All posts tagged “indie

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Handlebar Coffee Roasters

On a trip down to Santa Barbara for the weekend, I mapped a out a couple of cafés I could visit to get my caffeine fix – and to find a little piece of home. Handlebar Coffee Roasters, located on a side street off the downtown strip of State St., was exactly what I was looking for. With locally roasted coffee and a multitude of hot and cold drinks to choose from, as well as the long line looping outside the building, I knew I was in the right place.

While the café wasn’t necessarily large, it had outdoor seating, a large community table, and massive windows where light streamed in. At the counter, Handlebar sells small pastries and snacks, and on a shelf to the right, offers bags of coffee beans and teas, as well as different flavors of chai.

A macchiato for my father, a latte for me, and a hot chocolate for my little sister:



Everyone loved their drinks, and we regretted not coming here again the next day!
A direct quote from my father:

Handlebar > Starbucks (duh.)

Established by two bikers turned coffee roasters, Handlebar couldn’t go wrong! It’s definitely worth the visit and is only a short turn off of State St, downtown.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

128 E Canon Perdido St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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Flywheel Coffee Roasters

Flywheel Coffee Roasters is in a bit of a hidden spot, densely populated with joggers and cars whizzing by Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle. Located next to Whole Foods in Upper Haight, this large café is a great study spot and break from the craziness of Haight Ashbury.

The inside of Flywheel is large and spread out, with many counters and tables where people can plug in to work or sip coffee with friends. There is also a back patio seating area, and large open windows in the front of the building for sunny SF days. The decor is completely wooden with multiple wheels around the café, creating an almost Blacksmithy vibe with the rustic and antique furniture.

I wasn’t necessarily ecstatic over the coffee or the pastries, which was a small selection, but the cinnamon crumb cake was a great choice out of the few muffins and scones they offered.

The best part was seeing the coffee drip through these lit up orb like machines – it felt like a coffee lab where the drinks were being concocted right there!

 672 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117

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Hollow

Though the alarmingly bright green color of Hollow is hard to miss, this hole-in-the-wall cafe is overlooked by many walking down Irving in the Inner Sunset.

The size of Hollow – only big enough to fit a couple tables and the barista station – suggests that it is more of a grab n’ go coffee stop, with a handful of tasty pastries that can be easily eaten on the go. However, it’s never TOO crowded, and while it can be a bit tight to sit in the actual shop, stopping for a minute to enjoy a hot latte in this cozy room makes for a very warm, homey morning.

Hollow offers a small selection of scones, croissants, and cookies, (and even Dandelion chocolate!) but their big seller is the variety of drinks. Aside from the usual Cappuccino and Latte, Hollow creates a number of different flavors, ranging from Artisan Dark Chocolate Mochas to Spiced Chai Lattes.

My friend and I ordered the Butterscotch Latte and the Matcha Green Tea Latte, and the cafe was calm enough to allow us to sit for a bit and sip our drinks.

The Butterscotch Latte tasted exactly as you would think – coffee, but very sweet and creamy, like a cream soda mixed with a vanilla latte.

The Matcha Green Tea Latte had the perfect amount of creaminess and spice, and I splurged a bit by adding a homemade vanilla marshmallow (just because I wanted to try it). The submerged marshmallow slightly dissolved and made the drink sweeter, though not by much, since the softened mallow didn’t fully dissolve before I finished my drink.

While this isn’t the place to come to with a big group of people, the fun variety of drinks and flavors is worth coming to for a to-go coffee or a quick sip in the morning. The Sunset District doesn’t have many cute cafes like Hollow, but its coziness and Harry Potter’s Cupboard Under the Stairs-esque feel makes for a very warm and inviting environment.

1435 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

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Alfred Coffee

Alfred Coffee, with multiple locations across LA, embodies everything that the hip coffee shops of San Francisco has.

While the Brentwood location (pictured) is small, there is plenty of outdoor seating and to-go options for coffees and pastries. Their slogan, emulated by many new coffee shops, “But First, Coffee” is splattered across their cups, gift items, and even the wall.

Alfred Coffee has a great selection of pastries, with Farmshop baked scones, croissants, danishes, and muffins (GF too!). They also have pressed juices from The Pressed Juicery, and other small snacks and to-go items.

The coffee itself comes from Stumptown Coffee Roasters (my favorite), so I was already sold before I even tasted it. And for the record, it was perfect with my gluten-free blueberry muffin 🙂

Shoutout to my friend Katie for taking me to Alfred Coffee knowing that I would love it and want to post about it! If you’re in the LA area, Alfred Coffee should definitely be first on the agenda!

11908 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

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Lardo

Lardo offers exactly what you think it would offer… juicy, heavy foods. Keeping up with their slogan “Bringing Fatback,” Lardo serves sandwiches, fries, and other greasy foods that give Portlanders the opportunity to “Pig Out.” Lardo’s pride is their flavorful, stuffed sandwiches – which they… Read More

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Cup & Bar 

While I am partial to Stumptown Coffee, Cup & Bar, a spacious, hip cafe in Portland, was a cute stop for a quick coffee in the cold weather. As I didn’t spend too much time here, I unfortunately don’t have much to say — the… Read More

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Blue Star Donuts

For a city that’s known for it’s food – coffee and donuts – it’s easy to get caught up in the tourist attractions. As far as donuts go, Voodoo Doughnuts is easily Portland’s most famous donut joint, and is populated by tourists at all times… Read More