Cafes in San Marcos

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Safari Coffee Roasters' expert baristas brew more than 75 varieties of Arabica coffee with a keen and unrelenting attention to flavor and caffeine levels. The team ensures freshness by roasting each coffee-based thirst quencher on site and never using beans discovered in a Ziploc bag that was buried in the ground. Beverages range from $1.75 to $4.95, but Safari offers a "think green" discount, encouraging coffee sippers to bring in their own cup by offering their liquidly wares for $1 for those who do so. Pour a Dancing Bear concoction down a parched gullet and enjoy dual-flavored African and Central American beans roasted at two levels ($16.95/lb.), or sample the Continental, a unity of French and Columbian beans ($15.95/lb.). Coffee service usually takes fewer than five minutes, like the time it takes to mash potatoes with a cinder block. The café cuisine department at Safari also brings an armada of cupcakes, scones, cookies, and bran and cake muffins to taste apparatuses.

1012 W El Norte Pkwy
Escondido,
CA
US

The chic, simple interior of Skybound Coffee + Dessert Lounge keeps the focus on what's most important: colorful, creamy gelato, fresh-baked pastries, and espresso. Topped with regular, organic, or dairy-free milk, espresso transforms into foamy lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos at the hands of expert baristas. Meanwhile, loose-leaf teas from around the world come to life with a touch of hot water, often served up alongside a flaky, fresh-baked croissant or a slice of rich, chocolate cake. Some gluten-free options are also available.

1661 A South Melrose Drive
Vista,
CA
US

At 6:15 a.m. Monday–Friday, Lush Coffee & Tea’s baristas start passing hot and iced coffee, espresso, and loose-leaf teas through the window to drivers on the go. The speedy drive-thru window opens a bit later on weekends, but guests can still choose from the same selection of coffee drinks made with organic, fair-trade beans or sniff loose-leaf teas from their car to decide which to drink and which to use as cologne. Lush also offers quick snacks in the form of pastries and fresh fruit.

823 East Vista Way
Vista,
CA
US

At Fully Loaded Micro Juicery, only organic, raw, and locally sourced fruits and veggies make their way into the cold-press juicer, which converts these ingredients into wholesome beverages. About three pounds of produce make up each bottle of pulp-free juice, such as green fuel, almond mylk, and ginger snap. Available a la carte, these drinks also form the basis of the juicery's one- and three-day cleanses that can help purify the body better than sleeping in a car wash.

466 N. Coast Highway 101 Ste 5
Encinitas,
CA
US

At Al's Cafe in the Village, diners get their french toast Hawaiian-style and covered in Cap'n Crunch. Simple twists to classic comfort food like this keep diners on their toes as chefs cook up a menu of Hawaiian-inspired and traditional American eats. Breakfast platters come steaming from the kitchen all day, from five types of eggs benedict with ingredients including house-smoked salmon, to 12 different types of omelets. Afternoon meals include Angus burgers crowned with green chilis, traditional Hawaiian loco moco with hamburger patties on rice, or any of the lengthy menu's 13 sandwiches, including one layered with Carolina turkey breast, fresh pineapple spears, and center-cut bacon. The eatery is eminently kid-friendly, but grownups will be pleased with Al’s selection of beer, wine, and champagne served in glass sippy cups.

795 Carlsbad Village Dr
Carlsbad,
CA
US

A long red awning ushers diners into Cafe Elysa's crimson interior, where the kitchen staff crafts a lineup of fresh-made breakfast fare from a menu artfully written in chalk on blackboards. House-made baguettes teem with fillings such as ham and brie or roast beef and grilled onions, and made-from-scratch pastries are preserved beneath glass. The griddle sears slices of french toast and stacks of pancakes to be slathered with syrup or locally grown fruit, rather than fruit manufactured by non-union factories. Outdoors, diners enjoy meals around the fire pits as occasional live music plays on the dog-friendly patio.

3076 Carlsbad Blvd.
Carlsbad,
CA
US