Do you remember an era before there was a Starbucks coffee shop on every corner? Before there was a heart shaped out of foam in every latte? We shudder to think of it!
Thankfully, the coffee scene has only continued to expand from local roasters to your favorite San Fran beans, pour-overs, Chemex, or a simply brewed, yet superior, cup of Joe. With reverence, we present you a dozen of our favorite shops, bars, and cafés.
- Bird Rock Coffee Roasters – Well-known for its sustainable “farm-to-cup” offerings, there are now three locations of this local shop.
- Brew Coffee Spot – Now you can get Virtuoso’s organic beans in La Mesa at this urban-rustic outpost.
- Café Virtuoso – Check out their signature cold brew and Kombucha in Barrio Logan.
- Copa Vida – Nosing its way into East Village, this Pasadena-based roaster has succeeded with its fourth San Diego location. We love their tea menu and no Wi-Fi weekends!
- Dark Horse Coffee Roasters – Because sometimes you need a coffee with your vegan donut! Don’t let the hipster vibe scare you away from these shops in North Park, Normal Heights, and Golden Hill.
- Holsem Coffee – In pursuit of “coffee evolved,” this small-batch roaster offers the finest coffee and ingredients in its daily roasts, cold brew on nitro, and “coffee parlor cocktails” in its trendy North Park shop.
- James Coffee Co. – Unique for its big loft-style space on India Street, founder and head-roaster David Kennedy serves up a mean cup of Joe.
- Krakatoa – Though you’re sure to love the espresso drinks brewed from locally-sourced beans, the food at this restaurant and coffee shop combo in South Park will keep you coming back.
- Lofty Coffee – Pick any of the four locations of this North County-based shop, including the newest Little Italy addition, but definitely get the caramel latte with house-made caramel sauce.
- Modern Times Lomaland Fermentorium – Get your coffee straight up or in a beer or cocktail at this local brewery’s two tasting room location in Point Loma and North Park.
- Mostra Coffee – Local artisan micro-roasting company MOSTRA boasts premium fair-trade, specialty coffee in Rancho Bernardo.
- Zumbar Coffee & Tea – Spanish for “to buzz,” this roaster has been supplying caffeine buzz since 2003 in Sorrento Valley, and now in Cardiff.