Local Cup of Joe (San Diego, CA)


Who doesn’t love coffee?? Who doesn’t love aesthetic coffee shops??

I’m a huge sucker for coffee and cute coffee shops (but I’m not a coffee snob, I promise). When people ask me what my hobby is, I usually say “I don’t know…”. But you know what? Deep down, my hobby is cafe-ing. Yes, that’s a legit term that SHOULD exist. You can catch me wasting my money on coffee. But hey, I don’t spend money on other things as much as others–such as eating out or going on shopping sprees.

I’m still in the works of going to all the aesthetic and good tasting coffee shops, but as for my almost one year of living in San Diego, I thought I’d share a list of coffee shops to check out in San Diego! A good majority of them are good “instaworthy” spots F.Y.I.


Better Buzz 

1186 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

There are actually quite a few locations of Better Buzz. The newer ones are more aesthetic than the older ones. Usually busy, but if you’re visiting SD, definitely check out Better Buzz. It’s a local franchise. Their “Best Drink Ever” is their most popular drink.


Moniker General

2860 Sims Rd
San Diego, CA 92106

(Liberty Station in Point Loma)

 This place is pretty big (but a large portion of the space is a boutique. Here you’ll find a lot of PLNU college students and of course, hipsters. Their price and service is decent and they sometimes sell donuts from Donut Bar.


Communal Coffee

2335 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

YOU GUYS! This is one of the most ultimate Instagram worthy coffee shop/gift shop/flower shop. Ladies (and gents), you’re welcome for introducing you to (one of my favorite) cafes. But good luck on finding a place to sit. They have a nice selection of drinks and taste good. However, because it’s a popular spot, it takes a bit to get your drinks.


Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

3794 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

There are actually a few locations of Dark Horse Coffee Roasters in San Diego. They’re a local roaster and they’re coffee is gooooood and not terribly overpriced. My only complaint about this place and other locations is that they’re small and it’s not an ideal place to find a place to sit and study. Or go on a date. Or anything. It’s just a quick stop type of place.



2911 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

This place is in the heart of North Park (like most coffee shops). Btw, North Park is the “hipster” community of San Diego. This place has a simple aesthetic look going on and is a nice and quiet place to get some work done.

Coffee & Tea Collective

2911 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104

Just another simple and small coffee shop. I don’t really have anything special to say about this place nor do I have anything bad to say.


Holy Matcha

3118 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

ATTENTION ALL BASIC BITCHES! THIS IS YOUR HOLY GRAIL FOR THAT PERFECT INSTAGRAM PIC. To be honest, I haven’t even been here yet. It’s pretty new. Let me just say, YELP THIS PLACE. You’re welcome basic bitches. (Nothing wrong with being a basic)


Living Room Cafe

5900 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115

This is close to SDSU and is a cozy place. I wouldn’t recommend going on a hot day because it get hot inside. But great place for people who like having many options of drinks and studying in a cozy home feeling place.

Young Hickory

4096 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

Like coffee AND beer? This is your place. This place is always my go-to when I need a place to study or get work done. It’s spacious and comfortable. The only things I don’t like about this place is it can be kind of dark and when you order “for here” they give you your coffee in a ugly cafeteria plastic cup–so I always order to-go.

James Coffee

2355 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

To be honest, I haven’t tried this place yet but I’ve been wanting to for so long. I don’t have anything to write about it, but wanted to share this gem anyways.


Hawthorn Coffee

3019 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

This place is another small coffee shop and very similar to Coffee & Tea Collective. Small place to study and get some work done.

Cuppa Cuppa Drive-Thru Espresso Bar

6606 Mission Gorge Rd
San Diego, CA 92120

OMG, this little coffee kiosk drive-thru thang is a holy grail. When I found out they had coffee ice cubes (not all the time), I knew I had to go. They also have so many options. Definitely my new Sunday stop-by.


Copa Vida

905 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

Copa Vida is located right next to Petco Park and in my favorite area of Downtown (East Village). This place is very spacious and aesthetically pleasing. However, it is way overpriced for what they serve. But still a nice place to stop by once in awhile.

Bean Bar

1068 K St
San Diego, CA 92101

This coffee shop is located right across San Diego Central Public Library (my favorite place). It’s also in East Village, like Copa Vida. Usually is empty and quiet–makes a good study place. My only complaint, just like Copa Vida, is that it’s overpriced for what you’re getting.

Heartsleeves Coffee

621 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101

I found this little local gem hidden in Little Italy and it’s one of my favorites. It’s hard for me to not get a drink here whenever I’m in Little Italy. Their selection is small, but so good! And it’s seriously such a cute little hidden shop and makes a perfect little photo-op.


Well, there ya have it! These are just a few of my favorite coffee shops in San Diego. There’s obviously way more that I need to explore. If you know of any great coffee shops, feel free to leave a comment and share!


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