4 must-try coffee shops in Charlotte and their low-cal drinks

4 must-try coffee shops in Charlotte and their low-cal drinks
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All photos by Tara Lilly.

As a former barista, I had years of customers asking me for the ‘skinny’ version of a latte, mocha, macchiato – you name it and they’ve asked it. I’m looking at you, “non-fat mocha latte grande vanilla macchiato light whip.”

As an advocate for eating healthy and, well, drinking healthy (I can’t say no to my Malbec), here are a few ways I can help you break down your brew-of-choice to be a little less caloric. Game on, waistline, game on.

Not Just Coffee

Locations: 7th Street Market and Atherton Market 

Boy, do I love this place. From their talented barista skills to their exquisite coffee, these ladies and gents know how to wow with their coffee skills. Whether you’re hitting up Atherton Market or the 7th Street Public Market, you must grab a cup or two of their deliciousness. If you’re not into drinking your coffee black, which would obviously be your healthiest option, then give this little number a try.

Café au lait: Coffee, steamed almond milk and one pump of vanilla

Not Just Coffee

Amelie’s French Bakery

Locations: 2424 N. Davidson St. (others listed here)

When I first moved to Charlotte I knew I had to find the coffee shop. You know, the shop you can sit in for hours, sipping coffee goodness and working away on your laptop? It took about two seconds to hear that Amelie’s French Bakery was the place to check out. If you’re craving an indulgent coffee treat without the extra cals (sorry macarons), give this recipe a go:

‘Skinny’ Café Marcotter: Espresso, steamed almond milk, vanilla bean syrup (skip out on the salted caramel sauce)


Smelly Cat

Location: 514 E. 36th Street

Oh Smelly Cat, you are the quaintest little café. With your twinkly strung lights and rustic setting, I could sit in your shop all day. I knew this quirky spot nestled in NoDa would soon be one of my go-to coffee spots and it hasn’t let me down. You might not think it’s possible, but here’s my favorite skinny-alternative chocolate fix.

Skinny Dark Chocolate Mocha: Espresso, steamed skim milk, Godiva dark chocolate (hey, it’s better than milk chocolate. Am I right or am I right?)


The Daily Press

Note: This piece was originally published in February 2016. The Daily Press is now closed but you should check out owner Lindsey Pitman’s new venture, Hyde Brewing. Hyde currently runs a pop-up coffee shop at the Goodyear Arts building at 516 N. College Street.

Location: 3227 N. Davidson St. [CLOSED]

When I first stepped into The Daily Press, I felt like I found the hidden gems of all the hidden gems. This spot doubles as a bar and live music venue (The Evening Muse), as well as a coffee shop with some extraordinary baristas. Did I mention they made my coffee in a chemex? It was an extraordinarily pampering experience. You know how you feel pampered while getting a massage? Well this girl felt extremely pampered as they carefully curated my dry process coffee.

Ethiopian Black Coffee: With their ‘dry process,’ the coffee is harvested among peaches and takes on delicious notes of the fruit. I must say, with the hints of fruit I didn’t need to add any steamed milk or artificial flavors – the coffee spoke for itself. Not to mention, the calories were on the low-low.


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