From Pour-Overs to Fresh Roasts: A Few of San Diego’s Best Coffee Bets

Coffee & Tea Collective San Diego

As winter approaches and the temperature in San Diego drops from a balmy 70 degrees to a chilly 60 degrees (Ok, I realize our seasonal weather changes are a bit modest), a hot cup of joe is the perfect complement to a brisk day exploring San Diego.

Thanks to several top-notch coffee spots, the Pacific Northwest has nothing on San Diego’s coffee culture. These local coffee houses feature some of San Diego’s best bean brews:

Ryan Bros. Coffee

Ryan Bros. Cofffee San Diego

Ryan Bros. Coffee in Barrio Logan

Ryan Bros. Coffee has been a family operation since 1994. Grab a cup from this micro-roastery before heading out to explore Chicano Park and San Diego’s up-and-coming Barrio Logan neighborhood, recently profiled by the New York Times.

Coffee & Tea Collective

Coffee & Tea Collective San Diego

Pour-over coffee at Coffee and Tea Collective

Opened in 2012 in the North Park neighborhood, the Coffee & Tea Collective is part art gallery and part minimalist coffee-house. They take their coffee so seriously, you might consider each cup a work of art in its own right. Every beverage is lovingly hand crafted: beans are roasted in-house, espresso is pulled from a lever-operated press and drip coffee is made one cup at a time through the pour-over method.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters San Diego

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla

Winner of the 2012 “Roaster of the Year” by Roast Magazine, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters selects only the best organic green beans to roast by hand. The coffee bar also utilizes the pour-over method for a sweet, bright cup of coffee you can enjoy on your way to the nearby beaches.

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Celebrate National Coffee Day in San Diego

Smooth and mild, enhanced with a dainty splash of cream. Indulgent and sweet, paired with flavorful syrups, spices and velvety whipped cream. Dark and bold, served straight up as a perfectly pulled shot of espresso crowned with a rich crema. No matter how you enjoy it, nothing satisfies quite like a piping hot cup of coffee.

To celebrate National Coffee Day, skip the big chains and slip into a comfy seat at one of these homegrown San Diego coffeehouses that serve up local charm with each perfectly crafted cup.

The art of coffee at Caffe Calabria

Caffé Calabria

This North Park coffee shop with a charming European atmosphere will satisfy the most serious coffee aficionados with their 25 different blends of house-roasted beans. If you’re hungry, Caffe Calabria also offers a delicious menu of Panini and Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas.

Influx Cafe's Little Italy location

Influx Café

From their decadent and smooth café mocha to a cup of their simple yet exceptional house roast, Influx Café’s coffee drinks are some of the best in San Diego. The caffeine may perk you up, but the cool, minimalist décor at both their Little Italy and Golden Hill locations will help you chill out as you relax with your drink of choice.

Tasty treats at Pannikin Coffee & Tea


A family owned and operated business in San Diego since 1968, Pannikin Coffee & Tea serves up delicious drinks in three cozy and inviting locations in Del Mar, La Jolla and Encinitas. In additional to the more traditional sips, Pannikin’s menu of drinks includes options like the “Led Zeppelin,” a bold concoction of three shots of espresso cut with chocolate syrup.


La Jolla’s Cottage Industry

“I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon than to occupy the most splendid post.” —Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson preceded the settlement of La Jolla by a hundred years, but he would’ve been at home in the Village with the number of cottages offering bacon on their menus today. Cottage culture is experiencing a legitimate resurgence in La Jolla through its cafes, pubs and restaurants—white picket fence and strategically placed rose intact.

Prep Kitchen La Jolla

Prep Kitchen, 7556 Fay Avenue: The owners of Whisknladle opened this establishment and another in Del Mar. Their personal philosophy: “PK serves great seasonal comfort food in super relaxed environment.” Brunch seems a bit fussy, but make it to PK for the more relaxed Happy Hour, daily from 3 to 6pm, with $5 sangrias and 25% all bottles of wine, paired with $3 Spanish-style tapas like Farro salad, manchego, stuffed piquillo peppers, marinated olives, calamari fritti, and bacon-wrapped dates.

Pannikin Coffee & Tea, 7467 Girard Avenue: This café, tucked between a Maserati dealership and used bookstore, might not be a cottage per se, but it is very cottagey, much like its Del Mar, Encinitas and downtown locations. Expect a collegiate feel mixed with ‘90s post-boho. The bandiera bagel and cheese tamales with veggie chili are hearty stand-bys, and the burrito is equivalent to two meals; the espresso is pleasing, and there’s wi-fi, too.

The Cottage in La Jolla

The Cottage, 7702 Fay Avenue: The trellised patio provides a picturesque frame for its clientele and cuisine. California bistro fare includes farm-fresh eggs, granola and fresh fruit, oatmeal pancakes, Belgian waffles or a vegetable frittata, plus desserts and pastries, fitting the cottage aesthetic.

Brick & Bell Cafe, 928 Silverado Street: The Brick & Bell possesses an old-country cottage vibe. Try the Mediterranean sandwich on ciabatta or any of their down-home soups, the chicken enchilada, tomato ravioli or Italian wedding varieties.

The Public House in La Jolla

The Public House, 830 Kline Street: One of the original La Jolla cottages, here you can choose from 21 taps of Belgian ales, local San Diego beers and many hard to find microbrews, as well as over 120 bottled beers—many which are specialty and limited release bottles—and wine. Pair them with a burger, from the “Bootlegger” with whiskey barbecue sauce, onion straws, bacon and pepper jack, to the grass-fed “Kobe Wagyu” with gruyere, gorgonzola, onions, tomato and baby greens (vegetarian options also available).

Extreme Pizza, 834 Kline Street: There might be more than a few Extreme Pizza franchises, diluting some of the independent Jeffersonian homestead spirit, but with a toddler, this might be one of the most convenient cottage options. For less than a Hamilton ($10), little ones get a huge slice of pizza, orange wedges, and a fruit drink–perfect after a day of scaling rocks at the Cove. Plus you can stroll to nearby Cups for no-guilt organic cupcakes afterward.