The Best Coffee Shops in San Diego to Get Your Writing Done

November 9, 2022

Note: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the general goal is for participants to write 50,000 words or more in the span of the 30 days of November.


Ah, coffee shops. These lovely buildings never fail to provide those who enter with hot or iced deliciousness, maybe a pastry or breakfast sandwich, and (hopefully) some decent seating. I think one of the best sights to behold upon entering a coffee shop is, apart from a diverse-looking menu, people partaking in various activities. Poring over a book in the corner, chatting with a longtime friend, or, as I have done many a time, hunching over a laptop screen with music blasting from a pair of well-worn earbuds. I believe coffee shops act as public spaces for productivity and yummy treats, and I’m here to provide you with a brief list of the local spots around San Diego I’ve found to function as perfect writing spots – a.k.a., cool places to achieve your NaNoWriMo goals. The following list isn’t in any particular ranked order, but all of them have WiFi and good coffee, making them 10/10’s in my book. 🙂





North Park

3764 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104




This shop has plenty of seating, a plethora of warm tone decor and fun, secondhand furniture, and an extensive coffee as well as food menu. I always feel inspired as soon as I’ve settled into one of these seats and soaked in the atmosphere of the place, which sits on North Park’s main, bustling street, right across from the incomparable Verbatim Books bookstore.


My go-to order: Iced Lavender Honey Latte with a warmed blueberry muffin.



Pop Pie Co.


University Heights

4404 Park Blvd. Suite A, San Diego, CA 92116




Point Loma

4195 Voltaire Street, San Diego, CA 92117



Costa Mesa

270 E. 17th Street, Suite 17, Costa Mesa, CA 92627



Lots of locations to choose from here! I’m a regular haunt at the Point Loma location but have found the service and aesthetic of every single location to be impeccable. This option for your writing spot is complete with amazing coffee as well as some of the best comfort food around: homemade pot pies and quiches.


My go-to order: New Orleans Iced Latte with a Ham, Bacon, Chive & Cheese Quiche.






1045 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92116



University Heights

4496 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116



Lestat’s has never failed me seating-wise–there is always a table or a corner near a chic Pharoah statue or vintage Marvel comics poster. I’ve also always enjoyed yummy treats and nice chats with the employees at these locations. The upstairs portion of the Hillcrest space on a rainy night is ideal for getting in the zone, but this shop in all weather conditions has proven a great place for me to get work done (SDWI already hosts some writing groups and events in these venues!).


My go-to order: Iced Dirty Chai Latte with a cinnamon roll.



Garden Coffee


Old Town

2611 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110



This might just be my favorite coffee shop in all of San Diego. This unique location is tucked away behind a colorful shopfront on the edge of Old Town, open to the sky with quaint outdoor seating and plants upon plants upon plants (hence the name). I appreciate their use of cozy porcelain mugs and other cups if you order a hot drink and cute colorful plates if you order food. There’s less seating in this shop, but I definitely find the shaded outdoor location enjoyable on a mild San Diego day.


My go-to order: Iced Mocha with Chocolate Bakka.



S3 Coffee Bar



6225 Mission Gorge Rd, San Diego, CA 92120



I feel like the interior of this coffee shop was made for creative inspiration. An entire corner looks like it was drawn to resemble a chic French cafe, for crying out loud. This spacious and unique place is definitely a good space to settle in and write your heart out. There are many food as well as coffee options and, overall, lots of natural lighting that, if the warm tones of Subterranean and Lestat’s aren’t quite your thing, compares very nicely.


My go-to order: Dirty Pumpkin Chai with an everything bagel & cream cheese.

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