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Top Coffee Shops in Wilmington and Beaches

Some of the coziest, tastiest cafes for local roasts in Wilmington and Beaches

Top Coffee Shops in Wilmington and Beaches

Cute, local cafes have long adorned Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.

These picturesque towns have been stepping up their coffee games, with many local shops using North Carolina based roasters. Whether you're into classic espresso or funky, flavor-packed lattes, Wilmington and Beaches' local baristas, chefs, and artists say there's no reason to go to a Starbucks when you're in Wilmington and Beaches.

Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods

Recommended by: Khalisa Rae Williams, Dean Neff, Audrey Longtin, Billy Mellon, Ashley Bowers

Neighborhood: Wilmington's Historic Downtown / River District

Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods is a spacious and beautifully designed cafe in downtown Wilmington with on-trend vibes. Bespoke Coffee, which is run by Chris Batten and on-site manager Ashley Bowers, serves local and nationally famous Counter Culture beans and pastries.

Khalisa Rae Williams of Athenian Press raves about Bespoke, "It's definitely the really popular, hipster hangout. They have such great coffee!"

Drift Coffee & Kitchen

Recommended by: Audrey Longtin, Mike Barlas

Neighborhood: Wilmington

Source: Instagram

Drift Coffee & Kitchen is a relatively new cafe with a light-filled, modern design. Drift serves breakfast, lunch, and some inventive spins on specialty coffee (beet latte, anyone?). Audrey Longtin of The Workshop loves Drift, saying, “Drift serves food, and they really know what they are doing. They have great coffee, great food and a great ambiance!”

Luna Caffe

Recommended by: Dani Bearss, Khalisa Rae Williams, Michelle Fogle

Neighborhood: Castle Street District

Luna Caffe

In addition to specialty coffee and tea, Luna Caffe also serves smoothies in its cozy, exposed brick cafe. Luna has a sunny outdoor area and is dog-friendly.

Dani Bearss of Waterline Brewing Company is a regular, saying, “I’d send travelers to Luna Caffe, where I go every day. The guy who runs it really cares about his coffee, and they have rotating art on the walls.”

Grinders Caffè

Recommended by: Sam Cahoon

Neighborhood: Wilmington

Source: Instagram

Grinders Caffè is about as homey and local as it gets, with local roasters on tap and a weekly open mic night. Sam Cahoon of Savorez is a big fan, saying, “Grinders has the best coffee in town, in my opinion!”

Lucky Joe Craft Coffee Shop

Recommended by: Ashley Bowers

Neighborhood: Wilmington

Source: Facebook

Lucky Joe Craft Coffee specializes in cold brews. True to the 'Craft' in its name, Lucky Joe's also has a fine selection of beer on tap and cans and bottles for sale. Ashley Bowers of Bespoke Coffee says, "Lucky Joe's is a really chill atmosphere. They've got a couple different locations throughout Wilmington."

The Workshop

Recommended by: Jarrod Covington, Audrey Longtin

Neighborhood: Wrightsville Beach

The Workshop

The Workshop is a unique coffee-meets-fossil-jewelry-shop located right on Wrightsville Beach. If you’ve ever wanted to browse through lovely shark teeth necklaces while sipping on yummy coffee,The Workshop is the place for you.

Jarrod Covington of Wrightsville SUP is a fan of the cafe’s food and coffee. He says, "I'd start my perfect day in Wrightsville Beach with breakfast and coffee at The Workshop." 

Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar

Recommended by: Ian Balding, Sam Cahoon, Jarrod Covington

Neighborhood: Wrightsville Beach

Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar

If you’re a health junkie, look no farther than Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar in Wrightsville Beach, which has organic coffee and tea, as well as acai bowls and smoothies.

Ian Balding of Ian Balding Custom Surfboards and Custom Paddle Boards says, “I would recommend that you start your day off at Adapt Kitchen for some really nice coffee and some really fresh fruit juices for some really healthy living type food.”

SUNday's Cafe

Recommended by: Haley Jensen, Tony Silvagni, Audrey Longtin, Ashley Bowers, Dan Brawley

Neighborhood: Wrightsville Beach

SUNday's Cafe

Are you looking for delicious coffee with an ocean view? SUNday’s Cafe has you covered!

SUNday's is located above a surf shop at the south end of Wrightsville Beach, and it maintains the beachy vibe by offering up smoothies, acai bowls, and other breakfast goods.

Haley Jensen of Skytown Beer Company and Beer Barrio speaks highly of SUNday’s Cafe, saying, “I like to go to SUNday's and get a breakfast sandwich or a coffee, because it's a a great locals-only spot.”

Zola Coffee & Tea

Recommended by: Jess Reedy, Ashley Bowers

Neighborhood: Wilmington

Source: Facebook

Zola is located inside an independent bookstore in Wilmington and offers artisanal coffee in a cozy space that invites lingering for hours. Their beans are roasted on site, so you can be sure the coffee is fresh!

Jess Reedy of Pineapple Studios recommends Zola Coffee & Tea for both their drinks and books. She says, “Zola is really playful with their coffee, so you can go over and get a unique coffee drink and grab a book to take to Wrightsville Beach.”

Bitty & Beau's Coffee

Recommended by: Ashley Bowers

Neighborhood: Wilmington

Source: Instagram

Named after the founder’s children, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has received national attention for employing people with intellectual and development disabilities. Ashley Bowers of Bespoke says, “Bitty & Beau’s is really great! They're set-up so kids with special needs can work there, and it's so special to go to and witness that atmosphere.”

Love, Lydia Bakery & Cafe

Recommended by: Dean Neff, Ashley Bowers

Neighborhood: South Front Street District

Source: Instagram

Love, Lydia is a new bakery and cafe in Wilmington's South Front Street District.

Love, Lydia is located inside an old house that blends coziness (there’s a wraparound porch) with spruced up modern touches. It’s spearheaded by a local pastry chef, so you know the baked goods will be worth the trip.

Dean Neff has raved about his wife's shop: "It's like no other space I've ever been in. Love, Lydia has great coffee, espresso and all kinds of good sweets and croissants."