5 San Diego Coffee Brands To Try

While San Diego has gained prominence as a craft beer city, we also have a great local coffee scene. It’s easy to find a tasty beverage made right here in San Diego for both morning and happy hour! We won’t even try to list them all, but here are a few of our favorite local coffee roasters to try. 

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters 

Award-winning Bird Rock Coffee Roasters brought national attention to the San Diego coffee scene in 2012 when they earned the “Roaster of the Year” award from Roast Magazine. Offering everything from single-origin beans to innovative blends, their mission is to source the best beans directly from farmers. They like to give back to the community by showcasing local artists and musicians in their cafes, and you’ll find them involved in almost any community event held in Bird Rock.

Locations in La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Pacific Beach, Morena, Little Italy, and Bressi Ranch

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Founded in 2013, San Diego’s Dark Horse Coffee Roasters takes pride in developing relationships with smallholder farmers all over the world in order to source direct-trade coffee. Their first location was in Normal Heights, and word quickly spread about their delicious nitro cold brew, homemade syrups, and vegan donuts. They soon expanded to three more San Diego locations, and one in Orange County. If you prefer making your coffee at home, they sell dripper sets and Aeropress kits, along with bags of beans. 

Locations in North Park, Normal Heights, Golden Hill, La Mesa

Modern Times

Modern Times is a true San Diego’s success story — what started in 2013 as a small collection of brewers and coffee roasters in Point Loma quickly gained a massive following. They eventually expanded, opening several tasting rooms and restaurants throughout San Diego County and in other parts of California and Oregon. In 2017, they became California’s first employee-owned brewery. Their coffee program evolved from a one-person operation to a well-regarded brand. It’s now sold at various cafes and stores throughout San Diego County. Choose from a single-origin coffee, one of their creative bean blends, or grab some cans of their cold brew coffee — they are excellent to have in the cooler while camping or hanging at the beach! 

Locations throughout California and Portland, OR

James Coffee Co.

Independently owned and operated, James Coffee Co. specializes in handcrafted artisan roasted coffee. They have a revolving selection of single-origin beans and unique hand-crafted blends. Try a honey cinnamon latte with oat or almond milk for a rich, smooth drink. Want to expand your coffee knowledge? Ask about their class schedules!

Locations in Little Italy, Bankers Hill, North Park

Cafe Moto

Roasting coffee has been a family business for the owners of Cafe Moto since the 1960s. The team is guided by the principles of sustainability, sharing knowledge, and respectfully sharing the world’s coffee and tea. Roasting in small batches several times a week allows them to promote freshness and quality. If you need a break from the bean, try one of their wonderful teas to get a more gentle caffeine fix. 

Cafe and Roastery in Barrio Logan; served and sold throughout San Diego County


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