Browsing Tag

ocean

Coffee Shop

#11 Soul Grind


Soul Grind

5400 CA-1
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-898-8660

 

WWW.SOULGRINDCOFFEE.COM

Date Visited: September 12, 2019

Young but bold. Soul Grind is an awesome coffee shop close to the ocean. And I mean close! The parking lot is plentiful, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a spot right away on a nice summer day. No complaining at the beach though, you know the rules. I waited for maybe 30 seconds before a spot opened up, he was a friendly surfer who threw me a shaka as I pulled into his spot.

I walked up to what looks like a completely redesigned mechanic shop. There’s huge glass windows, wood paneling, and a great deep blue paint color. Their logo was simplistic, but at the same time it emphasized waves and good vibes, I was digging it. Woah! Talk about space, the ceiling is over two-stories high, covered in wood paneling. The floors are concrete, there are garage doors, a fireplace, and a freaking roastery in the back!

But it doesn’t stop there. They have a large coffee menu, a handful of fresh pastries, sandwiches, quiches, melts, and the tastiest looking breakfast bowl. Not hungry but you want to relax? They carry almost a dozen different beers and four different types of wine. I ordered a medium coffee and come to find out that it’s going to be my first pour-over on this coffee adventure. Pour-overs are known to bring out the flavor in the brew and enhance the notes.

I found a seat near the window and an outlet to charge my computer. Then I heard “Spencer!” My coffee was ready. Ah, now that was a delicious roast! I went up to compliment the coffee and ask if there was a manager I could speak with to find out more about Soul Grind. This is when I met Sophia, she was the manager on duty. I come to find out Soul Grind just had their first-anniversary last month. She informed me that a lot of the customers are in fact surfers. They come in every day, rain or shine, clothes or wetsuits, to grab a bite and a cup of coffee. Sophia stopped suddenly and said, “I have someone even better for you to talk to.”

A few sips of coffee later, here comes a surfer-looking guy coming right towards me. And he says, “Hey man, I’m Eddie.” He is the co-owner of this fine establishment and he treats Soul Grind as if it’s his baby. Eddie is a local surfer that found the need for a coffee shop in the area. Eddie was working in San Francisco for about 9-10 years and would drive to Pacifica to get away, he wanted a change. He and his business partner Ramin built this place from the ground up. They happened to come across this location and the timing lined up just right, it was meant to be. The planning of Soul Grind took about two years, but they gave it their all. They want people to know that they are, in fact, the closest roasters to surf break!

Soul Grind was named after Eddie’s love for both roller skating and surfing. A soul grind is a trick when the front roller skate is grinding on the inside grind plate and the back skate is going the same direction. Additionally, they want the vibe of this coffee shop to be laid-back, low key, and a low-stress environment for customers. No matter what someone’s going through, this is a place for them to kick back and relax. Soul Grind offers tons of seating both inside and outside, they even have an amazing patio out back. 

As I was writing this review, Eddie came up to me again, super thrilled and thankful for everything I’m doing. He gave me a list of other coffee shops in California to checkout. Eddie then hands me a bag of his Ethiopian roast to take on the road with me, some stickers, and his personal business card. I couldn’t let his kind gesture go unanswered, I ran to the van and ripped it apart to find him one of my Find That Coffee stickers. When I came back and handed him the sticker, he handed it right back. Eddie insisted that I put it on his Ford F-150. He couldn’t be a nicer more genuine guy. Today I didn’t only meet a coffee shop owner, but I made a friend. Awesome day.

Soul Grind gets a perfect 10/10 rating for their bathrooms. They offer two bathrooms that were super clean, fully stocked, and well lit. I highly recommend checking this place out.

Coffee Shop

#8 Cafe Pacifica


Cafe Pacifica

1821 Palmetto Ave.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-438-1808

 

IG @cafepacifica
Facebook

Date Visited: September 12, 2019

It was the crack of dawn. Early. My body has been trying to adjust to this Pacific Coast time but I think all the caffeine and lack of a real bed is throwing me off. Then I heard it. An elderly bunch on their morning stroll, the type that woke up before the sun. I could tell from their energy that they’ve had their coffee this morning. They were only a few cars away, narrowing in on my location and I hear, “Oh wow Texas plates!” And at this very moment, I knew she was going to lose her mind when she read “Maryland”. Boy was I right. Loud enough to wake every van-lifer on the block she goes, “Oh my goodness! This one is from Maryland!” It did leave me smiling realizing that I was not dreaming and I am actually in California living my dream.

With that, it was time to get up and grab some grub. Tried to fix up the bed a bit but I wasn’t kidding anyone, this is van life. Brushed my teeth, washed up, and started up the van. I was headed to a little place called Cafe Pacifica in Pacifica, California. Driving down the main street, I found the cute little cafe and a spot right in front! Knew it was going to be a good day. 

Walked up the ramp and admired all of the beautifully painted signage. This is a perfect little beach house with buoys and lights strung across the rafters. Headed inside where you can find a few tables and a comfy bench in the corner. It gave off an enjoyable beach vibe with boating, surfing, and ocean decor. Greeted by a very friendly barista, I placed my order for a medium coffee. She informed me that there was a minimum with credit cards, so I figured now’s probably the best time to have breakfast. 

After scanning the menu, the breakfast wrap was calling my name. I mean come on, what sounds better than 3 eggs, cheese, avocado, and mango peach salsa. Done deal.

I was handed a cup for coffee and headed over to the bar. There were three options for coffee: French roast, Cafe Pacifica “Kona”, and Italian roast. I went for the Kona and splashed a bit of milk in there so I could satisfy my craving sooner and cool it down. It was tasty.

I talked to the barista while I waited and found out a bit more than the eye could see. The coffee shop has been around for roughly 20 years, changing owners a couple of times. The current owner has been running the cafe for the past 4 years. I loved the aquamarine-colored walls, hand-painted murals, and the long list of food options. Mainly locals come in during the week, but travelers often trickled in more towards the weekend. 

Then I heard, “Spencer.” It was like a calling from the food Gods. Picked up the wrap and headed out to the patio to destroy this thing. Sun coming down, seagulls overhead, and coffee in hand, things are good. After celebrating 26 birthdays you would think I could figure out how to unwrap this thing. I finally figured it out and damn did it looked good. Counted my blessings and chowed down.

 

If you come through this spot, get the wrap! You will be very pleased. You know when you can taste the freshness of the ingredients, well this gets a personal rating of 10/10. I am hungry again just writing about it.  A perfect little spot to take the pup, a date, or the family.

Do they have a bathroom? Yes, they do! And a very cool one. A full underwater mural of sharks and fish swimming around the room. Some real talent went into painting this bathroom and with that, I give it a 10/10. And don’t worry, if you fall in there’s a buoy hanging above the toilet!

Coffee Shop

#7 Chit-Chat Cafe at the Pier


Chit Chat at the Pier

2100 Beach Blvd.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-359-7025

 
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Date Visited
: September 11, 2019

Sounds of the waves, the sun was shining. I could not resist stopping in at Chit-Chat Cafe at the Pier. I know I was at the sister location previously, but every coffee shop has a different story to tell from what I’m learning. I parked about half a mile down the street and made my way to the pier. A small little building propped right on the entrance of the pier. With more signs selling bait than coffee, I was worried I was walking into the wrong place.

Entered the octagon-shaped building, they too offered everything I could imagine. A friendly barista behind the counter named Sammy quickly showed me around and told me all the little details of this fine establishment. It’s been here for about 15-20 years and before the cafe, it was a tackle shop and before that an ice cream parlor.

The coolest thing about this coffee shop is that they sell bait! Not just one or two things either. They sell squid, mackerel, shrimp, ghost shrimp, and their most popular baits are anchovies and sardines. You could even purchase equipment like tape measures, snares, weights, hooks, fishing lines, and buckets. You could also find a $40 crabbing kit in the corner. If you’re into fishing, this is the place to be.

I was just about to ask what one may catch off the pier, but then I saw the wall of winners. They have pictures of the fish people have reeled in over the years and DAMN there have been some big fish. The most recent was August 10, 2019, with a 14 lb. salmon! And before that a 34″ 16lb. striped bass caught by a young kid on the pier.

Sammy kindly told me everything she knows about this place. Her biggest takeaway for me was that the regulars make this place. The older customers tend to congregate here and spend their days together enjoying everything the pier has to offer. The owners of the coffee shop Paul and Amy are big into supporting local and hang paintings from artists in the area. There are some gorgeous paintings of the pier and the coffee shop in all sorts of mediums. Even if you aren’t big into fishing, this would make a wonderful coffee date. The pier itself is open from 4 AM to 10 PM.

Okay, time to explore the bathroom! There is no bathroom directly in the coffee shop, but right around the other side of the building, there are public restrooms. I have to rank them a 4/10.

Coffee Shop

#6 Kizler Coffee


Kizler Coffee

330 Palmetto Ave. #D
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-451-3680

 

WWW.KIZLERCOFFEE.COM

IG @kizlercoffee
Facebook

 

Date Visited: September 11, 2019

After walking around the streets of Pacifica searching for the ocean on a chilly September day, I had no luck, the fog was too thick. I popped open my phone in search of my newest destination, Kizler Coffee. This coffee shop comes in hot with a 4.6 rating and 97 reviews. I drove half a mile down the street and came across a busy parking lot. Here sits Kizler Coffee. 

I circled the lot twice and found a perfect spot on the side street with a two-hour parking sign, bingo. Cracked my windows, grabbed my bag, and headed towards my most precious addiction, coffee.

This cafe is nestled in a little shopping center with a few other stores. Doors wide open and filled with natural light, I am digging the vibe already. Someone asks me, “Did you make that shirt?” and to his surprise, I did. I’m wearing one of my twelve shirts that say Find That Coffee. His name is Josh, super cool guy that just so happened to be the owner of this fine establishment. Josh was rocking his cute baby back and forth while letting me know everything about his shop. He was very proud of Kizler Coffee and has every right to be, incredibly cool spot. Josh, originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, took over the 19-year-old location about 5 years ago. He changed the name and made it personal.

Kizler Coffee supports local artists, a philosophy they stand by very highly. On the right wall, full of paintings and portraits, is a combination of work by 4 local artists. Over by the bar, you will find locally made stickers, jewelry, koozies, shirts, soap, and tons of other things tucked into the handmade wooden bar. The floor is concrete and the furniture is mostly recycled wood. Some tables have been designed, painted, and resined by a local artist as well. Josh’s hat and Nicole’s shirt (the barista) were both made by Oakland based artists. Josh talked more about his love to support local than trying to sell me on the coffee. That told me a lot about him and his love for the community. Respect.

I stepped up to the counter where Nicole nicely took my order and poured me a fresh cup of coffee. I guess Josh knew he didn’t need to say anything about the coffee, it tasted good. I sat down near the window and looked around. Screen printed t’s, succulents for sale, awesome animal sketches, recycled wood pallets everywhere, and an open unfinished ceiling. I was digging this place, very much my style. The walls were painted in solid colors to prepare for rotating artwork. Josh even told me they open the place up now and then to allow artists to come in and have full art shows. It obviously has a huge impact on the art world. I hope these photos capture the aesthetic Kizler Coffee gives off. Come check it out!

You know what time it is. Time to rank the bathroom. The bathroom gets 10/10, it did its job. Had an awesome display of artwork on the wall as well. Josh even went as far as painting the mirror to match the vibe of the place. Soft toilet paper, clean toilet, good smelling soap, and paper towels. I was pleased.

Coffee Shop

#5 Chit-Chat Cafe


Chit Chat Cafe

5 W. Manor Dr.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-738-2380

 

IG @chitchatcafepacifica
Facebook

Date Visited: September 11, 2019

Just waking up, rolling over to see the bright Safeway sign beaming back at me through the curtains of my conversion van. Cars bustling by and the world beginning to wake up. Debating whether or not to slam my face back in the pillow or get up for the long day ahead. Slid the covers back, let out one of those amazing morning growls, let the day begin. 

Packed my toothbrush, my favorite boxers, T-shirt, and pants. Why pants you ask. Well, it’s currently 62 degrees on the coast of Pacifica, California. Feels like winter compared to the 91 degrees I’m coming from just 23 days ago in Maryland. Made my way into Safeway, oh the joys of van life. Washed up and got ready for the day.

Hopped in the van while dodging some of the sketchiest stares I’ve gotten in the last 3 weeks. The back of this parking lot made me very uncomfortable. Googled coffee shops and the first one I stumbled upon was Chit-Chat Coffee with a rating of 4.4 and 243 reviews, less than a quarter of a mile away. Well, I need something to warm up, so I was on my way.

 

 

Across the street from the local Post Office, sits Chit-Chat Coffee. Almost 75% of the windows looking out towards the ocean. This was like walking into your grandparents living room, and I mean that in the best way. It was super cozy, a bit cluttered behind the counter but they offer everything from what I can see. I counted over 28 different syrup flavors for making their signature drinks. If you plan to visit in the later afternoon, there is a beer menu consisting of eights beers, two wines, and a delicious-sounding mimosa. Three boards consisting of delicious sandwich options and most of all, a large board full of delightful coffee options. After scanning the menus, you could say my mood was pretty high, the prices were very fair.

The barista popped up and nicely greeted me. I was in no hurry today plus it was early in the morning, no one wanted to be awake. Ordered a medium coffee and headed over to the coffee bar. Staring at my six options of brews. I went back and asked the guy what brew he recommended right now and he told me “Dark French.” Good call, it was tasty. added a splash of half-and-half to it and made my way to the comfy bench in the back. 

There’s such a good vibe in this place. Everyone seems happy and enjoying life. Maybe it’s a Wednesday thing but I’m not entirely sure. The lady to my right is cranking out work emails and the man on my left is playing some motorcycle game on his laptop. People trickling in and out, like ants getting sugar and then off they go. 

Out of nowhere walks the happiest man I’ve seen all morning. Meet Paul, super sarcastic and full of energy. He had to be the owner, and boy was I right. Come to find out that Chit-Chat coffee has been around for 17-18 years. It’s a very local spot, not attracting many tourists with Starbucks up the road. But he was thrilled I stopped in. He told me if the fog wasn’t so thick right now, that I would be able to whale watch right from the cafe. And even cooler is the fact that a lot of musicians and artists roll into this spot. He left me in a much better mood than when I came in, a for sure place to check out.

And I know you’re curious, the bathroom situation gets a personal rating of a 9/10. A bit dark and nothing special, but it has a mirror, soap, loaded with tp, and clean lid! Nature wasn’t calling right now, but if it had, this was the place to be. Cheers!