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).
Interior of Aurora Coffee
When you enter Aurora Coffee, you will immediately notice the full-width art on the walls.
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!
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:
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.