While everybody else has been riding the poke and burger wave, coffee has taken on new life. Our focus is on a handful of brands that have been flying under our radar— until now. The fact that they aren't just concentrated to one area of OC makes it even better.
Philz Coffee - Huntington Beach
This Bay Area mainstay soft opened Wednesday in Pacific City. Promoting a "customer first" focus, they take a different approach than most, not only adding the creamer and sweetener for you, but creating a dialogue that enables you to walk away with exactly what you wanted. While blended drinks and espressos are absent from the menu, an app that allows you to order ahead and pick up from a designated window eliminates wait times. Did we mention they validate parking? 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dripp - Fullerton
Curated. Hip. Pricey. Despite a location on the outskirts of DTF, people flock to this corner spot down the street from McDonalds. Twinkle lights decorate a sprawling patio, while assorted seating areas accommodate guests indoors. We intend to head back for their ice cream sandwich options. 500 N Harbor Blvd; (714) 441-1003.
Bodhi Leaf Coffee - Anaheim
Both a coffee bean provider and beverage shop, Bodhi Leaf expanded earlier in the year to its second location. Sandwiched between a post office and church, it feels like a scavenger hunt win when you arrive. Their welcoming and helpful attitude sets them apart. 8163 E Kaiser Blvd, Unit C; (714) 851-BEAN.
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Bear Coast - San Clemente
Recently relocated from The Cellar restaurant and wine bar, Jeff Clinard's new digs face the pier. Our former On the Line subject keeps things light and airy, with the exception of playful artwork on their tables. Stick to pastries at room temp— ours was not warmed when requested. 618 1/2 Avenida Victoria; (949) 492-3663.
Aussie Bean - Orange
Formerly a roaming coffee cart patroling Old Towne, they are now a brick-and-mortar across from The Filling Station. Get to know the husband and wife owned business. Bonus: Costa Mesa's Pie-Not supplies their savory treats. 112 E Maple Ave; (949) 413-6648.