Blue Door

Blue Door, another corner coffee shop, sits next to Arnold Hall, on 34th and Bull streets, in close proximity to Foxy Loxy. The shop's layout is awkward and long making it uninviting, but they specialize in waffles and coffee so naturally I'll get both.

I order the $4.29 #2 Waffle Sandwich with turkey, bacon, bri cheese, apple slices and apple butter and the $4.30 Into Darkness coffee. I haven't had breakfast and this sounds like a dream to the growling pit I call my stomach.

I decide to 86 the syrup and try the waffle for its original contents. But I'm not impressed. The waffle is dry and a little undercooked, which is totally a personal preference but I like my waffles a little crunchy and so I hope that the apple butter will save it. 

But it doesn't. I don't even taste the apple butter. The meats are bland. For the first time, bacon doesn't have flavor. I'm gagging on the turkey and the apple slices are flimsy and tasteless. A disappointment. Nothing compared to Mirabelle Cafe's waffles.

So I turn to my coffee. 

And thank God.

This is the best coffee I've had in Savannah. This iced latte has a brown sugar syrup and chocolate syrup mixed in. Y'all. I can't deal. It's the perfect iced coffee. The syrups contrast exquisitely with the bitterness of the coffee. And it's iced. And even on cold days, I like my coffees iced. It feels like this coffee was made personally for me. I know it's overdramatic, but really, where has this drink been all my life?

And for $4.30? It's the cheapest coffee I've gotten in this city. My luck has finally turned around. After those horrid waffles, some higher power said, Girl, I gotchu with this coffee. If there's ever an appropriate time to use the phrase "bless up," it's now. #BLESSUP

So go to Blue Door for the coffee, not the environment and definitely skip the waffles.

 

Mirabelle Cafe

Stationed across from St. John's Cathedral, Mirabelle Café fits right in with its brick facade and gas fire lamps. Walking in through the glass and turquoise painted wood doors brings you to a cafe separated by a stairwell, introducing you to Mirabelle's biggest, but perhaps only, flaw--the layout.

To the right is a small seating area, a bar and several metal turquoise stools, and of course the counter with the register, toasters, etc.

To the left of the stairs is another small seating area with a few cushioned chairs and a table.

PS: You can't go upstairs. Bummer, I know. But I think it's safe to assume the suites (of Mirabelle Suites & Cafe) are up there.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

You'll be lucky to find a seat here, due to its strange layout and popularity, but I manage to snag one outside after I order my large Cappuccino for $3.75, small Bipolar Hot Chocolate for $4.25 and Southern Belle waffle for $6.

So I sit at my wobbly turquoise table in a wicker chair and listen for my name to be called from behind the marble counter. When I hear "Victoria" yelled from the friendly, but tired barista, however, there's not much room to squeeze through other customers waiting for their food and waiting to order. My drinks and waffles are waiting for me right in front of the cash register, but I can't get to them without a dozen excuse me's and awkward shuffles.

My friend Scarlett ordered a Cinnamon Latte and the House Special waffle, which are the waffle pictured at the bottom and the drink on the far left.

Alas, I sit to eat.

And a tourist passes and says, "look at that," with a longing, jealous groan.

Let me explain, my Southern Belle waffle is a waffle topped with lemon curd creme and raspberries, and it's an experience, one I wolfed down. Beware, this dish is not for those who don't adore sweets. My sweet tooth is the biggest tooth I have and I even found the last few bites hard to gobble up--but I did it, nonetheless (I have a reputation).

The Bipolar Hot Chocolate is the drink on the far right--a hot chocolate with a scoop or Leopold's ice cream, either vanilla, maple or coffee. Torn between coffee and maple, I splurged for maple, and let me tell you, I know there's no coffee in this drink, but it's a must have. The combination of chocolate and maple is not one to miss. Walk instead of taking Lyft and spend that $4.25 on this drink. 

And last but not least, my coffee, my 16 oz Cappuccino, my love. Made with PERC coffee, the Cappuccino is a classic with real foam. The same kind of foam I found at Café M, the real kind, the kind you need to eat with crystal rock candy.  You know, this kind. >>>

While Scarlett and I sit and consume, a Priest walks out of the Cathedral holding a large cross followed by other men in white robes, to which we gulp our coffees, wide-eyed, and she says, "I feel ill." So perhaps, for those who aren't religious, visit Maribelle's on a day that isn't the Lord's Day. But for the least expensive coffee (and still great coffee) in downtown, Mirabelle's takes the prize.

Hours

Monday-Sunday: 8AM-5PM

 

Foxy Loxy Café

Foxy Loxy Café, a miracle worker for sleep-deprived students, a meeting grounds for professors, a gift to all of Savannah.

Foxy feels more like a home than a cafe to me with its nooks and crannies you can crawl into to enjoy your cup of coffee. There are the few tables on the street, just outside of the shop. But indoors, there's a main room with a couch, several stools and tables, a sun room with a handful of wooden tables and accompanying chairs, a back room with one large meeting table and chairs and then there's upstairs which is the lower level's fraternal twin. And of course, the courtyard out back, quite possibly my favorite place to settle in with my coffee.

So I order my $4 Mocha and Vegan Lemon Bar, take my number, and sit out at a quaint black metal table with a matching black metal chair, next to the tree trunk wrapped in twinkle lights.

When ordering, I make the mistake of saying, "Can I just have a mocha?"

Which in turn gives the barista the right to poke some fun. "Just a mocha?," he responds, horrified and joking. "It's not just a mocha."

After just a few minutes, a server comes to find me in the courtyard, delivering my coffee and treat, and taking my number back to the kitchen with him.

And that's when I realize the barista at the counter was right. Even if he was just using my misspeaking as ground for teasing, he's right. This mocha is not just a mocha. My first sip is smooth and rich, reminding me more of a hot chocolate than a mocha (and while I always love my coffee flavor, this hot chocolate-mocha combo is perfectly satisfying because we all know how much I love my chocolate, too). I coddle my cozy, black mug and thankfully, I get my fix of quality latte art with my mocha's cute little leaf that I promptly slurp up.

Sitting next to the outdoor fountain and ivy-covered walls, it seems obvious why Foxy Loxy consistently (and literally) has lines out the front door. Even if their coffee wasn't the kryptonite it is, the atmosphere and friendly staff would make up for it. The mismatched, sticker-wallpapered shop and its bearded baristas fit right in here in Savannah.

Monday-Saturday: 7AM -11PM
Sunday: 8AM-6PM

 

Café M

Café M, a French pastry and coffee shop sits nestled into the old strip mall at 128 E Bay Street, in heart of touristy downtown Savannah. I cozy up in a wicker chair just outside the shop at a marble table and enjoy the warmest winter day the city has seen in a week. I'm back in Paris for the few hours I'm here. It's a strong feeling if you don't know the one I'm referring to.

A feeling that turns out to make perfect sense. Owners Amanda and Arthur Montplaisir moved to Savannah from Paris roughly two years ago and import most of their foods for the shop from France itself. So I order my large Salted Caramel Latte for $4.75 (and a few treats) and sit in the sun. The interior of the shop is decorated with a green and white color scheme in classic Parisian style, the same marble tables and wicker chairs as outside but with victorian style end tables and quaint dressers to hold the sugar, stirrers and cream.

My latte comes out (with my snacks!! the brie, walnut and honey croissant and pistachio macarons) and is as heavenly as I could've asked for. The foam is by far the best foam I've ever had on a latte before. Now I understand the people who like the foam. It's light and fluffy, but not too fluffy to where it just feels like glorified air. This foam has a purpose. This foam has two purposes; one which is to teach me what real latte foam is and two, to be real latte foam.

I sip my latte, which seems to forget it was supposed to be a salted caramel latte but is delicious nonetheless--smooth, sweet and most importantly, caffeinated--in peace. 

Until a tourist gawks at me eating my pistachio macaron.

"What IS THAT?" She squeals, her salt and pepper hair flapping in the wind.

I know macarons are French, but they're pretty popular in the U.S. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

So I let my onlooker know it's a macaron and yes, it is as good as it looks. I figure I shouldn't be too harsh on her because the way she reacts to everything in Savannah is the way I react to everything in Paris and this coffee shop. Café M is by far my new favorite in Savannah.

À bientôt, mes amis.

 

Hours
Sunday-Monday: 8AM-4PM

Maté Factor

A painting on the left wood-panelled wall reads, "A cultural tradition of brotherhood steeping in your cup." I sit underneath it on the pieced-together leather booth with my laptop and my iced Vanilla Hazelnut latte.

Owned by followers of the Twelve Tribes religion, Maté Factor, yet another corner coffee stop, sits on the corners of Habersham and E Hall streets. With its exposed wood and wicker baskets, stepping into Maté feels like opening a fairytale book and stepping in. Imagine "Hansel and Gretel" without the creepy, cannibalistic witch. 

And as cliché as a fairytale coffee shop may sound, it's totally accurate. The place has rod iron railings, a cute, cozy loft, the lamps are made from wooden baskets and the counter looks like a little hut. Take a look.

I mean, when do I sprout my fairy wings and have endless supplies of glitter, am I right? Okay, it might help that there are plants everywhere, but I'm obsessed with the aesthetic either way. If I thought The Foundery felt like a woodworking shop, Maté feels like the fairy's equivalent.

Maté falls in line when it comes to the usual customers--women and men, ranging from 20 to about 50 years old--and the barista behind the hut is a young girl--maybe eighteen--with big brown eyes and a friendly disposition. She asks me if I've ever been to the shop before and what I ordered last time as I drool over the giant cookies on display.

The Vanilla Hazelnut latte is not for the faint of heart. Vanilla for the baristas at Maté includes a number of spices I didn't know vanilla could include. Don't ask me to name them, I could have a latte every day and still would have no clue what they are. Maybe that's my ignorance, but this drink doesn't even need to be caffeinated, the spices are shocking enough to wake me up. 

And at $4.50, ringing up at $4.81 with tax, my latte was a priced little higher than the average coffee in Savannah, but I'd attest that the coffee and the experience are both worth the extra 30 cents. But go see for yourself.

Hours
Sunday: 8AM-8PM
Monday-Thursday: 6AM-8PM
Friday: 6AM-4PM
Closed Saturday for religious reservations

 

Collins Quarter

Is anyone else noticing a pattern? Why are all the coffee shops I go to on corners? Well, The Collins Quarter Bar follows suit, balancing between Oglethorpe and Bull streets. The upscale restaurant and coffee bar sports read leather booths, marble table tops and modern tableware. Typically, Collins Quarter will host a quiet, acoustic band, but today my drink was only accompanied by the radio's Motown.

I, happy to have on my coziest sweater, am seated outside in Savannah's harsh winter winds--harsh winter winds meaning 60 degrees, sun and a faint breeze every now and again. The wooden chair has a squishy leather cushion my butt grows fond of and I'm promptly given a glass of cool water, no ice--European style. But unfortunate to report, this was the only swift moment of my service.

The waiters are nice, polite. Yes, of course. Although mine seems to be the least friendly. I'll tip 20%, as always, but the service is putting me to sleep--literally, I can't stay awake without caffeine and if you don't give me my caffeine in an orderly fashion, I'll fall asleep at the table. I don't mean to be rude, I'm just an addict.

To sum up, I'm bummed with how slow it takes to make my Aussie Iced Coffee, a specialty coffee not mentioned on the website, so when my waitress places it on my table, my eyes widen and my heart flutters like I'm going on a first date with the popular guy who drives a really cool car.

My Aussie Iced Coffee. A vanilla milkshake with a shot of espresso. If there's anything I love almost as much as coffee, it's ice cream.

The first few sips are bewitching.

But then, my super cute, aesthetically pleasing, 50s-diner-wannabe red and white paper straw separates. It's tragic. The red peels away from the white making it impossible to slurp up my coffee-infused milkshake. Don't worry though, one shot of espresso was barely enough to qualify this drink as caffeinated. The barista could've added two more shots to the dairy byproduct and then I would've been more satisfied.

So I use my straw as a spoon to scoop up my whipped cream and then give up.

I sample the Spiced Lavender Mocha, too, priced at $5. I'm not the biggest fan of lavender in drinks--don't ask me why, I can't tell you. I love the smell of lavender, I love the idea of lavender in drinks, I love the color of lavender. But I hate the taste of lavender. But luckily, this drink isn't overwhelming. There's a hint of lavender and the chocolate of the mocha is rich but not overpowering.

Ironically, the best part about Collins Quarter was getting the check. 30 pages into a ratty, old copy of Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives for Windsor," edited by George Van Stantvoord, sat my bill. And I had to thumb through previous customers' notes. I couldn't help myself, but I'm glad Suzy G. from Texas thought her food was excellent.

(Side note: I'm not one of those people who will point out a minor mistake in her bill, but the Aussie Iced Tea was priced at $5 on the menu and I was charged $5.50 so the total with tax came to $5.89. The Spiced Lavender Mocha was rung up correctly--$5 before taxes.)

So in the end, what you pay for at Collins Quarter is the pleasing aesthetic. If you want the perfect background for your Instagrams, you've found your place. If you want more than mediocre coffee, however, you're welcome to tag along when I brave the next coffee shop Savannah drops me in.

Hours
Monday: 6:30AM-5PM (coffee), 8AM-3PM (brunch)
Tuesday: 6:30AM-12:00AM (coffee window)
Wednesday-Sunday: 6:30AM-8PM (coffee), 8AM-3PM (brunch), 5:30-10PM (dinner)

 

The Foundery Coffee Pub

The Foundery Coffee Pub, where the "pub is short for public house," feels like a caffeinated woodworking shop; wood paneled counter, wooden pew, wooden chairs, wooden floors, wooden coffee tables--you get my point; there's a lot of dark wood. Complemented with shades of red in oriental rugs and seat cushions, the gray walls and open floor plan are reminiscent of a meeting hall, which by best guess is thanks to The Foundery's organization.

Run by the United Methodist Church of Savannah, the shop is an open and accepting space, known for holding events like bible groups and poetry readings.

But for my atheists, Muslims, Jews or those who just aren't big on religion, fear not. The baristas all have beards, gauges and a fondness of beanies, and the rustic decorating will easily distract you from the cross and small Jesus figurine on the bookshelf. They're Christian, but you don't have to be.

And the coffeeeeeeeee. Don't forget about the best part! While conversing with one of the aforementioned bearded, beanie-wearing baristas, I found my new greatest love. Priced at $4.55 for 12oz, the "Weasley," a current special, is a maple and caramel latte you can enjoy hot or iced. My caffeine addicts who have a sweet tooth (and a nerdy love for Harry Potter), this drink is for you. It fixes both your grogginess and cravings all in one.

The Foundery is a favorite for many students and professors, located on the corner of Habersham and Anderson streets, right behind SCAD's Anderson Hall--quite the prime locale to grab a quick brew between classes or keep fuel your cognizance as you finish the paper you've pushed off.

I could use another couch and some more cushioned arm chairs to replace the hard wooden ones flooding the shop, but between the coffee and the 9 huge windows that let the sun pour in, you'll definitely be wide awake while you enjoy your latte at The Foundery.

 

Hours
Monday-Saturday: 7AM-10PM
Sunday: 9AM-9PM

 

Gallery Espresso

I took a break from my beloved Keurig today and found myself in Gallery Espresso, a coffee shop nestled in the heart of downtown Savannah on Bull and E. Perry streets. Guarded by outdoor tables with red umbrellas, the Central Perk-stylized shop feels cozy with its oversized chairs, red rugs and exposed brick walls.

I order a white chocolate cappuccino from a barista who glares at me like he knows all of my secrets.

"One shot or two?" he asks me, still glaring and barely lifting his chin.

"Just one please," I reply.

"That'll be $4.55."

Aside from the barista, who I will assume has been on his feet for 8 straight hours and is far too exhausted to find his manners, the shop is inviting. And Gallery Espresso is just that--an art gallery that serves espresso (as well as wine, coffee, tea and various pies and snacks) or perhaps more so an espresso bar that sells art. While I found the pieces hanging on the walls to be too abstract to hold any value, perhaps you'll enjoy the paintings for sale. (But be sure to bring your checkbook, the canvases start at $1,200.) Opposite the "gallery walls" are wraparound windows that allow for plenty of natural light for those who come to Gallery Espresso to sketch while the light, almost inaudible radio won't distract those typing away at their computers.

My cappuccino is warm and smooth, and although barely reminiscent of white chocolate, I'm perfectly fine with the French vanilla taste. If there was only one good thing about the barista, at least it was that he knows how much foam on a drink is just enough.

I sit at a wooden table positioned underneath an ugly, Jackson Pollock inspired painting. The space itself is eclectic to say the least, full of mismatched furniture and customers. The clientele, both female and male, vary in age from 20 to about 45-years-old. While I sit here in the corner of this shop, I noticed one French, several Chinese and a handful of eastern European coffee lovers, all speaking their respective languages. Meanwhile, the barista who made my drink sulks around the shop, occasionally staring me down, definitely picturing my demise in his mind.

Luckily, my thick, northern skin can handle brutish customer service so I'll happily return for another mildly overpriced, not-so-white-chocolate white chocolate cappuccino because of Gallery Espresso's snug, intimate atmosphere.

 

Hours
Monday-Friday: 7:30AM-10PM
Saturday-Sunday: 8AM-10PM