Posted Apr 9th, 2019 in Foodie Fodder
Downtown Wilmington’s coffee culture is blossoming and the selection of places to enjoy your brew is growing. One of these places, 24 South…named for its location at 24 South Front Street…could be considered the grandfather of them all.
The first coffee shop at this location was originally called Cape Fear Coffee and Tea and opened in the 1980s. It then became The Italian Café when operated by the owners of The Italian Gourmet Market which is directly next door. In 2014, when the Italian Gourmet Market owners decided to downsize, it was bought by Christine Vaughan and became 24 South.
As the oldest coffee location in downtown, 24 South has retained some of its old-world charm. The two, wood-framed bay windows surrounding the entrance are quaint and inviting. Customers can sit and enjoy one of the many beverage choices while watching the world go by. Once you step off the sidewalk, you are drawn in by the intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
Inside is warm and welcoming, bright enough to read or to take advantage of the free wifi, yet cozy enough to want to hang out for a while. The eclectic décor mixes elements of different eras with some of the tables from the original café still in use.
Customers can choose from a wide selection of drinks including Espresso, Cappuccino, Frappé, iced, cold-brew and nitro-brew. The coffee beans are supplied by two different North Carolina roasteries, Java Estate and Odelay. In keeping with tradition, baristas use a manual-lever Espresso machine to give them greater control over the brewing process. This takes a little longer but the higher quality result is worth the wait.
You can also enjoy breakfast sandwiches and baked goods. Be sure to try the Italian cream cake which is made by a local couple that has been baking and supplying this cake since the original coffee shop opened!
If you’re looking for a modern twist on your cup of Joe, try a nitro cold brewed coffee. Cold-brewed coffee is 80 percent less acidic than hot-brewed and when infused with Nitrogen, the result is a creamier, smoother coffee with a head like draft Guinness!
Another new concept introduced by the manager of 24 South, Krista Kearney, is the Downtown Wilmington Coffee Crawl. Be on the lookout for the third annual event next January.
Hours: Mon – Fri, 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sat, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sun, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
24 South Coffee House
24 S Front St