Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Article written by Blog Post Contributor HolmesContentTeam
Most coffee lovers have a favorite coffee shop, whether it be a large chain or a local hideaway. In celebration of International Coffee Day, and of course Pumpkin Spice Day on October 1st, The Holmes Content Team wants to inspire Jacksonville's coffee drinkers to drink local, and we've visited five of the top cafes and shops in Duval. If you haven't been to Brew Five Points, Bold Bean, Southern Grounds, Urban Grind and The Local, here's why you should go!
Address: 1024 Park St.
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 7:30 am – 7 pm
Five Points is known for some of the best eateries and drink stops in Jacksonville, and among them is Brew Five Points. If you’re looking for a hand crafted cold brew, drip, or espresso in Riverside, visit Brew.
I stopped in for a cold brew coffee after lunch, and there was a moderate crowd. The service was quick and the iced coffee was a refreshing pick-me-up and escape from the 92-degree weather. I had the pleasure of speaking with Tahmina, who welcomed me with a smile and recommended the Ginger Snap Cookie flavor syrup. It’s Brew’s seasonal alternative to the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and it’s quite good.
Brew Five Points, located at 1024 Park Street, is wonderfully eclectic. From its thoughtful sourcing of coffee beans to the local art featured on the walls, this quaint coffee shop is authentic to its core.
“The cold brew coffee with vanilla cream flavor is our most popular menu item. The kolache and pimento bakery treats are also big. All the bakery items are made by Calli Marie, Co-owner of Brew,” says Tahmina. She also says, “Brew is special because of its relaxed vibe,” compared to other coffee shops she’s worked in. Brew’s regulars hang out and enjoy their favorite coffee, some even bring their own mug and enjoy discounted refills on drip coffee. If you’re looking for the perfect time to drink and relax, you’ll want to visit on a weekday after 2 pm. Sunday mornings are their busiest, so you may have trouble finding a seat or quiet space.
Brew is also lovingly immersed in the Jacksonville community. From its support of local artists to pop-up dining events like “Not Bad Supper Club,” Brew is representative of Jacksonville’s growing arts and culture scene.
Brew can also boast that its special blend coffee beans are sourced from Bold Bean, right here in Jacksonville. Its espresso beans come from Reanimator and its drip beans are from Bandit in St. Petersburg. Next time you’re in Riverside, be sure to visit Brew Five Points.
Address: 1905 Hendricks Ave.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:30 am – 7 pm; Weekends 7 am – 7 pm
Bold Bean is another must-visit coffee shop in Jacksonville. Katie, a member of the Holmes Content Team, visited Bold Bean in San Marco on a Wednesday afternoon, around 2 pm. A barista named Kelsey took her order and was forthcoming with details about what’s most popular on the menu, when the best time is to visit, and from where they source their beans.
“Pour overs and the honey vanilla latte are their most popular drinks. Bold Bean is affordably priced, and there is only a few cents difference in price between the small and large size drinks,” says Katie. “Go for the larger size,” she adds.
Bold Bean boasts a modern, clean atmosphere that speaks to young professionals and students. Much like other self-service inspired spots, such as Southern Grounds, Bold Bean is great for a quick, post-lunch latte. Parking can be troublesome, but there is space available across the street.
Katie recommends the honey vanilla latte. “If you love sweet drinks, you’ll love Bold Bean’s Honey Vanilla Latte,” she says. There was no line, but also no sitting space available. The service was quick and friendly, but most of the bakery items were sold out. (This speaks to their popularity!)
If you’re more apt to visit during slow hours, go on a weekday evening. Their busiest times are weekday mornings before noon.
Bold Bean is proud to use ethically sourced coffee beans. They have great relationships with the farmers they source from, who use very little pesticides. This popular Jacksonville coffee shop is perfect for on-the-go students, professionals and people who are passionate about “drinking local.”
Address: 1671 Atlantic Blvd.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 6:30 am – 9 pm; Friday-Saturday, 6:30 am – 10 pm
Southern Grounds continues to grow in popularity, and will soon add an Avondale location. This Jacksonville café offers fresh baked goods, breakfast and lunch menu items that are made from locally sourced, organic ingredients. Alanna, a member of the Holmes Content Team, paid a visit to the San Marco location on a busy weekday morning.
She spoke with the Assistant Manager, Allie, who raves about the southern hospitality at Southern Grounds, which is reflected in everything from its scratch-made biscuits to its free coffee and tea refills. “We also offer dollar refills on our cold brew coffee. This is a terrific deal that many customers don’t know about yet,” says Allie.
The Baja Ancient Grain Bowl is the most popular dish available at Southern Grounds. That’s right, this café has earned expert status making coffee and pastries, but you can also enjoy a healthy, hot dish.
Looking for their top drink recommendation? “Order the Southern Grounds White Chocolate Mocha, it’s a decadent post-lunch treat,” says Alanna.
You’ll also drool over the dessert case, which is filled with beautifully decorated cakes from Biscotti’s, another local favorite.
Address: 45 W Bay St.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 am – 4 pm
Urban Grind is an independently owned Bay Street coffee shop that’s attached to the Regions Bank building. AJ, a writer for Holmes Content Team, enjoyed a weekday visit to Urban Grind and its relaxing atrium, or Urban Garden, as its called. Although parking is not ideal, once you arrive at this quaint coffee shop, you’ll immediately relax.
“Urban Grind is a downtown escape, right in the middle of everything,” says AJ. “Once you receive your order, you can relax in Adirondack chairs in the cool, shaded, atrium,” she adds.
Not only does Urban Grind offer a unique experience, their coffee is also special. Unlike large chains that offer flavored syrup, this local coffee shop brews flavored coffee.
Ready for your pumpkin spice fill? Be sure to try Urban Grind’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee, hot or iced. No syrup necessary! They’re also known for their iced caramel latte.
If you plan to stay a while, you can take advantage of discounted refills. At just $1.07 per refill, this is a steal compared to offerings at large chains.
Urban Grind’s menu also features smoothies, frappes, bagels, sandwiches and more. “Their cheese bagel is good, and it comes with veggie cream cheese,” AJ adds. This hip coffee shop is only open during business hours, Monday through Friday, and is popular with downtown professionals. Mornings before 10 am and afternoons from 2 to 4 are their busiest times.
Address: 4578 San Jose Blvd.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 9 pm; Saturday – Sunday: 8 am – 9 pm
The Local opened in 2017 and is quickly growing in popularity. Bringing “good food booze and caffeine” to San Marco for two years, this innovative café and coffee shop will be serving Neptune Beach starting in October! The new Beaches location will feature all new menu items, but also will include their popular cake and coffee, cocktails and Tuna poke nachos.
Holmes Custom Content Team writer, Brodie, visited The Local San Marco for an afternoon coffee break. “The vibe is calm and quiet,” he says. The Local offers anonymity to its customers. Looking for a place to relax and enjoy local coffee and fare without interruption? Sit inside and enjoy The Local’s modern rustic interior, or take your coffee or wine outside on the shaded patio.
Popular menu items include the Hendricks Burger and the Gumby’s Bowl. Their vanilla latte with soy is a top coffee selection. It’s even presented with Teddy Graham flourishes.
Like Southern Grounds, The Local is also interested in a Riverside location. Each location’s menu will be uniquely curated for local flavor, and you’ll have to visit each one to enjoy these one-of-a-kind dishes.
The Local’s busiest hours are weekdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm, and 5 pm to 7 pm. If you like a slower pace, visit The Local from 2 to 3:30 pm, when crowds are slim.
Whether you’re a long-time resident of Jacksonville or stopping in for a visit, be sure to enjoy the local restaurant scene. Duval is the epicenter of North East Florida where you’ll certainly find southern tradition, but also an eclectic arts, culture and restaurant scene.
Be sure to drink, eat and shop local in Jacksonville!
Author: Amber Bailey, Writer for Holmes Content Team