I have a confession. I’m really not this chipper, tail-wagging pooch most readers have come to know me as — that is, not until I have had my first cup of Joe in the morning. Thankfully, Balboa Park has no shortage of cafés and coffee carts, offering a wide array coffee drinks and teas, to put some bite into my bark. Here’s a quick rundown of the Park’s best coffee and tea venues:
Daniel’s Coffee Cart — The best bet for park early birds, Daniel’s is conveniently located in the House of Hospitality courtyard and opens at 8am. Though its specialty coffee drinks are among the priciest in the Park, it does offer the best variety when only a hazelnut or peppermint latte will satisfy you.
Galileo’s Café — One of the many museum cafés in the Park that are only open during museum hours, starting at 10am, Galileo’s serves the usual variety of espresso drinks along with one of the deepest family-friendly food menus in the Park, including ice cream, so all of your pups will find something to howl about as well.
Dinosaur Café — Managed by the Cohn Restaurant Group, the Dino Café is located in the atrium of the San Diego Natural History Museum, in close proximity to my favorite bone collection. Although it’s closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it does offer some of the best and most price-friendly coffee drinks in the Park.
Casa 2015 — Taking over the food counter between the Museum of Photographic Arts and the San Diego History Center, this park newcomer, also managed by the Cohn Restaurant Group, will mostly become known for its grab-and-go Mexican-style cuisine. But it still offers the usual assortment coffee beverages in a convenient indoor setting.
Tea Pavilion — Located next to the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Tea Pavilion should be renamed “Tea Paradise” for its wide variety of Asian-themed gourmet teas. Another Cohn Restaurant Group-run eatery in the Park, it also serves a tasty assortment of noodle soups, salads, and rice bowls at reasonable prices.
The Sculpture Court Café by Giuseppe — Perhaps the most elegant setting in the Park to enjoy your morning brew, the San Diego Museum of Art’s café serves gourmet coffee beverages as part of a diverse menu, which also includes beers, wines, and even cocktails. Perfect for well-heeled folks who don’t bother looking at the right-hand side of the menu.