginger beer, basil, honey, and orange peel. Sounds weird, but tastes fantastic. Co-owned by a well known Charleston resident, Bill Murray, the cool factor of this joint can’t get much higher. Harold’s Cabin is located “on the corner of President and Congress, where nothing happens,” according to its website.

Muddy Waters Coffee Bar

A favorite for many Charleston natives, Muddy Waters Coffee Bar is a comforting spot for all, with ample room to read, study, or scroll Instagram. They offer a variety of hot and iced drinks, and despite the addition of a chain cafe across the street, Muddy Waters stays remarkably busy. One of the most popular drinks is the lavender honey latte, an absolutely lovely combination. The regulars know that no other place can provide all the comforts of home and coffee, and many a degree has been earned through study at the shop, which is located at 1739 Maybank Highway.

Broom Wagon Coffee

A relatively new location, Broom Wagon Coffee has quickly made a name for itself among Charlestonians. Committed to sustainability and fair trade, the shop shines among the other coffee shops in Charleston. Out of the many much-loved drinks, the cappuccino is a definite fan favorite. The name, a subtle nod to a cycling vehicle, may just include coffee, but the house-made, gluten-free waffles make Broom Wagon Coffee well-deserving of their acclaim from locals for a champion breakfast. Pop into the store on 1630 Ashley Hall Road.

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