11 late-night spots for coffee to fuel your productivity—or fun

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Photo by Melissa Oyler
Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery

A cup of coffee to start the day is always lovely, but for some — we’re looking at you, freelancers, night owls and college students — an open-late coffee spot is also a necessity to getting things done.

While there are countless daytime coffee spots to visit throughout the city, Charlotte’s late-night coffee shops are fewer and farther between. But what our open-late coffee scene lacks in numbers, it makes up for it in variety —whether you’re looking for a conference room, a cocktail or a comedy show to go with your after-5 p.m. latte, there’s a place where you’ll find it.

Here, the ultimate guide to Charlotte’s best late-night coffee shops for when you just need to sip a latte and hunker down.

(1) Amelie’s

2424 N. Davidson St. #102
Late hours: Open 24/7

Photo by Melissa Oyler
Amelie’s

Amelie’s, one of Charlotte’s favorite bakeries, stays open all day and all night long. Emily Medich, the assistant GM at Amelie’s in NoDa, said the shop hosts study groups, meet-ups and more in the later hours.

Amelie’s is a hot-spot for students, as well as industry folks who come in and grab coffee before/after/during their shifts.

(2) Cafe Moka

7416 Waverly Walk Ave.
Late hours: Open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Cafe Moka undoubtedly has one of the most extensive coffee shop menus in Charlotte. Try one of its various pour overs, a cafe con leche or one of its frozen lattes.

(3) Central Coffee Co.

719 Louise Ave.
Late hours: Open until  8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; open until 7 p.m. Sunday.

Serving local coffee roasted in North Carolina, Central Coffee Co. offers everything from cold brews to cortados to lattes — with perfected latte art included.

(4) Coco and the Director

100 W. Trade St.
Late hours: Open until 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

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Spiced Bourbon Latte at Coco and the Director.

Part coffee spot part local artisan shop, Coco and the Director is a go-to neighborhood space for those working past 5 p.m. any day of the week.

“It’s a different vibe at night — more laid-back, people who want to make use of the co-lab space,” said Pamela Rucker, the manager at Coco and the Director. The shop also hosts regular events, like open-mic nights, book signings, spoken word poetry and networking events.

(5) Coffee Cone Cafe

9620 University City Blvd. A
Late hours: Open until 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and Sunday; open until 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

If you’re in the mood for some dessert, Coffee Cone is the obvious choice. You can balance the sweetness of ice cream with the boldness of an evening macchiato or americano.

(6) Crown Station Coffeehouse & Pub

3629 N. Davidson St.
Late hours: Open until 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday.

Crown Station is much more bar than coffee shop at in the later hours of the night, so swap your fair trade coffee for a coffee-based cocktail — like the Jade Spice, a tequila-and-espresso-based cocktail — as the evening wears on.

(7) Mugs

5126 Park Road #1d
Late hours: Open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; open until 7 p.m. Sunday.

At South Charlotte’s Mugs, there’s plenty of brightly decorated space to spread out, so post up with work and a cup of coffee, and cross things off your to-do list.

(8) Not Just Coffee

2230 Park Road, Suite 102
Late hours: Open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; open until 7 p.m. Sunday.

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Not Just Coffee lives up to its name. Aside from lattes and pour overs, it also serves meals (including waffles and charcuterie plates), and classy cocktails.

(10) Queen City Grounds

644 N. Church Street

Late hours: Open until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Photo by Katie Toussaint
Queen City Grounds mocha.

Queen City Grounds even has its own Nightflyer Roastworks, roasted in-house. If that’s not a reason to visit late, we don’t know what is (well, maybe the kronuts.)

(10) Queen City Tea Bar

3615 White Hall Park Drive
Late hours: Open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; open until 9:30 p.m. Saturday; open until 8 p.m. Sunday.

Yes, the tea bar serves coffee, too. When you’re in the mood for a late night pick-me-up, head to this tea bar for a Vietnamese iced coffee or a cold brew.

(11) Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery

514 E. 36th St.
Late hours: Open until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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This NoDa favorite isn’t open late every night of the week, but the shop’s cold brew and rustic atmosphere make it well worth a trip on days when it is.

Where else should we try? Let us know your favorite spots for late-night coffee and we’ll add it to the list.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article had an incorrect location for Smelly Cat.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Queen City Grounds is the best coffee shop in Charlotte and is open until 9pm on Friday and Saturday. And Smelly Cat is a staple of NoDa, not Uptown.

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