Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffee House (835 W. Harbor Dr—Seaport Village; http://upstartcrowtrading.com/) A lovely, small bookstore and coffee-house located along the waterfront (bay) in the middle of touristy shops. Outdoor and indoor seating.
Chocolat Cremerie (509 Fifth Ave., http://www.chocolatsandiego.com/) Coffee, gelato and chocolate–trifecta! But if you insist on more substance, there’s also crepes, salads, panini and baked goods.
Many Starbucks locations in the Gaslamp/East Village area including: 511 F St., Horton Plaza (2 locations), 345 Market St, 1011 Market St., 333 W. Harbor Dr., 111 W. Harbor Dr. All with wifi. And speaking of Horton Plaza, for tea drinkers, Teavana is located on the first level.
Café Lulu, 419 F St. (http://cafelulusd.com/) Desserts, coffee and it’s also a hookah lounge.
Elixir Coffee Bar, 427 C St. (http://www.elixirespressobar.com/#!home/mainPage) In in the lobby of the Historic Marston Building. Free wifi
Lion Coffee, 101 Market St. (http://www.coffee-hawaii.com/locations/)
Cine Café, 412 K St. For quick breakfast or sandwich, it’s close to the conference hotel.
It’s A Grind, 690 First St. (www.itsagrind.com) Free wifi
Tabac, 589 3rd Ave. for coffee, tea, desserts, hookah
P.J.’s Cafe & Coffee, 250 5th Ave
Bay Books, 1029 Orange Ave., (http://www.baybookscoronado.indiebound.com/) One of San Diego County largest independent booksellers. Good selection of international magazines.
Headed to see the murals at Chicano Park or attend an event at The Roots Factory? Stop for coffee and a snack at Ryan Bros Coffee (1894 Main Street, http://ryanbroscoffee.com/locations/ Also organic coffee at Cafe Virtuoso, 1616 National Ave (http://cafevirtuoso.com/)
Mid-City (Hillcrest, North Park, Normal Heights, University Heights)
In the Normal Heights area, Adams Avenue Book Store (3502 Adams Ave., 92116; http://www.adamsavebooks.com/) is a hometown favorite for used books since the mid-1960s. Nearby coffee houses include Café Cabaret at 3739 Adams Ave (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cabaret-Cafe/115774245112123)and the 24-hour venue, Lestat’s at 3343 Adams Ave. (http://lestats.com/main.htm). Both coffee houses have free wifi. Next door is Lestat’s West is live music venue.
Prefer craft beer with your books? Head to Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH to the locals) at 3416 Adams Ave. (http://blindladyalehouse.com/)
Also in Normal Heights is Villainous Lair (3371 Adams Ave.http://www.villainouslair.com/) The place for “comics, rpgs, collectible cards and graphic novels.”
In the Hillcrest area, Bluestocking Books (3817 Fifth Ave., http://www.bluestockingbooks.com/) is an independent bookseller for more than 40 years. Also in this neighborhood is That Technical Bookstore (3739 1st Ave., http://www.thattechnicalbookstore.com/Default.asp) specializing in books for engineers, architects, contractors. And for more secondhand book finds, peruse the shelves at 5th Avenue Books (3838 – Fifth Ave., http://www.fifthavenuebooks.com/)
For late night coffee and snacks, Filter at 1295 University Ave (http://www.filtersandiego.com/Filter_Coffee_House/Home/Home.html) is open until 2 am during the week, 3 am on weekends.
In nearby University Heights, Buddha’s Light Bookstore (4536 Park Blvd) is a resourceful, small bookstore for Buddhist literature and sells some clothing, jewelry, sitting pillows and other small gifts. The Buddhist association also hosts free meditations sessions. And within a block is the second Lestat’s location (4496 Park Blvd) for 24 hr. coffee, pastries and free wifi.
In the North Park area, Controversial Bookstore at 3063 University Ave., http://controversialbookstore.com/ specializes in metaphysics, spirituality and health and healing. Around the corner at 3933 30th Street is Caffe Calabria (http://www.caffecalabria.com/) where coffee is roasted on site and you can enjoy fresh Neapolitan pizza baked in their giant blue and white tiled oven.
In the South Park/Golden Hill area, stop in to Rebecca’s Coffee House (http://www.rebeccascoffeehouse.com/)and don’t miss savoring a homemade scone. Most evenings include live music, such as Jazz night on August 10th and Ricky Ruiz (guitar) on August 11th.
Also in Golden Hill is Influx at 1948 Broadway (http://influxcafe.com/) and a second location in Little Italy at 750 West Fir (at India St)
“Further from downtown” good bookstores
Two excellent independent bookstores in La Jolla area (about 10 miles from downtown San Diego): DG Wills Books at 7461 Girard Ave. (http://www.dgwillsbooks.com/) and Warwick’s at 7812 Girard Ave (http://www.warwicks.com/)
And for science fiction/fantasy fans, Mysterious Galaxy (7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 302, San Diego 92111;http://www.mystgalaxy.com/) stocks books on “Martians, murder, magic, mayhem & more.” Check out the events calendar on their website for book signings, discussion groups, and special events.