Start Your Day Off With A Bang!
For a lot of us, coffee is paramount to getting a good start to the daily grind. Whether you are looking to upgrade your morning or just add some new favorites to your rotation, look no further! Take a look at our list of 12 of the best coffee spots in San Diego:
1. Better Buzz Coffee Roasters
This local favorite coffee house has a total of eight locations across the San Diego area. And coffee isn’t the only thing people come for. Their flagship coffee shop in Hillcrest is worth a visit on its own, reminiscent of a Silicon Valley tech startup with its open industrial look. Some of the favorites in Hillcrest are their pumpkin foam cold brew and iced horchata latte.
Where: 801 University Ave. (various locations)
Hours: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm daily (Hillcrest)
2. Copa Vida
Copa Vida originally started in Pasadena, but has since grown into eight locations, including their roastery. Here they pride themselves on curating warm and welcoming experiences, not just coffee. Copa Vida offers a great selection of drinks – you can even pick up a batch of iced latte to take home! Visitors should keep in mind that their Marina, Carlsbad and San Marcos locations are temporarily closed.
Where: 905 J Street (various locations)
Hours: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm (East Village)
3. Communal Coffee
With locations in both North Park and South Park, coffee-lovers come here to get their fix of Sightglass Coffee. Owner Jen Byard places a huge emphasis on collaborating with other local creatives, which currently include in-shop partnerships with Wyld Blooms, Wayfarer Bread & Clay & Craft. To help you get into the fall spirit, check out their seasonal drink selection, including a blackberry lavender latte, sparkling ginger lemonade and a sweet mint cold brew.
Where: 2335 University Ave. (various locations)
Hours: Open daily 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (North Park)
4. James Coffee Co.
In addition to a few locations of their own, their artisan roasted coffee can also be found at six other area cafés. One location in particular, called the “Space,” is an industrial warehouse in Little Italy that accommodates their roastery, coffee shop and – wait for it – a collection of boutique shops! Among them are shops for greeting cards and glasses, and a barber shop. In addition to seasonal favorites, James Coffee Co. also offers tasty specialty espresso drinks like a honey cinnamon latte and their condensed milk and nutmeg latte.
Where: 2355 India Street (various locations)
Hours: Mon – Sun 7:00 am – 6:00 pm (Little Italy)
5. Holsem Coffee
This local hotspot offers a plethora of quality coffee options to enjoy in a high design environment. Their focus on ingredients is quite noticeable in the quality of their selection of tasty pastries, including gluten-free options, all made from scratch. They also offer homemade hazelnut milk and syrups. Some of Holsem Coffee’s signature creations include their La Vie en Rose Cappuccino and a banana bread cold brew.
Where: 2911 University Ave.
Hours: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm daily
6. Coffee & Tea Collective
Coffee & Tea Collective debuted its flagship coffee shop in North Park, and has since opened up a second location in East Village. Head here for beautiful minimalist spaces to accompany your morning cup of joe. You won’t be disappointed, as Coffee & Tea Collective is very selective of the beans they use in order to stay true to their craft. Try their single-origin pour over, brewed by the cup, or the popular Kaffe Tonic.
Where: 2911 El Cajon Blvd (various locations)
Hours: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm daily (North Park)
7. Coava Coffee
With the majority of their locations in Portland where Coava Coffee started in 2010, this coffee house sure has made an impression on San Diego. While cafes are currently only open for takeout orders, you won’t want to miss their nitro iced coffee or their signature honey and vanilla lattes, which are created with syrups made in-house. Their mochas are also made with locally sourced chocolate, a perfect example of their dedication to sustainable sourcing.
Where: 400 West Broadway (various locations)
Hours: Mon – Thurs 7:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fri – Sun 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (Downtown San Diego)
8. Heartwork Coffee Bar
Heartwork Coffee Bar is a family-run business located in Mission Hills. The shop has been roasting its own beans in Chula Vista since 2018 and offers a variety of options with complex flavors. Try their organic Ethiopia Sidamo coffee with notes of blueberry, lavender, lemon and milk chocolate. The Good Stuff, their medium-bodied blend with notes of berry sweetness and milk chocolate, is used in store for the daily batch and cold brew. Head to Heartwork for a friendly neighborhood smile while you sip on your morning pick-me-up.
Where: 3993 Goldfinch Street
Hours: Tues – Sun 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
9. Lofty Coffee Co.
This community staple started in a small shop in 2011. You would never guess its humble beginnings though, as it has since grown into four locations in addition to their roasting house. Lofty Coffee Co. puts a heavy emphasis on organic and local ingredients, and makes all of their pastries from scratch. The coffee house offers vegan and gluten-free options, freshly pressed organic juice, and they even make their own almond milk. Their Little Italy location is conveniently located close to the Little Italy Mercato farmers’ market, making it the perfect stop to fuel up before getting your local produce.
Where: 444 W Cedar Street (various locations)
Hours: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm daily (Little Italy)
10. The WestBean Coffee Roasters
WestBean is located in Downtown San Diego, Banker’s Hill, Liberty Public Market as well as Bay Ho, which also houses their roastery. Their beans are sourced from a host of green coffee importers, and they offer delicious specialty drinks like their lavender and honey cinnamon lattes. Banker’s Hill, their newest (and largest) location to open, offers some extra space for working and has a pet-friendly outdoor patio.
Where: 2550 Fifth Ave, Suite #75 (various locations)
Hours: Mon – Sun 8:00 am – 1:00 pm (Little Italy, temporary hours)
11. Ironsmith Coffee Roasters
Ironsmith is a quaint and trendy coffee shop in Encinitas. The coffee house boasts a wide selection of coffee beans from Africa, Central and South America as well as Asia. Purists through and through, these coffee experts travel directly to the source of their beans before bringing them back to roast themselves so that their customers leave happy after every visit.
Where: 458 S Coast Hwy 101
Hours: Mon – Fri 6:00 am – 2:00 pm, Sat 7:00 am – 2:00 pm, Sun 8:00 am – 2:00 pm (temporary hours)
12. Cafe Moto
Cafe Moto emerged from a love for vintage motorcycle racing and the complexity of making the perfect cup of coffee. Although an unlikely combination, this coffee shop has become a coffee standard in San Diego, providing fresh beans to some of the best cafes and restaurants in town. Cafe Moto has a shop in the back of their Barrio Logan cafe where they sell coffee, bags of tea and a plethora of supplies. Fun fact: their roasters run on solar power!
Where: 2619 National Ave.
Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 3:00 pm, Sat 8:00 am – 2:30 pm (temporary hours)
[Featured image: Danielle MacInnes via Unsplash]