Charlottesville, VA. I first came to this city over five years ago to start my undergrad education at the University of Virginia. It’s a place that I have come to love for the rolling Blue Ridge mountains on the landscape. For the fact that a fifteen minute drive brings you out into immense and beautiful farmland. For the still, cool air on a starry fall night. For the community.
Last but not least, I love Cville for the coffee. With a population coming in at just under 50k and a metro area of about 230k, there are a good number of coffee shops worth visiting in and around the area. I’ve put together the following list to recognize some of the best in an old school, high school yearbook superlative kind of way. Enjoy.
You can also find the complete rankings here.
Mudhouse Coffee Roasters – Downtown. Go to any of the Mudhouse locations, and you will find some truly special coffee. Downtown will probably have the most skilled baristas with the largest variety. They hold awards for their R U Gold espresso blend and their roaster is the reigning 3rd place winner at the 2016 SCAAs. Pour-overs are done using the V60 with siphons also available at various times. Drink Mud for pure coffee mastery.
runner-up: Shark Mountain Coffee. A small coffee shop focused on beautiful coffees brewed with the eloquent Chemex. Homemade single origin chocolates also available.
Shenandoah Joe Coffee Roasters – Preston Ave. This is a one of a kind location. Half the store is dedicated to roasting their delicious coffee, which is supplied to many places around town. It’s full of fun and unique furniture, as well as a bar to keep a close eye on the baristas.
runner-up: Mudhouse Crozet. With a giant window wall, chess boards, antique walls, and unique couches, this place has a lot to be excited about.
Most Likely to Climb Mount Everest
Best Outdoor Seating
Mudhouse Coffee Roasters – Downtown. Mudhouse Downtown comes in again! Situated on beautiful downtown Charlottesville with plenty of seating on the outdoor patio, it’s hard to go against it. There’s no better place to relax with a cup of jo on a nice, cool day, especially with that Nitro Mud (cold brew on tap).
runner-up: Atlas Coffee. With perhaps the most outdoor seating of anywhere with easy access, this is a great place to hangout with friends on a nice day.
Best for Working
Mudhouse Coffee Roasters – Crozet. Mudhouse is killing these superlatives, and for good reason. The Crozet location is much more laid back and much larger than the downtown one. With one wall being composed entirely of glass, there is plenty of natural light to keep your energy levels up when the coffee runs out. There’s also a nice assortment of freshly baked goods made on-site.
runner-up: Hot Cakes. Bonus points for having free refills. When the tank is running low, ante up for another cup! Plus it’s a bakery, so you should be set all day.
Most Likely to Become President
Mudhouse Coffee Roasters – Crozet. This couldn’t have come as a surprise. Nestled in the beautiful small town of Crozet right outside of Cville, this spot offers supreme coffee, as well as a down to earth atmosphere. This has been my favorite spot for quite some time now and will remain so. Another interesting note to mention is that the owners just bought a geisha coffee farm (named Finca La Cabra) down in Panama. This place is no joke. With a motto of “create good feeling”, their certainly doing it with great coffee and great space.
runner-up: Shenandoah Joe – Ivy Rd. Making it’s first appearance on the list, this remains one of my favorites. With booths, open tables, a really cool couch, and some outdoor seating, it’s got it all. They also rep the most expansive coffee menu, featuring about eight single origin coffees brewed using the Beehouse dripper.