Words by Raymond Reyes
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Opened: Feb. 2015
Roaster: not on-site.
On 3794 30th St, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters expanded their territory into North Park, sharing a space with Waypoint Public. The café is small, but the coffees pack a big punch. Dark Horse focuses on the highest quality, whether it’s the beans, their crew, or their collabs. They offer vegan donuts daily and cold brew ice cream on weekends. Recently, Dark Horse partnered with Coffee & Tea Collective, Copa Vida, James Coffee Company, and Bean Bar on a San Diego “Dis-loyalty” Card, made to encourage the exploration of San Diego’s many coffee roasters. Be sure to pick one up at Dark Horse’s three San Diego locations, or any of the participating roasters, before supply runs out.
Opened: May 2015
Roaster: on-site roasting.
Whether it’s the quality ingredients or the flawless interior, something will bring you back into Holsem Coffee. Located in the heart of North Park, 2911 University Ave, Holsem’s patio is the perfect place for people-watching. The baristas are skilled and exceptional, sometimes offering to pour a rosetta into your latte. Without sacrificing quality or purity, you’ll want to try every drink on Holsem’s menu.
Opened: April 2001
Roaster: on-site roasting.
From espresso to pizza to soccer to wine, these italian favorites live in harmony in Caffe Calabria. Caffe Calabria is a 15 year-old North Park fixture at 3933 30th St. During the day, Calabria is a local-favorite workplace. By night, the wood burning oven is fired-up and the coffee is replaced with wine. Whatever your drink of choice, Caffe Calabria provides an ideal atmosphere.
Opened: Sept. 2013
Cafe: Brews Bird Rock Coffee, and is currently collaborating for three-year anniversary specialty roast.
It’s hard to resist a place that paints “Hot Coffee Cold Beer” on its wall. That’s what Young Hickory, on 4096 30th St., will offer. The hot coffee comes from Bird Rock Coffee Roaster, with whom they’re collaborating for their third anniversary specialty roast later this month. On display is their variety of cold coffees, many of which are local, craft brews. With plenty of seats, outlets, and Wi-Fi, they have you covered for an hour or two.
Coffee & Tea Collective
Opened: July 2012
Coffee & Tea Collective, 2911 El Cajon Blvd, uses just an ampersand (&) to mark its store. This flagship site boasts a knowledgeable staff and serves as its main roastery and tasting room. Coffee & Tea take coffee to a new level from beginning to end, starting with roasting complex and cohesive flavors to crafting your beverage. Its crisp, white walls are often loaned to local artists for small art shows. Sharing a passion, along with providing great coffee, is what Coffee & Tea Collective does best.
Opened: Dec. 2014
If you're feeling more adventurous with your appetite, wander over to Nomad Donuts, on 4504 30th St in North Park. Nomad takes tastes and flavors from around the world and incorporates them into their pastries and coffees. Their menu changes daily but it’s not hard to find something for everybody. Collaborating with Global Coffee Trading in Sorrento Valley, Nomad is no stranger to local business partnerships. It shouldn't surprise you to find one of their products in a brewery or restaurant. The space is decorated with vintage maps and offers a limited dog-friendly seating area where all are welcome.