The 5 Best Coffee Shops in Carlsbad

Tyler and I (and Charlotte) have had a blast exploring San Diego this year. 

One of my big goals for the blog is to start documenting our most beloved spots in San Diego now too. And what better way to start than by sharing our picks for the five best coffee shops in Carlsbad? 

succulent cafe in carlsbad

But first, a back story to explain why we already have so many favorite coffee shops in Carlsbad: 

When Tyler and I first started dating, he didn’t drink coffee. At all. 

And, of course, he was annoying about it. He’d go on and on about how he earned an engineering degree without any help from caffeine, how bad coffee tastes, how he can’t believe someone would drink it every day, and so on. 

I know what you’re thinking: how could I have endured such hardship? Well, I put my head down, sipped my 2014 go-to iced coffee with a pump of toffee nut, and waited patiently for the real world to hit. 

And as it turns out, becoming a slave to Apple’s respond-at-all-hours and travel the world at the drop of a hat work culture did the trick, and he was a convert within months of starting his job there. 

By the time we got married he was already in the routine of making a batch every morning, and I now happily enjoy a life of waking up each day to a cup of black coffee in my “You just got LITT up” mug on my nightstand. 

They say you can’t change a man, but you sure can make adjustments. 

I will say, however, that Tyler’s coffee habit has led to a slight spiral that I couldn’t have predicted. 

He has developed an aggressive propensity to crave an afternoon coffee now too. I guess it’s not that surprising, as he embodies the phrase “all or nothing” in every aspect of his life. 

Like, he NEEDS it. When he’s at work, of course, it’s not my problem. 

But on the weekends, he insists on family outings every afternoon at 2pm on the dot. 

Fortunately, this little habit has led us to some pretty fun discoveries in our area. I’m sure we still have more to find, but these are our favorites right now: 

1. Revolution Roasters

Ok so this place is technically in Oceanside, alright? But it’s right on the border and just a hop, skip, and a jump, from Carlsbad Village…so we think it belongs on this list. 

We love Revolution (fondly known among *locals* as “Revo”). We love it so much that I almost get embarrassed going there and seeing the same people working there over and over again. 

I have to say my order (iced vanilla latte with almond milk, half caf, half sweet, extra ice, please) super fast because it’s high maintenance but I still try to make it come off breezy and casual. So doing that whole song and dance for the same barista every time wears on me. 

revolution roasters in oceanside
revolution roasters

Tyler gets the cold brew. 

Anyway, this place is so good. The espresso is amazing, and we LOVE the food too. Swallow your millioniel pride and order the gluten free avocado toast with pickled onions–you won’t regret it. 

Also, the whiskey chocolate chip cookie is bomb, and I always have to try really hard not to order it. 

best coffee shops in carlsbad

2. Steady State

In our house, we have a little Wednesday afternoon tradition. When Ty gets home from work, we head down to Carlsbad Village for the weekly farmers market. 

It’s one of my favorite parts of the week. 

We always park at Steady State and grab a drink before we walk over to the market on State Street. 

coffee shops in carlsbad

The coffee at Steady State is probably our favorite. And it doesn’t hurt that for some reason Char is absolutely obsessed with this leather chair they have. Great vibes, great coffee. 

steady state coffee
best coffee shops in north county

3. Bird Rock Coffee 

Bird Rock is a San Diego classic, with locations all around the county serving freshly roasted pours and bougie snacks. 

I sometimes hit up the Bird Rock in Bressi Ranch after having my butt kicked at The Bar Method. I love this location that’s further south and away from the sometimes hectic Carlsbad Village. 

I just asked Tyler what his favorite drink is there, and he said “Their cold brew is ‘punch you in the face’ good.” 

4. Succulent Cafe

Succulent Cafe is a great place for a girlfriend coffee date. This spot offers peaceful vibes, tons of outdoor seating, and, yes, succulents as far as they eye can see.

They have good food options, and you can purchase succulents of any size to take home with you! 

best coffee shops in carlsbad
carlsbad cafe

Also, Succulent Cafe is extremely dog friendly (I’m told this is important).

carlsbad coffee shops

5. Copa Vida 

Tyler and I actually weren’t even aware that Copa Vida, another amazing San Diego chain, had a location in Carlsbad until very recently. 

It’s in the middle of a business park–it’s actually nestled in a courtyard surrounded by a handful of tech companies. 

This Copa Vida is open 7:30am-4pm on weekdays and is closed on Saturday and Sunday. It’s perfect if you are in the area or looking for a quiet outdoor space to grab a coffee and get some work done.

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