OC Coffee House Guide
Herst Coffee Roasters
Located in Newport Beach’s ritzy Lido Marina Village, where yachts are surely anchored dockside, soak in the more lavish Orange County sun rays at this posh coffee shop. The cafe’s dream-like ambiance matches its radiant surroundings, making it one of the most Insta-worthy locations on our list. While you’re there taking stunning photos, DON’T forget that they do serve great coffee too!
Huskins Coffee Company
Former Anaheim Duck’s hockey player, Stanley Cup Trophy winner, and local legend Kent Huskin was flying a redeye to Paris with his girlfriend, Bri, and wasn’t able to get any sleep. He couldn’t help paying particular attention to his carry-on bags, one of them held the ring he planned to propose to Bri with while on this trip.
When the couple landed, as they wandered about the romantic streets of Paris, Kent found himself falling in love with the art that is coffee. After a successful proposal and storybook trip to Europe, they returned to Orange County excited to take on a whole new journey together. We give you, Huskins Coffee Company, by all means, a family affair.
Dripp sits nestled within Fullerton’s bustling downtown. Fullerton Community College is yards away and Cal State University, Fullerton is just down the road so get ready to mingle with the youth. This location masterfully offers both gorgeous and spacious outdoor patio seating that they share with the restaurant next door – YES, the restaurant has a BAR!
Keep in mind, there are many more wonderful coffee havens scattered about the Downtown Fullerton area.
Bear Coast Coffee
Jeff Clinard amassed a treasure trove of invaluable experience while working with the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Barista Guild of America. In addition, he fostered relationships with what he calls “some great people, who produce great coffee.”
In hindsight, it’s easy to foresee the smashing success that would play out in the culmination of his life’s dedication to coffee. However, when he began, he had only a simple goal in mind: find amazing coffee and bring it to South Orange County.
On a daily basis, he and his wife, Jamie, bring that creed to life at 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!
Portola Coffee Roasters
Portola Coffee Roasters is the brainchild of owner and roastmaster Jeff Duggan and his wife Christa. Every year, Jeff journeys to the far stretches of Africa, South America, and Central America in an effort to search the world over for the greatest quality coffee beans; which, upon finding, he then serves at his numerous coffee houses throughout Orange County.
With their flagship location in Costa Mesa, and others in Tustin, Santa Ana, Old Towne Orange, Huntington Beach, and one most recently opened in Long Beach, Mr. and Mrs. Duggan have undoubtedly discovered something special. We’re just thankful they work so hard to share it with the rest of us!
Morning Lavender Cafe
Morning Lavender Cafe was founded by husband & wife duo, Jason & Kim Le. After creating a successful online boutique in 2014, Kim wanted to pursue a unique concept that combined her distinct love for clothes & coffee. So they went to work on creating one masterpiece of a location that is Morning Lavender Cafe; an all-encompassing, boutique, cafe, and source of inspiration
Every Saturday and Sunday they organize a reservation-only Afternoon Lavender Tea, their aesthetically breathtaking modern take on traditional British Afternoon Tea. If you are a brunch enthusiast, an Instagram connaisseur of cuteness, or just looking for one of Orange County’s most unique social gathering experiences, this is a must-do.
COMMUNITY. Say it again, community is the first word that comes to mind when discussing this gem of a coffee shop. Located in Huntington Beach, they’ve managed to create an incredibly inviting space for people to gather and enjoy the consumption of coffee, tea, and snacks. If the more trendy coffee shops are trying to capture vintage Americana, AoSA lives it.
The radest part of all may be their support for local artists; who regularly schedule gigs here.
Hidden House Coffee
Space is an asset underappreciated in most coffee shops. No problem here, even the benches lining the bar top seem to allow one to drift into their own world of study; combine that with their coffee and you may be flirting with quite the productive day!
Not to mention, the exteriors of their Santa Ana and San Juan Capistrano locations offer what are probably the most unique building designs on this list. One resembling a firehouse while the other a picturesque reincarnation of grandma and grandpa’s garden-surrounded hill-side home.
Alta Coffee Shop
In 1985, an old bookstore in the Cannery Village was dismantled and turned into a wholesale coffee warehouse. People in the area soon got wind of something new in the neighborhood. Fresh hot coffee was available for the locals and served out the side door. Soon people gathered and got the munchies while drinking their cappuccino and Alta quickly became a quaint, local gathering place that offers great brewed coffee, good eats and good times.
While in Newport Beach, take time to stop by and hobnob with the abundance of local artists who call this place home. Alta even dedicates an entire page of their website to share the work and thoughts of this congregation of creative talent. Attend their events to experience yet another wholly unique Orange County social gathering.
Thunderking Coffee Bar
Thunderking Coffee Bar is located within SOCIAL restaurant. Combined, they create what may be the most exhilarating coffee shop experience; especially considering guests have the option of a full-service mixologist-toting alcoholic bar at their discretion.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Whether you choose to have a cup of Thunderking’s artisan coffee on your way to having a productive day or a cocktail from the bar because you’re feeling a bit more social, you can’t go wrong and you’ll always be left yearning to try the other.