[Recommend] City Heights Coffee House

Coffee shops have become an integral part of many people’s lives. They’re places to meet, hang out, and have deep conversations. In San Diego, there seems to be an over-abundance of cafes to choose from, often leading to decision-paralysis [at least for me]. Among these, City Heights Coffee House has risen as an organization committed not only to making a great cup of coffee, but changing the lives of “those who need second chances.”

City Heights Coffee House
4466 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105
(858) 609-9648


At first glance, this coffee shop doesn’t seem like much. It’s completely outdoors in an obscure little alley [Update: they’ve recently moved to a permanent location]. Then you start talking to the friendly baristas behind the counter, and realize that there’s something different about this place. You find out that this is a non-profit organization seeking to empower individuals by employing at-risk and marginalized people groups, starting from their own community. Suddenly, your cup of coffee is not just another cup of coffee, but a step towards helping them in their mission of inclusiveness and community.

But what about their coffee, you ask? Yes, that is rather important for a coffee shop, isn’t it? City Heights Coffee aims to craft multi-ethnic drinks that invite conversations with a wide range of people in this diverse neighborhood. Michael and I tried the highly recommended Vietnamese coffee and Cafe de La Olla. Both were wonderful. Vietnamese coffee is very strong, with the bitterness alleviated by condensed milk. The Cafe de La Olla had an interesting spice to it, with hints of cinnamon and sweetness. Even for a semi-coffee-snob, their drinks satisfied




“At City Heights Coffee House, a coffee (or tea) cup is more than just a drink. It’s an invitation to build deep ties across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries with neighbors, ethnic groups, local businesses, and government leaders.  Each cup represents a conversation: a reconciliatory talk, an exchange of business ideas, a willingness to listen to and learn from one another, and a passion to be connected to the global world around us.”







Conclusion: Coffee has a way of bringing people together. City Heights Coffee House has capitalized on this principle to build deeper ties within and across cultures. They’ve created a space for people to build relationships, and from there, to find hope. Great coffee, inspiring vision. What’s not to like? This is one coffee shop I can get behind without hesitation.