Freelancers and people-watchers rejoice—there are still plenty of places to post up and enjoy a coffee outdoors. These 10 picks are our favorite local spots around town to get your caffeine fix and watch the world go by.
The cozy European ambience of Cafe Bassam extends out to its charming outdoor setting in Bankers Hill. Order inside (we’re partial to the chai lattes) and peruse their collection of antiques before taking your seat outside. When it's time to shut the laptop for the day, come back for an after-work glass of wine.
3088 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill
The stylish coffee shop’s South Park location offers plenty of space to sit back with a cuppa; just order from the converted camper and then take your seat under one of the shady umbrellas. The menu also serves light plates like avocado toast, bagels, and Donut Mondays provided by Nomad Donuts. If you’re in North Park, their flagship off University Avenue also has a few outdoor tables of its own.
2221 Fern Street, South Park
2335 University Avenue, North Park
Two of Copa Vida’s five San Diego locations are temporarily closed, but the remaining three are still offering their coffees to go or to enjoy outside on their minimalist patios. Their menu features specialty drip coffees, in addition to teas and light lunch fare.
5550 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 105, Carmel Valley
905 J Street, East Village
11055 Roselle Street, Sorrento Valley
The South Park mainstay recently dropped the market from its name to become Grants Coffee Room, though it still houses its beer, wine, and deli market goods inside. Outside, enjoy an espresso and breakfast bites or a fresh, flaky croissant. The patio is also pet friendly, so don’t forget Fido.
2953 Beech Street, South Park
Look to Holsem for coffee staples and special seasonal menus, including a Biscotti Snow Capp(uccino). The outdoor seats are limited, so plan to get there early or at an off-peak time to make sure you can grab a spot.
2911 University Avenue, North Park
Enjoy hot teas, coffees, and pastries at this rustic Mission Hills spot. Kettle & Stone has peaceful sidewalk seating and lovable gifts from local artisans to shop and peruse indoors. Try one of their lattes and feel free to bring your pooch!
1619 West Lewis Street, Mission Hills
Sit on the patio deck of this Golden Hill café housed in a repurposed Craftsman. Ease into your wake-up call with a Caffè Calabria drip coffee and a fresh-baked pastry; the menu also has fruit smoothies and breakfast items for a more filling meal.
1128 25th Street, Golden Hill
The Living Room Coffeehouse’s La Jolla and SDSU locations are popular hangouts for those looking to sip a hot coffee and get some work done. Both of their patios are open and offer mimosas and bloody marys for when it’s been, well, a day.
1010 Prospect Street, La Jolla
5900 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
All three of Lofty’s San Diego locations operate as a coffee and bakery shop wrapped in one. Order specialty brewed coffee and breakfast or lunch plates to be enjoyed at your leisure on their shady outdoor patios. You can also sign up for their subscription service to bring the coffee right to your front door.
90 North Coast Highway 101, Suite 214, Encinitas
444 West Cedar Street, Little Italy
132 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
Moniker General’s in-house coffee shop serves all the essentials—espresso, cold brew, café au lait—plus fancy toasts, like the Jack of All Trades with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, basil, and a balsamic drizzle. Enjoy outdoors on their spacious patio or take it with you on a walk around Liberty Station.
2860 Sims Road, Liberty Station