Your Daily Dose of Caffeine: Unique Coffee Shops Around the Commonwealth

Image: Katie Stoops - Black Sheep Coffee

Image: Katie Stoops – Black Sheep Coffee

Is there a better way to spend the cold winter months than cozied up in a coffee shop, with a warm cup of joe? Seattle and Washington may get a lot of hype, but Virginia is home to one of the most thriving coffee scenes on the East Coast. Whether you want to try something new, crave a perfectly brewed cup of joe, or are just straight up caffeine-addicted, here’s your can’t-miss highlights of the Virginia & DC coffee scene. Drink up, foodies!

Images: Sweet Donkey Coffeehouse

Images: Sweet Donkey Coffeehouse

Blue Ridge Highlands

Sweet Donkey Coffeehouse – Roanoke

The Sweet Donkey Coffeehouse invites you to step into their “home” and embrace their eclectic 1920s decor. Let them steam you up their signature orange silk latte — a unique blend of house-made caramel and orange essence. Sit by the fire, surround yourself with vintage charm, and forget your worries for a moment. They’ve partnered with Counter Culture coffee, which sources coffee beans from sustainable sources around the world, so you can sip confidently. Make the most of your coffee experience and don’t skip out on their seasonal favorites, quirky flavor combinations, and local baked goods here.

Try something new:

Egg nog latte using locally sourced egg nog.

More Blue Ridge Highlands Coffee Shops:

Central Virginia

Images: Whisk

Images: Whisk

Whisk – Richmond

Whisk has a full coffee bar and extensive drink menu where they proudly serve coffee and espresso roasted by Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co., and cold brew from Lamplighter Roasting Co. Excellent coffee aside, Whisk really steals the spotlight when it comes to their baked goods. Richmond foodies keep coming back to pair their coffee with their house-made croissants and macaron cookies. They’ll keep your taste buds on their toes with their continually rotating macaron flavors including coconut lime, raspberry rosewater, and buttered rum. Whisk even offers monthly classes with their executive pastry chef where you can learn how to master macarons, tiramisu, and more so you can bring that deliciousness into your own kitchen!

Try something new:

Check their social media and see when Whisk is offering their famous ice-cream macaron sandwiches. Past flavors have included mint chocolate chip, birthday cake, passionfruit raspberry, and Maple Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Bits.

More Central Virginia Coffee Shops:

Shenandoah Valley

Images: Katie Stoops / Buddy Harlow - Black Sheep Coffee

Images: Katie Stoops / Buddy Harlow – Black Sheep Coffee

Black Sheep Coffee – Harrisonburg

Are you interested in trying exotic coffee blends from around the world? Black Sheep Coffee is a one-stop destination for coffee lovers with adventurous palates. You can get a taste of beans from exotic places like Kenya, Peru, and the Sumatran Highlands. Black Sheep also prides themselves in keeping their focus all on the beans, serving drip coffee and manual pour-over service.

Try something new:

Black Sheep likes to have fun with their unique, experimental drinks too – like their fluffernutter lattes, iced vanilla bourbon coffees, and bourbon espresso affogatos.

More Shenandoah Valley Coffee Shops:

Southern Virginia

Images: Crema & Vine

Images: Crema & Vine

Crema & Vine – Danville

Located in Danville’s historic district inside an eye-catching and modern building, Crema & Vine checks all the boxes for a coffee lover. They pour locally sourced Red Rooster Roasters coffees, espressos, and seasonal specialty drinks. Come here if you’re hungry or looking to unwind in the evenings, as they also offer an extensive craft beer selection, a 16 bottle self-serve wine bar, and a menu including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Try something new:

In the Fall & Winter, Crema & Vine offer a wide variety of seasonal specialty drinks like their white chocolate coconut mochas and candied local apple cider.

More Southern Virginia Coffee Shops:


Image: Kari Redman - Cure Coffeehouse

Image: Kari Redman – Cure Coffeehouse

Cure Coffeehouse – Norfolk

The Cure Coffeehouse likes to experiment frequently with new and exciting drinks and food menu options.They have two locations, one in Norfolk and a newer location in Smithfield in the historic Smithfield Firehouse built in 1939. Cure firmly believes a coffee shop is about more than just the joe. They are on a mission to make their coffee shops a place that fosters positive change in their community, relationships, and entrepreneurship. Stop by here for a sip, a bite, a conversation, and a slow change of pace.  Keep an eye on their social media for fun pop-up parties they host, like their 90’s themed parties, Summer BBQs, and Galentine’s Day brunch.

Try something new:

Cure is constantly coming up with jaw-dropping, Instagram-worthy new lattes. Some favorites include their vanilla-thyme latte, Snickers latte, matcha tea latte, oreos & milk latte, and sweet-potato walnut latte.

More Tidewater Coffee Shops:


Northern Virginia

Images: @districtdelicious / Northside Social

Images: @districtdelicious / Northside Social

Northside Social – Arlington

Whatever you like to drink, Northside Social probably has it. This coffee shop/wine bar/cafe offers Counter Culture coffee, an extensive wine bar menu, and other popular drinks. The food here is typical coffee shop fare for the most part, but with a house-made twist. For instance, if you ever wanted to try handmade poptarts, this is the place to be. Northside Social also offers extensive house-made and locally sourced cheeses to pair with wine so we are betting no foodie will go hungry while visiting here.

Try something new:

Stop by on Saturday nights for Northside Social’s Open Mic Nights and live music. You can even swing by Sunday afternoons too for a remarkable brunch.

More Northern Virginia Coffee Shops:


Washington DC

Images: Qualia Coffee

Images: Qualia Coffee

Qualia Coffee – DC

Qualia Coffee roasts and brews their beans in-house, offering a constantly rotating lineup of coffees. If you’re overwhelmed by the coffee options, you can order a coffee flight and get a feel for what your taste is. Qualia is focused on highlighting the natural flavors of their single-origin coffees, so you won’t find any flavored syrups. They also do not offer wi-fi at their locations so come prepared with a book to keep yourself occupied!

Try something new:

Pop in every 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month for free coffee tastings and a more in-depth look at the newest additions to their coffee lineup.

More DC Coffee shops:


Our Coffee shop list is all about exciting flavor combinations and bringing in locally-sourced food and drinks. Add a dash of Southern hospitality meeting Northern creativity, and you have a recipe for a fun day or evening. Let us know if you’ve enjoyed any drinks at these coffee shops around VA and tag us in your photos on Instagram! Find a full list to curb your caffeine craving on our Dine and Drink Lists.


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