Front Porch Cafe

By: Dannie Cooper, 2013

On the third day of our travels along Route 64, we woke up in Plymouth and drove out to Manteo. Finding ourselves without caffeine and a little hungry, we decided to stop somewhere in Manteo.  One of our travel mates had heard of the Front Porch Cafe, so we thought we’d give it a try.  Unfortunately, the address listed on their website did not exist.  Luckily, we stumbled across the actual location as we drove past our hotel. 

I liked the place the instant I walked in.  It felt like a festive, locally-owned Starbucks. The room felt like it was lit with natural light – not too dim and not too bright – and it was very spacious, with a variety of seating options. The walls were shelves packed with their wares, including local coffees, coffee syrups, teas, wines (including select Vineyards on the Scuppernong labels), Island-made jams, artistic mugs, tea kettles and greeting cards. The radio played a selection of popular songs, and not just the Top 40 on repeat. The staff was super friendly.  Overall, the place had that nice local feeling without making me feel like the tourist or outsider. In fact, when we stopped in the next day on our way out, the barista recognized us, which added to the place’s great feel. 

I ordered a plain bagel with butter and a hot chocolate.  The bagel was nicely toasted, but not burnt, and the butter was applied in a nice amount – not too greasy, but not too dry.  My first sip of hot chocolate was amazing.  It was the perfect temperature, and I was very happy to not have to worry about burning my tongue.  The best part was really that the hot chocolate didn’t have an aftertaste to it.  Bitter aftertaste is the reason I have a love-hate relationship with most hot chocolates, but the Front Porch Cafe’s hot chocolate was all love.

Yet what really stood out to me as I walked around was the bra-ha-ha entries at the back of the room.  According to one of the staff members, the bras are part of a national bra-ha-ha which is meant to raise breast cancer awareness.  All of the bras are made by local students of all levels and are meant to raise awareness within the community.  For me, this was just another aspect of the Front Porch Cafe that illustrated their friendly, local charm.

For more information on the Front Porch Cafe, please visit: