San Diego Specialty
Ironsmith Coffee Roasters
458 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
A hipster, industrial space with a garage door, free Wi-Fi, and a highly curated, artisanal approach to coffee—that’s the essence of this coffee shop, which would be just as at home in Brooklyn as it is in Encinitas. The space is small, but it has its own roastery, and the baristas are highly knowledgeable about all things coffee. Stroll in on the later side if you can: It may be in a sleepy little beach town, but this place gets packed in the morning. Image courtesy of Kai Diaz.
Heartwork Coffee Bar
3993 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills
Tucked into Mission Hills, Heartwork is a neighborhood coffee bar. It does its own roasting and leans heavily into small-batch, locally made pastries and snacks. The vibe is quiet and chill, perfect for a stop if you’re passing through the area. Before you leave town, grab a bag of the beans—the Costa Rica blend is a favorite.
Wayfarer Bread & Pastry
5525 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla
If you’re gluten-free, cover your ears. There are bakeries, and then there is Wayfarer. Wayfarer is the creation of Crystal White, who worked at Tartine in San Francisco before opening what is arguably the best bakery in San Diego. Small-batch loaves (olive, sourdough, baguette, the usuals) and pastries (apple jam and hazelnut croissants are as good as they sound) are the raison d’être here. But there’s also a selection of sandwiches and salads, and every Wednesday is pizza night. Plan accordingly, people.