The secret's out on this hidden Atlanta coffee gem

Is there such thing as a legit "hidden" gem in Atlanta? Found one!

It's tucked away from the hustle, although just a few blocks from the 12 packed lanes of I-285 on the top end. A calm, peaceful feeling washed over me as I sipped a latte in this natural setting on the Chattahoochee River. Instant serenity. Yep. That's why this lovely, quiet spot is a hidden gem in my book.

It's Chattahoochee Coffee's Riverside location. When a rarity like this exists, the secret doesn't last very long, as was the case for the beautiful CC Riverside.

You see, the word started to spread on this precious pocket of peaceful. Stressed-out ATLiens found solace here with Counter Culture coffee and its restorative backdrop for interesting conversations, especially on the weekends.

It's located inside a gated complex called Walton on the Chattahoochee apartment community at the edge of a beautiful curve in the river. When the Walton residents became a bit annoyed at the intense weekend traffic, Chattahoochee Coffee had to limit its public access to only Monday through Friday. That being said, it's still well worth the effort to hustle over there on a weekday.

The changes in public access "definitely affected us for the first few weeks, but we are even more popular now. People see us as a destination, so our customers make us a priority throughout the week," said manager Matthew Davis. He said that all types of clientele head to Riverside for the vibe and to share in their passion for a quality cup of Joe. "We have families, businesses who hold meetings in our private back room looking over the river, bikers, runners and kayakers coming off the river. And the residents are happy now having their personal space back on the weekends."

As for the offerings? The homemade spinach quiche had a light and flaky crust and was a divine start to the day, but the top taste was definitely the vanilla latte. Others raved about the daily-featured coffee blend as bold and nutty with hints of caramel. Everyone enjoyed the fresh air, green space and happy ducks swimming by.

Chattahoochee Coffee is dedicated to great java, but that's not all. They partner with organizations making a positive impact in disadvantaged communities around the world. They make charitable giving an annual priority and whenever possible, partner with local as opposed to national vendors. Perk: Chattahoochee Coffee has another location on the Westside at 790 Huff Rd. NW.

Chattahoochee Coffee Riverside is a perfect spot to study, relax or meet a friend to chat. Buzz the visitor's gate Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m. at 6640 Akers Mill Rd. SE., scroll to "Coffee Shop" in the directory and when they answer, just say "coffee!"

Hungry for more? Be sure to catch Atlanta Eats every Saturday and Sunday on Peachtree TV at 10:30 a.m.!