This interactive map will show you all the best coffee shop/study spots right near Cal Poly’s campus. Just click on your spot of choice for more information and a picture to help you decide which shop to check out first.
Bello Mundo Cafe
Coffee: Bello Mundo serves coffee from Equator Coffee based out of San Rafael in Marin County, California.
Atmosphere: “Bello Mundo” means beautiful world in Spanish, and this is exactly what the founders wanted to establish in this sweet little piece of sunshine nestled in tight in the heart of downtown SLO. The founders are world travelers who have incorporated their experiences in India, Morocco and other countries to create this one-of-a-kind study spot and coffee shop experience.
Location: 980 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: No private parking, but ample garage space and metered street parking.
“Bello Mundo is definitely my favorite place to go to study. It is one of those more locally known shops where regulars get to know the baristas. It is more expensive than a lot of other shops nearby but I would choose coffee from Bello Mundo over anywhere else even if it’s a few bucks more.”
-Amanda Amura, fourth year Cal Poly Student.
Higher Groundz Coffee House and Eatery
Coffee: Higher Groundz has partnered with Cambria Coffee Roasting Co. to support the local company. They have recently began to serve Stewart and Clark Fine Foods‘ fresh baked goods and desserts.
Atmosphere: Higher Groundz seeks to provide great service to customers while also having a wide variety of food to choose from. Their large menu includes salads, wraps, sandwiches and breakfast food allowing customers to come for breakfast or lunch. The coffee shop is also outside of the busy downtown area, allowing for a quieter atmosphere.
Location: 3230 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Located in a shopping center off of Broad street, plenty of parking exists right outside Higher Groundz.
Kreuzberg Coffee Company
Coffee: Kreuzberg has chosen to serve coffees from Verve Coffee Roasters.
Atmosphere: Hoping to create an atmosphere reflecting that of a cafe in the Kreuzberg borough of Berlin, Germany, owners Chris and James have provided a shop with a vibrant and dynamic European flare. With lamps hanging from the ceiling, artwork painted on the walls and unique chairs and tables, visiting Kreuzberg is sure to be a unique experience.
Location: 685 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Kreuzberg is on the main street of downtown, so a bit of a walk will be involved if you want to park in one of the many garages nearby, but nothing too far. Street parking is always an option, but don’t forget a few quarters.
“Kreuzberg is laid back. We have a lot more time to treat the customers with care.” -Andy Zargham, Kreuzberg barista
**See the previous PolyPlaces post all about Kreuzberg**
Coffee: Linnaea’s serves freshly ground organic coffee and a custom variety of teas, most of which are Fair Trade Certified.
Atmosphere: Linnaea’s is considered by most customers as a place that feels like home. And that is exactly what Linnaea Phillips had hoped for when she opened this quaint shop back in 1984. It has stool window seating to look out at the passersby, indoor tables with access to plugs and wifi and a large courtyard area out back with benches, tables, koi ponds, and a lush garden.
Location: 1110 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Due to its central downtown location, it is not hard to find parking near Linnaea’s. Street parking and a close parking garage on Marsh Street provide an easy way to get to this coffee shop.
Scout Coffee Co.
Coffee: Co-Owners Jon and Sara Peterson, both previous employees of Verve Coffee Roasters, excel in their excellent customer service and barista skills. Sara was ranked the top female barista in the country in 2010.
Atmosphere: Everything about this modern coffee shop is light and airy. With floor to ceiling windows covering one wall that fully open to the sidewalk outside, sunlight fills the whole shop, bringing out the rich wooden countertops and brightens every corner of this spacious cafe. Cushioned benches and high tables with stools are available for studying and free wifi makes it easy to get work done.
Location: 1130 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Located just down the street from Linnaea’s Cafe, metered street parking and a close parking garage on Marsh Street are available to Scout customers.
“Studying at Scout is refreshing. Not only do they have delicious treats to munch on while I push through some tough material, but the open and light atmosphere keeps me in a constant happy mood. I never feel stressed when I am studying there. However, charge your laptops before you come, the only outlets are not next to any of the tables.”
-Kaylene Co, first year Cal Poly student.
Coffee: Steynberg serves organic Fair Trade coffee from Grounds for Change. In addition, many varieties of teas, breakfast and lunch food are available.
Atmosphere: Steynberg Gallery boasts artwork from local artists, but hosts wine tastings, poetry readings, lectures, open mic and live performances from people in the San Luis Obispo community. On top of the abundant support for local talent, Steynberg provides space to spread out and get some work done. Art pieces on the walls provide an interesting study environment.
Location: 1531 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Street parking right out front is available as well as nearby parking lots. Located slightly outside of the main downtown area, parking is easier and less crowded.
West End Espresso & Tea
Coffee: Boasting 25 Fair Trade organic coffees and 35 loose leaf tea varieties, downtown SLO’s first coffee shop is a local favorite.
Atmosphere: With windows taking up half of the walls, and a perfect corner location at the end of Higuera Street downtown, West End is the prime spot for relaxation. Indoor window seating with rocking chairs or outdoor tables in the shade or sun give students and customers plenty of options of where to enjoy their coffee.
Location: 670 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo
Parking: Street parking is always an option, and a parking lot sits right out front, but try parking in a nearby parking lot or garage and then walking by the creek until you pop up right next to West End.
“To me, West End is the most relaxing coffee shop I’ve visited downtown. Yes, it is on the main stretch of downtown, but it is all the way at the end with no shops on its left. It is a very peaceful and quiet place.”
-Loren Jackson, second year Cal Poly student.