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

rxl Nov 6, 2005 09:04 PM

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. m
    Mealcentric RE: rxl Nov 6, 2005 09:20 PM

    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

    Link: http://mealcentric.blogspot.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: Mealcentric
      Funwithfood RE: Mealcentric Nov 6, 2005 09:53 PM

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

      1. re: Funwithfood
        Professor Salt RE: Funwithfood Nov 15, 2006 04:27 AM

        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
        kevin RE: Mealcentric Nov 6, 2005 09:54 PM

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

        1. re: kevin
          mike g. RE: kevin Nov 14, 2005 04:20 PM

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

        2. re: Mealcentric
          OCAnn RE: Mealcentric Nov 14, 2006 06:09 PM

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

        3. c
          cdmedici RE: rxl Nov 7, 2005 12:09 AM

          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
            bottomlesspit RE: cdmedici Nov 7, 2005 11:02 PM

            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.

            Link: http://www.girleatsworld.typepad.com/...

          2. m
            Mike Q RE: rxl Nov 7, 2005 12:48 PM

            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
              Tuck RE: Mike Q Nov 7, 2005 04:07 PM

              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
                ammoniasmith RE: Mike Q Nov 7, 2005 04:08 PM

                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
                  rxl RE: Mike Q Nov 7, 2005 06:32 PM

                  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. t
                  Tuck RE: rxl Nov 7, 2005 04:34 PM

                  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
                    JB RE: Tuck Nov 8, 2005 02:57 PM

                    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. j
                    JohnnyGourmet RE: rxl Nov 14, 2006 05:34 PM

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JohnnyGourmet
                      mikester RE: JohnnyGourmet Nov 14, 2006 09:27 PM

                      Kean Coffee, this place is the real deal !

                    2. OCAnn RE: rxl Nov 14, 2006 06:14 PM

                      Downtown Fullerton has free wifi.

                      STEAMER'S CAFE on Commonwealth serves decent coffee and has sandwiches, a VERY small patio, but nice atmosphere.

                      McCAIN'S on Harbor also serves coffee and has a fairly large patio. Most of the customers though are young & dress in dark clothes (I'm too happily middle aged for the place).

                      1. choctastic RE: rxl Nov 14, 2006 06:55 PM

                        there's a place in seal beach called javatinis that does microroasts. they're pretty good. learned about it from ch.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: choctastic
                          CynD RE: choctastic Nov 15, 2006 12:00 AM

                          Javatinis is great for coffee, and they offer wifi, but they don't serve sandwiches - only very ordinary cakes, bagels, cookies and the like. Two doors down is Slice of NY Pizza, and Sweet Jill's bakery is across the street, if you want something a bit more filling. At the other end of Main Street (closer to PCH) is Crema Cafe, a coffee house/bakery/breakfast shop. They serve Illy espresso, and have a lovely breakfast menu (can only attest to a good bowl of oatmeal so far), so you might give that a try for coffee and sandwich. I think most of Main Street is in a wifi area, too.

                          1. re: CynD
                            CynD RE: CynD Nov 15, 2006 08:46 PM

                            P.S. - Javatinis is set to open another cafe in Laguna Niguel, behind the Irvine Spectrum. Don't know when, but it's imminent.

                        2. c
                          coffee_addict RE: rxl Nov 14, 2006 07:46 PM

                          i like Cafe Lucca by the Orange circle...they have pretty good paninis, gelato, and strong coffee. http://www.cafelucca.com/

                          1. q
                            quinntran RE: rxl Nov 15, 2006 04:14 AM

                            Try kaffa's in Santa Ana on Main Street. They have great coffee and paninis as well as free wi-fi.......


                            1. b
                              BabyDaddy RE: rxl Nov 15, 2006 04:42 AM

                              Saxby's is a new franchise chain that recently opened a store in Mission Viejo. Great coffee. Not bitter like Starbucks. Comfy atmosphere insite, and not very busy yet. But no outdoor patio either. Corner of Alicia/Trabuco.

                              1. o
                                obscuro2006 RE: rxl Nov 20, 2006 02:38 PM

                                site devoted to inde coffee shops

                                1. c
                                  chazar RE: rxl Nov 23, 2006 08:34 PM

                                  Anyone try The Lost Bean yet? I have to admit, I'm not really a coffee drinker, but the place has organic coffees and teas, and very good pastries and such (no sandwiches, though). It's in Tustin in the same center as the Tustin Brewing Company. I think the atmosphere is pretty nice.

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