heart latte artBy: Katy Harrison

When you’re driving through crowded cities, nothing beats taking a break from traffic at a hidden gem that the map on your phone can’t tell you exists.  If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for a good spot to get coffee; nothing makes my eyes sag more than long-distance driving.  Next time you find yourself tired or in traffic (or likely both) on the north side of Atlanta, take a breather at the tough-to-find-but-totally-worth-it coffee shop, Land of a Thousand Hills.

Don’t even think about plugging this place into your GPS; you’ll end up far north in even more traffic at one of their other locations, which are nice, but nowhere near the slice of heaven you’ll experience at their tucked-away haven near where I-75 meets I-285 on the north side of the city.  Instead, have your map route you to the corner of Aker’s Mill and Powers Ferry Roads, go about half a block south on Aker’s Mill, and enter the Walton on the Chattahoochee apartment complex.  That’s right, I said apartment complex.  Just trust me here.  Dial “phone 101” on the keypad, and wait for a sprightly voice to answer, “Coffee shop,” before the gate opens.  Follow the signs straight back to the coffee shop, and try to snag one of the premium, river-view seats in the back while sipping a delicious cup of Joe.

And don’t worry; this detour off the map isn’t just a way to support a local business while getting the same product you would at a chain coffee shop (although that’s definitely a perk!).  Coffee here is served hot and fresh in a French press atop a silver tray.  Feeling a little more adventurous than plain coffee?  Their espresso drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, etc.) are fantastic, and their chai spice is locally sourced.  While you’re at it, check out the display of baked goods, prepared fresh daily (except Sundays) by a local woman who cooks out of her home.  With cozy indoor and outdoor seating, a simple but inviting atmosphere, and a stunning view of the famous bend on the Chattahoochee River, you’ll forget all about the infamous Atlanta traffic you just made your way out of for a few moments of quiet refuge.