Locals Only: My Top 5 Favorite Coffee Shops in Orange County



There is nothing I love more than the ritual of making or buying my morning coffee. It's relaxing and really sets the tone for my day. While I shouldn't go out for coffee for fear of having the illusion I have money to blow on caffeine, I still find occasions to treat myself + when I do, these are the coffee shops I choose to spend my hard-earned cash at:


1. HB COFFEE NATURE

Location: Huntington Beach

What sets it apart: Only a mile or so from the sand, they really prioritize the HB community, providing a laidback environment with beach meets desert decor. What's funny is that this location used to be a Starbucks I went to on my way back from driving my little brother to school some years back, so there's a little nostalgia, but with WAY better coffee. They have wonderfully kind baristas and also sell locally made handbags and mugs!

Go-to drink/food: Iced vanilla latte w/ an extra espresso shot or 2 and their lemon pepper avocado toast on sourdough. Oh, and they make their own syrup!


2. DAYDREAM SURFBOARDS

Location: Newport Beach

What sets it apart: Well, for starters, it's a couple miles from PCH and it's in an industrial warehouse with a garage door entrance that they transformed into a door, which is super rad and unique, and allows the ocean breeze to come through beautifully. They are always showcasing local art + retail, vintage items, and surfboards. Records are always on, ranging from everything from Leon Bridges to The Beach Boys to Crosby, Stills, + Nash to Beach Fossils. Me and Hector like to stop here before we hit the water.

Go-to drink: vanilla latte "for here" in one of their cute ceramic mugs.


3. BROT COFFEE

Location: Orange

What sets it apart: They have the best bread in the world. "Brot" is german for "bread", so you can imagine how seriously they take their carbs, which I highly respect. They carry fresh bread daily - everything from Rye to Rosemary to Sourdough; all mouthwatering. Their space is super cute + inviting, too, and they always have jazz playing, which is a big yes for me. The owners are very hands on and know a lot about coffee. This shop also holds a special place in my heart because it was the first "local" place we went to when me and Hector first got married and moved to that area. It's most definitely our spot.

Go-to drink/food: Iced or hot vanilla latte w/2 extra espresso shots and avocado toast with butter (totally defeats the purpose of avo, but whatever, it's SO good).


4. MOONGOAT COFFEE ROASTERS

Location: Costa Mesa (+ Garden Grove)

What sets it apart: Their space is huge and very aesthetically pleasing. It's the perfect place to both have a business meeting and catch up with a friend. There are couches to sit on, café tables, a couple of wooden bars with stools, and outdoor seating with gorgeous ceramic mosaic tables. If you've ever been to Costa Mesa and are familiar with their artistic scene, this place pretty much sums it up (without overdoing it like The Lab). They also make their own pastries, OJ, and brand of coffee!

Go-to drink: cold brew, black. It's the only place that does cold brew right.


5. THE NIGHT OWL

Location: Downtown Fullerton

What sets it apart: I first discovered this place while shopping at the Buffalo Exchange located about a block away. Hector, who was my boyfriend at that time, suggested we go because it's called "The Night Owl" and we are total night owls (he can be so lame haha). He had just discovered his new favorite drink there, and while I can't remember the name, I remember the ingredients: espresso and Coca Cola..... no thanks. Anyway, I ordered a vanilla latte and fell in love. Since then, I always make a stop there when I'm in Fullerton. It's very cozy inside (there are paintings and photos of owls all over the walls, which makes it eclectic) with a sort of small town feel. It's a popular spot for college students, since Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton Community College are super close by, so the shop is always filled with students studying and socializing. Their patio is cute; perfect for reading or writing. There's even a giant owl painted on the wall! It's also the place me and Hector met up for the first time with our wedding photographer turned forever-photographer-for-everything, Danica (@capturedbycarver), who also took most of my pics for this blog, including the one on this post!

Go-to drink/food: vanilla latte w/extra shot or 2 (ya, I know, I'm pretty predictable at this point)


Along with great atmospheres and even better coffee, all of these places are also prime spots for social media content. They all have decorative walls, chic seating areas, and great lighting either inside or outside. Each exudes a unique feel that pairs well with specific moods, which I'm all about.


I've linked all of the shops websites, so you have no excuse for not checking them out. Support local biz ALWAYS! If any of you visit these places for the first time, comment below about your experience!


Thanks for reading :)


Sincerely + with love,


Kaitlin


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