Nov 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

Cool coffee shops to work from around San Diego

People sit on a patio of a coffee shop overlooking a lagoon on a sunny day.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. Photo: Courtesy of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

If you work remotely like us, you need to get out of the house and having a go-to spot helps.

There are so many coffee shops with good vibes and natural light around San Diego, but some welcome laptops and video calls — while others don’t have Wi-Fi.

Here are some of our favorites:

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters - Torrey Pines

A hand holds up a white coffee cup on an outside patio with palm trees and a lagoon in the background.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

What to expect: Views and delicious coffee. Bird Rock is a San Diego staple, and this location has the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon and Torrey Pines' cliffs and beach as a backdrop.

Work vibes: There's plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with tables and lounge chairs to enjoy the shade or sun.

  • It has reliable Wi-Fi, and easy-to-access outlets.

Food: You can order breakfast sandwiches, pastries and sweet and savory toasts.

Location & hours: Bird Rock has 10 locations citywide, but this one is in Del Mar; open daily 7am-6pm.

My order: Cortado and a bag of beans to-go. The Honey B Latte is one of their most popular drinks.

FourTillFour Cafe

An iced coffee sits on a black picnic table at an outdoor coffee shop that features a beige classic car.
FourTillFour Cafe in Encinitas. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

What to expect: With coffee served out of a vintage camper trailer, this coastal, garden-style outdoor space is everything I want in a backyard. At FourTillFour, you'll be greeted by a classic car, picnic tables with plenty of shade and a covered patio area.

Work vibes: If fresh air gets your creative juices flowing, this is the spot because it's all outdoors. Make sure your devices are charged because there aren't many outlets. Pups are welcome.

Food: The coffee and food menus are limited, but they make a good breakfast sandwich and serve freshly baked pastries from Farmshop.

Location & hours: Encinitas; open daily 7am-2pm

My order: Iced dirty chai

Mixed Grounds Coffee

A colorful mural decorates the outdoor wall of a coffee shop with string lights over a patio.
Photo: Courtesy of Mixed Grounds Coffee

What to expect: A quiet and colorful coffee shop and art gallery. You can feel the community in this neighborhood spot that's full of diverse, local flavor and hand-crafted drinks you can enjoy on the patio or inside the airy cafe. They also serve unique cocktails, beer and wine.

Work vibes: A fun space to meet people that's quiet enough you can concentrate.

  • Of note: Street parking can be tight.

Food: Mixed Grounds' menu is mostly pastries and baked goods from Hommage Bakehouse, but the açaí bowl is beautiful and fresh.

Locations & hours: Logan Heights & National City; open daily 7am-2pm.

My order: Iced lavender latte (housemade syrup) and monkey bread.

Moniker Coffee Co.

College students and young professionals work at tables inside a bright coffee shop.
Moniker Coffee Co. Photo: Nathan Concepcion/Courtesy of Moniker General

What to expect: A big, open space with a coastal, desert aesthetic with delicious drinks, a bar that opens in the afternoon and a home goods shop.

Work vibes: Bustling with students and young professionals, this place isn't the quietest, especially when the occasional airplane roars overhead. Free parking is plentiful and there are big tables to post up inside or on one of the two patios, plus lounge seating.

Food: Moniker offers assorted toasts, sandwiches and bowls for breakfast and lunch, plus pastries.

Location & hours: Inside Moniker General in Liberty Station; open daily 7am-7pm.

My order: Grapefruit hibiscus iced tea or nitro cold brew, plus the bae breakfast sando.


An iced coffee and a purple coconut scone sit on a table in the outdoor garden of a coffee shop where people are working at nearby tables.
Palmy's in Pacific Beach. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

What to expect: A craftsman bungalow near the beach that's been refreshed into a neighborhood cafe with low-key, coastal boho decor. Share a table or fly solo on the porch or shaded garden patio.

  • There's also a tempting little market inside for merch and local goods.

Work vibes: Busy, but quiet with enough indoor seating and good music that's not distracting. The only con is the lack of outlets. Ask for a voucher to connect to the wifi.

Food: Baked goods, smoothies and hearty breakfast items are served all day, plus a full lunch menu with handhelds, salads and bowls.

Location & hours: Pacific Beach; open 7am-3pm for coffee and baked goods. Full kitchen opens at 8am.

My order: Iced latte and a coconut ube scone.

Public Square Coffee House

What to expect: A place that values community, connection and coffee. The modern, artsy space has comfy couches, lounge chairs, shared tables and a sidewalk patio.

Work vibes: Easy listening music and free wifi make this a good place to work.

  • Some tables kindly ask guests to save space for people who won’t have their heads down in a laptop.

Food: Public Square's kitchen is open all day with a hearty menu, but you simply can't come here without getting the fresh-baked sugar scones and butter flight. Choose from house and seasonal butter flavors like maple cayenne and guava.

Location & hours: downtown La Mesa; open daily 7am-4pm.

My order: Moroccan mint green tea (served in a cute little individual teapot) and a scone, duh.

Plus, check out Better Buzz, Communal Coffee and these spots recommended by Axios San Diego readers:

Barefoot Coffee Roasters in Solana Beach

  • What they're saying: "Great vibe and beans, friendly and accommodating service, with my favorite spot being by the outdoor fire pit, which is great for working as well as people watching," Jay W. wrote.

Scrimshaw coffee in El Cerrito

  • What they're saying: It's the "perfect spot to work and sip a cup of Vietnamese coffee and a loaded breakfast bagel," Drew C. says.

Spill the Beans in Gaslamp

  • What they're saying: "Tables and seating secluded from the hustle and bustle of Market Street serve for the perfect place to hunker down and crank out some work," according to Jessica B.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More San Diego stories

No stories could be found

San Diegopostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Diego.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more