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Mario A. Cortez

New Coffee Shops and Roasters to Check Out Right Now

Looking for your new favorite coffee spot?

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In 2019, it is safe to say San Diego has more than caught up with the craft coffee world. With rapid growth for independent shops and roasters over the past three years, there is nary a neighborhood without one or two high-quality stops for caffeinated goodness.

But while larger local companies have opened up retail locations countywide, and the classic haunts we can’t get enough of continue doing their thing, the local coffee landscape is constantly growing with new-to-the-scene entries and fresh locations from established roasters.

Looking to discover your new favorite coffee spot? Sip your way through this guide.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Steel Mill Coffee

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605 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92054

Craft coffee meets vintage vinyl at this destination for caffeine lovers and record collectors.  Helmed by pro skater Riley Hawk — skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s eldest — and Chris Balingit, a former apprentice and roaster at James Coffee Co., Steel Mill brings espresso and drip choices to Oceanside’s Mission Avenue.

Courtesy photo

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

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3725 Paseo Place Suite 1060
San Diego, CA 92130

This Bay Area-based label planted its flag in San Diego County earlier this year with the opening of a location at Del Mar’s One Paseo development. The cutting-edge design and top-shelf blends which have put Blue Bottle on the map make the standard appearance. Standout specials include an affogato and a New Orleans-style latte.

3. Cat & Craft

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3211 Business Park Dr Suite 3B
Vista, CA 92081
(760) 295-1181
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Have your coffee and toast in the company of foster cats rescued by humane nonprofit Love Your Feral Friends at this Vista café. The coffee counter serves drinks made with Manzanita Roasting Co. beans. Walk-ins are welcome for the cat lounge, but reservations are recommended. Allergic to felines? The café is separated from the cat lounge by windows.

4. Copa Vida

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5550 Carmel Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 261-0082
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Copa Vida’s newest location at Merge Carmel Valley continues to carry the small-batch roasts and artisanal tea selections which have made the Pasadena-based company a serious player in the local coffee game. The 2,500-square-foot locale also features a full kitchen, offering breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch service, as well as a new kids menu.

Courtesy Photo

5. Moe Coffee

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2542 State St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 510-4972
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Tucked between Little Italy and Mission Hills, this newcomer to State Street has quickly won over residents of both neighborhoods, and commuters who drive or bike along State Street. Friendly baristas and quick service bring the familiar, neighborly feel to life. While the outdoor patio seating might be near the airport’s flight path, it is remarkably quiet.

6. Coffee & Tea Collective

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704 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

After relocating to the Union Cowork building on J Street this Spring, Coffee and Tea Collective’s second storefront continues to offer an outstanding selection of single-origin beans, but with a more centralized counter set up. The new shop features an intimate indoor seating section as well as outdoor tables.  

Mario A. Cortez

7. Red Hat Coffee

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440 16th St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-1953
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With the opening of its first tasting room this spring, this local roaster has made the jump from the retail shelf to the East Village’s Shift building. Red Hat’s brick and mortar outlet serves cold brew-based drinks and pour overs made exclusively from Colombian, single-origin Excelso beans. Café de olla cold brew and a churro oat latte are among the shop’s standout drinks.

Mario A. Cortez

8. Cafe Virtuoso

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1616 National Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 550-1830
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Cafe Virtuoso is one of the oldest active roasters in town, and among the local innovators in light and medium bean roasting. Today, they continue the tradition by roasting their certified organic and fair trade coffee on site. Recent standouts include a 95-rated Ethiopian Shantewene and a 93-rated Kona.

Rikke Photography

9. Por Vida

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2146 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 564-8568
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While it may have undergone a remodeling job recently, creating a larger seating area and reworked bar space, the perennially popular Por Vida continues to serve up the popular drinks which have made it a Barrio Logan destination, as well as new menu items like the sage-infused buenas vibras latte and a tonic made with cold brew and Topo Chico. Por Vida will soon be rolling out a coffee truck and its own roasting program.

Por Vida Coffee Keri Bridgwater

10. Grind House

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2163 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

Landing in Barrio Logan a couple of weeks ago, Grind House’s second location has brought the casual vibe and solid menu which made the original Chula Vista location a hit. With Modern Times Coffee as its supplier and an all-day concept, the Logan Avenue outpost enters what is becoming one of San Diego’s most diverse coffee neighborhoods.

Mario A. Cortez

11. Día Del Café

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2873 Adams Ave A
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 538-7067
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Cozy, colorful, and full of local art, Dia del Café brings Mexican-inspired drinks, like café de olla and honey cinnamon lattes, to bustling Adams Avenue. Panaderia classics like conchas — both plain and stuffed —, flan, donuts, and tres leches cake bring the homey feel full circle.

Mario A. Cortez

12. Seven Seas Roasting Company

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1947 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 861-9574
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This micro roaster and favorite at local farmers markets settled into its flagship South Park location last September, quickly becoming a neighborhood staple. A direct-trade sourcing program brings coffee beans from Laos — making Seven Seas the only American roaster to import from this Southeast Asian country — to its modern shop on Fern Street.

Mario A. Cortez

13. Trident Coffee

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536 13th St Suite 6
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Power your morning workout or your midday study session at this shop specializing in cold brew. Over 15 taps dispense coffee ranging from a signature direct-trade Brazilian blend to infused cold brew with horchata and cacao, or health supplements such as CBD oil and collagen. If the Bayshore Bikeway-adjacent tasting room is a bit out of your way, Trident Coffee recently opened a second location in Shelter Island.

14. The Dojo Cafe

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4350 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 494-1584
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Opening up a little over a year ago, The Dojo has turned an unused lot in City Heights into a much-needed space for community entrepreneurs and neighborhood gatherings. Featuring Dark Horse beans and Mad Monk tea, The Dojo’s coffee cart serves up great espresso and drip beverages, but also offers Vietnamese ca phe sua da and Mexican pinole drinks, in a nod to the community's prominent immigrant populations.

15. Brew Bar.

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277 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Mixology meets craft coffee at this specialty beverage bar. What might come off as a basic coffee menu gets interesting very quickly with alternating bean selections and baristas who can make a spontaneous “special” coffee, using cocktail ingredients such as citrus zest, bitters, sparkling water, and aromatics, among others.

Mario A. Cortez

16. Scrimshaw Coffee

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5542 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 501-2355
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There is no room for coffee snob attitudes at this laid back College Area spot with a smiling whale for a mascot. Despite the friendly vibe, Scrimshaw is dead serious about using top-tier coffee, sourcing from roasters like Coffee and Tea Collective, Madcap Coffee of Michigan, and Tulsa’s Cirque Coffee.

Mario A. Cortez

17. Pavaraga Espresso Bar

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4250 Bonita Rd a
Bonita, CA 91902
(619) 490-6925
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Single-origin varietals harvested at Pavaraga’s farms in Maui, Kona, and the Big Island are the stars of this coffee company’s marquee storefront. Baristas can guide you through a flight of cold brew to help you decide what beans you like best for your drink. Haupia is the recommended sweetener your coffee here, as is done in Hawaii.

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1. Steel Mill Coffee

605 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054
Courtesy photo

Craft coffee meets vintage vinyl at this destination for caffeine lovers and record collectors.  Helmed by pro skater Riley Hawk — skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s eldest — and Chris Balingit, a former apprentice and roaster at James Coffee Co., Steel Mill brings espresso and drip choices to Oceanside’s Mission Avenue.

605 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

3725 Paseo Place Suite 1060, San Diego, CA 92130

This Bay Area-based label planted its flag in San Diego County earlier this year with the opening of a location at Del Mar’s One Paseo development. The cutting-edge design and top-shelf blends which have put Blue Bottle on the map make the standard appearance. Standout specials include an affogato and a New Orleans-style latte.

3725 Paseo Place Suite 1060
San Diego, CA 92130

3. Cat & Craft

3211 Business Park Dr Suite 3B, Vista, CA 92081

Have your coffee and toast in the company of foster cats rescued by humane nonprofit Love Your Feral Friends at this Vista café. The coffee counter serves drinks made with Manzanita Roasting Co. beans. Walk-ins are welcome for the cat lounge, but reservations are recommended. Allergic to felines? The café is separated from the cat lounge by windows.

3211 Business Park Dr Suite 3B
Vista, CA 92081

4. Copa Vida

5550 Carmel Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92130
Courtesy Photo

Copa Vida’s newest location at Merge Carmel Valley continues to carry the small-batch roasts and artisanal tea selections which have made the Pasadena-based company a serious player in the local coffee game. The 2,500-square-foot locale also features a full kitchen, offering breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch service, as well as a new kids menu.

5550 Carmel Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92130

5. Moe Coffee

2542 State St, San Diego, CA 92101

Tucked between Little Italy and Mission Hills, this newcomer to State Street has quickly won over residents of both neighborhoods, and commuters who drive or bike along State Street. Friendly baristas and quick service bring the familiar, neighborly feel to life. While the outdoor patio seating might be near the airport’s flight path, it is remarkably quiet.

2542 State St
San Diego, CA 92101

6. Coffee & Tea Collective

704 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
Mario A. Cortez

After relocating to the Union Cowork building on J Street this Spring, Coffee and Tea Collective’s second storefront continues to offer an outstanding selection of single-origin beans, but with a more centralized counter set up. The new shop features an intimate indoor seating section as well as outdoor tables.  

704 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

7. Red Hat Coffee

440 16th St, San Diego, CA 92101
Mario A. Cortez

With the opening of its first tasting room this spring, this local roaster has made the jump from the retail shelf to the East Village’s Shift building. Red Hat’s brick and mortar outlet serves cold brew-based drinks and pour overs made exclusively from Colombian, single-origin Excelso beans. Café de olla cold brew and a churro oat latte are among the shop’s standout drinks.

440 16th St
San Diego, CA 92101

8. Cafe Virtuoso

1616 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Rikke Photography

Cafe Virtuoso is one of the oldest active roasters in town, and among the local innovators in light and medium bean roasting. Today, they continue the tradition by roasting their certified organic and fair trade coffee on site. Recent standouts include a 95-rated Ethiopian Shantewene and a 93-rated Kona.

1616 National Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

9. Por Vida

2146 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Por Vida Coffee Keri Bridgwater

While it may have undergone a remodeling job recently, creating a larger seating area and reworked bar space, the perennially popular Por Vida continues to serve up the popular drinks which have made it a Barrio Logan destination, as well as new menu items like the sage-infused buenas vibras latte and a tonic made with cold brew and Topo Chico. Por Vida will soon be rolling out a coffee truck and its own roasting program.

2146 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

10. Grind House

2163 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Mario A. Cortez

Landing in Barrio Logan a couple of weeks ago, Grind House’s second location has brought the casual vibe and solid menu which made the original Chula Vista location a hit. With Modern Times Coffee as its supplier and an all-day concept, the Logan Avenue outpost enters what is becoming one of San Diego’s most diverse coffee neighborhoods.

2163 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

11. Día Del Café

2873 Adams Ave A, San Diego, CA 92116
Mario A. Cortez

Cozy, colorful, and full of local art, Dia del Café brings Mexican-inspired drinks, like café de olla and honey cinnamon lattes, to bustling Adams Avenue. Panaderia classics like conchas — both plain and stuffed —, flan, donuts, and tres leches cake bring the homey feel full circle.

2873 Adams Ave A
San Diego, CA 92116

12. Seven Seas Roasting Company

1947 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92102
Mario A. Cortez

This micro roaster and favorite at local farmers markets settled into its flagship South Park location last September, quickly becoming a neighborhood staple. A direct-trade sourcing program brings coffee beans from Laos — making Seven Seas the only American roaster to import from this Southeast Asian country — to its modern shop on Fern Street.

1947 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92102

13. Trident Coffee

536 13th St Suite 6, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Power your morning workout or your midday study session at this shop specializing in cold brew. Over 15 taps dispense coffee ranging from a signature direct-trade Brazilian blend to infused cold brew with horchata and cacao, or health supplements such as CBD oil and collagen. If the Bayshore Bikeway-adjacent tasting room is a bit out of your way, Trident Coffee recently opened a second location in Shelter Island.

536 13th St Suite 6
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

14. The Dojo Cafe

4350 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92105

Opening up a little over a year ago, The Dojo has turned an unused lot in City Heights into a much-needed space for community entrepreneurs and neighborhood gatherings. Featuring Dark Horse beans and Mad Monk tea, The Dojo’s coffee cart serves up great espresso and drip beverages, but also offers Vietnamese ca phe sua da and Mexican pinole drinks, in a nod to the community's prominent immigrant populations.

4350 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92105

15. Brew Bar.

277 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Mario A. Cortez

Mixology meets craft coffee at this specialty beverage bar. What might come off as a basic coffee menu gets interesting very quickly with alternating bean selections and baristas who can make a spontaneous “special” coffee, using cocktail ingredients such as citrus zest, bitters, sparkling water, and aromatics, among others.

277 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

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16. Scrimshaw Coffee

5542 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115
Mario A. Cortez

There is no room for coffee snob attitudes at this laid back College Area spot with a smiling whale for a mascot. Despite the friendly vibe, Scrimshaw is dead serious about using top-tier coffee, sourcing from roasters like Coffee and Tea Collective, Madcap Coffee of Michigan, and Tulsa’s Cirque Coffee.

5542 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115

17. Pavaraga Espresso Bar

4250 Bonita Rd a, Bonita, CA 91902

Single-origin varietals harvested at Pavaraga’s farms in Maui, Kona, and the Big Island are the stars of this coffee company’s marquee storefront. Baristas can guide you through a flight of cold brew to help you decide what beans you like best for your drink. Haupia is the recommended sweetener your coffee here, as is done in Hawaii.

4250 Bonita Rd a
Bonita, CA 91902

Related Maps