As Winter rolls around, we grab our blankets and curl up by the fire. The cold snow outside makes our Starbucks peppermint frappuccinos even more delicious and–wait. What is wrong with this picture? After realizing it doesn’t snow here, you look down at your Starbucks and ask yourself, “where did my individualism go?”
It’s pretty easy to find a gazillion Starbucks or Peets in a 20 mile radius around town. However, there are also amazing little coffee houses that will warm your belly and keep you feeling more like a local.
You can get Starbucks anywhere. But how often can you taste home in a cup?
1) Dana Street Roasting Company
744 W Dana St, Mountain View
This local favorite opens on Monday through Friday at 6:30 and Saturdays and Sundays at 8ish (as posted on their door). Catty corner from the Crapevine and Books Inc, you can grab a delicious brew of their famous house coffee, enjoy the autumn air, and people watch. Dana Street Roasting has been roasting their own coffee–one of the few shops that roasts their own fresh every morning–for over 16 years. With free live music on Fridays and Saturdays, this coffee house is committed to serving its unique but faithful regular community. The price for a small hot chocolate is $1.60 compared to Starbucks’s $ 2.65, and a large coffee is only $1.75. Once you taste this heaven on earth, there’s no going back. Indulge.
2) Philz Coffee
3191 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
While Philz has multiple locations, it definitely has the special taste of the Bay Area. If you find yourself in Berkeley, the Mission in SF, or in Palo Alto, you only need to follow the delicious smell that will lead you to these groovy coffee houses. Open since 2003, Philz combines people, community, and coffee, spreading happiness “one cup at a time.” Though there are only two sizes, there are a gazillion options to choose from. Feeling like a Gingersnap iced coffee? Or what about “sooo good” light roast? Get energized.
3) Sweet Shop
994 Los Altos Ave, Los Altos
Located on Los Altos Ave in Los Altos, this adorable cafe caters to all your cravings: coffee, cakes, tea, ice cream, and candy. The Sweet Shop opened in 2009 with the mission to create a place where the community can gather and create new stories. Not only is their coffee delicious, but they are also philanthropic– all proceeds are donated to the local public schools and environmentally friendly causes. Catch a bite for lunch or dip your baked goods in your coffee that uses beans from Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz
Hopefully now you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful California winter with warm drinks that remind us who we are. Enjoy!