Coffee In Carmel By The Sea

If you’re looking for the best coffee shops in Carmel-by-the-Sea, then you’re in the right place.

“A bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it.” This is certainly true for this artsy town located on the central coast of California.

Whether you are visiting the scenic coastline or are in town to shop at one of the local galleries, you will need to fuel up on good coffee to lift your spirits and brighten your day.

This tiny one-square-mile coastal town takes its coffee seriously, which is evident by the number of coffee shops serving great-tasting coffee in the area.

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Best Carmel-by-the-Sea Coffee Shops

Carmel-by-the-Sea coffee shops either roast their beans in-house or outsource from independent roasteries that specialize in single-origin beans or other high-quality specialty coffee.

These coffee roasters proudly source directly from farmers, ensuring fair trade practices and that they will receive the highest quality beans possible.

The coffee shops on this list are centrally located, with many located downtown. Each shop has unique characteristics that set them apart, making them worth a visit.

With so many things to do and see in Carmel, don’t forget to stop by for a cup of coffee at one of these shops.

Carmel Coffee House and Roasting Co.

  • Best For: Quick coffee detour during downtown/beach visit
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, desserts, light lunch items, breakfast
  • Wifi: Yes

This locally owned coffee shop in Carmel roasts its 100% organic beans on-site and in small batches, guaranteeing that you only get the freshest coffee in each cup.

Go past the large white archway in the Las Tiendas building and follow the scent of fresh coffee through an alleyway.

Then you will soon find yourself in a small 1920s Mediterranean-styled courtyard.

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This courtyard is the pet-friendly outdoor patio of the Carmel Coffee House and Roasting Company which has the shop’s only available seating.

Aside from coffee, they also offer freshly baked pastries and are well known for serving huge breakfast burritos that are big enough to feed two.

Local Tip: When visiting this local coffee shop, go for their simple black coffee and skip the espresso drinks, which can be a hit or miss.

Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting

carmel valley coffee sign
Carmel Valley Coffee Shop
  • Best For: Tasting house blend coffee
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, breakfast, lunch
  • Wifi: Yes

Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting is a family-owned chain of coffee shops in Carmel that has been serving the town for over 25 years.

They roast small batches of organic Arabica beans on a vintage 1940s Farina Italian coffee roaster named ‘Vincenzo’ or ‘Big Vinny’.

This old-school machine requires sight, sound, and smell rather than more modern methods where computer software and sensors do the majority of the decision-making.

They have three locations around Carmel, each with its unique look and vibe.

Its oldest and probably most Instagram-worthy location is on Ocean Avenue, just a few minutes walk from the beach.

Make sure to ask for their bean selections before ordering your coffee, especially if you fancy trying out different blends or single-origin roasts.

Local Tip: Try their house blend Carmel Foglifter or their specialty Fogbreaker Latte

Coffee Bank

exterior of coffee shop
  • Best For: Group meetups over coffee
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, desserts, light bites, hot breakfast, juice bar, wine, beer
  • Wifi: Yes

This coffee shop in Carmel was built inside a former bank and feels more like a comfortable modern home than a coffee shop with its leather couches and seats, a fireplace, and even a piano.

Its interiors and fixtures make for a very relaxing atmosphere where you can just sit and enjoy your coffee.

This is one of the best places to get coffee in Carmel as they have a large outdoor patio if you like to enjoy your food and drinks al fresco.

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Coffee Bank prides itself on using pure 100% Kona coffee beans shipped directly from Hawaii, but they also carry a great selection of single-origin coffee beans from around the world.

Aside from coffee, they offer light fare, healthy food items, as well as beer and wine.

Local Tip: Try out their Kona Pour Over for serious coffee fans.

Cafe Luna

exterior of coffee shop in carmel
Cafe in Carmel
  • Best For: Weekend brunch spot
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, desserts, light lunch items, breakfast or brunch, salads, ramen noodle bowls
  • Wifi: Yes

Who would have thought you’d find a quaint little cafe that serves not only delicious specialty coffee but also serves delicious bowls of ramen and homemade dumplings?

The concept is quirky, as it is a traditional coffee shop with pastries and specialty coffee drinks.

Still, you will also see odd combinations on the menu, like breakfast sushi rolls alongside smoked salmon bagels.

Even with the confusing menu, this cafe in Carmel puts out some delicious food, and the environment is perfect for a casual brunch before heading out to shop at the local boutique stores and galleries.

The cafe is usually busy around brunch or early afternoon with people grabbing their late morning coffee with friends or enjoying a filling meal, so come in early if you’re in a rush.

Local Tip: Come by for brunch or lunch and try their Chicken and Cilantro Ramen, then order a latte to go.

Cafe Carmel

cafe in carmel
Cafe Carmel
  • Best For: Relaxed and quiet breakfast of coffee and freshly baked goods
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, desserts, breakfast, brunch, lunch, late afternoon bites, vegan and vegetarian dishes, gluten-free and non-dairy options
  • Wifi: Yes

Cafe Carmel’s history can be traced to a family-owned bakery/cafe that started its operation in Carmel in 1952.

Though it has been purchased and now has a different owner, it retains its friendly and cozy atmosphere, beloved by locals and tourists alike.

Stepping into the cafe, you will find a simple interior and fixtures that give the shop a warm feel.

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Before reaching the cashier’s counter, you will be greeted by brightly lit display counters showcasing a variety of pastries and sandwiches that are freshly made in-house.

These sweet and savory temptations make it difficult not to order food to go along with your coffee.

Local Tip: Order their Aria Cold Brew and chase it with a piece of their tiramisu


  • Best For: Brunch with friends
  • Outdoor seating: Yes
  • Food options: Pastries, desserts, light lunch items, breakfast or brunch, quick bites, vegetarian options, beer, wine
  • Wifi: Yes

Stationæry is a not-so-hidden hidden gem located in downtown Carmel.

The space itself would seem like the cafe has outgrown its location because it’s usually full of people making it difficult to get a table.

Most would call it crowded, but fans of the place would describe it as an intimate space where you can enjoy great-tasting food and seasonal lattes with friends and family.

They have a variety of creative food offerings, mostly comfort food repackaged with elegant presentations.

The team behind the cafe strives to source its ingredients as locally as possible so the food menu can vary depending on what is fresh and in season.

This is one of the best cafes in Carmel where you come for the great food but stay awhile for the amazing coffee.

Local Tip: This is a popular spot, so reservations are highly recommended

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Wrap-Up: Best Coffee Shops in Carmel-by-the-Sea

If you’re looking for the best coffee in Carmel, hopefully, this list has been helpful. Most Carmel by the sea coffee shops has been brewing up freshly roasted coffee for many years.

They have been a staple where locals and tourists can gather, relax, and enjoy a warm hug in a cup while escaping the chilly coastal fog.

Whether you’re staying in Carmel for a romantic weekend or just stopping by while on a road trip on Highway 1, make sure to check out one of these great coffee shops.


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