Popular coffee company Coava Coffee Roasters opened its first brew bar outside of its native city in late 2017 in downtown’s civic district. Manager AJ Wilson says he particularly loves pour overs with their proprietary metal filter, something Coava is known for. “I think it’s a great way to showcase our coffee,” he says. Try: The honey latte. 400 W. Broadway, San Diego, 503.894.8134
James Coffee Co.
Founder and head roaster David Kennedy is at the helm of James Coffee Co., which occupies industrial loft space on India Street in Little Italy. Known for their selection of high quality pastries, the company recently paired with Portland ice cream import Salt & Straw to produce a proprietary ice cream flavor. Try: A single origin coffee from Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Guatemala or Colombia. 2355 India St., San Diego, 619.756.7770
The Bean Counter
A renovated art deco building with “Art” and “Coffee” plainly listed on its facade plays home to two Little Italy businesses, The Bean Counter, is a nod to owner Brian Richter’s other job as an accountant, and the art gallery run by Richter’s wife, Valentine Vinnay. Try: The Great White, made with shots of espresso in a cup of coffee, topped with whipped cream. 2655 Reynard Way, San Diego, 619.892.7900
Bird Rock Coffee
The San Diego company is especially known for its sustainable and ethical sourcing practices, which incorporate a farm-to-cup philosophy that doesn’t skimp on quality. Try: The balanced and not-too-sweet Gold Digger, which is a honey cinnamon latte. 2295 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, 619.272.0203
The tiny, bright outpost in Little Italy is decked out in potted plants and homey decor. Owner Brandi Kirschbaum serves coffee, espresso drinks and specialty coffee creations to those lucky enough to stumble upon her shop, which is tucked away in between two buildings. Try: The Un-birthday Latte, with condensed milk and bourbon vanilla or the lavender latte. 621 W. Fir St., San Diego, 619.431.0231