Everyone in Wilmington knows about Port City Java. It started in Wilmington in 1995 and has since expanded to 30 cafes, a bakery, roastery, and distribution center. It has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington DC, Jordan, and Abu Dhabi. It’s even appeared in television shows (Tree Hill Café on “One Tree Hill”). However, it’s not the only locally owned coffee shop offering up a great cup of joe. Here are some of our favorites.
303 N. Front Street (Cotton Exchange)
This little coffee shop has it all – a unique atmosphere, friendly staff, and great coffee! Located in the Historic Cotton Exchange, every time I head in there it’s bustling with patrons, many of them students from Cape Fear Community College. Not only is their black coffee wonderfully rich, but their espresso drinks are delicious. They have a latte special every day and if you aren’t sure what to order, ask for a suggestion. I did the first time I went in and their suggestion was spot-on. The folks here love their craft and they are the type of people who will remember you. Oh, and yes, they are dog friendly.
5032 Wrightsville Ave
Grinder’s is easy to pass by when you’re travelling down Wrightsville Avenue, but take my word for it – don’t! They have great coffee and food, and clearly believe in providing a quality service. The place is laidback with a sitting area where you’ll often find patrons working on their laptops or listening to performances at open mic night, and they have a wide range of drip and espresso drinks to choose from. With names like Honey Bunny and “Coconut Cream Pie”, you’ll find more than just the caramel lattes here.
1201 Princess Street (Corner of 12th Street) or 706 N. 4th Street (Brooklyn Arts District)
Are you looking for a place where loyal customers meet in the morning to drink coffee and chat? Folks Café is the neighborhood coffee shop where they roast their own beans (fair trade, organic and fresh roasted coffee). While they do serve espresso drinks, if you’re a coffee purist, this is probably the place for you. They also serve breakfast items, sandwiches and daily specials, including vegetarian choices. For an all-around “home” style experience, check out Folks Café.
Do you have a favorite coffee shop not listed here? Share it in the comments!