With several coffee shops on campus at San Diego State, it can be tempting not to venture too far away to explore the San Diego coffee scene. Sticking to the campus’ shops means missing an abundance of uniquely flavored, hand-crafted lattes, finding the most comfortable study spot or taking the perfect picture to post on social media. Whether spots are best for studying, brunch or Instagramming, here’s a list of coffee (and tea) shops to try this spring semester:
A bustling strip mall is an unlikely location for a high-quality cafe, but S3 Coffee Bar on Mission Gorge Road is a spot that shouldn’t be skipped.
Owned and operated by sisters Claudia, Jenny and Veronica Kwong with their mother May since June 2016, the name “S3” symbolizes the three sisters who co-run the space, and their tagline to sip, smell and savor the drinks they brew up.
The sisters originally opened the cafe so that their mom would have a job when she moved to San Diego from Texas, but they enjoyed working in the shop so much that they started working more hours there, Claudia Kwong said.
Without compromising flavor for aesthetics, their lattes are as tasty as they are gorgeous. The rainbow, or birthday latte, weekend special originally began when the sisters were trying to practice latte art by using food coloring instead of wasting espresso. After debuting it for their first anniversary last year, the drink gained popularity amongst customers and continues to be the most ordered beverage.
“We introduced it during our one year anniversary, we kind of introduced it for two weeks just to celebrate, and people kept asking for it,” Claudia Kwong said.
S3 is best suited for an afternoon coffee break or weekend brunch — complete with an Instagram photoshoot — but it is not ideal for studying. Try the 24k Cappuccino, a cookie butter latte topped with 23.75k gold leaf, or the avocado toast with prosciutto and the rose gold latte made with herbal tea, honey-rose syrup, rose petals and edible gold glitter.
A craftsman-style house on Adams Avenue in University Heights has changed hands several times over the last few years, but the space has consistently been used as a coffee shop in its recent history. It’s current incarnation — Meráki — has the friendliest service and the most inventive drinks compared to its predecessors, and the combination of those two aspects will hopefully give it long-term staying power.
Owner April Brandenstein, who graduated from the New York Restaurant School (now the Art Institute of New York City), was in the restaurant industry for 18 years before opening Meráki in 2016.
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SOURCE: (The Daily Aztec)