Let me just start out by saying, I love coffee shops.
Even though I don’t like coffee — caffeine gives me a headache — I am always down to try a new coffee shop. So I was more than excited to explore all the funky, cool cafes in and around my new apartment in Santa Clara (#perksofmovingtoanewcity).
For me, a good coffee shop has four important things: comfortable seating, good tea options (since most coffee drinks are not for me), a quiet-ish atmosphere and a chill, yet productive, vibe. While I am not above holing up in a Starbucks (I am not that hipster yet), I much prefer more unique cafes — places that you walk into and feel they entirely their own.
So below are a few of my favorite coffee shops that I have found in the Santa Clara area so far. Each has their own pro’s and con’s, as well as their own chill, unique atmosphere.
- Voyager Coffee: The closest cafe to my apartment, and probably the best for getting a bit of work done on the go. This place fills up quickly, so I definitely recommend getting there early. And on the weekends, just forget about it. Voyager has delicious food, including a very yummy avocado toast that people seem to swarm to on Saturdays and Sundays. So if you are hoping to get a bit of work done then, I recommend going elsewhere.
- Chromatic Coffee: While Chromatic Coffee is considered more of a “chain,” it still has some bomb drinks — especially their hibiscus tea. With ample seating, including some large outdoor tables, this is definitely a top choice for getting work done, as well as being a nice place to meet up with some friends (they also serve alcohol).
3. Caffe Frascati: A hipster coffee shop if there ever was one, Caffe Frascati in downtown San Jose is a nice place to hole up for a couple hours and really get to work. It serves up nice coffee, really yummy sandwiches and also some alcoholic options. The only downside is their small tea collection. During the day it is quite quiet — but since they also do poetry readings and open mic nights during the evening it can get pretty loud.
4. Red Rock Coffee: Located in downtown Mountain View, this is the farthest cafe from my apartment. But it also might be the easiest to concentrate at and therefore get a lot of work done. With a very quiet upstairs area, with lots of natural light and plenty of power outlets, Red Rock is a great place to spend all day in (plus their rooibos tea is top notch).
5. Big Mug Coffee Roaster: Finally Big Mug, a super cool cafe with that quintessential hipster-coffee shop vibe. With lots of natural light, good seating options and really big tea glasses (I am talking too big to actually finish, for me at least), it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Located on Camino Real, the coffee shop might not seem like much from the outside, but once you step into its nicely air conditioned interior you will automatically feel relaxed and ready to get to work.
Visiting new coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do, no matter where I am. Whenever I am checking out a new city I always have to find the coolest cafe. And especially now that I have to do a lot of work from home, finding a coffee shop that hits all of the requirements is key to my productivity. And these five in and around Santa Clara definitely fit that bill.
So if you are ever in the area and what to explore some of the areas top cafes, I highly recommend giving these five a shot!
What are your favorite coffee shops? And what do you look for in a “good” coffee shop? Let me know in the comments below.