For the average everyday coffee drinker, coffee shops can either be huge attractions or intimidating turn-offs. Whether you're looking for somewhere to read a good book or get energized before your morning commute, here are a few friendly Virginia Beach coffee shops worth checking out regardless of your coffee knowledge.
Coffee is great-- never trust someone who doesn't drink coffee. If you're like me, and coffee is a must-have before anything significant happens in your day, you either just really appreciate it or drink way too much of it... or both. If that's you, you're in the right spot.
Good or bad coffee can seriously affect the outcome of the rest of your day. You can pick the best grinds and set the coffee pot up early, but if you don't get it just right, you'll be regretting it for hours. And, for anyone sticking to a tight schedule, you might not always have time to brew up a steamy Aeropress or french press before work. Thankfully, Virginia Beach is covered with amazing places to get a cup of coffee on the go. We've picked a few of our favorite spots from all over town, so we've got you covered regardless of where you are.
Location: Virginia Beach Oceanfront (19th street)
Walk into Three Ships Coffee, and it'll feel like you've stepped into the old days. Its dark and old-time nautical feel creates a super unique atmosphere. So, why the strong nautical influence? Three Ships wholesale and production manager Steve assured me it was greater than just aesthetic.
"Three ships refers to Capt. John Smith and the three vessels that landed in Virginia hundreds of years ago. We want everyone to enjoy good coffee, sure, but to also take pride in the history of this area."
Pretty sweet. Three Ships is right in the middle of the Virginia Beach ViBe district, right alongside other local businesses like North End Bag Company, WRV, and soon-to-be Pink Dinghy. The customer base is certainly regular-heavy with younger families and trendy locals, but the baristas are friendly and quick to recommend popular menu items to newcomers. All the coffee is roasted in-house, as well as their extensive biscuit and baked goods menu. They even make their own almond milk. I ordered the house cappuccino and their signature Virginia ham biscuit, and they were both delicious.
Location: Hilltop East
Roast Rider Coffee boasts an extremely modern vibe that feels both professional yet casual, and their regulars reflect that well. They've got various seating ranging from couches to an outward-facing bar, including a shaded patio area for sitting outside. Located in the Hilltop East shopping center just near Bottlecraft and Taste Unlimited, Roast Rider's heavy foot traffic creates a high-energy atmosphere that's perfect for catching up and not having to worry about being too loud. Their cold brew is delicious, and they've got an array of tasty and healthy foods to go along with their coffee. I tested out a house cappuccino, and it was very tasty.
Location: Town Center
Town Center Cold Pressed is much more than a coffee shop. They've got a full menu of house-pressed juices, smoothie bowls, Kombucha, shakes, and more. Each of their three locations has dark walls and dim lighting; if you're looking for the coffee shop version of a nightclub, then Town Center Cold Press might be your place. They use fresh ingredients to create a clean, healthy, and extensive menu. The lines are long, and the place stays full, a testament to the quality of their product. For the sake of uniformity, I stuck with their coffee selection. Town Center Cold Pressed takes its coffee seriously, and I was more than satisfied with my cortado. If you're in the area, they're worth the trip.
Location: Shore Drive (Lynnhaven Beach Square)
If you're looking for a quiet, small-town atmosphere, Lynnhaven Coffee Company is a fantastic place to slow down and relax. Their colorful, well-lit beachy aesthetic is complete with dozens of plants, big windows, and artwork from local artists. I asked Nick, the general manager of Lynnhaven Coffee Company, what exactly it was that set them apart from every other shop in town. Aside from their delicious coffee, he told me it was the whole vibe of the place.
"We're local, we're relaxed, and although we're knowledgeable about coffee, we're eager to teach people about the whole process rather than act pretentious."
If you don't believe him, head on down to the shop and see for yourself. Lynnhaven Coffee Company sells kits of pre-roasted beans and ingredients to make your very own homemade coffee brew. They'll answer questions you have and help you along the way, too. Located just off of shore drive, Lynnhaven Coffee Company attracts people from all over the area, including several military customers. The "JP5" (military lingo for "jet fuel") is Lynnhaven Coffee's special blend. Highly caffeinated, this brew is perfect for early risers. This blend and their other blends are all roasted just up the street from their storefront location. If you're looking for a great date spot or somewhere to get work done off-the-radar, Lynnhaven Coffee Company is the place to be. I ordered their house cappuccino, and it was fantastic. Goof stuff!
Location: Regent University Campus
Because of its niche location, Cafe Moka probably wouldn't be on a typical Virginia Beach coffee shop hit-list. But if you're in the area, it's worth the visit. Just outside of the cafe, a large study room filled with comfy seating is available for zoning out and grinding through some work. They've got a great menu, and like our other coffee spots, their coffee is all hand-brewed. Moka has another location out of state, but their primary customer base in VB is mostly Regent's students and staff. If you're looking to change up your daily grind, Moka is the perfect getaway.
Location: Virginia Beach Oceanfront (17th Street)
While Commune is more of a restaurant than a coffee shop, all of their products and ingredients are sourced locally (within 200 miles) to create the freshest menu in town - and yes, that includes the coffee. Commune serves food according to what's available and fresh, adding a little extra flavor and excitement to their menu. Behind the bar, Commune offers an extensive drink menu of local espresso, tea, beer, wine, and more. Inside, the atmosphere is one of naturalistic simplicity, efficiency, and cleanliness. So if you're looking for a fresh meal or just a cup of joe, Commune is a must-add to the list!
Location: The ViBe District
If you're looking for authentic Hawaiian coffee by people who know exactly what they're doing, Bad Ass has the right idea. Even though this is a chain, you get small-town vibes from its laid-back atmosphere and friendly service. It's right in the heart of the Vibe District at the corner of 18th street and Cypress Ave, so if you're doing some shopping or checking out the artwork, stop by, say "Aloha," and try for one of their signature or Hawaiian blends. If you love what they're serving, you can order it online!
Location: Virginia Beach Oceanfront
This gem is a frequent stop for everyone in my house. Centrally located near King Neptune and the North End, tourists and locals love this quaint little stop nestled into a shopping center. Every review you'll find mentions the mom-and-pop atmosphere and how when you walk in, you feel just like family. If you stop by, I highly recommend an iced coffee and one of their signature breakfast sandwiches.
Location: Shore Drive
The Scoop: Their motto? "Coffee. Whiskey. Community." That pretty much says it all! In 2015, owner Ashley Horner saw a need in her community for a coffee spot when the only coffee shop on Shore Drive closed. Knowing that she wanted it to be different from any other shop in Hampton Roads, she incorporated whiskey and created a unique coffee and whiskey destination. They have excellent food, too! You can't go wrong with their burritos, wraps, and bowls. And, of course, you have to try one of their locally sourced and roasted coffees or whiskeys.
Next time you're on your way to work or just need your daily caffeine fix, be sure to check out a few of these Virginia Beach coffee shops. Just not all of them at once. Good food and tasty coffee are hard to come by, but we think each of these spots is onto something good. And not to mention, it's all fresh.