Atlanta was nothing but perked dishwater until AURORA COFFEE opened here in 1992. Its two shops, which are now owned by the same folks who operate Criminal Records, were never designed as cozy hangouts, but the baristas still receive the best training in town and the quality of the coffee drinks shows it. Order a single shot. Note its sparkling golden crema, its smooth and slightly piquant taste, its slightly oily texture. Its a reason to go on living another day.
992 N. Highland Ave., 404-607-1300; 468 Moreland Ave., 404-523-6856.