Monterey is one of my favorite cities in California, a city I have visited regularly since I was a kid. I now have another reason to visit: great coffee.
Great Coffee In Monterey, CA
I suspect there are several good coffee shops in Monterey, but over the years I have not deviated from Captain + Stoker, a delightful third wave coffee shop near the harbor.
Captain + Stoker
398 East Franklin Street
Monterey, CA 93940
6:30AM – 4:00PM (Monday – Friday)
7:30AM – 4:00PM (Saturday + Sunday)
There are a three things I like about this place. First, of course, the coffee. I usually order cappuccinos, but lately have been going with flat whites, my new favorite espresso-based drink. The espresso is rich and strong and the milk perfectly blended.
I always prefer to drink my coffee in ceramic cups, but during the pandemic all drinks are served in takeout cups and the restaurant dining area is closed.
Second, I love the service. These hipster coffee shops always seem to attract the friendliest baristas. I love how warmly I am greeted, even though I am from LA. Regular customers, like the man in front of me in line, are cheerfully greeted by name.
Last, I love that there is a kids play area. It gives my son something to do while my wife and I drink coffee. While the play area is another casualty of the pandemic, hopefully it will return at some point so that my 9-month-old daughter can also enjoy it.
While I’m open to other suggestions–in fact, I welcome them–no trip to Monterey is complete without a stop at Captain + Stoker.
What is your favorite coffee in Monterey?
I made a point to stop here while I was on my bike tour from Vancouver BC back to LA. Great avo toast.
Bike themed coffee shops are the best, tandem themed coffee shops are even better.
No, it’s a hipster fail: no artisanal, 10 grain bread ( only sourdough), no chia option in the parfait, nothing with Nutella, no micro greens or wheatgrass options; plus it’s suspiciously far too cheap: authentic Millennial hipsters would expect to pay 20% more to be sure they’re getting the real deal…
I have to agree with Paolo…. many baristas are so overrated and it is so rare when I meet one (usually not the hipster type) who is kind and refreshingly welcoming. It is not common to find younger folk who are properly vetted by customers let alone their “hipster” boss
Honestly, that is not my experience in California. I only go to these type of coffee shops (never a chain, if I can avoid it) and I consistently find great service at places where the coffee is great. Now I will concede that at wannabe-coffee shops were they ask you what size do you want your cappuccino…that’s where I also encounter bad service. Bad service and bad coffee go together.
Reminds me a bit of this great place I went to in Paris a few years ago. Really fun to drink my coffee while looking at the bikes on display and being repaired.
It has become quite popular during covid times as a bike has become a hot commodity.
OK – you have my curiosity, ” I now have another inactive to visit”? Inactive ? Am I not up on some hipster or social media phrase?
That’s my bad. I meant to write incentive.
Within driving distance from me, I’ll be sure to give it a try soon!
I sorry I never visited this place. I lived in San Jose for 9 years and visited Monterey often. I don’t know how I missed it. I have been to Baywood Cellars ( great wine) and belonged to the Monterey Wine Club and the Monterey Aquarium. If I get a chance to return, I will make it a point to visit.
They are not friendly to military or law enforcement. The manager has informed a number of folks arriving in uniform that they are not welcome because it needs to feel like a “safe space”.
Try Heart Beat Coffee Shop in San Jose….
Talk about woderful coffee and incredible service!!!!!
The owner will even bring a water bowl outside when we have our dogs!!
She brings out orders to us inside or out in the patjo too!!! Homemade soups everyday
in addition to bagel sandwichs too!
The owner cant seem to do enough for you!
The inside is decorated so incredible that it looks like something you would see on tv!! Such a beautifully decorated coffee shop!
Couches tables counter art work huge mirrors….the list goes on and on!
The coffee is exquisite and makes other coffee locations pale in comparison with Heart Beat Coffee Shop in San Jose 95124 zip!!
My favorite is The Bookworks in Pacific Grove. I love the coffee they serve from Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. You can get a custom brew bar drip coffee and select from over 12 coffees and for espresso select from 4. They special order cakes (you can have a slice) and apple strudel and more from Pavels Bakery in PG, an old world European bakery.
What a great surprise to see such a positive review of my absolute favorite local café and coffee shop! I live in Monterey, where it’s pretty easy to find high-quality niche coffee, espresso drinks, and freshly roasted beans (Acme Coffee Co. in Seaside is another of my favorite vendors). The quality of the coffee and the skill of the baristas can’t be beat, and the avocado toast is excellent. I’m also a fan because of the genuine, friendly service. The owners and staff may be hip (or even hipsters), but there’s nothing pretentious about them or how they treat their clientèle. The atmosphere is welcoming and congenial. Glad you and your family paid a visit!
ACME Coffee in Seaside…the absolute best! I buy my custom ground coffee there. When you buy 2 pounds you get a free cup of regular coffee. Great way to taste other blends or single origin beans. Names like Motor City Espresso, Valve Job, Road Dog, fun ” motor theme names”. Light, Medium and Dark Roasts, Italian, French, etc.
It’s a walk up, take out kinda place with cheerful, knowledgable Baristas…..I wont drink anything else.
I will be packing 2 pounds with me when I head to Palm Springs next month…. 🙂