Best San Diego Coffee Shops

The best San Diego locally-owned coffee shops to work from

As someone who works from home remotely, I am always on the hunt for a great coffee shop to work from. San Diego has so many wonderful coffee shops, that it can be difficult to choose which one you should frequent.

While other west coast destinations, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have long heralded their superb coffees, San Diego has quickly come up in the rankings. Imagine enjoying your freshly brewed cup mixed with a SoCal beach lifestyle, house-made milks and pastries, and locally made housewares for your home? Gear up because San Diegans have a knack for perfecting their crafts before presenting it to the world, so these neighborhood spots are ones you shouldn’t miss.

Read on for what will be an ever adapting list of the Best San Diego Coffee Shops to work from:

Don’t forget to bring your remote work essentials:

What to look for in a coffee shop to work from

If I’m going to spend a few hours inside (and some cash on coffee & snacks), there are a few things that I look for a coffee shop to have, especially if I’ll be working remotely in San Diego.

  • Are there outlets?
  • Is there free parking nearby?
  • Do they have comfortable seating (or chairs at least with backs to them)
  • How is the internet speed?
  • Please Lord, let them have great quality lattes with non-dairy options (anyone else on the oat milk train right now?)
  • Do they provide sustainable materials for customers to use? (aka no plastic)
  • Is there a calm & bohemian interior atmosphere
  • Are the staff friendly & welcoming?
  • Is there vegetarian-friendly food available?

Ok, so this list of what to look for maybe a bit much. But frankly, I’m particular about the quality of my beverage, I prefer working in a place that has a cute aesthetic atmosphere, and I’m the type of person whose day can be made with a quick, friendly conversation with my barista.

With all of that being said, here are my top choices for San Diego coffee shops to work at:

Seven best San Diego Coffee Shops in San Diego to work at

(1) Better Buzz, Hillcrest

Better Buzz is an expanding local coffee brand in Southern California. With TEN locations and their own roasting headquarters, Better Buzz is on almost everyone’s radar. Each location is more aesthetically pleasing than the next, but if you’re looking to set up camp for a few hours of laptop work, I would suggest their Hillcrest location. There is plenty of seating, and bonus because they create seasonal beverages for those who are so inclined to delve into their pumpkin spice or flavored cold brew cravings.


801 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

(2) Holsem Coffee, North Park

Located in the ‘hipster’ neighborhood of San Diego, Holsem Coffee is home to some of the friendliest staff I’ve met. They focus on pure ingredients & fair sourced coffee beans, which create delicious lattes. I’ve also recently learned that they make their own hazelnut milk in-house… excuse me while I pause writing to go order a hazelnut milk latte!


2911 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104

(3) The Forum Coffee House, Clairemont

The Forum Coffee House is right in line with Holsem’s friendly staff. I always enjoy having conversations with the people here while I wait for my coffee (usually, to my heart’s delight, in an oversized mug). The Forum Coffee House need background info on them. This place is gaining in popularity, so if you want to snag a good seat, show up early… who knows, maybe you’ll see me in there around 8 am- if you do, come say hello!


4340 Genesee Ave, Ste 110. San Diego, California

(4) Copa Vida, Downtown

Talk about a great atmosphere, Copa Vida is one of my favorite spots in downtown San Diego to post up for a few hours of work (they have six locations in total). I love that it somehow effortlessly manages the hustle & bustle of downtown with a calm & relaxing environment. But maybe I’m biased… it’s the place where I quit my previous corporate job, where I embarrassingly shed joyful tears and swapped hilarious stories with co-workers upon my departure. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with Copa Vida and their authentic artistry to both coffee and tea.


905 J St., San Diego, CA 92101

(5) The Grounds Bean Bar, Pacific Beach/Crown Point

Chandler Bing 100% would be saying ‘Could it BE any cuter here?’ because The Grounds Bean Bar has some of the sweetest interior designs of a coffee shop. Imagine stepping into the cafes that Bali visitors brag about visiting. The Grounds was designed to be fun, inviting and colorful so that guests can have a visual wake-up to go along with their caffeine fix. Add that with a quick walk from Mission Bay and some high-quality beans to create lattes, and you have a perfect match up for where to spend your morning working.


1571 La Playa ave San Diego, California

(6) Moniker Coffee, Liberty Station

Part coffee shop, part bar, and a home goods store! If you haven’t been to Moniker Coffee you need to add it to your calendar ASAP. This Liberty Station staple, has a beautiful aesthetic to it – picture smooth marble & minimalist decor where the beverages are the stars. With plenty of seating, where you will easily find other professionals hard at work. And who knows, if you work at this coffee shop long enough you’ll be able to go from ordering coffees to ordering a glass wine to end your day.


2860 Sims Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

(7) Spill the Beans, Downtown

This catchy coffee shop name isn’t all just pun & games, Spill the Beans is another stellar location on the Verant Group roster (along with popular hot spots Barleymash & Mavericks). Known for their delicious coffee… and potentially even more delicious house-made bagels. While the interior isn’t as large as the other places listed here, it’s bright complexion is a perfect place to start your day.


555 Market St San Diego, CA 92101

For any remote worker who needs a few hours outside of their home, a coffee shop is an excellent place to post up to complete tasks. The San Diego Coffee Shops listed here are all places that I’ve personally frequented and truly enjoyed. And I’m always up for new spots to explore- have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

Hi! I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing online brand strategist. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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