Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series about the independent coffee shops in town whose owners are brewing up cupfuls of delicious decadence. Look for part-two in the May issue of Point Loma-OB Monthly.
Point Loma and Ocean Beach have no shortage of special places to get a cup of coffee, artful latte or light bite in a locally owned and operated business. No matter the type of coffee or atmosphere you seek, there is something for everyone. Which ones are your favorites?
1. Newbreak Coffee & Café
Located directly across Abbott Street from the Ocean Beach lifeguard station sits Newbreak, a café that has been an OB staple for moe than 25 years. Newbreak features an extensive tea collection, gelato, breakfast, soups, pastries, acai bowls, and of course, espresso drinks. With surfboards hanging on the wall and a glass garage door open to the outside, this beachy coffee shop also features a few outdoor tables where patrons may be able to hear the ocean.
Address: 1959 Abbott St.
Hours: 6:30 a.m to 5 p.m. daily
Contact: (619) 224-6666. newbreakcafe.com
2. Lazy Hummingbird
A couple blocks away from the sands of Ocean Beach, Lazy Hummingbird shares its space with OB Business Center. It’s a quaint spot with plenty of covered outdoor space, pleasant wind chimes ringing with the beach breeze, and an indoor and outdoor minimalist feel. Lazy Hummingbird claims to have the best hummus in town. Snacks and acai bowls are available in addition to coffee, and they host an open mic night 7-9:30 p.m. every Tuesday.
Address: 4876 Santa Monica Ave.
Hours: 6:30 a.m to 6:30 p.m. daily
Contact: (619) 200-5016. lazyhummingbirdob.com
3. OB Beans Coffee Roasters
What began as a hobby of one of the owners, Ben Nease, roasting beans on his front porch, quickly turned to a tent at the farmers market where half of the profits were once donated to charity. The “hobby” is now a brick-and-mortar store on Newport Avenue.
“We started getting a lot of momentum, so we looked for a spot to open, and OB didn’t have a roaster, so we decided to open here,” said Nease. OB Beans roasts all of its beans onsite from a farm in Central America, with which the owners have a direct relationship, and from Mexico, Africa and Indonesia. They work closely with a number of nonprofits in the San Diego area and strive to be much more than the coffee in the cup, but also a help to the less fortunate.
Fun Fact: The fixtures and furniture in the store are all made from reclaimed material handmade by one of the owners.
Address: 4879 Newport Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m to 6 p.m. daily
Contact: (619) 738-8151. obbeans.com
4. Point Loma Living Room
Located in the Jennings House — the oldest home in Point Loma — the Point Loma Living Room is under new ownership and recently underwent an indoor and outdoor remodeling.
Built in 1886, the Jennings House has long been a coffee shop, but when owners Cathy Gallagher and Randy Ataid took over, they revitalized the house, keeping the original floors, trim and other standout architectural details.
The upstairs has additional seating they refer to as “the library,” and it’s used by business professionals and students who seek a quiet place to work or study uninterrupted. “This makes us unique to other coffee shops in the area,” Gallagher said.
The Living Room has fresh pastries and desserts all locally made, acai bowls, breakfast sandwiches, soups made from scratch daily, and an extensive list of gluten-free and vegan options.
Address: 1018 Rosecrans St.
Hours: 6 a.m to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Contact: (619) 222-6857. pointlomalivingroom.com
5. Better Buzz Point Loma
What may have started as a small coffee stand in Mira Mesa has, over the years, evolved into a growing number of free-standing popular locations throughout San Diego County. The Better Buzz spot on Rosecrans Street offers a drive-thru, outdoor and indoor seating, decorated in a modern rustic aesthetic.
Better Buzz offers handcrafted espresso drinks, frozen-blended coffee drinks (referred to as “Buzz” on the menu), cold brew, drop coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, toasts, acai bowls, and small pastries.
Address: 1480 Rosecrans St.
Hours: 5 a.m to 9 p.m. daily
Contact: (619) 222-2899. betterbuzzcoffee.com
6. Moniker General
Part coffee shop, part cocktail bar, part general store — Moniker General in Liberty Station makes it easy for patrons to stay a while. With coffee, tea, toasts, granola, and pastries from a bakery in Encinitas, Moniker General offers relaxing community tables, couches, and exposed concrete ceilings and floors.
Their espresso is made from a custom coffee blend from OB Beans Roasters. Coming soon, says coffee bar manager Jimmy Martinez, is a merged “coffee and cocktail menu, with drinks such as an espresso old fashioned.”
Address: 2860 Sims Road
Hours: 7 a.m to 7 p.m. daily
Contact: (619) 255-8772. monikergeneral.com
Speaking of coffee ...
• “Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.” —Terri Guillmets
• “Coffee is a hug in a mug.” —Unknown
• “Decaffeinated coffee is like kissing your sister.” —Bob Irwin
• “Chocolate, men, coffee ... some things are better rich.” —Unknown
• “Coffee, n. break fluid.” —Unknown
• “He was my cream and I was his coffee ... and when you poured us together, it was something.” —Josephine Baker