Coffee Shops of the World: Savannah, Georgia
The love between a member of The Attic and our caffeine is perhaps unparalleled. It comforts us and sustains us, and at home nothing gets us going faster in the mornings or brings more easy enjoyment with friends. Traveling, we seek it out religiously, to save us from jet lag and submerge us within the local energy, becoming a home away from home — a place where we gather with friends or fellow travelers and stop to recharge between sights. In this series, we are sharing our favorite independent coffee shops at home and around the world.
Savannah, Georgia is my home. I wasn’t born or raised, here, no, but it is my chosen place to live and has been since I turned eighteen and was allowed to make that decision for myself. I discovered independent coffee here, as the only accessible Starbucks by foot was consistently overrun with employees and executives from the nearby office buildings. Thankfully (no offense office people!) the independent shops dotted all over town made finding my daily dose of caffeine an exhilarating task, wonderfully educating me in the local unpretentious culture and introducing me to countless friends, artists, and fellow coffee lovers along the way.
Savannah is a classic and mildly famous small town. You’ll usually read about us either because of something filming in our squares or to let you know we’ve made yet another must-visit list of destinations in America. There is history seeping through every inch of it and an atmosphere to it that feels very much its own but also a bit continental. I have sipped espresso at marble counters watching passerby heading to mass, shared Spanish wine in twinkle-lit courtyards while soft acoustic guitars played in the background, ordered a citron pressé while clutching a bushel of lavender. Coffee shops (and other businesses alike) have been built in ancient houses, pharmacies, cathedrals, and pine companies. In Savannah, I could be here or I could be anywhere, and that’s exactly what I love about it.
There are more, but if you ever find yourself in Savannah, you’ll find me at one of these:
234 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
Can you call a coffee shop your ride or die? Gallery, as it’s known locally, is my ride or die. The oldest coffee shop in town is housed on a corner building from the 1850s facing Savannah’s most well-known and popular square (yes, the one from Forrest Gump) and serves an expansive menu of drinks and finger foods, along with wine and seasonal drinks. If the coffee wasn’t delicious enough, its true appeal lies in the eclectic furnishings; slightly over-stuffed yet completely homey vintage sofas and velvet armchairs abound in the central spaces and rotating art exhibitions decorate its walls and fireplaces, while individual tables lining the large windows allow for more serious work or people-watching the square's lively crowds.
Foxy Loxy Café / The Coffee Fox
1919 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401 / 102 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA, 31401
Like Gallery, Foxy Loxy functions as a print gallery with a rotating selection of art along its every wall. Founded by a SCAD alumna, the entire Foxy family of cafés is an aesthetic dream come true from its perfectly designed event posters to each location’s cozy interiors. Foxy Loxy, the flagship, sits inside a repurposed large historic Midtown home where every space is now furnished with minimalist seating, from its upstairs balcony to lush garden courtyard out back. Its smaller sister location, Coffee Fox sits on the Historic District’s busy Broughton Street and offers a smaller selection of the menu in a convenient takeaway setup.
Perc Coffee Roasters
1802 E Broad St, Savannah, GA, 31401
Savannah would be nothing without Perc Coffee. Before even opening its doors for visitors and building a serviceable coffee shop within its warehouse, Perc had my heart. Established in 2010, Perc Coffee Roasters has provided seasonally sourced and locally roasted coffee to businesses all over Savannah and the Southeast, creating custom blends for dedicated customers (Foxy serves them exclusively) and now offering their own menu of formidable drinks from classic fare to newer, experimental options such as Nitro brew and espresso tonics. In a residential neighborhood on the outer cusp of the East Victorian District, this haven is more than worth the trip.
The Paris Market & Brocante
36 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
There is no greater escape in Savannah than The Paris Market & Brocante. Tucked amongst its various art books, handmade jewelry, flea market finds, and iconic window displays, the café on the ground floor of this 1870s grocery store offers classic French snack fare and specialty drinks. Stop in and enjoy a perfectly poured espresso or cool down with a frozen rosé along the velvet booths. When you’re finished, hop downstairs to the home section and cry over the expansive apothecary finds and endless stationary like I always do.
The Collins Quarter
151 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
Opened in the last few years, The Collins Quarter offers contemporary Australian cuisine in a chic, modern setting. You can sit inside and enjoy a cocktail, specialty coffee, selection of (my favorite) Harney & Sons tea along with a delicious meal, or like me on a busy day, pop up to their takeaway window and order any drink to go as you continue your exploration of the city.
337 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
A bookstagrammer’s dream come true. Owned by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and formerly known as The Gryphon Tea Room, Gryphon is perhaps the most romantic eatery in all of Savannah. If it stayed open late, that is. Regardless, its sultry lighting, wall-to-wall color-coordinated bookshelves, and original stained glass fixtures make this 1920s pharmacy turned tea room my dream date spot. If you go, ask me out. Or, have the roasted turkey sandwich and one of their massive lattés for me. The Sunday brunch is my favorite, although be forewarned it can be quite the wait if you don't arrive early.
313 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401
If you’ve ever wanted to live directly above a coffee shop that also happens to serve Belgian Liège waffles, Mirabelle Café is the place for you. Of course, staying in one of their beautifully decorated upstairs suites isn’t a requirement for patronizing the café on the ground floor, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be that close to the action. The indoor seating can be sparse if you’re not a window counter type, but the bistro seating out front, facing what is arguably the town’s most beautiful cathedral, isn’t the worst place to find yourself at sunset.
The Sentient Bean
13 E Park Ave, Savannah, GA 31401
At the very southern tip of Savannah’s Forsyth Park sits a cozy, bustling coffee shop full of organic, fair trade coffee, milk from the local dairy farm, and a Mediterranean panini to knock your socks off. Their entire menu is vegetarian or vegan friendly, and offers a variety of healthy breakfast items and sweets as well. This local jewel fosters an ethical sense of community and conscious activism, and to visit is to engage in the most welcoming spirit of Savannah.
Student friendly Foundery Coffee Pub sits surrounded by a few of SCAD’s busiest buildings in the East Victorian District, providing plenty of room for working while caffeinated or lounging during their popular open mic nights.
The District Café and Eatery was a favorite of mine in my SCAD days as well, situated directly between Jen Library and Lucas Theatre in the space of less than one city block, it served me well with its house-made flavor syrups and grilled cheese of the month post film screenings or between research sessions.
My SCAD specific loves (and then I promise to stop talking about my alma mater forever): Tad Café, located inside the SCAD Museum of Art serves one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had. The art’s not bad either. Meanwhile, Café 78, inside my beloved Ex Libris is as good as an excuse to break all of your pencils or suddenly need an international fashion magazine as any other to run into this wondrous building where columns of books literally? hold the ceiling up and turn-of-the-century staircases leading down the center of the room make you feel like a movie star just running down to throw the paparazzi off her doorstep, or, you know, pay for her hot press watercolor paper.
Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.