A Guide to Carmel-by-the-Sea Coffee Shops
Just several blocks from the beach sits Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company’s Ocean Avenue store, a cute little abode among Carmel-by-the-Sea coffee shops that has an upstairs loft with half-moon wooden tables, minimalistic walls, and dark brown accents such as window and photo frames. The charming nautical aesthetic is only upstaged by the fresh java, which is roasted in small batches on a vintage 1940s Farina Italian coffee roaster lovingly referred to as “Vincenzo” or “Big Vinney.”
Near and dear to the heart of downtown, on the south side of Ocean Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores streets, through the large white archway in the Las Tiendas building, you will find a passageway to The Carmel Coffee Houses verdure graced, pet-friendly outdoor patio. This quaint cafe was founded in 1994, and serves coffee made from organic beans that are roasted on-premise, not to mention they have a plethora of breakfast and lunch items.
This bustling culinary destination, almost resembling a market, is known for sourcing its ingredients from farmers and purveyors that practice sustainability, and provide honest, high-quality products that taste really good. Carmel Belle’s meats are hormone-free, grass-fed/free-range and humanely raised right here in California, whilst produce is largely organic and purchased from local farmers’ markets, farmers, and/or distributors that support small farms. Only naturally, no pun intended, they offer visitors locally roasted organic coffee and Clover organic milk and cream.
Whatever the occasion may be, whether excited to soak up some sun on an outdoor patio or needing to escape the cold and snuggle up against a warm fireplace, this is a great spot to meet a friend, grab a health-conscious bite, and even get some work done.
Neatly nestled among Ocean Avenue storefronts is Cafe Carmel, a practical local tradition that dates back to 1952, when the Wishart family opened their iconic bakery in a now-historic 1920s building. Although it’s worth adding, a wonderful new chapter to this seaside story began when in July of 2019, Sarah, who grew up loving to cook in a quaint village on the south coast of England, seized the opportunity of a lifetime, moving her family to Carmel to live out her culinary dream by taking over Café Carmel.
Baked goods, such as croissants, Danish pastries and muffins, are prepared daily. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and late afternoon offerings are cooked to order, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This shop also prides itself on countering sweet treats with a lineup of healthful food, including vegan and vegetarian dishes, along with gluten-free and non-dairy options.
Tucked inside another beautiful, well-manicured downtown courtyard is Cafe Luna, a beloved hidden gem among Carmel-by-the-Sea coffee shops that has been open for nearly 20 years and serves all sorts of food options from ramen to croissants to quiche. Oh and we couldn’t possibly forget to tell you about the breakfast sushi, yep, that’s right, a seasoned mix of brown and white rice, ham, eggs, and avocado, wrapped with roasted seaweed – you’re welcome.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Carmel-by-the-Sea coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Monterey!