There’s no reason to suffer from caffeine withdrawal while on the Outer Banks. There are enough very good quality espresso bars that even a java junkie should have no problem finding a really well-made cappuccino or iced latte.
We’ve organized our list of favorite local coffee shops from North to South, starting in Corolla.
In the offseason, it’s a good idea to check hours before arriving. Especially in Corolla, as not every business is open year round. The listings are for the northern Outer Banks, and does not include Hatteras Island.
Joe To Go
804 Ocean Trail
Located across from Monterrey Plaza—the Food Lion Shopping Center—Joe To Go is a small shack by the road that has garnered a great reputation. Espresso drinks and smoothies are the specialties.
Northern Lights Bakery And Coffee
A great bakery, and they make a heck of a cappuccino, too. And yes, they bake everything on site including the donuts. Sandwiches are also available.
Outer Banks Coffee
One of the first, if not the first, coffee shop to roast their own beans. The espresso is rich and full flavored with a nice crema on top.
The Shack Coffee Shop & Beer Garden
1148 Ocean Trail
Corolla, NC 27927 (252) 597-1500
What’s not to like—freshly brewed coffee, great espresso drinks and an amazing selection of beer…all in a beautiful outdoor setting. It’s hard to beat that.
Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Bookshop
The Waterfront Shops
For the Barnes & Noble aficionados who insist on their lattes in a bookstore setting, this is the place. The building was at one time a hunting club and it has an old time wooden building vibe that sets it apart from every other place. Features a small but comfortable sitting area.
Sweet T’s Coffee, Beer & Wine
1211 Duck Road
Very friendly service, an amazing selection of wine and beer, but by all means, try the espresso drinks. Sit on the front porch and relax under the trees…life is good.
Kitty Hawk & Southern Shores
Outer Bean Cafe
The Dunes Shops
3701 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk
Absolutely one of our favorite cafes and an amazing spot for breakfast or lunch. Necla (Nay-schlah) Rader insists on organic ingredients whenever she can get them, and the food preparation reflects her care.
Kill Devil Hills
Ashley’s Espresso Parlor
100 E Helga St
The newest addition to the Outer Banks espresso scene, Ashley Barnes and her husband Eric have done things right. A friendly, open setting and the couple are experts in all things coffee. Ashley has been roasting coffees for years and her expertise really shines through here. Dogs welcome.
Front Porch Cafe 2200 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Front Porch has three locations. They’re similar, but each is unique. Great service and very well made espresso drinks. The KDH location includes a pottery glaze and paint for families thinking of a different souvenir.
Higher Grounds – Coffee & Ice Cream
2141 Colington Rd, Kill Devil Hills (Colington)
Tucked away on Colington Road, Higher Grounds is a bit off the beaten path but worth a visit, if for no other reason, the view from the deck is marvelous. Open year round and caters very much to the local crowd.
Front Porch Cafe
2515 S Croatan Hwy
Tucked away on the north end of a shopping plaza, the Nags Head version of Front Porch Cafe is larger than the KDH location. The feeling inside is open and airy, and the espresso is still very, very good. Wine and beer are available at this location.
Morning View Coffeehouse and Roastery
2707 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head
A cozy friendly coffeehouse, Morning View calls out to sit a while with a friend. They do roast their own coffees and that’s reflected in the quality of the brew.
Waveriders Coffee, Deli & Pub
3022 South Croatan Highway
Milepost 11 1/4, Pirates Quay Shoppes
A locals’ favorite and for good reason. The coffee and the espresso drinks are very well made, but what sets Waveriders apart are the fantastic breakfast sandwiches and killer deli treats. Great smoothies, too. Beer and wine available. Live music some evenings as well.
Manteo Big Buck’s
106-A Sir Walter Raleigh
Big Buck’s has a couple of locations scattered between Corolla and Manteo, but this is the one the qualifies as an espresso bar. There’s a nice seating area and when the weather is pleasant, sitting outside on the second floor wooden deck is a great vantage point to watch the world go by. Fantastic candies and ice cream. They make their own!
Front Porch Cafe
This was the one that started it all, the original Front Porch Cafe. Open, spacious seating area in a somewhat funky old building. Perfect for meeting a friend or a great place to meet for business.