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Nov 7, 2012 05:10 PM

where is all the really good espresso in Atlanta?

My wife and I are one week into a three week stay in Atlanta, and I'm having espresso withdrawal symptoms. I've been keeping an eye out everywhere we drive for serious espresso/coffee shops, but all I've seen are Starbucks and Caribou. Yelp doesn't offer much help either, at least not in the area of town we're in, which is Buckhead.

Do Georgians just not appreciate espresso as much as people farther north or west? Or am I just looking for crema in all the wrong places? I'm starting to think Atlanta is the anti-Portland. :-(

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    1. I can't speak on straight up espresso but I've been on the hunt for the best cappuccino. So far I would say H&F, ESS, and believe it or not Desta (Ethiopian restaurant) have the best.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ILessthan3food

        Thank you to both of you for the suggestions. Franklin, sorry I didn't see your reply until just now. We tried Steady Hand Coffee on Sunday. I had an excellent espresso, some substandard iced coffee, and a good latte over the course of my visit. If I'm in the area, I'd definitely get more espresso there. Did Steady Hand by Emory used to be Octane? The reason I ask is the sign in the parking lot said something like "Parking for [blah blah], and Octane only".

        I'll try to check out some of these others. Hopefully some of them are in Midtown or Buckhead. It seems like a pity to drive all the way downtown (or to Emory or farther) just for a good espresso, but maybe I'm spoiled.

        Also, ILessthan3food, I'm guessing if someone makes a good cappucino, they probably make a good espresso, too.

        1. re: ToddBradley

          I'm happy to hear you found Steady Hand before you gave up on Atlanta coffee culture. Yes, you are correct, Steady Hand used to be an Octane outlet. As I understand, they turned over their lease to the SH guys *(they used to serve out of a VW microbus called the Rattletrap). Since then, Octane has opened a joint venture in Grant Park with Little Tart Bakeshop - Haven't tried it yet, but hear good things.

          Also, if in town on a Friday and have some free time, check out the cuppings they do in the morning hours. Lastly, while I'm not a "big coffee chain fan", The Starbucks at Ansley has a couple of Clover machines and they do a number of single origin coffees that are quite nice. (although, the clover is like a super high end aero-press if you ask me)

          I'll definitely hit you up for good coffee/food places next time I'm on the front range.


          1. re: Franklin Smith

            Definitely if you need espresso advice in the Denver area, let me know.

            1. re: Franklin Smith

              I just got back to our short term apartment from Octane's Westside location. I meant to go to the Grant Park location to try it out, but had a mixup between my brain, Yelp, and my GPS. Damn good coffee, and good food, too.

              1. re: ToddBradley

                Those Counter Culture beans are the real deal!!!

                Batdorf and Bronson beans shouldn't be overlooked though - Star Provisions and the Dancing Goats Coffee Shops serve it.

                Glad you found the expresso you were looking for.

        2. In Buckhead, try Mae's Bakery on Lenox Rd. Otherwise, Octane, Dancing Goats, Steady Hand, Condessa.

          1 Reply
          1. re: biskuit

            OK, thanks. I want to go check out the Octane in Grant Park. But I only have a couple days left before I leave town.