Coffee Shop of the Week

Duet Coffee House // 6526 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92115//M-F 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

$

3.5/5

A duet is typically performed by two entities, and this coffee shop does not fall short of its namesake. Catering to a duality of patrons, offering a menu split between classics and personal specialities, and separating into two spacious rooms, Duet Coffee Shop is a binary of the brews.

Like any postmodern coffee shop, Duet adopts the minimalistic decor stereotypical of the nearby North Park cafes — communal wooden workbenches, neutral tabletops, small potted succulents and geometric ornaments that serve no function. While this new-wave hipster climate can sometimes come off as cold, Duet offers an exceptionally warm service, spacious gathering rooms and introvert-friendly window seats that accommodate for both the mysterious and mysterious graphic designer and the family out for breakfast.

A space that caters to two polarized clientele groups, Duet Coffee has a menu that complements the different tastes of its patrons. As one who sticks with a more traditional cuppa, nothing quite satisfies like a well-done cappuccino — and here at Duet, theirs is a perfect blend of espresso and foamed milk, topped with a generous froth of art au lait. Duet Coffee executes this classic well, creating a perfect blend of strong, bitter coffee with not-too-hot milk.

For the more creative palate, Duet Coffee offers a sea salt caramel latte, the perfect “adult” spin on a caffeinated classic, or the more whimsical honey orange cappuccino, sweetened with nature’s nectar and crowned with an entire orange slice. For kiddos, there’s the long-beloved hot cocoa or fruit tea blends. Pair any of these drinks with a warmed muffin, flaky pastry dusted in powdered sugar or addicting donut holes to enhance your Duet experience.

Whether for work or for leisure, lone wolf or with a crew, Duet Coffee is a cafe experience that dances along a duality of shared experiences in one collective space. With artfully crafted drinks set in a well-thought-out atmosphere, this up-and-coming coffee house is a must.

La Clochette Du Coin // 6830 La Jolla Blvd La Jolla, CA 92037 (6:30am-4:00pm M-F, 7:00am-2:00pm Sat-Sun)

$

3/5

La Clochette Du Coin is a little piece of Paris tucked between La Jolla Boulevard and Windansea Beach. Inspired by French cafes and patisseries, La Clochette Du Coin — or “the bell of the corner” — is a quaint coffee stop serving fine European espresso and delicate pastries alongside the SoCal favorites.

Upon entering this little nook, you’re instantly greeted by a barista, a glass case of almond croissants, chocolate eclairs and fruit-adorned scones, and a menu boasting a variety of drip coffees, espresso and organic tea blends. While La Clochette Du Coin certainly doesn’t stray from the European classics, they acknowledge their San Diegan roots and serve up pitaya and acai bowls as well as avocado toast. And for the California native who might not be as interested in the health food craze, La Clochette Du Coin also offers a selection of waffle desserts, topped with cream, fruit and chocolate.

To be frank, La Clochette Du Coin’s offerings are not unique; the service, preparation and atmosphere of this coffee shop are what truly make the difference. Each in-house coffee is paired with a piece of dark chocolate — a small yet remarkable symbol of thoughtfulness. The baristas personally remember and bring each order to the patrons at the table. The atmosphere is quiet yet warm, with soft music and colors curating a friendly climate without being overly distracting. Perfect for students, families and gatherings alike, La Clochette Du Coin is a coffee nook in downtown La Jolla that shouldn’t be missed.

And with a plethora of street and neighborhood parking, all of which is within walking distance to the beach and La Clochette Du Coin, this little La Jolla gem is the ultimate Euro-Cali fusion getaway.