Discover the BEST coffee shops in La Jolla, California! These spots are ideal for visitors as they are located in the Village of La Jolla and walking distance from the ocean.
I find myself in Southern California at least once or twice each year to escape the brutal Texas summer heat or random cold fronts in the winter. SoCal has moderate and pleasant weather pretty much year-round.
Combine that with awesome restaurants, ocean views, and plenty of outdoor activities…you’ve got one ideal vacation destination. If you’re planning a trip to Southern California, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up in La Jolla.
It makes for a perfect home base or easy side trip from nearby cities like San Diego and Del Mar.
Once you reach this sunny coastal town you may find yourself wondering where to go for your daily caffeine fix. I have you covered! These are the spots I revisit on each trip and what I think are the absolute best coffee shops in La Jolla.
This map shows the best coffee shops in La Jolla. Specifically, the Village of La Jolla. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
1. Elixir Espresso & Wine Bar
One of the best coffee shops in La Jolla for European-style coffee and a full wine and food menu
Elixir Espresso & Wine Bar not only offers more than the usual coffee shop in terms of food and drink options but everything is done with the utmost care. The coffee quality is outstanding and will please even the toughest critic.
Smooth, balanced, and reminiscent of what you would taste in Europe. Elixir serves some of the best coffee in La Jolla. They use their own branded beans, called Screaming Goat, alongside Stumptown for their draft cold brew and nitro cold brew.
A solid list of loose-leaf teas is available as well as kombucha.
Stop by for breakfast and enjoy an avocado toast, ham and cheese croissant sandwich, or a colorful acai bowl. Lunch options include a delicious turkey and cheese crepe, prosciutto flatbread, and a veggie baguette sandwich.
Elixir also makes for a wonderful dessert and wine stop. An assortment of gelato flavors, French macarons, beautiful pastries, and dessert crepes are standard menu items.
Gluten-free? That’s no problem at Elixir Espresso and Wine Bar with gluten-free toast, crepes, and bread.
The ambiance is nice and quiet as it’s tucked back into an almost hidden courtyard. Seating is available both inside and outside. The patio area makes for a perfect place to work as it never gets too loud.
WiFi is available and the service is always friendly.
I think it’s pretty obvious this is one of my favorite coffee shops in La Jolla.
2. Better Buzz Coffee
One of the best La Jolla coffee shops for specialty drinks and fun flavors
Better Buzz is a relatively recent addition to the La Jolla Coffee shop scene. In fact, Jake and I first visited during opening weekend.
The place was absolutely packed every time we stopped by, and for good reason. It's calmed down since, but there's still a healthy crowd.
At first glance, I was a little hesitant to like Better Buzz. It reminded me a bit of Starbucks with its wall of branded t-shirts, drinkware, and other paraphernalia.
My apprehensions were unwarranted. Every item I've tried is top-notch. No bitter Starbucks brews here!
This is the perfect spot for when you have coffee lovers who want a simple and traditional drink as well as those who love fun flavor combinations and options with a little more pizazz.
Order under the “Purist” side of the menu for traditional drinks like flat whites, americanos, and cortados. Take a look under the “Coffee” side of the menu for flavor combinations like the Hazelnut Divinity made with white chocolate and hazelnut or the Iced Moroccan Spice made with espresso, spices, sugar, and vanilla bean.
If you don't like really sweet drinks, order 1/4 sweet. I do this with the Iced Moroccan Spice coffee and it's perfect. A very subtle hint of sweetness where the spices are the star.
The kombucha and nitro cold brew on tap is excellent as is the “Best Drink Ever” soft-serve (a coffee vanilla flavor).
Other menu items include avocado toast, ice-blended coffees, smoothies, sandwiches, acai and yogurt bowls.
The look is fresh and fun with a mix of pinks, whites, and blues. It’s a completely open concept, which is perfect for the sunny SoCal weather.
You'll find plenty of seating in the front patio, side patio, and the few communal tables inside.
3. Brick and Bell Cafe
ONE OF THE BEST coffee shops in La Jolla FOR a local crowd and scones
Brick and Bell Cafe is the place to go if you want an ultra-casual, no-fuss atmosphere. The patio is always packed (no inside seating) and at least half the coffee drinkers pair their drink of choice with a fresh-baked scone.
Choose from flavors like classic blueberry, maple walnut (my favorite), orange almond, or chocolate chip. The scones are massive and have me reminiscing back to my times in the UK.
Finding proper scones in the US can be a challenge. Brick and Bell Cafe does them right. Apparently, the owner goes to the UK for his scone recipe research.
I appreciate that mini scones are available if you want to try a few flavors. The price is right at $1 each!
In fact, Brick and Bell Cafe has been supplying the residents of La Jolla with scones and coffee since 2003.
While the scones may steal the show, there are plenty of other options equally as delicious. I highly recommend the Scottish shortbread, apple rosette, and banana bread.
The acai bowl is one of my favorites in La Jolla. Simple and delicious.
Go for the sunrise sandwich if you want something more substantial. Eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, and tomato are served on your choice of bagel, croissant, wrap, or bread. The avocado toast is also very good as is the house granola.
Coffee-wise, you'll find everything you need here. Hot, iced, alternative milk options, and matcha. Health nuts will be very happy with the Chagaccino, made with Chaga mushrooms, cocoa, vanilla, monk fruit sweetener, and milk of choice.
If you love scones and a chill patio, this is a must visit La Jolla coffee shop.
4. Parakeet Cafe
One of the best coffee shops in La Jolla for "Instagrammable" latte art and millennial menu favorites
Parakeet Cafe is as cute and as Instagrammable as can be. With a menu filled with photogenic items and a colorful atmosphere.
You’ll find everything that's popular with the Millennial generation including acai bowls, avocado toasts, overnight oats, gluten-free matcha waffles, and quinoa mezze bowls.
Looking for some serious latte art? Try the flat black made with activated charcoal, homemade lavender honey, and milk.
Health nuts will be right at home here. Alternative milks include almond, oat, and coconut. Add MCT, collagen, and adaptogens to any drink. Try the kombucha or nitro matcha on draft or go for the colorful beet latte.
Chances are if there's a drink trending on social media, Parakeet Cafe will offer it on its menu.
There is also a scrumptious selection of gluten-free cookies, scones, muffins, and loaves…the kind you would never know is gluten-free.
There are two locations in La Jolla. The original is on Silverado Street in the heart of downtown. The newest addition is by the water on Coast Blvd.
The one downside is that this is one of the more expensive spots on this list.
5. Sugar and Scribe
The best La Jolla coffee shop for a full breakfast or sweet treats to go
Even though Sugar and Scribe is more of a bakery and bistro, their solid coffee bar earns them a spot on this list. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters beans are used to provide quality lattes and espressos.
Cold brew and nitro cold brew are available on tap and sourced by Bird Rock Coffee Roasters…which just happens to be on my list of the best coffee shops in San Diego.
If you’re looking to pair your morning brew with a sweet treat, this is your spot. Home to Food Network Champion, Chef Maeve, Sugar and Scribe has a strong reputation in the bakery world and was voted the best bakery in 2017 by San Diego Magazine and La Jolla Village News.
The petit fours are as beautiful as they are delicious, the bread selection is made in-house daily, and the selection of cupcakes, cookies, scones, danishes, muffins, and macarons make for a difficult choice when deciding what to pick.
Grab a table on the front patio or back dining room to order from the breakfast and lunch menu which serves a mix of American and Irish classics.
If you’re just looking for coffee and a treat, order what you want to go from the bakery and coffee bar.
Since Sugar and Scribe is a full-service restaurant, this really isn’t a place to order a coffee and work on your laptop like the other La Jolla coffee shops on this list.
In my personal opinion, any city worth visiting MUST have a solid coffee game and La Jolla is no exception. Each of these coffee shops is a winner in both coffee and atmosphere and absolutely worth a visit.