Downtown Oceanside’s Craft Coffee Culture
Looking for that perfect cup of joe in downtown Oceanside? Here’s our roundup of five unique coffeehouses where you can find a quality brew and soak up some of Oceanside’s local flavor.
Located on South Coast Hwy, Banana Dang is a small coffee bar that is big on character. Delight in the amusing name and cute smiling banana logo, enjoy the colorful pop artwork on the walls, play some chess and checkers, or just relax and watch the world go by while sitting at the window bar. The superb coffee drinks are prepared with organic milk options then decorated with flourish.
The fun décor inside balances with the seriously amazing coffee, food, and upstanding green business practices Banana Dang commit themselves to including recycling, composting, and working with like-minded sustainable suppliers such as San Diego’s Manzanita Roasting Company.
On North Coast Highway, discover the bright spacious Brown Cup Café & Lounge. Owners Roger and Vilai Thavarajah invite you to relax and unwind in their friendly establishment. With plants everywhere, dining tables on one side and plush living room furniture on the other, the ambiance at the Brown Cup feels like home.
Some of their inventive bestselling drinks include the Snickerdoodle Latte, Lazy Raspberry Mocha and Caramel Swirl. Consider pairing with their scrumptious house made cheesecake, cookies or cakes. On the savory side, try the build your own breakfast sandwich, Sausage Panini or Turkey Avocado Roll. Since Vilai is from Thailand, she’s introducing authentic Thai menu items including Vegetable Lemongrass Soup, Chicken Coconut Soup and more.
Further North, cheerful owner/baker Vallie Gilley runs longstanding Jitters Coffee Pub with passion. Her community-based shop focuses on quality coffee and baked goods. Persimmon colored-walls, a library and local artwork help contribute to the café’s warm cozy atmosphere.
A private roaster provides the custom, robust house blend, Oceanside’s Living Tea Brewing Company supplies the organic teas and kombucha, and the produce comes from the local Oceanside farmers market.
Spot surfers in the morning sipping Espresso Macchiatos. Choose from the comprehensive drink menu and baked goods made in house from scratch daily. Examples include their yummy Coconut Macaroons, Cinnamon Rolls and Love Muffins made with whatever is in season, from berries to pineapple-coconut. Breakfast served on weekends includes tasty organic eggs, fresh fruit and quiche specials.
Located in a historic Victorian building on Pier View Way, the Pier View Coffee Co. allures customers to its breezy indoor-outdoor venue with laid back surf art, great coffee and food. Award-winning San Diego roaster Caffè Calabria supplies the beans for the large selection of coffee drinks prepared by amiable hip baristas.
The super popular breakfast sandwiches come with egg, cheese, choice of protein and bread. Bagels and baked goods are made fresh daily. The menu also features sandwiches, salads and San Diego’s gourmet Vero Gelato. At Pier View you are invited to relax, people watch and catch soothing ocean breezes.
Find the nearby Succulent Café on North Cleveland in a courtyard adjacent to the brick Apotheque Lifestyle Spa. Step through the gate into a magical world of succulents in every color, shape and form. Although this hidden gem is downtown, its quiet peaceful setting seems a world away.
Owner Peter Loyola’s artistic succulent arrangements incorporate a crazy assortment of containers from whimsical ceramic shoes to rusty re-purposed birdcages. Walk past wrought iron seating surrounded by greenery to order from the coffee cart in the back. Enjoy rich coffee from Oceanside’s Revolution Roasters and interesting specialties including Lavender Mochas, Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Coconut Green Tea. The food menu features snacks like bagels, muffins and croissants.
About the Author
Jolee Pink is an Oceanside-based writer, designer and artist. She runs the popular Eat Drink SD Facebook group and is also the organizer of North County’s premier, annual culinary arts event: Foodie Fest. Her Wabisabi Green lifestyle blog focuses on art, design, food and travel. For more information, please visit wabisabigreen.com.