Aurora Coffee and the Independence Vibe at Little Five Points

When you think of the word “independent coffee shop,” a few places come to mind in the Atlanta area. Aurora Coffee, located in the Little Five Points (L5P) neighborhood, should probably be at the top of that list. Even the company’s own slogan is “Atlanta’s First Specialty Coffee Shop.”

Opened in 1992 by a Seattle transplant, Aurora Coffee has stayed independent through all the years—and has not deviated from its basic mission to serve as a serious coffee/espresso destination.

Photos from a recent visit to Aurora Coffee are profiled below.

Exterior of Aurora Coffee

Aurora Coffee is located at 468 Moreland Avenue, next to the famous (or infamous) Junkman’s Daughter (an alternative department/clothing store).

Exterior of Aurora Coffee in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. Junkman’s Daughter, visible also, is the neighboring store (you can read its brief profile here).

Exterior side of Aurora Coffee in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta, GA.

A large wooden patio is one of the features of Aurora Coffee. The artwork is by a local Atlanta artist, Peter Ferrari.

Interior of Aurora Coffee

When you enter Aurora Coffee, you will immediately notice the full-width art on the walls.

Interior of Aurora Coffee.

The menu at Aurora Coffee is seen below. Of course, there are traditional coffee/espresso options such as a cafe au lait and a cortado, but you can make things interesting by ordering something from the Bear Menu—roughly one-half iced coffee and one-half flavored milk. Brown bear is chocolate, Polar bear is peppermint plus white chocolate, and a Panda bear is a combination of white and black chocolate (makes sense). If you’re feeling bold, you can make it a Grizzly for a 3-times stronger kick!

Hot and cold drinks available at Aurora Coffee.

At the counter.

Coffee at Aurora. In the background: a full wall display of posters for local events, art shows, concerts, etc.

Wide-angle interior view at Aurora Coffee.

Eagle mutants flying over mountains. (It would be helpful to find out if this mural has a title.)

Another section of the artwork at Aurora Coffee. Twelve heads around a concentric circle, in perhaps some kind of meditative or meta-cognition state (subject to viewer interpretation).

Did you know? Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood was the first one designated as a “Commercial District,” meaning there were restrictions on the size of businesses that could build in the area. The cultural melting pot created by an array of independent stores (Aurora Coffee included) is what makes Little Five Points such a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. Creative Loafing, an alternative-weekly magazine in Atlanta, once pondered how Little Five Points became weird and how long it can stay that way:

Little Five Points would establish itself as Atlanta’s most eclectic, independent, and bohemian retail area, a shopping and entertainment district that catered to locals, OTPers, and tourists looking for offbeat items and up-and-coming bands, and drifters ranging from the down-on-their-luck to train kids looking for a handout. But for all the colorful murals that adorn the walls and dreadlocks that wave in the wind, L5P is not just an enclave of hippies, gutter punks, and punks — it’s arguably Atlanta’s most full-service community, with a grocery store, pharmacy, dentist, counselor, optometrist, pizza joint, shoe store, bicycle shop, and even a credit union. Some businesses have been located there 30 years.

Here’s to hoping the weirdness and an embrace of the alternative endures, both at Aurora Coffee and at Little Five Points, a beloved neighborhood of Atlanta.

Aurora Coffee
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468 Moreland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Google Maps link
ph: 404-523-6856

Hours of operation:
Monday-Sunday: 6:30AM to 8PM