There’s no wrong time to drink coffee, but January days tinged with a slightly cooler breeze and long-sleeved shirts certainly are a welcome environment for a favorite brew. We have no shortage of coffee shops and cafés along the Emerald Coast; maybe you’ve been in a few? We decided to do a round-up of a few of our favorites. Some are strictly business; others also feature decadent desserts, brunch options and pastries on the side.
Black Bear Bread Co.: They may have “bread” in the title, but don’t let the name fool you: Black Bear Bread Co., now with two locations at Grand Boulevard and Grayton Beach, is a coffee lover’s dream. They have both coffee and cold brew, as well as specialty drinks like the Bear Latte, a mix of espresso, mocha, hazelnut, half and half and cinnamon, and Tan Line, prepared with espresso, vanilla, mocha and coconut milk over ice. We highly recommend the smoked salmon tartine and the cinnamon roll, if you can get there early enough to snag one.
Amavida Coffee Roasters: A perennial favorite of locals and vacationers, Amavida is all about the brew, featuring sustainable blends from Colombia, Ethiopia and Honduras. Espresso Mandarina is a dense and classic organic espresso with notes of chocolate, orange peel, and tangerine while the Baroque Blend is dense, sweet and creamy. Visit their website where you can subscribe to one of three coffee clubs: Reserve, Trekker or Espresso. Amavida has four locations on the Emerald Coast and a training lab where beans are roasted and coffee tastings are staged.
Two Birds Coffee + Café: Two Birds was started by vacationers-turned-locals and features a robust coffee menu and breakfast offerings. Grab a drip, pour-over or Cuban espresso to enjoy alongside a variety of fancy toasts including avocado, chorizo and butternut squash. Locals rave about the fried PB&J, cinnamon sugar donuts and 2 Birds “porridge.” You can also try a classic drink like a mimosa, bloody mary, kombucha or one of their numerous wines or IPAs.
Bad Ass Coffee: With a name like that, you’d better know what you’re doing in the coffee world and these folks certainly do. With locations on Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach and Uptown Grayton Circle, you’ll never be too far away from grabbing a signature latte, frozen coffee or smoothie. We’re big fans of the “Snickerlicious,” a taste of dark chocolate, caramel and hazelnut, and Haole’s Menehune, a blend of white chocolate and raspberry. A cup and a pastry to-go, with a seat on the beach, is our idea of a good way to start the day.
East Pass Coffee Co.: This Destin coffee shop is a relative newcomer to the list, having only opened its doors in early 2020. They came on strong, though, with favorites like the dirty chai latte and the German chocolate cake iced drink. Cinnamon toast like mom used to make it also on the menu, as are three varieties of acai bowls, with an array of flavors like granola, hazelnut spread and locally-produce honey.
Sunrise Coffee Co.: We almost hate to include this one on the list because we like to think of it as “our little secret.” Located catty-corner to the Ed Walline Beach Access at Gulf Place, Sunrise Coffee Co. boasts a variety of hot coffee beverages, smoothies and even cocktails like a frozen margarita (which is perfect after a day on the beach!). They also offer a variety of sweet treats and breakfast and lunch options. Our favorite is the breakfast bagel or the cronut … or who are we kidding, any of the gourmet doughnuts from Charlie’s Famous Donuts.
The Pour Coffee & Community: If you find yourself near Panama City Beach, a stop at The Pour is a must. A frozen white mocha might just hit the spot or a cortado will wake you up. You can definitely eat the gorgonzola and apple pizza for breakfast — we won’t tell — or try the rise/shine breakfast sandwich. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s plenty to tame it including cinnamon rolls or decadent croissants to which you can add cheese, chocolate, powdered sugar butter or honey.
Kahve & Cream: This little café describes itself as a “hidden gem on 30A,” and we’d definitely agree. From freshly-brewed Jumping Goat coffee to a variety of unique drink offerings like the Gold Bomb, you’re sure to find a new favorite. This location is also home to Charlie’s Donuts, voted “Best Bakery in the South,” with flavors like blueberry cake, red velvet and key lime. A modest breakfast and lunch menu includes an English muffin sandwich and smoked turkey pesto.
Decadent: We couldn’t leave our neighbor at 30Avenue off this list. Decadent specializes in drinks and desserts, perhaps leaning more heavily on the “desserts” portion. You can experience a menu that changes daily to include things like lemon mascarpone cake, tres leche and hot donut holes as well as gluten-free options such as chocolate molten lava cake. Of course, they’ll serve you coffee if you like from their menu that features Founders Blend coffee, lattes, nitro cold brews and frappes.
Prefer to brew at home? YOLO Coffee and the Florida Sunrise Blend from 30A are options worth considering. 30A’s Sunrise Blend is noted as chocolatey, dense and clean and is available for purchase from Amavida. You can reminisce on 30A sunrises from wherever you call home. YOLO’s organic coffee is available in dark roast and toasted southern pecan with notes of dark chocolate, dried fruit and caramel. Their SUP blend, a nod to the stand-up paddleboards they’re well-known for, is available for purchase here.
Did we miss your favorite coffee shop? Drop us a note below and let us know why you love it!