The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

10 Best Coffee Places in North County


North County is home to many quirky and unique coffee shops. Whether you’re catching up with a friend, studying for a big exam, or just need something ASAP, these places will get you the pick-me-up you need and provide a fun ambiance in the process. Here are my top 10 coffee shops in North County that everyone should put on their list!

1. Black Rock Coffee (Locations – Oceanside, Vista & Escondido)

My all-time favorite coffee place! Their most popular coffee is the “Caramel Blondie.” Their most popular bagged coffee, that you can buy on their website or in-person, is called “Old Town Medium Roast.” I also enjoyed the Oreo Chiller Drink, which I rate a 10/10! They also have their own brand of energy drinks called “fuels.” My all-time favorite fuel energy drink is called “Starburst.” I either get it regular or frozen, but it tastes amazing either way! The best thing about this place is that they offer specials, such as $4 fuels and student discounts on Tuesdays! When it comes to its service it is always easy going from the drive thru but you could always walk up to the window if you wanted to order that way as well.


2. Dutch Bros Coffee (Locations – Oceanside & Escondido)

Their most popular coffee is called the Annihilator, which is a Chocolate Macadamia Nut Breve, and I would rate it 8/10. Dutch Bros also have their own energy drinks, their most popular energy drink is called the “After Shock”  I would say that Black Rock has way better energy drinks in my opinion and that is why I rank it #2. The service here was good from the location in Oceanside. The employees were respectful and answered questions I had about the coffee that was served and the wait was not long through the drive through. They also have a walk up window where you can order if preferred.


3. Plantology Cafe – (Locations – Oceanside)

Their most popular coffee is called the “Strawberry Kisses.” I rate it a 9 out of 10. I liked it because it was sweet. The cool thing about this place is that it is also a plant nursery, and you can buy plants and take them home! I also tried their “Mazapan Coffee.” It was good, and I would rate it a 7 out of 10. This place is pretty cool for spending time with friends or family and even going out for a small little date with someone. It has a nice homey feeling and you are able to enjoy it by sitting and relaxing with its view inside.


4. Pier View Company (Locations – Oceanside)

Their most popular coffee is the “Cherry Cordial,” which is Amaretto, Cherry & Chocolate. I would give this an 8 out of 10. I recommend trying this! I like how close it is to the beach and it has tables and a place of study if you ever wanted to do your homework with a view. I would say the people here are nice and respectable and you are able to enjoy the environment while also being able to look outside the windows and see what’s going on. This would also be a great option since the beach is near it, grabbing coffee to go, and walking the pier with friends, family or even by yourself if you want some alone time.


5. Grange Garden (Locations – Solana Beach)

Their most popular coffee is “The Farmer,” which is spiced brown sugar and vanilla. I ordered the drink as a cold brew, and I really liked it. They also have bunnies you can pet there, but you need to pay a $7 donation to help support the bunnies. I very much enjoyed this part of Solana Beach. The inside of the garden is nice as they also have a bunch of plants and other cool things set up, and you might find yourself looking for parking in the street, but that will not be an issue as there are plenty of parking spots behind the building! The place has wooden seats outside in some fresh air. They also serve tea if you would like to try other beverages as well.


6. Better Buzz Coffee (Locations – San Marcos, Escondido, Carlsbad, Encinitas. They will also be opening soon in Vista)

Their most popular coffee is called the “Best Drink Ever,” which is a classic americano plus their signature creamy vanilla. The second most popular drink was the “Hazelnut Divinity,” and it is way better than their most popular drink in my opinion. The one in San Marcos is just a drive thru, where the others are cafes. The employees were nice and they handed the drinks within a reasonable amount of time, which is good if you are ever in the need to go and get coffee and before your class.


7. Succulent Cafe (Locations – Oceanside)

Their most popular coffee is called “Lavender.” I rate it a 6 out of 10 because the lavender flavor was way too strong. However, I also got the Mexican Mocha, which is their second most-popular drink and I enjoyed that one way more. This is a nice place to come visit because it has a nice cliff wall of small studio rooms with plants that hang down in between that are great for photos, and the environment is so nice to enjoy as it is quiet and peaceful.


8. El Kafecito (Vista & coming soon to San Marcos)

Their most popular coffee is the “Mazapan” and it was very good. If you want to try something different, this would be a spot and, most definitely, a hotspot when it opens in San Marcos, as it will be more accessible to the CSUSM community. This place is a nice drive up and go coffee place and a small business that you could try out. This is a great opportunity to try some independent businesses that aren’t big like Starbucks. The people that work here are nice and provide good service.


9. S3 (Locations – Escondido, San Diego)

Their most popular coffee is called the “Vietnamese Cold Brew.” I rate this a 6 out of 10 because it was not sweet and very strong. They also make their pastries in-house! I got the chocolate croissant and I liked it a lot! This coffee place has a nice modern design in it and the environment is well cleaned. The person that attended me at the Escondido location was very calm and friendly and provided respectful service. They have plenty of seats if you ever find yourself in a space to relax and do any sort of work


10. Manzanita Roasting Company and Coffee House (Locations – Escondido & Poway )

Their most popular coffee is called the “Brown Butter Latte.” I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I hoped, but this would be a suggestion if you ever find yourself wanting to try something new in Escondido or Poway. This place has a nice environment, and if I am not wrong, right next to it is some theater of some sort to where the buildings connect. It’s in a open space, like a small town area in the Escondido location that I went to. This would also be a cool place for you to order coffee and walk around and visit the stores that are around.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *