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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – First Stop, San Diego

People sometimes think I’m strange. And sometimes I’m sure I give them reason! But often my “strangeness” leads to great ideas. Or at least what I hope will be great ideas :)

Like for instance, this series of blog posts I’m writing for TWG.

The idea started a few days ago. Alexander from The Points of Life wrote, Stumptown Coffee NYC: What A Wait and I immediately emailed him to tell him about a great place for espresso in Philadelphia. After all, he was in NYC and Philly is close by!

Then over at Points with a Crew, Ian wrote, “May I charge my phone from your laptop?”  Sure, sure, he’s writing about his dilemma and whether or not to allow a stranger to use his laptop to charge a phone, but all I could think of was……….WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT STARBUCKS?

So I emailed Ian and told him if he wanted to know 3 great coffee houses within minutes of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver BC, to let me know.

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love…..and caffeine.

Grant introduced me to his readers as a woman who embodies “healthy traveling,” and I’m sure by now you’ve heard that coffee is a health food. So let’s create the TWG Cafe Society and talk coffee. Every so often, I’ll even throw in a few of the best places to enjoy chai!

Although I feel at home in many cities, let’s start close to home with my hometown of San Diego.

Even though San Diego is called America’s Finest City, when it comes to the coffee scene, up until fairly recently, it was anything BUT the finest city. Up until recently, the best coffee in town was found at my house!

There are a few Peet’s coffee houses around town, and I do drink Peet’s myself, but these days, I consider Peet’s to be a big chain, so I’m leaving them out of this discussion.

So where can the visitor, or local for that matter, to America’s Finest City, enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee, espresso, flat white, cortado, cappuccino, or whatever coffee elixir you prefer?

Let’s start with Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, which is anything BUT a dark horse in the coffee category! Their location in Golden Hill is great both for sitting outside or inside. And if you’re in the North Park area, that location provides little seating but great people watching. For locals, I prefer the Normal Heights location.

I’m partial to their cortado and always ask for it in porcelain or glass. I’m not a take-away coffee drinker and really do feel coffee tastes differently in paper cups.

Cortado Drink

Cortado Drink

Next on the list is Bird Rock Coffee. Their original location in La Jolla has been around for years. They do have a cafe at their actual roasting location, but it’s only open until noon. My suggestion is their location in Little Italy. Especially for frequent flyers like us, you can watch the planes overhead as they are just about to land at the airport. This location also has a great indoor/outdoor feel. The baristas take their time and the cortado always puts a smile on my face.

Also in Little Italy, just a few blocks up the street from Bird Rock, is James Coffee. While their coffee is excellent, it’s also more expensive than Bird Rock and I don’t find it worth the extra money. The location is interesting in that it’s in a shared open-space building. I found the space noisy, and therefore difficult to carry on a conversation with friends while we had our coffee. Try it yourself, and see if you prefer James Coffee or Bird Rock.

Here’s a new favorite of mine, though a bit off the beaten path. I’ve been exploring the beaches in Oceanside, which is north of San Diego proper. So if you’re visiting San Diego on your way to Legoland or to visit people in north county, this place is worth the stop. It’s called Revolution Roasters. I absolutely love everything about this place. It opened not too long ago and the space is fantastic. It’s light and bright, great for working or talking over coffee. The people who work here are friendly and the place is kept super clean. Cleanliness is always something I notice in coffee houses. My cortado comes just the way I like it, and with a small glass of carbonated water, as well. And there’s plenty of free street parking!

So there you have it. Three local San Diego places for great coffee, and one worth the scenic drive.  Am I missing any? Where have you enjoyed coffee in San Diego?

I’ll be writing about the coffee scene in other cities as well. So far I have a list of 19 cities to cover! IF there are any cities that you’d like to see me write about, please let me know.

Thanks for joining me in this BEAN Around the World journey……..stay caffeinated!

P.S. HULA can guess where I’m heading next?

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3 thoughts on “Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – First Stop, San Diego

    1. shelli

      Nice to meet a fellow coffee lover. Let me know which city you’d like to see me write about, and thanks for reading!

      Reply

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