Where to snag a cup of coffee in San Diego on National Coffee Day

The rainbow latte at S3 Coffee Bar.
Lauren J. Mapp
Anyone who knows me knows that coffee is a huge part of my daily life. So last year, I teamed up with staff members from Pacific Magazine and The San Diego Union-Tribune to share my favorite coffee shops for National Coffee Day.

My picks for coffee shops in San Diego are below, but head over to Pacific Magazine if you want to read everyone else's choices.

My favorite go-to coffee shops: When I’m at home in University Heights, I go to Meraki Café for the delicious, house-made lavender syrup lattes. I also love the cold brew at the newly opened Yipao Coffee Patio.

Coffee shops I’ll go out of the way for: I’ll travel to North Park for Holsem Coffee‘s innovative list of flavored lattes, and amazing sea salt-dusted brownies to nibble on. At Caffè Calabria, I go for the bicerin, a Torino-style espresso drink with a healthy dollop of Nutella resting at the bottom of the glass.

When I want to indulge/splurge I go to: The drinks at S3 Coffee Bar are made to be extravagantly Instagrammable, but in the best way possible. I usually sip on the rose gold or rainbow latte, but sometimes opt for whatever creative seasonal drinks they’re serving instead.

Best cafe for working: Lestat’s on Park is the best place to work because they’re open and serve their full menu 24/7. I spent many college nights studying, drinking coffee, snacking on sandwiches and playing nerdy board games like DungeonQuest there.

In-a-pinch I’ll drink: I often drink Starbucks because it is the coffee shop I see most frequently, and because I can easily pre-order my Pumpkin Spice Lattes there by using the mobile app. I also have a long, nostalgic history of drinking Starbucks with my mom after high school cheerleading practices and exchanging their signature mugs with one another for Christmas.

This is how I make coffee at home: I use my French press to brew coffee, then mix in organic half-and-half and cane sugar. We also have a dispenser to make cold brew for when it’s too warm out for hot coffee.

I will never drink: I never say “never” to a new coffee experience (something would have to be pretty weird for me to want to avoid it).

This first appeared in an article for Pacific Magazine on Sept. 26, 2019.


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