11.16.2009

Cruisin' Cafes: San Diego, California

In all of the time Café Fashionista has been in existence, I have never thought to pay tribute to its namesake by adding a kick of coffee shops to my daily tirades regarding fashion; the time, darlings, has finally come. To celebrate my obsession with cozy cafes and charming coffee shops, I have decided to incorporate one day each week devoted solely to visiting a different location in the world, and three quaint places said location offers to load up on caffeine. The result? Cruisin’ Cafes. The first stop on our cup of Joe journey? San Diego, California.

Due to the fact that I have resided in Southern California for the majority of my twenty-something years, I have always thought of San Diego as a stomping ground of sorts; my own personal playground, to be completely truthful. I have spent hours trolling Horton Plaza, sashayed along the sidewalks of Gaslamp Quarter, and, most importantly, cozied up to a handful of quaint cafes where I’ve sipped and savored delectable demitasses, enticing café au laits, and scrummy espressos. Here, a trio of my treasured.

Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and Café There are very few things in life that compare to the romanticism experienced via a bicycle built for two; but a bicycle shop that doubles as a cozy café just waiting to bear witness to cute, clandestine romances comes quite close.

The mom and pop-inspired Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and Café is not a typical place to perk up your morning – or afternoon. The décor is both vintage and rustic in the sense that the furnishings do not include antique coffee pots, or paintings of coffee beans. Things are much more whimsical here. Retro bikes full of history hang from the walls; while plush sofas and overstuffed armchairs, in addition to a handful of caramel-colored tables, are spread throughout the room – seating that virtually beckons for you to take a load off and unwind. But please don’t even contemplate relaxation before snagging a snack. I recommend the very unique Toffee Nut Latte (which reminds me ever so much of one of my Rachael Ray favorites – Toffee Hot Chocolate; you certainly won’t be sorry! 6794 University Ave. (at 68th St.), San Diego, CA 92115.

Café Bassam There are two words that immediately jump to mind when I so much as think about Café Bassam, and that is shabby chic. The saying “A place for everything and everything in its place” is cast aside, and instead a cluttered environment is embraced as antiques and kitschy creations speckle the interior. But that is precisely what makes the location so enchanting. Nooks and crannies lurking within Café Bassam make you feel as if you are playing an innocent game of hide-and-seek with the waiters and waitresses found inside; while marble tables paired with whispery Parisian jazz give you the impression that you’re in some far off, distant European country, as opposed to Banker’s Hill.

But I digress, ambiance and adorableness aside, Café Bassam, with its picturesque windows and jumble of decanters, is like something out of a fairytale; a location where romance can easily flourish over a dark hot chocolate, a heavenly white mocha drizzled with raspberry syrup, or, once night falls, a chardonnay – all savored over the soft din of the antiquated cherry red cash register sitting front and center atop the counter. 3088 5th Ave. (between Quince St. and Redwood St.), San Diego, CA 92103.

Caffe Carpe Diem I shall be the first to admit that I stumbled upon Caffe Carpe Diem courtesy of it’s name. After all, how on earth is one supposed to be expected to seize the day if they are not first plied with caffeine, and lots of it? Regardless, I quickly fell completely head over heels with its cosmopolitan beauty, and impossible to resist offerings.

Do not plan on zooming in and out of Caffe Carpe Diem in mere moments; before you can seize the day, you must patiently wait in wonderment for your drink du jour, soaking up the atmosphere – something that is just as delicious as the offered macchiatos. Elegance is key at Caffe Carpe Diem – dark wood floors, an ostentatious chandelier, and an espresso machine washed in a glimmering copper add personality to the petite place; but non, all that would be nothing without rich recipes to satiate thirst and hunger. Try the Mexican Mocha coupled with the Rise & Shine – a mouthwatering mix of colorful sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and mozzarella – it’s a dynamic duo destined to make you feel like a princess. 3139 University Ave. (between Iowa St. and Herman Ave.), San Diego, CA 92104.

Which of these San Diego cafes would you like to cruise?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It for the pictures.


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50 comments

The editor said...

sorry to say but i love these cups more than the coffee ;) i find a lot of people too dependent to coffee though. They always have their best time whenever a cup is on hand.

Melissa Blake said...

Can you do a hot chocolate post too?? :)

Jaime said...

Love the first photo :) I love a cute cafe!

Jacqueline said...

I would love to go to San Diego right now and have a cup of coffee. It is so cold here =( xoxo

www.FashionSnag.com

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

oh Erika, I looove this post! I adore coffee shops! thanks! xo

onic said...

cuteness overload

grace said...

bicycles and coffee! you're really reaching out to me with this one.

Leah said...

I would love to visit all of them. They all have their own unique and interesting character. I love to see the shabby chic cafe you described and that rustic one. I know it will be a totally different experience, a far cry from starbucks. :-)

Yes, definitely January in Cali. See yah!

kpeach said...

they all sound lovely! Wish I was in SoCal xo

Winnie said...

Oh what a lovely post. I love a good coffee shop which is hard to find these days...what with Starbucks being on every corner!

tricia said...

The coffee shops you describe sound delightful!

Jamie Jenson said...

I think Cafe Bassam sounds delightful!

Taylor Sterling said...

Great post! I love finding cute and romantic coffee shops; the ones that you want to curl up at with a good book, a warm sweater and a nice cappucino!

Slices of Beauty... said...

Lovely post and blog too.

Jackie said...

What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to see more of these posts in the future.

Gosh, I could really go for a cuppa' coffee now.

miriam said...

mmm, your last choice seems pretty tempting. i like being treated as a princess!

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I'm really enjoying catching up on your blogs. How funny we both write about San Diego .. lol

The Pocket Stylist said...

Oh I love little Cafes This post is amazing!!

Dina's Days said...

Oh I just love this post. I adore cafes. This is so cute and appropriate for your blog. Who knows, maybe one day you and I can grab coffee at Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe and Café :)

Andhari said...

I'm a big fan of coffee. So cute local coffee shops are surely enchanting to me :) I'd love nothing more than sitting with my favorite book in a coffee shop with a huge mug of special menu coffee there :)

thanks for visiting my blog.:D

D. Marie said...

I would love to see the Bike Shop Cafe...it sounds like an interesting place to drink coffee! What a great idea for your posts! I love the first picture with the heart coin purse! :) Have a great day.

Rachel Scarlet said...

I always love cozy little coffee shops with a vintage feel. Sadly I live half a world away from San Diego so chances of me tasting such wonderful coffee is pretty slim. The cups are really adorable! :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I want to dawdle in all of them!

Tasha said...

I think this is a fabulous idea for your blog! That last picture looks absolutely delicious!

Rachel said...

All of these places sound delightful! I wish I had a nice cafe nearby where I live. That doesn't happen when you live in an area with farms and rednecks... Hahaha!

Paula Lobos said...

Thanks for the tip! I love to find a new cozy cafe´ or coffeeshop. I love my coffee....strong please! :D

The Haute-Shopper said...

Ooh, these all sound so wonderful! Paris is full of cute cafes, but unfortunately most of them are overpriced and I do prefer the American variant with cosy couches and jazzy music.

Tights Lover said...

Great post. If I ever make it out to SD I'd love to check out Cafe Bassm! Have a great day!

Rina said...

I love this little Cafes post! :))

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Lovely photos. If I'm ever in San Diego, I'm definitely going to check out these places. Yum!

Sherin said...

These coffeeshops all sound so adorable. I've always wanted to go into an independent, personal little coffee shop, that isn't like starbucks. If I'm ever in San Diego, I'll definitely look to go to one of those.

Inspiration in Italy said...

Ohh my...We lived in San Diego before moving here to Rome and it still rings of home! Thank you for this post - Café Bassam was one of my favorites, Love! San Diego really has such amazing cafes and I think you picked some of the very best. What perfectly adorable photos, too!

Happy Monday, Darling ♥

Grace said...

i think any shop that has a name beginning with "ye olde..." has a lot of potential. what a fun tour of cafes--i'd probably enjoy them all, but the more quiet and peaceful, the better. :)

English Rose said...

i adore the cups! so cute!!

http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

nookie said...

I would love to visit them all!maybe I will some day:)

Closet Cravings said...

Cute post and cute cups. I love cafes even though I don't drink coffee. There's just something so cozy and inviting about the atmosphere. =)

Lifli said...

They look absolutely perfect! My favorite is the first =)

jayne said...

oo fun feature! love coffee and coffee houses, if i ever go to SD I will hit these up

Couture Carrie said...

I can't wait to go to San Diego and check these places out in person ~ delicious post, darling Erika!

xoxox,
CC

Sydnie said...

Love the pictures! What an adorable idea for a post. I wish I lived in San Diego so I could get a chance to visit some of these lovely cafes! I'm in love with your blog, and I will certainly visit again!

Sydnie
www.takemeouttotherunway.blogspot.com
Enter my Chickdowntown giveaway now!

Elizabeth Marie said...

Omg I used to go to Bassam ALLLLL THE TIME when I lived in San Diego with my ex. LOVE IT! Awww I miss it now!

So excited about this coffee series as I'm on my third venti of the day!

Kristin said...

I need to visit my SD fam ASAP and do a java joint tour. They all sound fabulous!

Emily said...

I love little coffee shops! I have to say, the one I would want to visit is Caffe Carpe Diem, it sounds like it has a great ambiance :)

nicole said...

Thanks so much for your comment Erika! haha I'm so glad you liked my outfit! And yes, would love to exchange links with you, Cafe Fashionista is going up on Le Mode Du Jour as we speak!

Great post on cafes btw, love the name of the Carpe Diem cafe and it's so true, "one cannot be expected to seize the day if they are not first plied with caffeine" - said like a true cafe afficionado ;)

and that Toffee Hot Chocolate or Nut Latte sounds like it's to die for. I love all things toffee. Looks like I'll have to find time to go to San Diego one day to try it!

Olive said...

Do we have to choose but one? They all sound too cozy and charming. This is a great addition to your weekly posts :) Can't wait for next week's!

beckyxoxo said...

aww you're truly a coffee shop fan aren't you ? x) love this post ! the review , the images you chose . love love ! ahh i wish i can go to san diego haha .

have a nice day dear !

Macaron Treats ♥♥ said...

I love these pictures, I love coffee. I would love a quirky coffee shop with soft chairs that you can sink into!

xx

Keith said...

Hey Erika. Wow. Great post. I'd love to visit any of these. I love coffee. Hope you're doing well. Take care. Cheers!

Stephanie said...

I am a coffee fanatic. :) I just love it. And those little cups of espresso just make my day. :) Hope you are having a great week, Erika. :)

Jord. said...

Thankyou for my your lovely posts on my profile, they're greatly appreciated.

I love your style of writing, i'd say it really takes me to where you are (but i'm trying not to let it, as i absolutely deteste coffee). I kind of wish my taste buds would be accustomed to it, because i'm always taking pro plus pills for my caffeine boosts.

Regardless of my hatred, this is a very very interesting post (: The pictures are absolutely adorable as well.

Jord

http://bonadragboys.blogspot.com

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