Favorite Coffee Shops to Work at in OC
As a graphic design student and intern I often have a lot of work to do from home. I sometimes struggle with focusing at home, so I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite coffee shops in OC. I haven't been to every locally owned coffee shop in Orange County, of course, but this is just a list based on my personal experience. I would like to state for the record, too that all these places make a mean latte!
(Unfortunately, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you really really need strong coffee, strong wifi, and ample outlets to finish work for a fast approaching deadline—and you don’t want to drive twenty or thirty minutes—the closest Starbucks might be the best bet.)
1. Patch Coffee
My number one spot right now for working + caffeinating is Patch Coffee in Lake Forest. It’s a little out of the way, as it’s right in the middle of the suburbs, but the vibe is great. It’s pretty quiet and calm, the coffee is delicious and there is plenty of parking. It’s got nice staff and plenty of spots to sit. Enough spots that you can rotate to the other side of the coffee shop if and when your brain starts to melt from staring at the computer for four hours straight. There’s ample parking, as it is in the suburbs, so you can just park right out front! Hooray! Coffee + seating + outlets + parking galore = max productivity.
2. Hidden House Coffee
Another good spot if you need to get out of the house for a little bit is Hidden House Coffee in San Juan Capistrano! It feels like you’re sitting in a cozy little treehouse here, as its nestled in a lush area. The coffee is great and the staff was friendly. There’s an outdoor patio to work at, but not tons of outlets inside. Also, I recommend going weekdays during work hours, as this place is pretty trendy so it gets busy on weekends. It’s also right near a private high school, because I remember this place getting flooded with students once around 3pm. There's also a location in Santa Ana!
3. Koffee Klatch
If you live in Laguna, you’ve probably been to the Koffee Klatch. There’s street parking (meter on PCH and free in the neighborhoods) and it’s right across from the ocean. The coffee is strong and there is lots of places to work, but it is a little dark inside, which may or may not be a problem for some. There’s a few outlets scattered around, you’ve just got to hunt for them a little bit. Some people haven't gotten great service there, but I've personally never had a really bad experience.
4. Portola Coffee Lab
If you’re a Chapman student, you’ve most likely been the Portola Coffee Lab downtown. There’s street parking and the staff was very friendly. I suppose you could work out on the patio or up front, but this is a shared space (pretty cool!) with a restaurant in the back so it wasn’t very quiet inside. Outside, the patio was quite calm and quiet, so if you want to study here with a laptop, I’d come with a charged battery. There's two other locations!
Not only does this super trendy coffee shop have a delicious cappuccino, but they also serve fresh, yummy food. The staff was incredibly welcoming and this shop was just a blogger's dream come true. That being said, the seats were so uncomfortable and hard that I couldn't really get comfy the whole time I was there. That's my only warning about this spot. There are outlets inside and a nice patio outside. There's also easy parking, as it's in a really nice strip mall.
Very cute coffee shops, but may not be the best to do homework at: Rosetta Coffee Brewing Co. in Laguna Niguel and NEAT Coffee in Costa Mesa. Both had very very friendly and accommodating staff, but the spaces were smallish and didn’t seem like the best spots to set up for a few hours of work. Just my opinion! Both have ample parking and great coffee.
Go forth, work hard, drink coffee, be nice + kick ass.