I am pretty confident in saying that I’ve done stepped my coffee game up a notch or two in the past year!
From thinking that Starbucks frappuccinos were the shit to finally having some genuine straight up coffee and espresso poured with love from local coffee shops, I’ll never turn back (but maybe for the Teavana tea). I’ve grown so fond of coffee shops in the past year mostly because it’s the main place I’ve had the chance to connect with people. After working remotely and being able to work from coffee shop to coffee shop, I’ve been able to find my favorite spots all while supporting some dope people behind it all.
Coffee shops have been the best place for me to cultivate relationships with some awesome creatives. It’s having that heart-to-heart conversation with close friends, networking with those I admire, and even picking up a conversation with a complete stranger. #CoffeeShopVibes
So in lieu of National Coffee Day, I wanted to share an update on my favorite coffee shops in San Diego!
I first heard of Bean Bar when one of my best friends told me her previous coworkers had opened up a new coffee shop. I’ve been intrigued ever since, not only from their rad graphic designs and overall store aesthetic, but because I’ve been told their lattes and cold brews were some of the best in San Diego. And I kid you not, I totally agree! They brew coffee beans from Portland, 49th Parallel, and take complete pride in their coffee and the craftmanship. I really enjoy their vanilla bean latte – they have their own housemade syrup that is just heavenly and not to mention, the service is incredible! The folks here are incredibly nice and believe in passion and collaboration, and you can completely tell.
My Go To Drink: Vanilla Bean Latte
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
If you want bomb cold brew, this is the place to get it (and fun fact: Heartwork actually brews their coffee for their cold brew). My usual drink at Dark Horse is a cold brew latte with their housemade vanilla. It never disappoints! And I like to pair that with their vegan donuts made by Vegan X Donuts. Literally the best combo on a hot day, or any day for that matter. They have two locations, both a bit small to hang out at, but they do have a new location set to open up in Golden Hill that I’m pretty stoked about too!
My Go To Drink: Cold Brew Latte with Whole Milk and Vanilla
The first time I tried Heartwork was when I was volunteering for FWSD. They provided their coffee as the main source of caffeine, so of course I happily obliged. This was when cold brew was first becoming a thing, and well their cold brew was the reason why I fell in love with them in the first place. They had yet to open up their own store front at the time and when FWSD was over, it was all about playing the waiting game to when they’d open. Since they did open, I actually didn’t go for a few months but the first time I did I was definitely not disappointed. They brew Dark Horse and James Coffee beans here and they have the absolute best customer service/sense of community in San Diego. I am always greeted with a smile, they remember who I am, and even chat with me during their down time. Is it lame to say that they put the heart in Heartwork?
My Go To Drink: Honey Cinnamon Latte
James Coffee Co.
James Coffee = Rad guys and rad coffee. I’ve been told that the founder used to be in a rock band, which makes them that much cooler in my book. They are experts at their craft and never fail to provide well crafted coffee concoctions and stellar service. I also love how the coffee bar itself is a small part of a bigger co-op space in what used to be an airplane hangar. The aesthetic is wonderful and it doesn’t fail to make you feel inspired. Not to mention they have some of the friendliest (and cutest) baristas.
My Go To Drink: Latte sweetened with condensed milk and nutmeg or a simple cortado
WestBean is definitely a holy grail spot for some delicious coffee. I’m a big fan of their salted caramel latte because they make their syrup in house, not to mention the hospitality is amazing. I’ve been able to chat a few times with the co-owner, James, and he and his team are just awesome! They provide nothing short of quality product and service every single time. They’re so rad, they’re opening up another spot in the new Liberty Public Market in Liberty Station come this Fall! Now I’ll more than likely get my salted caramel latte fix more times than I imagine to count.
My Go To Drink: Salted Caramel Latte
Where are some of your favorite places to get some coffee?
As a self proclaimed coffee enthusiast, I’d love to add more places to my list!