Favorite (independent) coffee shop?
If you're going to say Starbucks, then OK, so be it.
But I'd like to hear some of the places people go to grab a cup of Joe and relax a bit, either with a laptop or one of those things they call "books".
My favorite is Upstart Crow in Seaport Village. Good coffee, cool vibe, friendly staff, fun events, and an eclectic selection of reading materials -- it's like a drop of serenity in the middle of Tourist Town USA.
During the day - Caffe Calabria
Late Night (10pm+) - Rebecca's, Cafe Bassam, Claire de Lune, Chocolat
I'll second Caffe Calabria.
I used to frequent Twiggs (on Park, not the one on Adams) alot, but haven't been recently. They serve Caffe Calabria coffee,BTW. Or at least they were when I was stopping by regularly. They kind of have that shabby chic thing going on.
Literally a block down Park from Twiggs is Lestat on Park. Used to be the ultra sterile Cream. Best coffee shop make over in SD. Lestats has turned a really cold and rundown spot into something fairly nice. It can get a bit noisy in the evening.
One of the most unusual coffee spots has to be Jungle Java in OB. Part coffee shop, part garden shop, totally beach funky.
Coffee + Staff + Setting = Bird Rock
Panniken in LJ - gets absolutely packed, but cozy, friendly people, and a good selection
Just for the setting, Turquoise Coffee - can't comment on too many experiences, but love the set up.
In my neck of the woods - Coffee Corner. It's like the local Cheers - good coffee, great people, kitschy decor, and they know us there!
For espresso - Nicole's pull at Zumbar.
For espresso con panna and coffee close to work - Caffe Calabria.