San Diego's 10 Best Local Coffee Shops to Work & Study

Insights / 09.27.2019
Red Door /

1/16/2024 9:22:38 AM Red Door Interactive http://www.reddoor.biz Red Door Interactive

Trying to find a place nearby to work or study from that is not your home, the office, or campus? 

Check out some of these amazing local coffee shops all over San Diego! From Downtown to Carmel Mountain these coffee shops will give you a change of pace while you are working on your goals.  There is no shortage of amazing coffee shops for you to breathe in the scent of rich, espresso-filled air while grinding out your to-do list. Need help narrowing down your options? As coffee lovers ourselves, we’ve put together a list of 10 local coffee spots to try, complete with our top drink, food, and seating choices to help guide your decisions. As well as nearby places to explore while you are taking a break. 

*Quietness level is subjectively graded on a scale from 1-10.1:
1: The only thing you can hear is your own thoughts. 
10: You are wondering if you're still at a coffee shop or if you've stumbled into an EDM festival. 

Downtown / Little Italy / Hillcrest

Hinar Dessert Bar & Cafe

Photo taken by the owner of Hinar
  • Favorite drink: Orange blossom latte 
  • Favorite food: Strawberry Danish 
  • Best spot to sit: A seat inside near the window. 
  • Quietness level: 5 – Generally a good mix of chit-chat and quiet. 
  • Break spot: Take a stroll around Fault Line Park, you guessed it, this park is located on a fault line. This little park is located 2 minutes away from Hinar and has a looped walkway for you to clear your mind and see “Fault Whisperer” sculptures. Discover more about Fault Line Park. 

Lestat’s Hillcrest

coffeeshop2-min.jpgTaken by the owners of Lestat's 
  • Favorite drink: Jimmy Milano, Vietnamese, Iced Coffee, or any of the basics! 
  • Favorite food: House Sandwich or a cinnamon roll. 
  • Best spot to sit: Anywhere near the 6-foot talk Sphinx.  
  • Quietness level: 5 – The noise level is reasonable, the typical mix of chatter and coffee shop noises. 
  • Break Spot: Take a 3-minute drive to Balboa Park and walk to check out the beautiful architecture and free activities that the park has going on that day. 

North Park / South Park


Holsem coffee shop
Photo credits @Holsemcoffee on instagram
  • Favorite drink: Banana Nut Cold Brew or the Rose Dusted Vanilla latte. 
  • Favorite food: Avocado Toast or Prosciutto and Honey Toast 
  • Best spot to sit: Located on your left when you enter, they have avocado chairs and outlets available if you’re there to study/work. 
  • Quietness level: 2 – Low to minimal chatter. 
  • Break Spot: To clear your mind and take a break, take a walk to check out the amazing local retailers around the coffee shop such as Verbatim Books or Day to Day Vintage

Communal Coffee

Communal Coffee PhotoPhoto taken by Communal Coffee
  • Favorite drink: Sea Salt Caramel Latte, White Aloha, or an iced latte with seasonal syrups
  • Favorite food: Veggie Bagel Sandwich.
  • Best spot to sit: Grab a table on their outdoor patio for some fresh air and mental focus. 
  • Quietness level: 6 – Other than some outside traffic, this spot is fairly quiet year-round. 
  • Break Spot: A quick 10-minute walk will take you to North Park Community Park. The park is filled with activities, people, and paths throughout the park.  

Café Calabria

coffeeshop5-min.jpgPhoto credits to californiathroughmylens.com
  • Favorite drink: Iced Matcha latte or a cappuccino 
  • Favorite food: Caprese sandwich or a margarita pizza. (This café is also a has a traditional pizza oven!) 
  • Best spot to sit: There is a lot of space inside to find a place to focus in to work, and outside on the patio is a great place to relax. 
  • Quietness level: 4-7 The café actively roasts its own beans so it may get a bit loud depending on where you are sitting. There are numerous rooms that you can sit in and be in a quieter space to work and hold meetings.  
  • Break spot: Any direction that you walk around the café there is a variety of local retailers and restaurants to explore and experience their amazing work.  

Pacific Beach

Java Earth Coffee

Java Earth CoffeePhoto taken by Sara K.
  • Favorite drink: Iced Vanilla Latte 
  • Favorite food: Socal burrito, bacon and avocado 
  • Best spot to sit: Outside on the porch.  
  • Quietness level: 3-5 If you are outside, it may be a bit louder due to traffic  
  • A short walk will take you to Law Street Beach. The grassy hills that are perched above the beach are the perfect place to sit and watch the surfers catch waves.   

 Palmys Coffee 

Palmys Coffee Shop
  • Favorite drink: Iced Vanilla Latte. 
  • Favorite food: Breakfast Burrito ( It has tater tots in it!) 
  • Best spot to sit: Soak in the ocean breeze by sitting at a bench or table on the front patio.  
  • Quietness level: 7 – For being in PB, this coffee shop is actually a great space to crank out some work during the week.  
  • Take a break to explore Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier. The pier offers beautiful views of the ocean but a new perspective on San Diego’s beautiful coastline. 

 Drift Café 

Drift Cafe sitting area
Photo by owner
  • Favorite drink: They have a variety of great lattes 
  • Favorite food: Vegan Burrito. 
  • Best spot to sit: Any of the tables inside, with every purchase you get 2 hours of wifi 
  • Quietness level: 4 – some chatter but you will still be able to focus and get your work done.  
  • Clear your head of what you’re working on and take in the refreshing ocean air by taking a 3-minute walk up the street to the Pacific Beach’s shoreline. 

Miramar/Mira Mesa/ Poway

Jaunt Coffee Roasters 

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  • Favorite drink: Panels latte or the Mexican Mocha 
  • Favorite food: Acai bowl or their breakfast burrito 
  • Best spot to sit: Great place to work in their open indoor-outdoor space during the week, it can get quite crowded. 
  • Quietness level: 3 during the weekdays during the weekends 8, it is quite packed. 
  • Break Spot: A 3-minute drive will take you to Hourglass Park located adjacent to Miramar Community College. The Park has a walking path that leads you around the Miramar campus as well as many benches and shady spots for you to clear your mind.  

Poway/Carmel Moutain


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  • Favorite drink: Chocanana cold brew or Honey Lavender Cold brew. (They have a creme brulé latte that is a must-try!) 
  • Favorite food: N/A 
  • Best spot to sit: Grab a seat at any one of the bench tables for great natural light or a booth if you want to have more privacy.  
  • Quietness level: 5 – There is always some background coffee shop ambiance however it is not too loud to lose focus.   
  • Break Spot: A 5-minute walk will take you to Highland Ranch Park, a park with walking paths winding through the park, or sitting on a bench to take in the great outdoors.  

At Red Door Interactive, we love that we have the flexibility to work remotely when we need to, and can explore new places across San Diego. The next ti me you need a change of work scenery, stop by one of these local favorites and let us know what you think by direct messaging us on any of our social channels linked below.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Make sure to share your go-to coffee shop recommendations with us by tagging #RedDoorCoffee.

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