Though named for a fiery volcano, Krakatoa Café reigns as the coolest spot in Golden Hill. This charming olive-colored Craftsman bungalow has an abundance of character, and good eats to back them up. Locals chill on the wooden deck, shaded by a fig tree, enjoying the lush foliage and bamboo wind chimes. It’s easy to relax here, sipping coffee drinks, smoothies or craft beers with friends and snacking on decadent house-made pastries or gourmet sandwiches, like the Ubehebe, complete with maple-cured bacon, roasted turkey, cream cheese, cranberry sauce and crisp romaine. One of the West Coast’s finest roasters, Caffe Calabria, supplies the coffee beans and artisan teas, while manager Julie bakes divine desserts and always has gluten-free or vegan treats on hand. Happy Hour calls for a Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale or orange blossom mimosa on the dog-friendly patio.
The historic Golden Hill district is settled with Craftsman mansions retrofitted into offices and apartments that cater to the downtown doctor and musician set. Those disparate groups tend to overlap at the corner location of Influx Café at Broadway and 20th. The building is a pale-colored antique that cleverly masks the streamlined, northern European décor inside this funky coffee house. Along one wall, pendant fans hang over a bank of small tables packed with laptop-focused customers, while a long and low, curving couch curls around the opposite side. Seating tends to be sparse inside Influx, which means most folks grab their espresso and move on, but in-the-know folks come by early for the renowned croissants, which some say are the best in the area. While the location is in earshot of the freeway, the side patio makes a calm retreat or pleasant spot for an intimate breakfast.
With walls bedecked in vibrant artwork and a variety of seating options, Hart Lounge invites people to kick back day or night. During the day, coffee drinks can be paired with a variety of handhelds and finger foods, such as housemade hummus, buffalo chicken paninis, and mediterranean pizzas topped with organic tomatoes. Nights at Hart Lounge are also full of possibilities, with hookah events, game nights, and Movie & Munchies nights, during which guests can watch a flick while enjoying popcorn, hot dogs, and nachos. Open mic nights are also offered for the more daring, where people can take the stage and showcase their guitar-playing or yodeling skills.
Organic and locally sourced ingredients give the French, Italian, and Spanish-inspired meals at Rustic Tapas and Meatballs a California twist. The dinner menu centers on oven-baked meatballs, made from scratch according to the owner's grandmother's recipe. Whether tumbled across spaghetti or slipped between bread, they burst with the flavors of fresh herbs and slow-roasted meats?or soy chorizo, in the case of the vegetarian option. Before or between meals, guests can snack on Spanish-inspired tapas or sip glasses of housemade sangria, craft beer, and organic wine.
Taryn McCracken and Hanna Gregor have been studying the science of healthy eating since college. Taryn, a committed vegan, earned her bachelor?s degree in health psychology, and while Hanna worked toward a degree in nutritional sciences at Penn State University, she coached the school?s Division I athletes on how to use healthy foods to increase performance. Together they helm Detox Lounge, a salon-inspired health center with a very simple mission: out with the bad, in with the good. That means eliminating toxins and taking in antioxidants.
A large part of their work involves True Juice Cleanses, a proprietary line of complex juices blended from fruit and superfoods that are designed to boost metabolism, eliminate fats, and detoxify the body. Users can graduate to 500-calorie Master Weight-Loss Cleanses, or supplement their progress with detoxifying spa treatments. An infrared sauna expels toxins via perspiration, and aqua detox footbaths draw out harmful elements that have collected in the muscles, joints, fatty tissue, and white blood cells? junk drawers.
With a full menu of ethically sourced coffee products, Java Jones Coffeehouse will give your sleepy face a caffeine buzz without putting a frown on your morals. All beverages are brewed with the highest quality ingredients available, many certified organic or locally roasted. Grab a cup of bean juice ($1.85 for a small) to go with a traditionally dressed lox bagel ($6.95) from the café menu and start your day as swimmingly as an Atlantic salmon in a wave pool. Or pair a refreshing glass of iced tea ($2.25 for a small) with a build-your-own sandwich or crêpe ($6.95) for a midday pick-you-up. In addition to serving up tasty tastes by the taste, Java Jones sells a wide variety of its coffee and tea products to be prepared at your autobiographer's home. Steep some red-lavender loose leaves ($2.95) to unwind before calming down with a book in bed, or snatch the seductive French Kiss coffee ($11.95) to turn your kitchen's cold press into your home's summertime mistletoe.