5 must-try Alabama coffee shops

No matter where you are in Alabama, you are likely to find a local coffee shop brewing a delicious cup of joe. There are so many great places across the state, it’s hard to narrow the list down to 50, let alone five.

We wanted to include several places that were not included in this list. The Spot in Fort Payne is a meeting place for people in the up-and-coming downtown area. The Stable is located in Greensboro which attracts people from all over the world. We always have a great time at each of our Red Cat Coffee House locations in Birmingham. We encourage all of you to try all the local Alabama coffee shops you can; They deserve love.

But, unfortunately, we I did You have to narrow it down, because you can have a lot of coffee, after all. Here are five places across Alabama you need to visit while you’re in town.

Rivertown coffee

117 North School Street, Florence

Rivertown Coffee is a place in downtown Florence. (Rebecca Walker Benjamin)

Two decades ago, downtown Florence wasn’t the thriving and famous area it is now. Sure, she’s had some successful business, but most people still travel to other parts of the city to shop, eat, and run errands.

Enter Rivertown. The café opened in late 2004 and was one of the businesses that greatly contributed to the recovery of downtown. The shop’s homely atmosphere and embrace of Shoals’ art and music scene helped make it a favorite with locals.

Rivertown isn’t just a cozy groove and great coffee; It also has great food. For breakfast, you’ll find a variety of dishes, from black bean rolls to cheese and bacon. On the lunch menu, there are plenty of paninis and rolls, many of which make use of local foods. And don’t discount Rivertown for dinner—they make some out-of-this-world burritos that you can pair with their handcrafted beer.

Southern Shores Café

229 E. 20th Ave. #13, Gulf beaches

Even when you are at the beach, you need a good coffee. After all, hotel room coffee machines don’t make fresh cups of java. Luckily for us, there is Southern Shores Cafe. The Gulf Shores store (now has a location in nearby Foley too) fits right into the beach town: it’s very cozy and very charming.

The shop offers several types of roasted coffee to satisfy all kinds of customers, and people from all over the world rave about their Cuban latte – it should definitely be on your radar.

But we can’t talk about Southern Shores without mentioning the bushwacker mix. The taste of the coffee is very similar to the frozen cocktail featured in the region, and you can order it in the form of a fried drink, cold or hot drink. People love the bushwacker mix so much that they order it from the Southern Shores website and have it shipped across the country.

gateau and beans

4348 3rd Court S., Birmingham

We can fill this list with Birmingham coffee joints alone. The magical city is full of cozy cafés that are sure to make you feel right at home. But Gato and Beans have one more thing: lots of cats.

That’s because Gato and Beans is a cat café, and was the first of its kind in Alabama when it opened in 2019. The building, located in the Avondale community, is divided into two parts: a cat room and a café. The cafe is where you order a delicious, smooth cup of joe, and the cat room is stocked with plenty of felines available for adoption.

If you are interested in stopping by the cathouse, they recommend making a reservation – there is limited space and it is a popular destination. And if you just need delivery after a bad day, check out the photos of all the felines who found their forever homes in Gato and Beans.

The dark side

2007 Memorial Parkway NW. , Huntsville

Jaray Wilson, left, and Devin Keith own Darkside in Huntsville. (Lee Rob)

Darkside is the newest café on this list – it opened in November 2020. But in the short time it’s opened, it has created quite a buzz in the fast-growing Rocket City. This is partly because of its location. While many new coffee shops have appeared in other areas of the city in the past few years, the Dark Side has opened in North Huntsville, an area that hasn’t experienced the rapid development that other parts of the city have experienced.

Since its opening, the Dark Side has been the center of the community. Co-owner Jaray Wilson told AL.com, “You see people coming in, everything from suits to sweats. Some people are going to have a quick coffee and end up staying 30, 40 minutes.”

And we haven’t even talked about coffee or food yet. The coffee is sourced from Cameroon. You’ll want to try one of their specials (we recommend dark.ccino) and one of their grilled cheeses. If you’re really hungry and feeling adventurous, go for the Keith sandwich, which has Gouda cheeses, Monster, and a blueberry drizzle.

Serda Coffee Company
3 S Royal Street – Mobile

We love the downtown cafe. and Serda’s Coffee Co. It is the perfect coffee station for the city of Azalea.

Serda opened in 2008 in a gorgeous historic building and has a little something for everyone. There are, of course, plenty of coffee options (frozen cappuccinos are always a hit), and you’d be remiss if you didn’t check out the seasonal brews they had. The menu is amazing, with bread, cake and more available for breakfast, and rolls and paninis for the rest of the day. There are dozens of gelato and smoothie options. (And if you have a dog or two, don’t forget to pick up a doll for them.)

Serda is worth a visit for the food and drinks alone, but it’s also fun and comfortable indoors which makes it perfect for meeting friends, working remotely, or pursuing some study. It’s easy to forget that the hustle and bustle outside is on the streets of one of Alabama’s largest cities.

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