Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
I'll be the first to admit: I'm a caffeine fiend. I average about 4 large cups of coffee daily - 2 before 9 AM on a typical day. I'm pretty much always carrying around a cup of coffee and in the last few years, I've become somewhat of a coffee snob - sorry Starbucks, but you're just not cutting it anymore.
When I moved to San Diego, one of my first instincts was to discover a good coffee shop to replace Nashville's Fido & JJ's (which is sadly no longer, sorry 615-ers) - to write & read in, to meet people in and obviously to enjoy a good cup of coffee.
I've found quite a few gems: Ironsmith in Encinitas, Lofty Coffee in Solana Beach and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla & Little Italy. I was surprised, though, that I hadn't discovered Dark Horse Coffee in Normal Heights on my hunt yet!
After finishing a morning workout in Balboa Park with some time to spare, I drove around the surrounding area a bit, eventually finding myself in front of Dark Horse. It was right about time for my next caffeine fix, so I decided to stop and grab a latte before heading off to work.
When I first walked in, I absolutely loved the ambiance. It felt cozy, homey, quaint and inviting inside, and the baristas (who I found to be extremely knowledgable) immediately greeted me.
The coffee exceeded the ambiance, by far, though. All beans are roasted in-house & sourced from small villages & communities, and my coffee was smooth, rich and complex - it needed absolutely no sweetener or milk.
I splurged and opted for a vegan blueberry donut too, which was divine. I'm always a little wary of vegan desserts, but the donut still maintained an indulgent, decadent flavor, but didn't make me feel completely gross after.
Since my chance encounter with Dark Horse, it's been one of my favorite places of choice to feed my caffeine addiction and indulge in high-quality coffee (and maybe a sweet treat or two!).
What: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Where: Normal Heights, North Park, Golden Hill - San Diego
When: 6:30 - 6 weekdays, 7-7 weekends
My Picks: Cold Brew on Nitro (ask for a little bit of vanilla added), Brazil Pour-Over, or the Champ (espresso, cinnamon, almond milk, honey)!