Words and photos by CJ Evangelista

Perks Coffee House - San Marcos

Adjacent to Cal State San Marcos lies Perks Coffee House, located at 803 South Twin Oaks Valley Road, Suite 110, adjacent to Cal State. Maybe it’s the Swarovksi crystal chandelier draping in front of the register or the alluring ambiance, but this dual-tone, 70's feel café space offers an oasis for the common college student providing perks like free wifi and late hours. Stressing over that upcoming midterm? Perks serves local beer on tap, wine, as well as cocktails. And with Happy Hour running every Monday through Thursday from 3 PM to 9PM, no other incentive is necessary. Perks utilizes Ironsmith Coffee Roasters, a local roaster out of Encinitas, CA. We recommend their cappuccino. If you ask nicely, you may receive a swan atop your favorite hot beverage like the one above.

Better Buzz Coffee - San Marcos

Why are San Diego Reader, San Diego Magazine, and San Diego Eater buzzing over Better Buzz Coffee? This micro-batch coffee roaster has earned the recognition of many for a plethora of reasons. Better Buzz does an excellent job catering to San Diego's increasing desire for craft coffee with its many convenient locations in Encinitas, Mission Beach and Fashion Valley mall, but most notably, by providing drive thru service at its Pacific Beach, Point Loma and San Marcos locations. In San Marcos, at 904 West San Marcos Boulevard, patrons have the opportunity to walk up and enjoy their specialty coffee beverage and take it to go, or stay awhile on their shaded dog-friendly patio. For those warm San Diego days, we recommend their Best Drink Ever on ice (an Americano mixed with their signature vanilla powder) paired with their acai bowl dusted with coconut. We have to agree, “Life’s Better Buzzed.”

Ryan Bros Coffee - San Marcos

Ryan Bros Coffee, a family owned roastery that has been roasting in San Diego for over twenty years, lives by the mantra that "Life is too short to be bitter," or rather, too short to drink bitter coffee. We have to agree. Outside their flagship coffee house in Barrio Logan, Ryan Bros boasts locations at San Diego International Airport, Petco Park, and at 133 North Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos. Their North County location sports a recently renovated interior with high ceilings decked in beautiful wood panels. Apart from their extensive specialty beverage menu, they also offer bottled beverages, perfect for those that cannot stay, but wish to hydrate before heading back out into the summer heat. Purchase one for immediate consumption now and another to indulge later.

SkyBound Coffee + Dessert Lounge - Vista

SkyBound Coffee + Dessert Lounge, located at 1661 South Melrose Drive in Vista, boasts a carefully curated contemporary aesthetic. You may be overwhelmed by the gorgeous array of yummy goodness to choose from on display. On display are frozen goodies, their in-house baked pastries with vegan and gluten free options available, and last but not least,  a triumph of decadent desserts. SkyBound uses Café Virtuoso, an organic specialty coffee roaster out of Barrio Logan. If the coffee and dessert aren’t sufficient enough to draw you in, on the weekends, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., SkyBound serves an impressive seasonal brunch menu. If North County is too far from your usual wanderings, you'll be happy to know, she has a sister location in downtown San Diego.

Did we miss anyone? If so, please let us know by writing info@sdcoffeenetwork.com using "MAP" in the subject line.

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About CJ Evangelista

San Diego born and raised, Starbucks Frappuccino indulgent turned cortado queen. Barista at Global Coffee Trading. Firm believer that brunch is the most important meal of the day. When not preparing drinks for her fellow caffeine crazed cats, she enjoys the specialty craft at other coffee shops, preferably with a Green-Tea-Black-Sesame donut from Nomad Donuts in the other hand. Follow her coffee exploits via #coffeewithCJ, or @celinieweenie on Instagram.