Tuesday, October 28, 2008

San Diego, CA: Working Coffee Shops

I can honestly say that a few San Diego coffeehouses helped me get through writing my dissertation. Writing in lab can be distracting and I find that I am much more productive when I work in a coffee shop for the day. I am a regular at a few coffee shops that I don't think mind me camping out for 6+ hours a visit.

To be a good "working" coffeehouse my requirements are free wifi, reasonably priced yet good drinks and food, plenty of tables, outlets for my computer power cord, and later evening hours. I respect the fact that coffeehouses are businesses. So I always order something, since I am basically using their space as my office. I don't bring in my own food, though sometimes I bring a snack and walk around the block while I am eating it.

With all these caveats here is my list of San Diego's Best Working Coffeehouses:

1. Cream Coffee Bar (University Heights) -
This hipster coffeehouse has tall warehouse-style ceilings, lots of tables and a good number of plugs. Try the tomato pesto bagel plate or the vegan soups. They also have yummy vegan muffins and fruit/nut bars.

2. Java Jones (Pacific Beach) - The antithesis of Cream, this laid-back cozy coffeehouse is in an old house with hardwood floors (though not be confused with Cafe 976 that is on Cass Street closer to Garnet Ave.), good table space, couches, and ample outdoor seating. For just a few dollars you can get a pbj sandwich or go all out and get a made-to-order sandwich. Their chai tea is my favorite in all of San Diego. The baristas are friendly and will make any strange coffee drink you can conjure up. They named my standard drink the inverse cafe au lait - 2/3 of a cup of steamed soy milk with the rest a medium or dark organic roast.

Some other good places:

The Other Side (North Park) {update: ownership changed and it is now Filter a Coffee Shop} -
The big draw of this large, but dark, coffeehouse is the late hours. They used to be open 24 hours but you definitely want to double check.

Urban Grind (University Heights) - UG has lots of tables, though finding a plug is sometimes difficult. The food and drink is a bit expensive and they sometimes close before their stated 11 pm clothing time, depending on buisiness. I always wander through Mid Century Design {Mid- Century Design 3795 Park Blvd San Diego, CA (619) 295-4832} when I need a break. This is my favorite mid century secondhand store, and it is right next door.

Twigg's Coffeehouse (University Heights) - If Cream is full then I head 1 block over to Twigg's. They don't have a lot of table space and almost no outlets. The food is good and they are well known for their cakes.

**Tapioca Express - I know this place is not a coffee shop but they serve yummy boba drinks and the UTC location is open until midnight. This is my favorite place to blog but I find it hard to do actual work there because of the loud music and constant flow of people going in and out.

photo credit:
Cream; Twiggs; The Other Side; Urban Grind; Tapioca Express; Java Jones picture of the gaslamp location

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