With school and work often leading to early mornings, people tend to enjoy stopping at a coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up. Popular chain coffee shops such as Starbucks however, are not only constantly crowded, but do not have the best quality drinks or treats to purchase.
For Ventura residents who want fast service and delicious drinks and baked goods, here are three local coffee shops to fit all your morning needs.
Simone’s Coffee & Tea
The popular coffee shop has been providing high quality beverages since 1996. Along with classic coffee, Simone’s offers a large variety of beverages, including loose-leaf teas, smoothies, hot espresso drinks, shakes, and blended drinks. Simone’s also provides a nice variety of baked goods, including scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and their house-made granola.
While waiting for your drink, you can relax in the soft chairs, work on any projects using their free-Wifi, or take a look at the wide range of gift items sold. Simone’s is sure to provide a comfortable atmosphere, with subtle music and fast and friendly service.
At each coffee shop I ordered a similar drink: Green Iced Tea. It is a classic drink that can be purchased anywhere. Not only was I immediately greeted by the friendly workers when ordering, but my drink was brought out by the time I had finished paying. The iced tea was fresh and just the right temperature.
Part of the coffee shop experience goes beyond the beverages and straight to the display case full of various treats. I decided to purchase their house-made granola to-go, which consisted of their personal blend of oats, nuts, and seeds, all covered in the milk of choice. It was crunchy, flavorful, and filling; the perfect way to start the day.
Simone’s Coffee and Tea is friendly, fast, and delicious, and with the long hours, it is a great convenience for any time of the day.
Located downtown, Palermo provides you with fast service, unique flavors, and tasty treats. Open from early morning to evening, their decently-priced menu is sure to have something to satisfy you, whether it’s 6:00am or 6:00pm.
The hip coffee shop serves locally roasted Beacon coffee, which is brewed daily. Along with beverages, Palermo’s serves fresh pastries, gourmet truffles, 18 flavors of gelato, and several gifts, candles, and greeting cards.
Along with the classic espresso, Palermo offers original coffee and tea flavors, including their Mexican (Cinnamon) Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Latte, and Lavender Mochas. My order of pineapple green iced tea had just the right flavor. Although the pineapple is not prominent, it definitely adds a touch of sweetness to reduce the strong taste of the Green Tea.
Palermo has a warm environment. It is easy to be drawn in by the aroma of fresh coffee, soft couches, both indoor and outdoor seating, and cute gift and decor options. The workers are immediately ready to serve you, and are sure to get the job done quickly.
— TrEat (@TotallyTrEating) June 8, 2015
Their elegant chocolates and decadent gelato are proudly displayed inside, and after looking at the wide range of options, I decided on their “Milk Overload Truffle.” Not only is it a generous size, but has a very sophisticated appearance, with signature swirls, smears, and shimmer on each chocolate.
The truffle consisted of a milk chocolate shell and smooth, chocolatey-caramel center. It was perfectly sweet, silky, and indulgent.
Between the special range of beverage options and decadent desserts, Palermo is sure to please all palettes.
Kay’s Coffee Shop
Located right next to the beach, Kay’s Coffee Shop is not only at a beautiful location, but also serves up high quality items.
According to their website, the shop was named after the owner’s father, who was a “constant coffee drinker and a die-hard dessert fan.” Everything from the drinks, hard working and careful staff, and airplane decorations were based off of Kay, who was not only a perfectionist, but a machinist with a hobby of building small, radio-controlled airplanes.
The small shop has both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a brightly lit area and fast service. The worker was sure to provide you with everything you needed and genuinely cared about your satisfaction.
When ordering a pineapple green iced tea, she gave me a small taste before making the entire cup to ensure it was what I wanted. The tea was once again sweet and satisfying.
Although their nice variety of both hot and cold drinks was impressive, what really stood out to me was their baked goods. It was clear that each was fresh and homemade, and everything was appealing to look at as well as nicely priced.
Because I visited in the morning, I decided to try their homemade peanut butter bar, which had a nice blend of oats, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and honey. The bar was chewy, nutty, and delectable; truly one of the best bars I had ever tasted. There was just the right amount of peanut butter to honey ratio, making the bar alone worth coming back for.
Kay’s Coffee Shop not only has a scenic location, but nice, local drinks, amazing baked goods, and a local, hole-in-the-wall vibe, making it a unique, super satisfying experience.
Background Photo Credit: Julia Fickenscher/The Foothill Dragon Press