Ten Great OC Coffeeshops

Dave Lieberman

We're sometimes accused of being too North County-centric around here. We can't help it; even leaving aside the snark about Laguna Engabachada, the fact is the population's up here in the 714, and choice in restaurants tends to follow the population.

Coffee, however, is a different story. There's good coffee all over this county. This is a list of 10--I could have easily listed 30 places far, far better than Fourbucks or the Coffee Leaf and Tea Bean. Read on!

10. The Neighborhood Cup

The coffee's good at Neighborhood Cup, but it's the atmosphere that's the big draw. Neighborhood Cup is the closest thing Aliso Viejo has to a downtown, a community center where people come to hang out. People come to chat, there are car shows on occasion, and it offers the world's most immense serving of bread pudding to go with the coffee, too. 1 Journey, Aliso Viejo, (949) 716-5100; theneighborhoodcup.com.

9. Caffe Lucca

Dave Lieberman
Everyone in Old Town Orange knows about the gelato at Caffe Lucca--Courtney Perkes at The Orange County Register just wrote a great review of the place last week, just five years after we did--but its draw to me is the espresso with those addictive orange-chocolate madeleines. If you've got to have the ice cream, though, get it as an affogato--drowned in espresso. 106 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 289-1255; cafelucca.com.

8. Revo Cycles and Espresso

What's more fun than a shop full of tempting bicycles and aftermarket parts? A shop full of tempting bicycles and aftermarket parts and caffeinated customers, of course! I got delivered here a couple of years ago by a SAG van on the MS Bay-to-Bay Tour from Irvine to San Diego and was hooked. 34155 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 496-1955; revocycles.com.

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