The 25 Best Coffee Shops in San Diego: written by a local
San Diego has always been a Mecca for foodies but should also be known for its aesthetically pleasing coffee shops. There are constantly new San Diego coffee spots popping up around town. Some are great, others not so much but having lived here for 15 years I’ve visited my fair share of them. That’s why I’ve curated this list of 25 classic and new and noteworthy coffee shops to visit in San Diego. Helping you stay caffeinated while exploring America’s Finest City!
Superbloom – Mission Bay
Superbloom at the Mission Bay Club is a new and noteworthy coffee shop. It’s located right on Mission Bay and has tons of outdoor seating, and a tasty menu including seasonal lattes, juices, and salads. Superbloom even has a working vineyard. 10/10 recommend!
Location: 2688 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Craft Cafe by Mingei – Balboa Park
A new cafe located inside Balboa Park? Sign me up! When the Mingei Museum was renovated they added a small cafe that serves dark horse coffee, pastries, smoothies, and salads. Pictured above are the spinach and feta croissant, plain croissant, and overnight oats – all were great! Finally, there are small tables surrounding the outside of the cafe that is perfect to post up and people-watch. It’s definitely a new favorite!
Better Buzz – Hillcrest
Better Buzz coffee roasters is a San Diego legend. There 6 other locations scattered about the county and all are known for their insanely good coffee. The constant line out the door is a perfect indicator of that. Also, it’s a great place to work remotely because the aesthetic is so on point. I swear it makes you more creative. For their most popular drink order “The Best Drink Ever”.
Location: 801 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Pink Rose Cafe – La Mesa
One of the newest coffee spots, The Pink Rose Cafe is the prettiest place to get your cup of joe. Adorned with a full pink flower wall, neon signs, lucite furniture, and delicious coffees you need to add this to your list pronto!
Location: 8209 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
Holsem Coffee – North Park
Super modern, clean design, and their coffee is delicious! It’s located in the heart of North Park and is known to be super busy during morning hours. They now have a cute outdoor seating area for prime people-watching on El Cajon Blvd.
Location: 2911 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
S3 Coffee Bar – Mission Valley
The cutest decor, delicious drinks, and the friendliest staff you ever will meet. Finally, what makes the S3 Coffee Bar unique is its 3D portraits on the wall that is perfect for all the Insta shots.
Location: 6225 Mission Gorge Rd, San Diego, CA 92120
Communal Coffee – South Park
Communal coffee is easily the cutest coffee shop on this list. Who doesn’t love a good coffee truck and boho decor? I was a little taken aback when they said they didn’t have any almond milk and only have oat milk as alternative milk. Tell me you live in California without telling me you live in California. Even still, it is one of my favorites in San Diego. Finally, make sure to get the ricotta and jam toast.
Location: 2221 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
Located on the back deck of my favorite breakfast spot, is a cute little coffee cart called Kono’s. It’s directly across from the beach so I swear that makes the coffee taste better. Finally, their vanilla latte is their claim to fame and if you have time to stop for breakfast, you will not be disappointed! It’s a locals jaunt and it’s extremely affordable.
Address: 704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Parisien Gourmandises – La Jolla
This spot is a hidden gem in La Jolla. It’s located in the back of this chic gift shop on Girard Avenue. You can’t miss it because of the stunning floral displays they have outside. The pastries are the most delicious and lots of locals come here to pick up fresh baked goods for the week. Finally, the coffee menu is small but it does the job. Note, that they are only open from Monday through Friday.
Location: 7643 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Communal Coffee – North Park
The same owners as the one in South Park (2 miles away) but this one is a little more classic with the same great coffee and cute aesthetic. COFFEE + FLOWERS = BRING YOUR CAMERA!
Location: 2335 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Portside Coffee – Downtown San Diego
Portside coffee is a small walk-up window located on Harbor Drive. It’s part of the Portside Pier which houses multiple restaurants and casual eateries right on the water. The views are marvelous and I was surprised at how much I loved this coffee. Hands down it’s a new favorite – get the vanilla iced latte.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters – Little Italy
Known for its ethically sourced coffee, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is another shop with multiple locations. The original was located in Bird Rock (hence the name) but my favorite has to be the Little Italy location. It’s a prime spot for people-watching located directly on the corner of Kettner Blvd. They occasionally have “cupping” demonstrations. A technique they use to evaluate coffees and get to know their flavors and aromas.
Location: 2295 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Moniker Coffee – Liberty Station
Moniker General is unlike most other coffee shops. It has coffee, bikes, cocktails, and geometric tiles galore. They have tons of couches and just completed a brand-new outdoor area. It’s the perfect place for studying, catching up with friends, or grabbing a cocktail for happy hour. Finally, there is a cute shop that sells women’s and men’s clothing. It’s one of my favorites on this list that can’t be missed!
Location: 2860 Sims Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Coffee & Tea Collective – North Park
Since 2010 Coffee & Tea Collective has been serving up some amazing coffee. It’s a hidden gem and the coffee is nice and robust. The shop on El Cajon Blvd also doubles as an art gallery. If you’re a die-hard coffee aficionado, you have to check out C&T!
Location: 2911 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
Lofty Coffee – Little Italy
Give me a good pun and I’m all set! Lofty Coffee is a cute indoor/outdoor spot that is a staple in Little Italy. It’s in a great location, has delicious menu items, and is the best for a remote work session. 10/10 recommend!
Location: 444 W Cedar St, San Diego, CA 92101
Holy Matcha – North Park
If you’re not in the mood for coffee, then check out Holy Match for the best matcha in San Diego. Matcha is all the rage these days and Holy Matcha’s pink and green vibes and minimal aesthetic combine for a great place for an afternoon pick-me-up. Not going to lie, I’ve tried Matcha and it is NOT FOR ME. But they do offer a small coffee menu.
Location: 3118 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Holy Matcha – East Village
Holy Matcha East Village may have a better decor than the North Park location but it’s the same great matcha. this spot closes early (2 pm) but the vibes are immaculate! Finally, the cold brew coffee was just ok. I would strictly visit for the matcha, don’t expect much from the coffee!
Spill the Beans
Location, location, location! This small coffee shop located in Seaport Village is known for its coffee and great bagels. It’s situated right in the water in a high-tourist area so parking can be difficult.
The Invigatorium is the coolest coffee shop on this list. Located downtown and owned by Consortium Holdings, the decor of this place is so unique. I mean what other coffee shops do you know of that have dinosaurs and a disco ball? Not only that, but the coffee is very tasty. Don’t skip out on the breakfast menu!
The Henry Coronado
Located in Coronado, The Henry is a hip new restaurant with a walk-up coffee bar attached. They have delicious pastries and an array of curated coffee drinks. Not to mention, the decor is so adorable!
Dark Horse — Normal Heights
Last but certainly not least, Dark Horse coffee roasters are rounding out the list. It’s my husband’s favorite coffee shop and since he was born and raised here, he knows a thing or two. They have four locations in San Diego but the one in Normal Heights is the original.
Location: 3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
So there you have it, you now know “The 25 Best Coffee Shops in San Diego, California”. This was one of my favorite posts to date well because, of coffee. Please drop your favorites in the comments below so I can do some more research. Make sure to check out my San Diego Ultimate Restaurant Guide.
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