A Guide to Coronado Coffee Shops
Stepping inside Clayton’s teleports patrons back to a time of vintage cherry-red booths, home-cooked dishes, countertop jukeboxes filled with golden hits, and ice-cold milkshakes on a sunny summer afternoon. Considering this stylish Americana diner among Coronado coffee shops is home to the only original horseshoe counter remaining in San Diego County, you may be tempted to forgo a table’s privacy for socializing at the same historic countertop the surrounding community has enjoyed delightful service over since 1939.
Folks preferring to picnic under the nearby magnolia tree or grab a bite en route to the beach are encouraged to take advantage of Clayton’s old-fashioned sidewalk pick-up window on 10th Street – which these days, also dishes out some pretty bomb Mexican food, if we do say so ourselves!
The Henry draws you in with a timeless vibe, a blend of Gatsby-era elegance and modern industrial cool. Aside from the all-encompassing compound’s decadence-laced bar, there’s this coffee bar that serves exceptional joe with speedy WiFi, has ample space for productivity, and flashes just as much visual appeal. That’s not to mention, their glittering outdoor terrace and an array of plush chesterfields dappled about the building’s massive interior. Simply put, whether you’re hoping to hit one of Coronado’s classiest destinations during a night out on the town or just looking for a well-manicured environment to work, there exists something for everybody at all hours of the day here.
Whether you come by car, boat, or aboard the bay’s ferry, Coronado Ferry Landing is one of the golden state’s most picturesque destinations. The outdoor shopping center sits on the island’s city-facing shore and offers breathtaking views of San Diego’s skyline, along with waterfront dining, and cozy boutique storefronts. At the heart of all the fun is Coronado Coffee Company, which is run by Coronado natives, and aside from crafting your usual java favorites, also creates seasonal concoctions from the cocoa mocha to a Gingerbread cappuccino topped with gingerbread crumbs, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
While Nado Gelato has been voted “best dessert in town” and “best gelato” by locals in numerous publications, one lesser-known delicacy constantly getting ordered here is authentic Italian espresso, among other tasty energizing beverages! From gelato to coffee, this ice cream parlor doesn’t cut any corners in pursuit of a truly superior product, for instance, dozens of kiwis are peeled for a batch of kiwi gelato, and hundreds of lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are juiced by hand in their kitchen. That meaningful effort probably has something to do with how excited folks look whilst nibbling their first bite just outside Nado’s front door!
While perusing about this reader’s outpost dug in on the island, treat yourself to a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee from their inviting streetside cafe. Bay Books carries a broad selection of titles, from the latest bestsellers to established timeless classics. They proudly display an extensive children’s section teeming with fascinating books and toys for all ages, as well as maintain a military history selection that is likewise excellent and in support of our servicemen and servicewomen at the nearby North Island Naval Air Station, MCRD, MCAS Miramar, and at the Naval Amphibious Base.
Operating from a humble coffee cart stationed beneath the dependable shade of hundred-year-old trees, encircled by cafe seating, and in front of Cornoado’s both gorgeous and historical library, Amalo Brew Coffee is the perfect stop along a scenic walk about town. The locally owned java outpost can be found cupping high-quality, 100% organic coffee and tea every morning.
Opened in the Fall of 2001, Tartine introduced and continues to share European cafe culture with Coronado. In addition to caffeinated delights, they offer a fantastic selection of craft beers and wines amidst a welcoming atmosphere adorned by world-class, sparkling glass-enclosed pastries. Tartine’s recipes are made with local ingredients whenever possible and inspired by the patisseries of Europe, the staff’s Parisian training, and their travels around the world. Let’s cut to the delicious chase, your cup of artisan joe never found a more scrumptious pairing than this cafe’s desserts, which are baked with the finest ingredients sourced from their countries of origin, such as European-style butter, Belgian chocolate, and Madagascar Vanilla.
Wisping guests away to the graceful French countryside, Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro serves European-inspired coffee in an elegant atmosphere accentuated by intricately patterned copper ceiling tiles, white granite countertops, and dark, beautifully aged wooden cabinetry. Upon entering this charming bakery, you’ll gain the opportunity to explore a wonderland of fresh-baked bread, pies, cakes, doughnuts, bagels, muffins, confections, and cookies – all of which, whipped up to perfection by their phenomenal pastry chef, Elena.
There’s also executive chef Ira, who has masterfully engineered breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus to match the seasons, making Clayton’s stunning interior or sunny outdoor patio perfect for a relaxing mid-day’s meal.
Known for its generously sized pastries, Villa Nueva Bakery has served Coronado natives and tourists alike for over a hundred years. This family-owned, red brick laced storefront has been operating out of the historic landmark Anderson Building along Orange Avenue (the island’s main street) since 1911. Their specialty java creations include espressos, lattes, and chai tea drinks and they also afford guests an impressive procurement of wine and beer.
Coronado Beach Co.
Coronado Beach Company serves freshly baked donuts and wholesome joe with a side of thrilling island tours! You heard that right, this adorable hole in the wall beach cafe will gladly arrange for you what’s called the “Island Tour,” a daily guided walking tour that takes about an hour and covers Coronado’s rich history and culture as well as a great deal of information found in Jennifer Franks’ book Crown City by the Sea.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Coronado coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 20 Coffee Shops in San Diego County!