Get Your Caffeine Fix at These Local Coffee Shops in OC
Coffee. It’s a universal love language. Many of us wake up jonesing for the java—needing that jolt that only a cup of joe can provide. Our caffeine craving has led us to some seriously cool coffee shops that are slinging all different variations of our favorite morning ritual. This might be the most buzzworthy article yet—quite literally. Let’s spill the beans on 21 coffee shops that know a thing or two about our favorite brew.
Daydream is just that: a caffeine fantasy made of coffee beans, spice and everything nice. They recently upgraded their location to a spot just across the street from their old stomping grounds, and this place will make even the most local grom question their cool. It’s hipster meets surf culture with an industrial twist. The bleachers make for a very “Breakfast Club”-inspired sitting area, and their energy is all about slowing down, so definitely grab one of their hazelnut twists while you wait for your coffee. They take their java seriously at Daydream and we love that they are always thinking outside the mug with seasonal specialties like the Cargo Cult, a tiki-inspired coffee beverage with espresso, oat milk, banana, pineapple and chocolate bitters. Beware: You’ll be tempted to buy something from their adjoining retail shop each time you go in for “just a quick coffee,” so budget accordingly.
Location: Costa Mesa
Huskins is the quintessential mom-and-pop success story; except in this version, an ex-NHL player from small-town Canada discovers a love for coffee post-hockey and talks his wife into turning his newfound caffeine obsession into a buzzworthy career. Trading shots on goal for espresso shots and Stanley Cups for coffee cups, the Huskins are dedicated to providing the highest-quality coffee to our java-loving community. They roast small-batch organic coffee so you can get clean caffeine without all the chemicals. The shaken espresso is a cult classic, and their flagship location on Balboa Island is the perfect place to sip, sit and enjoy.
Locations: Newport Beach and Costa Mesa
Vacancy is a locally loved coffee shop right off of PCH across from OC surf spot River Jetties. Owned by a couple of Aussie transplants, this place is laid back in only the way a place owned by Aussies can be. You’ll be craving their iced maple latte (which they can also do hot) the moment your eyelids flutter open. You’ll then probably convince yourself your latte needs a friend in the form of a cronut. A mural by Ty Williams in the back makes for the perfect photo backdrop. Speaking of picture perfect, their iconic breakfast burritos from The Rooster are just about as photogenic as they are phenomenal.
Location: Newport Beach
Bear Coast is doing coffee consciously by sourcing beans globally at fair-trade pricing and roasting locally for the freshest flavor. They choose varietals from the best growers in the world, and their blends are seasonal, which means you’ll get to try different coffees depending on the time of year. What started as a pop-up in 2014 has transformed into a booming business with two locations and a city full of loyal customers. Bear Coast doesn’t cut corners; they make all of their sauces and flavorings in-house and make fresh almond milk daily. Get yourself a lavender caramel or vanilla nutmeg latte and grab some merch on the way out!
Locations: Dana Point and San Clemente
This place touts itself as your neighborhood bodega, serving up wickedly good coffee drinks and equally delicious deli favorites. Located on Randolph Street behind The Camp, this up-and-coming area has had a major glow up over the past few years and is now home to a band of breweries, bottle shops and boutiques. Work in Progress (or WIP as the regulars call it) is serving up some seasonal favorites like their honey pumpkin spice latte, maple shakerato and an orange-scented espresso tonic. The coffee is strong, the vibe is calm and the overall aesthetic is organic and airy. Be sure to test out their burritos or a sando—we’ve had our eye on the fall fig sandwich, which is available for a limited time.
Location: Costa Mesa
MoonGoat is one of those spots that locals were trying to keep to themselves for a while. But all good things get TikTok-famous, so now people travel far and wide for one of their famous churro lattes. They have a huge space with lots of seating options, which makes it an excellent spot to post up, caffeinate and catch up on those emails multiplying in your inbox. MoonGoat is roasting their own beans and has become Orange County’s top roastery over the years. This is a local business that embraces its OC roots and prides itself on being able to kick-start the community each and every morning.
Locations: Costa Mesa, Garden Grove and Laguna Beach
Gorgeous gorgeous girls drink Kit coffee. Seriously, this place is the spot to see and be seen in the mornings. This is not your standard grab-and-go java shop. You’ll likely wait in a line and have to loiter a bit before getting your latte, but it’ll give you time to catch up with the old pal you’ll inevitably run into. Kit’s breakfast burritos are the ultimate hangover cure, and their pastries are all incredible but run out quick! If you are looking to get some work done, know that Kit limits the amount of time you can spend on their Wi-Fi–probably because it’s such a popular pit stop with limited seating. Their retail section is small but mighty, and we may or may not have left with a plant a time or two.
Locations: Newport Beach and Irvine
All hail the homecoming queen of Caffeine University, Coffee Dose. This louder-than-life coffee shop has been making waves in town since it hit the scene in 2019. From their NSFW coffee cups to their also NSFW signature cookies, Coffee Dose does not color inside the lines—and thank God because we love having a front-row seat to what owners Jeni and Oscar Castro have created. Their flagship location in Costa Mesa is a sensory experience complete with checkered floors, pink ceilings and a compilation of Dose’s favorite one-star reviews. This is a place with a sense of humor and a stellar menu. The breakfast burrito does NOT quit and the cocktails, well, you might need help quitting those. There’s always something exciting at Coffee Dose, which now has five locations. The most-recent addition, MicroDose, is a drive-thru spot off Newport Boulevard.
Locations: Costa Mesa, Laguna Hills, Stanton and Irvine
Picture Coffee Dose; now, envision the exact opposite. This is Burnt Umber. It’s gothic; it’s spooky; it’s the perfect pit stop for a moody bevvy. Located in Garden Grove, this Victorian-themed coffee parlor has a line out of the door with thirsty patrons looking to score one of their coveted themed drinks and a photo op in their shop. The Scarborough Fair Latte is a fan favorite consisting of rosemary syrup, espresso, your milk of choice and topped with bee pollen, honey and a sprig of rosemary. Open until 2 p.m. daily, this is a fun departure from your usual Starbucks run.
Location: Garden Grove
Ever heard of coffee done the Japanese way? Enter Mameya Coffee Roasters. This is a place that isn’t trying to mask their coffee flavor with artificial syrups and sweeteners. They take their coffee seriously, so if you fancy yourself a coffee connoisseur, this is the spot for you. The pour overs are perfection, and there’s plenty of parking for this small, serene shop. Simplicity is at the core of this coffee, and the taste will turn you into a repeat customer. If you’re one of those purists who prefers to brew your own cuppa at home, they have a great selection of beans available for purchase.
Location: Laguna Niguel
Hidden House is a coffee shop that feels like you’re swinging by your friends home for a cup o’ joe and a homemade sweet treat. It’s cozy and creaky and the hinges on the doors are squeaky, but that’s what we love about it. The San Juan Capistrano location is situated right in the center of the Los Rios District and is within walking distance to all of our favorite SJC spots like Ramos House Café, Mayfair and, for those who have kids, Zoomars. Hidden House is steps from the train station, making it a great spot to stop, drop and caffeinate before taking your talents to the tracks. The Santa Ana location is a bit more industrial but still as inviting for your espresso fix. Hidden House is passionate about sustainability, and their beans are sourced from ethical and environmentally friendly farms. Oh, and their Instagram is pretty funny too!
Locations: Santa Ana and San Juan Capistrano
Prepare to be transported to a whimsical world at Requiem in Anaheim. This awe-inspiring coffee shop is a haven for freaks, geeks and fantasy enthusiasts. Sip on a Detective Prince Latte while immersing yourself in glow-in-the-dark decor inspired by “Lord of the Rings” and other beloved tales. This place promises a judgment-free zone steeped in hospitality and nostalgia. They have a treehouse with nooks you can crawl in, a giant gaming table, a 14-foot stained glass mural, a gift shop, and a food and drink menu that reflects their revolving themes. Requiem also hosts a slew of costume contests, game nights, book club gatherings, raves and more! This establishment is for adults only.
September by The Vintage 1979
September by The Vintage 1979 in Westminster is a cozy and boho coffee shop with a vintage vibe. The atmosphere here is warm and inviting, making it the ideal spot for a cozy date or a solo work session. It feels a little bit like a coffee shop you might find in Tulum with their cane and rattan fixtures and accents. Their September Cold Brew is a customer favorite, but we are personally into the Lotus Biscoff Latte, which moonlights as more of a sweet treat than a jolt of java. Speaking of sweet treats, they also serve ice cream. Get you a girl who can do both, am I right? To top it all off, they also have a charming collection of vintage furniture and decor that’s available for purchase.
A newbie to the seasoned coffee scene, Little Ox is as cute as the name suggests. It has a coastal farmhouse vibe, fun seasonal drinks and an adorable little logo. This Fullerton front-runner is loved by the remote workers who can’t get enough of their salted cream vanilla lattes or hojicha lattes. The most recent addition to the menu, the Sweater Weather Latte, is a pimped-up pumpkin spice latte with a housemade brown sugar syrup made with Taiwanese black sugar. Their matcha will make you wanna slap your mama, and they even have drinks for the little ones that may need to tag along for the trip. And as any good coffee shop owner knows, pastries are a must.
“Elevate your coffee experience” is the slogan of this little slice of sunshine coffee shop—and boy, have they done that. This place is a breath of fresh air and impeccably designed. Their commitment to single-origin, small-batch coffee shines through in every cup. Owners Kelly and Pavan Makker personally travel to coffee farms to source their beans, ensuring quality and sustainability. They also whip up some fun coffee creations like their seasonal campfire iced mocha topped with graham crackers. You can turn your morning buzz into an evening buzz by taking advantage of their later hours, which is when the craft beers and natural wines make an appearance. Don’t worry, they have snacks, salads and small plates to share as well!
Location: Santa Ana
Bluestone Lane boasts locations in Orange and San Clemente—and plenty more further north in the LA area—offering a slice of Australian cafe culture to our coffee-loving coast. The bright and airy interiors give off nautical vibes with a hint of East Coast prep—perfect for a relaxed coffee outing. Try their “Magic” coffee, an Aussie favorite which is a stronger, less diluted spin on the flat white. Bluestone Lane is committed to sustainability, using eco-friendly materials in their cafes and supporting ethical sourcing. They also have been consecutively recognized by The Golden Bean awards for their crave-worthy coffee.
Locations: Orange and San Clemente
Contra Coffee + Tea in Orange is a cozy spot known for its signature Nitro Cold Brew on tap. The shop exudes a laid-back, industrial-chic ambiance, making it a great spot for catching up with friends. They offer a range of creative syrups to customize your coffee—from lavender to cardamom—and highlight local artists, tastemakers and creators throughout their shop and in their vintage store. Hot tip: every Sunday, they host a social market that features local artisans, which is a great excuse to sip and shop.
This coffee shop is all kinds of nostalgic, from its arcade-like fonts to the fun designs on their coffee cups. Their two locations both boast unique surroundings: one being a converted shipping container and the other a renovated old Wells Fargo bank. Both add a fun element of surprise—which makes sense for a place called Play. They are known for their espresso tonics and their ultra-curated selection of coffee beans. Play will host public coffee tastings from time to time, so be on the lookout for those and try to score one of the coveted Play tokens for some freebies.
Locations: Orange and Fullerton
This place is minimalistic and sleek, with a Cantonese and Chinese influence that shines through in their unique flavor options and coffee creations. They have wrap-around wood benches for seating and roast their own hojicha on site. Their cheesecake baos have a cult following and make for the perfect treat to pair with your jasmine buckwheat latte. They are serving up the ever-popular Pandan Blue Milks by the batch, which is a colorful beverage made with butterfly pea powder. Thank You Coffee hosts regular live music events and open mic nights, fostering a sense of togetherness among their patrons.
Want a little zen before your zing? Head to Golden Lantern Coffee Roasters for a calming caffeine experience. Owners Misha Mansoor and Matt Rosenblum used their love of travel and connecting over a cup of coffee as the inspiration behind their little Laguna Hills haven. They are continually honing their craft and whipping up delicious creations like their maple latte, orange blossom and Aztec mocha. Try to time your visit for when they are serving up mochi donuts for a sweet treat with your caffeine fix.
Location: Laguna Hills
If you haven’t tried Vietnamese coffee yet, you haven’t lived. Be forewarned: The signature egg coffee from Da Vien will become your new craving for the foreseeable future. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a coffee from Da Vien, which is basically the same thing. Other flavor infusions include black sesame, ube, salted cold foam and Durian. Their specialty drinks are all topped with a fluffy cloud of foam that mixes flawlessly into their crushed ice coffee concoctions. Don’t sleep on the bingsoo either—it’s a milk-based shaved ice topped with fresh fruit and other fun toppings!
Locations: Garden Grove and Westminster