Cloud Nine Market


Cloud Nine Market's Coffee Shop is the ideal spot to rest your feet and refuel while shopping in the Vista. Savor a cappuccino or latte, nibble on a muffin or a slice of cake (or share a big cookie), but then be sure to hit the aisles. This place is a browser's heaven, with a great assortment of gourmet foods, coffees, bath products, and home accessories. If you need to find the perfect gift or want to splurge on a little something for yourself, you can find it here.

University Of South Carolina
Immaculate Consumption


At lunch, the lines at Immaculate Consumption are a little daunting, but there's a good reason for that. The food is exceptionally good, well above coffeehouse standards. It's nothing fancy – salads, sandwiches – but it's well prepared, fresh and unusual, and the baked goods are downright wonderful. And don't forget the fantastic coffee. If it's hot outside (and in Columbia there's a good chance of that!), opt for a frozen mocha. Divine.

Courtyard Coffeehouse


With plenty of character, friendly service, and an excellent roster of live acoustic music, this laid-back coffeehouse is a local favorite. Then, there's the coffee: from espresso to cappuccino to your basic cup of joe, the quality is consistently high. Try a buttery scone, a tasty pastry, or, if you are really feeling indulgent, the chocolate-topped strawberry cake. Plenty of lunch and dinner options, too.

My Dessert Bar


Two of life's finer pleasures – chocolate and books – combined in one marvelous little shop. Stop by in the morning for a hot cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin or cinnamon roll. Late in the day, you can enjoy a fine gourmet chocolate, slice of pound cake or fresh-baked cookie. Don't neglect the books – the selection may be limited, but it's high-quality and fun to browse through.

University Of South Carolina


Regularly cited as Columbia's coolest coffeehouse, Cool Beans has everything you're looking for. The food is satisfying, the coffee is great (try the "Perfect Woman" – it's a mocha-type concoction with whipped cream and a chocolate disc on top), the WiFi is free and the clientele is eclectic. Plus, they stay open until midnight, making it a decent place to hang out if the bar scene isn't your style.