A Guide to San Clemente Coffee Shops
Jeff Clinard amassed a treasure trove of invaluable experience while working with the Specialty Coffee Association of America before he ultimately decided to open up one of the most beloved San Clemente coffee shops there is. In hindsight, it’s easy to foresee the smashing success that would play out in the physical culmination of his life’s dedication to coffee; it also doesn’t hurt to be fantabulously situated mere sandy steps away from Southern California’s sparkling seashore.
This trend-setting java operation was founded on a single simple mission: find amazing coffee and bring it to South Orange County. These days, Jeff and his wife, Jamie, breathe life into that original creed through their Bear Coast Coffee locations in San Clemente and Dana Point. They even enjoy spending quality family time at both cafes with their two kids, Coen and Maddi; who they add, can be found passing out menus at both locations on the weekends!
High Tide Coffee is a cute little cafe accentuated by vintage pink tones and beautifully sitting along historic El Camino Real, a six hundred-mile eighteenth-century road connecting the twenty-one Spanish missions across California. Just a rock’s skip from the shores of North Beach, the husband and wife duo behind this java outpost pride themselves on freshly roasted, never stored 100% Arabica beans that turn out quality coffee sure to add some pep to your morning. Out front, there’s a classic VW Bus named Iggy, be sure to cruise by and say hello!
Promising what could be the most photogenic atmosphere among San Clemente coffee shops, Rapport Coffee by Cafe Smith serves single-origin and blended coffees in a quaint cafe space cherished for its white brick wall, aesthetically aged magazine shelves, and bold green tones. This great small business is located, of all places, on the first floor of an unassuming strip mall just off the 5 Freeway; rest assured they are your best possible, most convenient stop while headed south en route to San Diego, especially before venturing into refreshment-dry Camp Pendleton territory.
Jamie and Joey Madison operate a legendary local Italian restaurant named Fratello’s, and rather recently, the former dreamed of creating a cafe full of positive energy where this beachside community could gather for healthy mid-day meals. Thus, upon recruiting the remarkable interior designing services of Becki Owens, she brought her vision to life with a minimalistic white interior underscored by patterned coastal-blue tiles and righteous bohemian vibes. The food menu features everything from fluffy waffles to scrumptious paninis to easy kids options while their endearing beverages include classic coffee favorites, fresh-squeezed juices made from organic produce, and blended smoothies. Not long after opening, Hermosa was voted, “SC’s Best New Restaurant.”
A family-owned shop, Zebra House serves medium and lighter coffee that’s been lovingly roasted in small batches by the owner’s father. Crafty seating plentifully dapples the patio out front, a vibrant orange color scheme mixed with very comfortable, cushioned chairs can be found inside, and some special evenings feature soothing hometown musicians. Zebra House is additionally famous for its baked daily, mouthwatering muffins – they even offer hard to come by gluten-free and vegan options.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best San Clemente coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Orange County!