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Coffee shops located in downtown carlsbad

Jennifer Kan

Andrea Abbott, Staff Writer

Across the beach in downtown Carlsbad three coffee shops provide locals with more than enough options from lattes to baked goods. Less than two blocks away from each other, coffee fanatics can find their favorites at Vinaka, It’s A Grind and Starbucks. Here’s what you’ll get at each stop:

Vinaka

The Scene: Dim lighting provides a relaxing and calm feeling for the diverse groups of teens and adults to mingle. Unique artwork hangs on the walls from local artists (the pictures switch every few months), along with a muted TV. The carpet and cushioned seats gives this little shop extra comfort. Unlike Starbucks and It’s A Grind, Vinaka allows locals to enjoy coffee in a chain free environment.

The Coffee and Snacks: After trying hot chocolate (I know it’s not coffee), and a chocolate biscotti, this place made me want to come back to enjoy all the other delicious looking items. From breakfast to lunch, Vinaka sells croissants, sandwiches, bagels and salads. However, what makes this place special is their best selling dessert: home made ice cream. As far as coffee goes the owner, Adam Jesler says the best selling drink is the café mocha.

The Service: Friendly, nice, quick. What more could you ask for?

It’s A Grind

The Scene: The space is triple the size of Vinaka, a little less homey, but they try by having a fire place against the middle wall. Another excellent feature is the large, comfy lounge chairs. The walls are made of stone and the floor is wooden. It’s not any better than Vinaka, nor worse, it’s just different.

The Coffee and Snacks: The manager, Rhonda Drogo says the blended mochas, hot lattés and espresso get ordered the most often. Designer cakes (most popular dessert), lemon bars, bagels and cookies sit in the dessert case. Everything comes from local bakeries and the bagels get delivered by Top of The Bagel.

The Service: Helpful and friendly yet again.

Starbucks

The Scene: It’s small, maybe even a little cramped. Although Starbucks is a chain, each one has its own characteristics and this one lacks comfort. The lighting and the piercing noise of the blenders makes it hard to stay long.

The Coffee and Snacks: With so many creative options, it’s difficult to label one as “the best.” The lattes, mocha, iced tea and blended drinks provide flavors for everyone. Following the dessert trend, Starbucks now sells cake pops and whoopie pies. They also serve nutritious snack dishes, paninis and yogurt.

The Service: They deliver orders quickly but it lacks the hospitality and personality of the other shops.

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