When you got to have it, you must have the best. Those who love coffee know exactly what that means. A cup from the thermal carafe at the gas station just won’t cut it. Lucky for us, Southern California has a solid group of coffee aficionados and an impressive collection of independent coffee houses to meet their strict standards of caffeinated excellence. There are so many from which to choose, but we thought we’d share a few of our favorites:
A popular choice for many Santa Monica locals, Urth Caffe carries its own brand of premium, fresh roasted whole bean organic coffee. Besides delicious coffees and unique coffee drinks, Urth Café serves salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Everything here is locally sourced and farm fresh.
2327 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Stumptown sources the best coffees in the world and they strive for transparent, quality-based relationships with both coffee growers and customers. They maintain quality control in their cupping labs, meticulous roasting profiles and extensive barista education. And their coffee’s pretty darn yummy too!
806 S Santa Fe
Cafe Virtuoso entered the San Diego coffee scene in 2007 with a single focus to bring an “A” game to town. With an emphasis on sustainability, they feature only organic, fair-trade coffees and are known to be one of San Diego’s top spots for cold-brewed iced coffee.
1616 National Ave.
Elixir Espresso Bar
Considered the finest espresso in town, this Italian-style coffee bar is tucked into the white-tiled lobby of the historic Marston Building, a circa-1881 Italianate Victorian edifice that once served as a department store, then a bank. You’re invited to come in and try their “magical potion.”
427 C St.
Handlebar Coffee Company
This Santa Barbara coffee shop has an almost cult-like following, particularly among the bicyclists. They’re best known for their Macchiato, Cappuccino, Affogato and cold-brewed coffees, not to mention a super-relaxed atmosphere.
128 E Canon Perdido St. #A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Kona Koffee Company
A great place to have your morning coffee, right on the ocean, near the north end of the Redondo Pier. In addition to fabulous coffee, the chai tea latte, mochas and mixed smoothies are a big hit here.
138 International Boardwalk
Redondo Beach, CA 90277