It’s no secret that mornings are improved with a cup of joe in hand. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is overflowing with many local coffee shops to help kick-start your day and keep you caffeinated during your island getaway! From enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee in a cozy cafe to snagging your coffee to-go and sipping it on the balcony of your beachfront vacation home while watching the beautiful sunrise over the ocean, the coffee options are endless in North Carolina's Brunswick Islands.

If you enjoy the traditional cozy coffee spot, look no further than the Coffee Cottage located in the heart of Calabash. Here you will find an array of coffee, espresso, and tea options to enjoy while you lounge on a comfortable chair in the lobby. Whether you are reading a good book or planning out your day, the Coffee Cottage is a unique place to relax and take in the coffee aroma. Don't forget to try one of their pastries, especially the homemade cheddar and chive scones! Just up the street is another cozy spot simply named Good Coffee, which is exactly what you can expect to find there along with an assortment of delectable baked goods. Also, don't miss the Grand Strand Coffee Bar (aka Eric's Place) conveniently located on Highway 17 in Calabash which has drive thru service for a cup of joe on the go!

Coffee and pastry

Of course, no morning is complete without your coffee, and Mavericks Java answers the call! Mavericks Java, located in Sunset Beach, is a laid-back, family owned coffee shop where you can enjoy friendly service and a wide variety of coffee specialties. This coffee shop prides itself on utilizing perfectly shade-grown coffee beans in their beverages. Mavericks Java serves hot, cold and blended beverages and for a local favorite try the s’mores latte! For a coffee option on the island, head to Coastal Grounds located on the causeway and conveniently attached to a beach rental shop. Stop in for a quick cup of joe before heading to the beach to catch the infamous sunrises and sunsets that the island has to offer. 

Surf’s up! Get caffeinated and gear up in this combined coffee house and surf shop at OIB Surf & Java in Ocean Isle Beach. Wake yourself up with a vanilla and toasted marshmallow “Cloud Nine” latte before hitting the waves with one of their custom, handmade surfboards. Also in Ocean Isle Beach is Drift Coffee & Kitchen located near the roundabout on the island. Drift offers a variety of holistic breakfast and lunch options ranging from fresh acai bowls to savory turkey and avocado sandwiches. Satisfy your thirst with a delicious beet latte that is served hot and features beet powder and steamed almond milk. Both OIB Surf and Java and Drift sell their unique coffee beans, so you can take a taste of Ocean Isle Beach with you!

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If you are looking for delicious refreshments that put some pep in your step, then hop on over to Jumpin' Java Espresso Company! Head to Shallotte or Oak Island for a comfortable atmosphere and a variety of mochas, lattes, espresso and pastries. Choose from traditional coffee options or branch out with special offerings like the Absolute Magic that features macadamia, white chocolate and caramel. We suggest ordering the Absolute Magic blended like a frozen frappe, but the drink can also be served hot. Insider Tip: The Shallotte location has a drive thru, so you can enjoy your coffee to-go without getting out of your car! Shallotte is also home to Starbucks for those who like to stick with the classics.

Along with Jumpin' Java Espresso Company, Oak Island is also home to the locally owned and operated Island Jo Coffee & Cafe. Spoil your taste buds with good eats, friendly service and delicious signature drinks. Grab a veggie quiche that features mushrooms, onions, red and green peppers, and broccoli and wash it all down with a refreshing salted caramel iced coffee. These can’t miss treats are a must for early risers! If you find yourself close to the Oak Island Pier, be sure to visit Ruby's Coffeehouse and Eatery for a delicious coffee and snack while taking a break from all the beach festivities. 

For a true local experience, look no further than Ocean Boulevard Coffee in Holden Beach. Ocean Boulevard features artwork and photography from local artists, so this neat spot is a great place to sip your coffee in an atmosphere that inspires creativity! Try the delicious Bella’s BonBon, one of their specialty drinks named after the shop owner’s brindle boxer. The drink includes the perfect blend of caramel and vanilla and can be served hot, blended or iced. Take home a piece of this local spot by purchasing their delicious coffee beans or some of their featured artwork. Also in Holden Beach is the unique Cafe Ahora, which serves up exotic blends of coffee sourced from around the world. 

Those searching for a refreshing brew in a relaxing environment will find just that at Port City Java. With locations in Southport and Leland, Port City Java offers a full breakfast and lunch menu along with delicious signature drinks. You won’t want to miss out on their black and tan mocha made from espresso, caramel syrup, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, white mocha powder and topped with whipped cream and a triple drizzle. If you just can’t get enough of their drinks, you can purchase their coffee beans to take home! Southport is also home to the popular drive thru only coffee shop Southport Coffee Co. while Leland has two Starbucks locations as well.

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For more things to do and to explore other dining options in the North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

Updated June 29, 2021