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Nov 6, 2005 09:04 PM

Calling all OC hounds- Is there a decent coffee centered café or coffee house in Orange County?

  • r

Calling all OC hounds- Is there a decent coffee centered café or coffee house in Orange County?
I am relocating back to Orange County after being away for a few years, during which I spent some time in Portland, where it seemed every little neighborhood had its own great coffee house. I’m not looking for too much more than great coffee (preferably roasted on site or locally, or brought in from a great roaster if that’s all that’s available). I’m also looking for a place that at least has the option of mugs, instead of just paper to go cups. Some other qualities my dream café would have are, in order of importance, good atmosphere, homemade pastries and sandwiches, wifi, and a nice patio would make it perfect. I would appreciate any recs that you may offer. Thanks for any info you can share.

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  1. I like Deidrichs. Its a chain without mugs, but good coffee, good pastries (doubt on site though, wifi and their Westpark location in irvine has a great set up. Ok, so it doesnt meet most your needs buts its a great local chain where the servers know the regulars and you can chill for hours and no one bothers you. Give it a shot. Bet you like it more than Starbucks...

    There is also "Grafftea" on Bristol. More of a UCI hangout with Boba drinks and not your typical coffee house. Not my thing, but hey


    5 Replies
    1. re: Mealcentric

      Ditto Diedrich's. (Although the pastries are not made there, the coffee is great!)

      1. re: Funwithfood

        Since this thread started (in 2005), Diedrich's sold their company owned retail locations to Starbucks to focus on wholesale coffee sales. By 2007 all these stores will be rebranded as Starbuckses.

        Diedrichs franchisees will retain their stores and presumably continue to serve Diedrich's coffee.

      2. re: Mealcentric

        Kaffa on Main St. in Orange, is really good too.

        1. re: kevin

          Yes ! Try this place, I don't think you'll regret it.

        2. re: Mealcentric

          The Deidrich's in Brea (on Imp Hwy) *does* have mugs. :)

        3. Alta Coffee. They roast their own beans. Real mugs. Sandwiches, pastries etc. Very un-Starbucks or Diechrichs.

          506 31st St., Newport Beach, (949) 675-0233.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cdmedici

            I second Alta, but I'm not sure if they've got wi-fi. Definitely a lot of character, a very comfortable vibe, and good, uncomplicated desserts. The patio is a great place to linger with friends late into the night.


          2. Try Coffee Factory in Westminster. Haven't been there myself yet it's been highly recommended. The place is always packed, and it specializes in French/Vietnamese coffee. Prepare yourself--Vietnamese coffee is no joke.

            Coffee Factory
            15582 Brookhurst St.
            (714) 418-0757

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mike Q

              Like most Vietnamese food/drink places, you don't go for atmosphere. You close your eyes and go for the grub. Coffee Factory has great Viet coffee but like most Vietnamese cafes, the clientele for drinks are mostly men. The difference with this coffee place is that they serve food in a cafe area as well. The coffee drinkers primarily congregate outside on the sidewalk.

              Though I might recommend it for the coffee and sandwiches, I don't think it fits what you are looking for. It's "Vietnam" not Portland. :)

              1. re: Mike Q

                Yes, Vietnamese coffee is pretty intense. I don’t know about that location but I do like Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie in Garden Grove. They have really good café latte and pastries. I love the various croissants. They are also pretty inexpensive.

                1. re: Mike Q

                  Thanks for the recommendation. As I mentioned, good coffee is the most important variable, all the rest are distant seconds. Keeping that in mind, after reading your post this morning, I stopped by the Coffee Factory this afternoon. I had a cafe sua nong (I think) and it was served in a mug(!) and was excellent. I have family nearby, so I will definitely be back. Additionally they serve some food including banh mi, but since Banh mi che cali (my favorite banh mi shop) is almost literally across the street, I will probably not try the food anytime soon. Though if you have some recommendations for the food at the Coffee Factory, let me know.

                2. I like grabbing coffee at Gypsy Den (either the Costa Mesa or Santa Ana location). Great coffee and warm, eclectic/trendy atmosphere.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tuck

                    I enthusiastically second Tuck's Gypsy Den suggestion....

                    it sounds like EXACTLY what rxl is looking for and just reeks of a "Portland" vibe, at least the excellent location in The Lab in Costa Mesa does.

                    And the coffee is THE BEST I've tried from any place in OC...bold, flavorful. Like you, rxl, coffee is the most important variable for me.

                    Please, at least be sure to give it a try...I can almost guarantee you will like it. P.S. I've never had the homemade sweets, but from the looks at what I've stared at in the display case, they are very good.

                    If you need directions pls let me know - it's nestled inside The Lab on Bristol Street, just south of Baker Street below a Pep Boys outlet. Seconds from the 73, 55, or 405 (and my apartment, thankfully). I've heard the Santa Ana location is also great.

                  2. Diedrich himself...
                    KÉAN COFFEE.
                    2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 100
                    Newport Beach, CA. 92660
                    949.642.KEAN (5326)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JohnnyGourmet

                      Kean Coffee, this place is the real deal !