The Best Coffee Shops in Metro Detroit

by: Marcia Levenson

Searching for the perfect cup of joe in Metro Detroit? Well, you’re in luck, as there is no shortage of great local coffee places along the Woodward Corridor. So stop throwing your money at the corporate behemoths for a change and use our guide below to find the mom-and-pop shop that suits your style. There’s lots to choose from in the area, but we think these ones are the beans knees:

The Best Coffee Shops in Metro Detroit

Atomic Coffee – 401 S. Main St, Royal Oak

Walk into Atomic Coffee in Royal Oak and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into a beehive of production. Lively with laptops and conversation, it’s a hub of social activity. Great coffee, smoothies, tasty confections and California style lunch plates are all on hand. (Try the Avocado toast in the morning…yum!). Need a jolt of espresso? We recommend the Mexican Mocha with Oat Milk, arguably the tastiest mocha latte available (stung with a hint of cinnamon). Or maybe just a jolt of bold Nitro Brew with robust flavor; always an effective antidote to morning fog. But don’t be fooled – this is not just your morning coffee stop. Atomic rolls all day until 10 pm, changing out daytime OCC students, with nighttime hipsters. JSA Tip: Come with cash and you’ll pay almost 4% less AND keep those credit card bills at bay.

Drifter Coffee – 770 Woodward Heights, Ferndale

Drifter Coffee is a great option if you find yourself in the Pleasant Ridge/Ferndale area. Maybe it’s the name, but it does seem like the kind of beachside stop you’d find in Santa Cruz. On a Saturday morning a seemingly endless amount of people stroll through for an outstanding cup of coffee. You won’t find any processed or pre-made junk here, as their syrups are home-made and so are the baked goods. Run there in the morning if you’re close by, bring your dog and sit outside and soak in the chill vibes. JSA Tip: Grab a vegan or gluten-friendly baked good and shop one of their weekend pop-ups for cool gifts. 

Red Hook Cafe – 220 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale / 8025 Agnes St, Detroit / 2761 E Jefferson Suite C, Detroit

Red Hook coffee has a utilitarian urban vibe where you’ll get a carefully brewed memorable cup of joe. With 3 locations – 1 in downtown Ferndale on 9 Mile as well as 2 in downtown Detroit – Red Hook is perfect for a quick stop-in. We visited the Ferndale location and immediately noticed that an amazing bakery takes up much of the space and boy does it deliver. The home made treats are fresh and artfully created. Our favorite is the Brioche Cinnamon roll paired with the Brown Sugar Sea Salt latte. JSA Tip: Try one of their single origin offerings, it’s a special treat for purists. Our favorite is from Ethiopia.

The Office Coffee Shop – 402 S Lafayette Ave, Royal Oak

Royal Oak’s Office Coffee Shop is a great place to hunker down with great coffee and facilities conducive to work. The atmosphere is contemplative and generous, and with a food menu that features everything from specialty sandwiches to salads and breakfast options in the morning, you can literally spend your whole day here. And that’s kind of the point, as the Office Coffee Shop has private room rental options for team meetings or just getting some work done on your own outside or your own office or home. JSA Tip: Try the El Cubano sandwich with ham, seasoned pork, swiss cheese, hot pickles and beer mustard on a Euro wrap and thank us later.

White Wolf Japanese Patisserie – 31 14 Mile Rd, Clawson

Looking for that special coffee experience that’s a bit different from the norm? Then make your way to White Wolf Japanese Patisserie in Clawson. Come for the coffee,but stay to  indulge in the Japanese pastries, each made with classic French techniques. Honestly, White Wolf has the most beautiful pastry case around. A beautifully designed space, elegant in its simplicity, it’s a great place to bring a date, parent visiting from out of town or anybody who loves a delicious treat with their coffee. Simply put, White Wolf is a reminder that food artistry is alive and well in the Woodward Corridor. JSA Tip: Pair a black sesame shortbread with the iced matcha latte – SO GOOD! 

Of course there are lots more mom-and-pop coffee shops in the area and we’ve just barely scratched the top of the coffee can. That said, these shops can certainly be a nice change of pace from the 8 oz drive-thru, so check them all out next time you need a pick-me-up!