If you’re a work-from-home-kinda gal, the cabin fever can really take a toll on your sanity. Even video conferences are no longer motivation enough to get dressed or shower, so relocating to a coffee shop is sometimes essential for one’s mental health.
The sleepy, touristy Monterey Peninsula–though quaint, beautiful and truly a gem of the West Coast–just doesn’t bring the same level of hip as nearby San Francisco or hippie as neighbor Santa Cruz. But fear not! The few, the proud: local students, military spouses, independent consultants and those visiting can still get their fix, if they know where to find it:
Captain & Stoker, Monterey, CA
I mean, hipsters do love bikes, and so does Captain & Stoker. After a drama-filled early 2018 that included closing, re-opening, closing again and finding itself under new ownership and management, C&S is still a go-to for espresso lovers and the area’s cyclists.
Housed in a former garage space, C&S (pictured in feature photo) is big and bright with full-length windows, tandem and vintage bikes sprinkled from the ceiling, and an industrial design aesthetic punctuated by succulents, gold elephants and community tables, which are typically filled with the local cycling clubs finishing up a long ride. Old dudes in spandex? Yes, please. 398 E Franklin Street, Monterey, CA 93940, (831) 901-3776.
Stationaery, Carmel, CA
Oh I’m sorry, did you need Wifi? Not gonna happen here. Stationaery, the newest addition on this list is focused more on delicious eats and fine coffee, rather than being an all-day hang out spot. Not my original intention, but while the lack of connectivity was a shock, what a pleasant surprise to sit down unplugged over lunch on a Wednesday. #lifegoals
As is typical, Stationaery prides itself on sourcing locally. We are in America’s Salad Bowl after all, and breakfast bowls, salads and sandwiches highlight such. Despite how basic and predictable it is, I truly enjoyed the avocado toast and French press coffee, and the other treats from San Francisco-bred chef Amelia Scatena looked equally delectable. San Carlos Street, 3 NE of 6th Avenue, San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, (831) 250-7183
Bright Coffee, Monterey, CA
Coffee and artisan goods? I’m in heaven. The emphasis here feels more on Lilify, the goods portion of the place, selling gifts, quirky greeting cards and home decor. They even offer styling services. The cafe Bright Coffee, on the other hand, offers delicious lattes and a limited but tasty food menu that pulls from sister location Cafe Lumiere in downtown Monterey, just with better service. Upon arrival, the waft of fresh croissants baking will knock your socks off. You will black out and return home to find you’ve purchased too many ceramic pieces and handmade hoop earrings for your budget. 281 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940.
Acme Coffee Roasting Co., Seaside, CA
I love to #resist, be it certain political movements or our coffee industrial complex. Bring in Acme Coffee in the underappreciated seaside town of…Seaside. Eater SF refers to them as “salt-of-the earth,” which captures this humble, no-frills spot quite nicely. Acme offers organic, clean grown, fair trade coffee in small batches with little to no seating, so best to grab your nitro and pastry to go. 485B Palm Ave, Seaside, CA 93955, (831) 393-9113
Crema is this remote worker’s home away from home. Open only for brunch, Crema is housed in an old Craftsman house. Adorable. On weekdays, the cafe opens early and boasts a quiet upstairs space great for camping out with your laptop alongside a lot of the local pooches that are also welcome.
This spot is extra friendly, with fun music, a chatty group of baristas and servers, and discounts for various community members. Order big with the delectable BLAT sandwich and do yourself a favor, ask for that thick cut bacon, extra crispy. Or grab a breakfast burrito and walk down to the beach. Either way, plan to take an afternoon nap after lunch here, because you’ll need it. 481 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, (831) 324-0347.
Feature photo courtesy of Captain & Stoker.
Nicole is a relationship builder and storyteller, ready for adventure and excited to see and capture what makes the world unique. By day, she works with government, corporations and nonprofit organizations and has experience in communications and marketing, program and project management, and design and advocacy. Perhaps naively, she is most interested in social impact and making the world a better place, and is particularly interested in where our food comes from and how it brings us together. She’s also a proud feminist. Nicole has been with GMF since 2013, and is currently based in California with her family, where they spend time hiking, road tripping, visiting the farmers market, reading, and generally not sleeping enough.