Coffee is life. The best thing about living in California is that there are so many coffee shops. They combine the best coffee with aesthetic views making it a great visit. So with coffee shops, you need to visit in California? All down the Southern California coast there’s a bunch of places to check out. Here are some I love and think are worth the visit. There are a lot in California and more popping up every day. I won’t mention a lot that I feel are too known. Here are some of the top ones I think are worth checking out.
People flock to Alfred’s or Blue Bottle in LA, but Verve is a worthy contender. Tucked in Downtown LA, Verve has beautiful greenery and plenty of outdoor tables making it a pretty place to sit and enjoy. The coffee is strong and I’ve never had a bad cup. They also have Cafe Gratitude to-go boxed meals. The Downtown LA location does get really packed at times so try to go during less busy hours. They have a few locations in LA, San Francisco, and even in Tokyo. Check them out here.
Over at Highland Park is Civil Coffee. This one is a bit out of the way but it’s so worth it. They have matcha drinks, specialty drinks, and more. The baristas are the nicest people and since it’s a smaller shop, they interact a lot more. It’s a quaint shop with pretty floors and doesn’t feel cramped so you can sit for hours. One downside for me is that its street parking which can be hard to get on weekends. Check them out here.
Daydream Surf Shop
If there’s an “it” coffee shop, well, this is it. This is Orange County in a nutshell. Daydream has coffee, surfboards, home goods, and more. The shop is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and people go just for the good times. This has been around for a few years but has gained more popularity lately. Although it may be busy, stop by for all the vibes. Check them out here.
If you want a good strong coffee, Portola is it. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite places to grab a coffee. They have a lot of locations all over Orange County. Portola is the place you go for the coffee over the aesthetics. They also have an assortment of unique treats and vegan options. Check them out here.
Over in Newport Beach is Kit Coffee. With all it’s open space, Kit Coffee is the perfect shop to chill and take a moment. The coffee is good and they offer brunch. Get all your toast cravings here. It’s a cute spot that is what Instagram dreams are made of. Check them out here.
This place has a special place in my heart since I would frequent it a lot in college. There are two locations in Newport Beach and Tustin. They have a huge menu and always have new items. Recently they paired up with Afters Ice Cream for a drink. They don’t have wifi in their shops, which I personally enjoyed since I was able to study or actually engage in conversation. Check them out here.
Arcade Coffee Roasters
Arcade is another of my absolute favorite coffee shops. Built in an old video store, it keeps it’s unique exterior and offers cozy inside amenities like a couch and long tables for brunch or simply hanging with friends. Arcade has a no-tip policy where the baristas simple split 10% of profits. You can tell the baristas genuinely love brewing drinks. They also have season drinks, which the vanilla pine latte is the best thing I have ever drank. They do close at 2 pm daily so it’s hard for me to make it often but I always plan a day to stop by. Check them out here. UPDATE: They now close at 4 pm every day and you can now order online so you can stop by to pick your stuff quickly!
The Dirty Penguin
In Chino Hills, there is The Dirty Penguin. The name catches you off guard but the coffee is good. It’s another of those shops that is Instagram worth but also has cute spaces to sit down and enjoy. Recently they got new owners which added a new space for kids that offers storytime days and learning experiences. Check them out here. UPDATE: Their times have changed and now close earlier at 2 pm.
Canabru is like a warm hug. This coffee shop has some of the best community at out of any shop I’ve gone to. From the baristas to those who frequent, everyone is so nice. Their honey cinnamon latte is one of the most delicious things. Plus, they also have a lot of good combinations popping out throughout the year. There’s plenty of places to sit and outlets to keep you charged up for hours. Check them out here.
I’ve talked about Ernest Coffee before in my Palm Springs Travel Guide. It’s definitely a good spot to go out of your way for. It’s a 21+ coffee shop since they do serve alcohol so keep that in mind. They serve Stumptown Coffee and the baristas are super nice to explain their menu. Check them out here.
Down in San Diego is Communal Coffee. I will admit that I don’t venture out much to San Diego so I know there’s probably a lot more shops. But if you’ve seen Instagram pictures of a coffee shop in San Diego, it’s most likely this one. It’s a good place to start when visiting San Diego. Check them out here.
That’s it for my top coffee shops you need to visit in California. I know I missed tons so let me know what are some coffee shops you love or want to try.
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