Travel Diary Pt. 1 : Coffee Shop Chronicles of LA, San Diego and Palm Springs
Yes, yes, yes! My absolute favorite thing to do when I travel is take a few minutes to do an Instagram and Yelp search on all the coffee (or tea) shops offered in the city I am visiting. By searching the city on Instagram, I am able to see various users posts of the local businesses. They show everything from restaurants, activities, coffee shops and more. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you saw the number of coffee shops that I visited while I was on vacation in LA, San Diego and Palm Springs. I wanted to do a bit more of a travel diary-like overview of all the coffee shops I hit up this trip and my favorite things about them.
DTLA, Arts District
Urth Caffe is a super popular restaurant/cafe located in the LA area of SoCal, about 2 hours before San Diego. This was a pit stop we made on our way into San Diego. I not only love Urth’s food, but their coffee is absolutely incredible. I ordered a hot Almond Milk Spanish Latte. It comes with condensed milk as well and is basically heaven in your mouth.
DTLA, Arts District
Finding this place was a bit of a challenge, I discovered them on Instagram before visiting and was happy to see that they were located only a minute walk away from DTLA’s Urth Caffe (which is where I had had that Spanish Latte). This place is a walk up** coffee shop, which is perfect considering so many other coffee shops are a more sit down inside kind of deal in LA. At Shreebs, you can sit in their picnic area or take the coffee to go, which is what I did. My mom, an avid coffee lover, and I both got a cold brew with half and half- mine was just a tad sweetened. Their coffee was strong, for sure. Great for when you need a kick to wake you up. If you like your coffee black, power to you. But, I definitely needed cream for this guy.
Better Buzz Coffee Roasters
San Diego, Point Loma
Okay, this place was POPPING. It was so busy when I went with both drive through and walk in customers. I walked in because for me it’s all about the experience when it comes to coffee shops, unless I’ve got somewhere to be. This place was small but super hyped up. And, their menu items were endless. They had so many coffee drinks to choose from. But, shocker, I got myself an iced almond milk latte. With my coffee drinks, I like them bitter with only a slight hint of sweetness. I made the mistake of not asking for a half or a quarter of sweetness in my drink at Buzz. My almond milk latte ended up being way to sweet for me and I wasn’t able to enjoy the coffee. But, my mom got a wet cappuccino (no sweetener) and thought it was really good, so that says something.
San Diego, North Park
Holy crap. To some it may sound cheesy, but for me when I find a coffee shop that gives me the best feeling and makes me feel at home, I get so excited. It’s as if I am stepping into another world that is just as excited as I am about coffee. Communal Coffee was not only visually pleasing, seriously the cutest interiors and exteriors, it was inviting and warm. The service was so kind and welcoming. The shop also had a flower store within it- coffee and flowers? So dreamy. They have a beautiful garden in the back with a lot of seating, too. So, no matter what, you will almost always have a place to sit. And, most importantly, the coffee was freaking incredible. I got (shocker) an iced almond milk latte with a hint of vanilla and man oh man, I was in heaven. Their espresso is just something else.
Upstart Crow Coffee House and Bookstore
San Diego, Seaport Village
This place was like something out of a movie. Half of it is a vintage store of sorts, selling a variety of products from Frida Kahlo paraphernalia to coffee lover trinkets and, of course, books on books on books. The other half was a seating area with a mixture of different colored seats and tables. I immediately fell in love with it when I walked in. I ordered a hot almond milk Macchiato with half caramel and half vanilla and it was the best decision I made that day.
San Diego, North Park
Hey, yes I am a coffee addict, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play around with tea a little bit, right? Holy Matcha, this place was real good. A small little place in the North Park area of San Diego that dishes some real good matcha lemonade, lattes and horchatas. Go, go, go. Because, they also have green tea donuts- didn’t even know those existed but I am glad they do. I have no shame in saying I ordered an almond milk matcha latte with a green tea donut AND a green tea lemonade on my way out (please don’t tell my trainer =P). Also, let’s not forget to mention that it is heaven if you love taking photos. The interiors include two of my favorite things: pink and banana leaves/palm trees. Even if you’re not a lover of tea (which, why wouldn’t you be?), give the place a stop-by if you’re in North Park.
Gré Coffeehouse and Art Gallery
Palm Springs, Uptown
Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery was another combination of two of my favorite things: coffee and vinyl. While you're ordering from their menu, you can expect to hear some Elvis Presley or Fleetwood Mac. Don’t like either? You can pick whatever vinyl they have in their library and give it a spin. It’s a place of sensory overload because your ears will be happy, your eyes will be scoping out all of the artwork on the walls and your mouth will be asking for more of their coffee. Whoever made my iced almond milk latte nailed the art of just the right amount of sweetener.