cafe helios
Other,  Travel

Cafe Helios – The Perfect Coffee Shop

I’ve been addicted to coffee for years now, and as every coffee enthusiast knows, finding the perfect coffee shop can sometimes be a struggle. Cafe Helios in Raleigh, NC is at the top of my list.

In general, I find they’re either too hipster, and filled with people whose excessively tattooed arms and hands give Rick Genest a run for his money.

Hands with lots of tattoos

Or, alternatively, they’re too family friendly (if that’s even an appropriate thing to say), and filled with little children running around like crazy, bumping into your laptop, and spilling their hot chocolate on your important business files.

Child running at a coffee shop

Even with all the awful coffee shops I’ve been in, I’m still on the search for the perfect one.  There’s no magic formula I can recite to explain what makes a coffee shop feel like home, but somehow, Cafe Helios has found the secret. Every time I come to Raleigh, and need some coffee for a little mid-day pick me up, I always used to stop in.

Unfortunately, I have learned that one of my favorite coffee shops has now closed down. So it looks as though I will need to come up wtih a new one the next time I take a trip to raleigh.

cafe helios

What made Cafe Helios Great Coffee Shop?

Nestled in the middle of Glenwood St. downtown, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Cafe Helios was a nice little oasis right off the bustling streets.  The last time I decided to venture in and get my coffee fix, and also to see if they had any good food.  

I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they offer food (in addition to the coffee based drinks and wine & beer they serve), but their menu had notations for vegan and gluten free choices.  Even if you’re not vegan or gluten free, they have yummy combinations for carnivores and meat lovers too!

Cafe Helios menu

I chose the Stevewich which was delicious!  I’ve never thought of mixing peanut butter with zucchini and squash before, but it was really lovely!  It was a healthy and hearty choice that made my vegan heart sing!

The Stevewich and a coffee with soy.

I spent several hours there, pottering around on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and I’ve got to tell you, I didn’t encounter Rick Genest and his impressive tattoos, or unruly little children.

The cafe had a gentle buzz, and a hum of people engaged in pleasant conversation.  This is definitely a coffee shop that I will miss. I hope to find one here in LA that I love as much!

Now, If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Stevewich to enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

Be sure to check out my Coffee Date series #2 as well.

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in July of 2013. I have updated the post to indicate that Cafe Helios is now closed.

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