Coffee wakes us up, gets us going, and has become a sort of counter culture here in San Diego. The coffee-shop is a special place unlike any restaurant, because they specialize in our favorite nectar, bringing you the finest quality beans and hand crafted mochas, lattes, espressos, or any other coffee drink of choice.

Mainstream coffeehouses just don’t do it for true java snobs, which set us out on the adventure to find the best hidden coffee gems around San Diego. Not only do these areas specialize in coffee, but they lure in loyal patrons with the entire experience they enthrall customers in. Giving you a place to relax, casually meet with friends, study, work, or just enjoy your favorite book with a delicious drink in hand, you’ll want to check out these hidden coffee gems at least once and pick a favorite.


Tucked away in the picturesque area known as Little Italy as well as Hillcrest, this coffeehouse brings customers breakfast, gelato, coffee, sweets, and sandwiches. With outdoor seating and great, pet-friendly service, stop by on your next easy Sunday morning for a true Italian coffee shop experience.

James Coffee Co.

Another Little Italy coffee staple, this industrial-style cafe will make you feel like you are in San Francisco or New York. Espresso is a specialty, and many people will tell you this is the best you’ll find in San Diego.

Caffe Calabria

North Park is full of hidden gems, and they especially don’t play around with their coffee. Roasting their beans on site, this coffee is about as fresh as you can get – and you get to watch them roast the beans too! Did we mention they also serve delicious pizza? Check this place out next time you have a little down time for a real cafe experience with delicious food too.

Bean Bar

Located in East Village, downtown San Diego, this is the best place to get cold brew coffee.  Did we mention they also do coffee art? Stop by this hidden gem when you’re in need of a new Instagram post – and an extra coffee boost.


Golden Hill is a gem in itself, and this cafe is sure to appease any caffeine fix you are craving. This super cute indie coffee shop also offers bomb sandwiches, and friendly service. Go!