Tag Archives: ATL

Why are those my favorite Atlanta Coffee Shops?

Looking back to the Fall of 2010, when I wrote the post It’s a coffeehouse bonanza. How do I choose?, electrical outlets, Wi-Fi and beverage selection tastes all had their place. As with anything, over time, tastes change.

The coffee shop is still a second home for me when on the road and at home and over these last few years I’ve gotten a lot more particular about what kind of shops I visit and spend time in. It really got me thinking while at Star Provisions and at other coffee hot spots in the heart of Atlanta.

Star Provisions, Atlanta, Georgia

When on a road trip the number of electrical outlets a coffee shop has is important if I need to get work done. If I am just looking to charge my gadgets, now that I have a USB port in my car, a working cigarette lighter, and a portable pocket USB charger, a coffee shop could have them or not and it won’t alter my feelings on the place.

Wi-Fi in coffee shops seems to be a touchy subject these days. I could go either way on the matter. Sure there are times when I want to research upcoming destinations, checkout my social networks and surf the web on my laptop and doing so to some java is perfect. At the same time though you want to take the time to enjoy the coffee, the atmosphere, the conversation, the town or city you are in and having no Wi-Fi enables you to do just that.

Dancing Goats Coffee, Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia, pour over, coffee

Inside the shop, the layout and type of seating has taken a backseat (no pun intended) to the general décor of the shop. High ceilings, artwork and the type of coffee equipment being used, all catches the eye more now. Sitting in front of the coffee machine at Café Intermezzo in Atlanta airport did the trick, not to mention all the conversation between strangers and fellow travelers at the bar.

Cafe Intermezzo, Atlanta, Georgia

As far as seating goes, I’m sure window seating will still catch the eye as well as outside seating opportunities and being able to take in the fresh air.

The front entrance of a coffee shop and the roaming opportunities that surround it are as important as ever to me. The entrance to a shop tells you something right away, whether it’s popular, kept up, unique, etc. When the shop is in a neighborhood, city or part of town that I have not been in the traveler in me wants to see exploration options. A walk with some of the shops brew to beautiful scenery will likely lead me to come back over-and-over again.

As soon as I saw the outside to Condesa Coffee in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood I was hooked. The Midtown skyline views that sat right outside the doors drew me in even more combined with their outstanding coffee.

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia, skyline

When going to a coffee shop, I will always give their signature drink a look even if it’s a specialty drink or latte. These days though I am more inclined to experience the coffee itself. Sugar, milk, creamer, chocolate syrup, etc. all have their place, but watching a pour over being made right in front of you and smelling the beans and coffee in its natural state gives me goose bumps. Watching a Kenyan pour over being made at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar within Ponce City Market gave me such a feeling.

Dancing Goats, Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia, pour over, coffee

I did go the signature drink route when at Octane Coffee in Grant Park. Their Ameri-cola, Atlanta’s own Coca-Cola combined with espresso shots, definitely did the trick on that morning.

Octane Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia, Ameri-cola

Doing a basic Google search always helps when looking for independent coffee shops to explore. I’ve found that Swarm (Foursquare), Yelp and asking the Twitter-verse are just as effective. In the states, the blue signs along the interstate in regards to coffee usually will highlight Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and the other big chains. They don’t catch the eye as much now-a-days.

If I do stop for a Waffle House coffee, there should at least be some loaded hash browns alongside. As far as Starbucks goes, I’m not going to lie, the Egg Nog and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes do draw me in from time-to-time, just not nearly as much as before. Tis the season. 🙂

No Google, no maps, no problem. The unplanned, random spot sometimes turns out to be the best. Drip Coffee in the small downtown of Hapeville was such a place. The off the beaten path coffee shop nestled between the downtown ATL and the airport had the eyes wide open as I hung out inside and captured the outside scene.

Drip Coffee, Hapeville, Georgia

Drip Coffee, Hapeville, Georgia

I’m sure a couple of years from now when I revisit this post my tastes in regards to coffee shops will have changed some. By continuing to check out the coffee scene in Atlanta and elsewhere I look forward to discovering the next thing that will give me goose bumps.

What do you look for when exploring coffee shops around home and in your travels?

An Atlanta Coffee, Skyline View and More at Condesa.

On an Autumn day in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta it was time to hit up the local coffee shop with my dad. As I was capturing the outside look of Condesa Coffee, he was capturing something himself. More on that in a minute. You can see where I get my love of photography from. 🙂

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia

Condesa Coffee has an industrial look, with open ceilings inside. Upon entering the goosebumps came because I was crossing off one of the top places on my Atlanta coffee bucket list. It was the heart of the day so there were lots of laptops open and lots of conversation taking place. The baristas were extremely knowledgeable and helpful throughout the ordering process.

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia

After we sat down I got a little Instagram photo happy haha, taking pictures some of which would make my feed. At the time I hoped we weren’t eighth in line to get our caffeine.

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia

condesa-coffee-atlanta-005

Condesa offers tea, wine, cocktails and craft beer, but coffee was the choice, as it usually is with me. Two basic lattes were ordered and consumed, made with their roaster of choice, Counter Culture Coffee.

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia

Upon exiting the coffee shop, the Midtown skyline is right there for the taking. That’s what my dad was capturing and what I soon would be!

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia, skyline

Looking straight ahead, you also got a taste of Autumn and some history with the Martin Luther King Jr. bronze sculpture. King was born, lived and is buried in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of the ATL. If you like going for a stroll the Freedom Parkway Bike Trail is alongside as well.

Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, Georgia, Autumn, MLK

We had a great time at Condesa Coffee, enjoying some Atlanta coffee, seeing beautiful skyline views and a whole lot more!

Are there any coffee shops that you have come across, where you found yourself capturing the scene both inside and out?

An Atlanta Autumn Stroll Through Piedmont Park.

The time to see the colors of Fall usually stretches well into November in the Deep South. Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, Georgia was no exception.

Checkout the Autumn colors to expect when taking a stroll through one of the biggest city parks around. Walking alongside Lake Clara Meer and the Active Oval is highly recommended. Atlanta’s Midtown and Downtown skylines will be in view for a lot of the ride. Well without further ado.

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

Autumn, Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, ATL

View my post Midtown Atlanta: Relaxing in Piedmont Park for more information on the park itself.

What big city parks would you recommend checking out in Autumn?

Some Random Roadtripping in Atlanta Thoughts.

Driving through, around and from A to B in any big city can be challenging. Atlanta is no different, offering the driver its own unique challenges. Spending a lot of time driving and observing in the ATL, these random thoughts about being out on the open road immediately came to mind.

Where are you? I’m on Peachtree! The city alone has 71 streets that contain the word Peachtree, countless others in suburbia. Avenues, boulevards, drives, lanes, streets, you name it, you will probably be on a Peachtree something at some point. Peachtree Street, the main street of Atlanta, confuses people all by itself. Giving the answer of “I’m on Peachtree!” will definitely mask where you are at.

Peachtree St. in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia

Peachtree Street in the heart of Midtown.

Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Peachtree Industrial Blvd in suburban Gwinnett County.

Where is the skyline? Atlanta is known, especially on the north side, for lots of hills and greenery. While driving in parts of Georgia’s state capital you’ll think you are in the middle of a forest or the woods versus a big city. You are very close to the Midtown skyline, but you just don’t know it. Then wallah it is right in front of you!

Once it does come into view, the skyline might look foreign even if you have visited before. If you’re in town say once a year, you will notice buildings that were not there before or new ones going up. The skyline from just a decade ago is nothing like what it is today. Atlantic Station, a modern neighborhood with lots of shopping and entertainment options and various tall buildings, popped up out of nowhere in the 2000’s.

Atlanta Midtown & Atlantic Station skylines from The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View

Atlantic Station & Midtown skylines from up-top The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View.

You will hear “the Perimeter” phrase frequently. When stopping to ask for directions there is a good chance the answer will include something in relation to “the Perimeter”. “The Perimeter” refers to I-285 an interstate which circles the city. You’ll hear place x is just inside the perimeter, it’s 20 miles northeast of the perimeter, etc.

Are there really speed limits? People do seem to drive faster on average around the ATL. At the top end of “the Perimeter”, where most of the heavy traffic is, the speed limit is posted at 55 m.p.h. Really? It seems like you’ll get run off the road if you aren’t doing at least 70-75.

How high in the air can I get while driving?! When driving into Spaghetti Junction where the east end of the “The Perimeter” and I-85 meet you will find five decks/levels of ramps, the highest being 90 feet tall. I guess that is one spot to get nervous at during rush hour and gridlock. On the bright side you might as well get the camera out to capture the views up-top. 🙂

What direction am I going in? Once off the interstate, with all the hills and trees you’d be hard pressed to find a long, straight stretch of road. One minute the road your on is going north, then east, then you have no idea. Better have that GPS or compass handy.

Sixteen Lanes of Madness. Your driving on I-75 or I-85 on the far outskirts of town and the interstate is four lanes, then it becomes six, then eight and that is still manageable. Then all of a sudden it becomes a sixteen lane free for all around Midtown and Downtown, known as the Downtown Connector. I wonder if that stretch of real estate is part of local drivers education driving? That would be the ultimate test.

The Atlanta Downtown Connector from the 17th Street Bridge.

The Downtown Connector from the 17th Street Bridge.

Atlanta Downtown Connector from The Varsity

The Downtown Connector from The Varsity.

The Atlanta Downtown Connector from the 17th Street Bridge.

The Downtown Connector from the 17th Street Bridge.

Atlanta Downtown Connector from up-top The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View.

The Downtown Connector from The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View

What state am I in? Between all the northern transplants and everyone else passing through, if you just woke up and got on the road, you could have no idea what state you are in. You’ll see a lot less Georgia license plates then you might think while driving.

Is Waffle House the only dining option? You might think that if your on the interstate in suburbia. There seems to be one at every exit. Up until not to long ago there was one on each side of I-85 in Suwanee. One can only experience so much loaded hash browns! 🙂

Road tripping in the ATL, like any big city, can be an adventure. Checkout my previous post, Atlanta: Driving Through the Heart, on what a city interstate drive is like.

What unique characteristics or random thoughts come to mind in the city you live in or drive around frequently? Any additional Atlanta tidbits?

Photo of the Week: A Coca-Cola Flavored Atlanta Skyline.

The Downtown Atlanta skyline serves as the perfect backdrop to the World of Coca-Cola museum within Pemberton Place. Lots of people are hanging out within the park and waiting to see some Coca-Cola history on this summer day. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the ATL.

The World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, ATL, skyline, Pemberton Place