Life for coffee lovers has really perked up in Pacific Beach. In just a few years, several coffee shops have opened along Cass Street, joining neighborhood favorites on Garnet Avenue and Ingraham Street. Each offers a unique menu and vibe, whether for quick take-out or laid-back sitting and sipping.
99 Cups of Coffee
On most mornings it’s not unusual to see customers enjoying coffee, breakfast and conversation inside and outside this popular café. With its distinctive sunny orange chairs and umbrellas on the sidewalk patio, 99 Cups has become a local favorite.
It was opened in September 2014 and expanded in December 2015 by Broc Chavez, an engineer who wanted a change, and to make a change in the community. “I feel we are unique because we are small enough to pay attention to the little details, and we try to make our customers feel like they are part of our ‘family’ here at 99 Cups,” he said.
The café offers coffee (organic, fair trade, locally roasted) and tea drinks, smoothies and other drinks, and many breakfast and lunch items, including acai bowls, sandwiches, wraps, tacos and salads.
Name: 99 Cups of Coffee
Address: 4680 Cass St., between Diamond and Emerald
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
Contact: (858) 245-6104; ninetyninecups.com
Better Buzz Coffee
Life is Better Buzzed, according to this organic coffee roaster that is spreading the message around San Diego County. The company started small in 2002 in Mira Mesa with a gourmet coffee cart, added a kiosk in Fashion Valley, and then opened its first brick and mortar shop on Garnet in Pacific Beach in March of 2007. Just in time for the 10-year anniversary, they’ve opened a “PB West” shop on Garnet between Dawes and Everts.
The company is owned by Tim Langdon and Stephanie Garden and headquartered in Vista.
With seven shops throughout the county, the company strives to offer each community genuine customer relationships, friendly service and superb product, according to Daniel Greig, director of coffee production. Their newest PB West location offers drive through and café service with swinging porch seats in front.
The Better Buzzed menu includes a full array of coffee drinks, including several cold brews, as well as teas, smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches and baked goods. Specialties include horchata latte, handcrafted avocado toast, and the puppuccino (for canine friends).
Name: Better Buzz Coffee Roasters
Address: 1909 Garnet Ave., 1186 Garnet Ave. (PB West)
Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. (PB West)
Contact: (858) 270-2899; (858) 274-2899 (PB West)
Café 976 Felspar
Located in one of Pacific Beach’s original houses, built in the 1920s, Café 976 Felspar has held onto the charm of that era while offering modern bistro food and drink fare. Customers can relax indoors or outdoors in the café’s garden-surrounded patio. “We like our customers to feel at home,” said Braden Rojas, general manager.
Last June the café changed ownership and underwent a complete renovation, according to Rojas. The menu, however, pretty much stayed the same. “We have a healthy menu,” said Rojas. “Our eggs are steamed, no oil. For heartier eaters, we still offer the Reuben and French dip sandwiches.” All sandwiches can be made as wraps. Vegetarian options include the spinach burger and soy chorizo.
The café offers a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and children, as well as a full range of coffees, teas, juices, smoothies and desserts. The Snickers Latte (caramel and chocolate) is popular. Café 976 also hosts private events and parties.
Name: Café 976 Felspar
Address: 976 Felspar St. at Cass Street
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Contact: (858) 203-7140; cafe976felspar.com
A drive-through on Ingraham between Grand and Garnet.
Name: Caffe Veloce
Address: 4450 Ingraham St.
Hours: 5:50 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekends
This Mediterranean-themed coffee shop and café opened its doors in April of this year. It is owned by Italian-born Sam Ebrahimzadeh and his uncle, Gholamreza Ebrahimzadeh. After studying kinesiology (science of human movement) in Italy and Toronto, Canada, Sam decided his best move was to realize his dream of “opening a coffee shop in a warm sunny place near the beach.”
In addition to a full range of organic coffee drinks, Coffee Milano features fresh Mediterranean cuisine, such as marinated chicken and skewers of beef with rice, salad, vegetables and lavash bread. Dessert items include tartufo (hazelnut/chocolate ice cream), affogato (gelato with a shot of espresso) and pastries.
Coffee Milano offers ample indoor and outdoor seating as well as discounts for special gatherings and parties.
Name: Coffee Milano
Address: 1146 Garnet Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Contact: (858) 705-7753
Crown Point Coffee
“This location is unique and has a diverse background,” explains Summer Abu-Zahrah, who bought Crown Point Coffee eight and a half years ago while working there and going to college. Since then, she has carried on the friendly family traditions of 35 years of local ownership and renovated and kept up with modern coffee and food trends.
The café building, which was originally a gas station, is conveniently located on the tip of Crown Point, with Mission Bay on both sides.
“Often customers will stop from a stroll on the bay with their dog or kids and order a quick caffeine boost or post workout smoothie,” added Abu-Zahrah. During the summer months, the café’s close location to events such as the Thunderbolt Races, Polynesian Festival, 3-Day Cancer Walk, attracts many repeat customers.
“Our menu offers a wide variety from coffee, espresso, and tea to kosher baked pastries, breakfast, lunch and smoothies.”
Name: Crown Point Coffee
Address: 3510 Ingraham St.
Hours: 5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends
Contact: (858) 272-8003; crownpointcoffee.com
Java Earth Cafe
Abe and Debbie Artenstein love what they describe as the “relaxed, friendly and unique culture of North PB.” So, when the café at on Cass Street at Loring came up for sale in 2010, and with four children grown, they saw their opportunity to contribute their talents to the community.
Born and raised in San Diego, Abe is a developer. Debbie was born in Monterey, Mexico, spent summers in San Diego and loves to cook. “We are a very tight-knit family. Our extended family comes from many parts of the world and this is where my love for multi-cultural dishes stems from,” Debbie explained. She makes many of the café’s sauces, including pesto, salsa and chipotle mayo.
The café offers a full range of coffee (organic, locally roasted) and tea drinks, as well as breakfast and lunch. Popular items are the Honey Vanilla Latte, the PB Bagel, Avocado Toast, Acai Works Bowl.
In addition to serving the freshest of food and filling special requests, Debbie and Abe enjoy making customers feel at home and participating in community events.
Name: Java Earth Cafe
Address: 4978 Cass St.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Contact: (858) 274-0028; javaearthcafe.com
Bright red umbrellas and chairs make this café stand out on the corner of Cass and Missouri. Inside, owner Alexandre Goulart has created a colorful space and menu, including coffee and tea, milkshakes and smoothies, acai bowls, and international savory pastries and candy.
When Goulart bought the shop in October of 2015, he wanted to recreate part of his childhood in Brazil. “I was a healthy, happy kid, raised by a family of many different ethnicities and by an amazing mother who cooked the best food at home.” This food included Brazilian, Lebanese, French, Italian and American.
As a result, Koffee Kat customers can choose from international coffees and teas as well as pastries and candy from Europe, South America and the Middle East.
Name: Koffee Kat
Address: 4750 Cass St.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends
Contact: (858) 412-4047; koffeekat.com
Pacific Bean Coffee
Located just a few steps from the Crystal Pier at the west end of Garnet Avenue, Pacific Bean Coffee is a small shop with a big selection of coffee drinks and loyal customers. It’s also the perfect stop-in spot for visiting beachgoers and tourists.
Owner Peter Fillat bought the café a few years ago, after moving to San Diego and working there. Born in Florence, Italy, his aim is to “make everyone feel at home and ensure a high-quality product.”
“We are a small shop and customer service is of outmost important here at the Pacific Bean. We carry 30 flavors of mochas and our whipped cream is made daily with chocolate. Espresso drinks are made like in the old country, paying close attention to the steaming process of the milk.”
Name: Pacific Bean Coffee
Address: 712 1/2 Garnet Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Contact: (858) 273-8918.
There are four Starbucks in Pacific Beach: 1702 Garnet Ave. (inside Vons), 1774 Garnet Ave. (outside Vons), 1359 Garnet Ave., and 4343 Mission Blvd. (near Ralphs).