Encinitas, CA

Coolest Coffee Shops in San Diego's North County

Mike Peterson

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There's a chain coffee shop on virtually every corner in America, or so it seems. That's fine since we all need our caffeine. But there are plenty of locally owned and independent coffee shops and cafes in North County San Diego that you could choose from.

Local coffeehouses are, of course, much more intimate than your local Starbucks. They also generally have free Wi-Fi and other amenities that you'd find at a franchise location. Better yet, coffee shops are typically local community gathering places. Many of the shops on this list have open mic nights or similar events.

With all of that in mind, here are some of the coolest indie coffeehouses throughout the North County area.

7. Pannikin Coffee & Tea

Address: 510 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day

Built in a converted train station in the artsy Encinitas community of Leucadia, Pannikin Coffee & Tea serves a selection of crafted caffeine -- including some of the best iced coffee in the area. It also has food like avocado toast, bagels, and even Indian chicken curry.

6. Vinaka Cafe

Address: 300 Carlsbad Village Dr Ste 211 Carlsbad, CA 92008

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day

A Carlsbad Village staple for decades, Vinaka Cafe serves up delicious coffee in mugs (or to-go cups). The baked goods and sandwiches are excellent, too, and the cafe is also open later than most other coffee shops around North County.

5. Steady State Roasting Co.

Address: 2562 State St suite g, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day

Steady State Roasting Co. is a roasting company that's open to the public, meaning they know their stuff when it comes to brewing great coffee. The coffee is delicious, however, and the shop also sells beans for customers to take home.

4. Revolution Roasters

Address: 1836 S Coast Hwy Oceanside, CA 92054

Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day

Located on Coast Highway in Oceanside, Revolution Roasters is a hip and modern cafe that serves a wide selection of different coffee and tea drinks. In addition, it serves coffeehouse fare like avocado toast, chia bowls, and almond butter banana bread.

3. Brewed Vista

Address: 324 Main St, Vista, CA 92084

Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday through Wednesday

This unique coffeehouse in downtown Vista also offers a selection of local craft beers, making it a one-stop shop for all of your brew cravings, whether caffeinated or alcoholic. In addition, Brewed Vista also whips up various paninis and other light food.

2. Old California Coffee House and Eatery

Address: 1080 W San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92078

Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day

Old California is a rustic and cozy coffee shop on Restaurant Row in San Marcos, which makes it a popular spot among students from Palomar College or Cal State. You'll find various coffee and teas, as well as food that includes vegetarian options and morning scrambles.

1. Kettle Coffee & Tea

Address: 119 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

This coffee shop located on Escondido's Grand Avenue serves up locally roasted coffee brewed in a variety of ways -- including pour-over and cold brew. As you'd expect, there's also a selection of tea and coffeehouse fare. There are also open mic nights showcasing local talent.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

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