“The daily grind” perfectly describes a college student’s outlook on the daily tasks of balancing school, work, exercise time, significant others and the other hundreds of things we’re forced to somehow compact into our 24-hour day. However, right here in Santa Barbara we have something to help us get through this daily grind — it’s even called The Daily Grind!
Located on 2001 De la Vina, The Daily Grind sits on the corner of two major streets in the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Barbara. Just outside the café, there are handfuls of people sitting on the outdoor patio, reading a book, doing work and sipping on their coffee. With the warm California sun and the cool crisp breeze, the scene is almost picturesque.
The interior of The Daily Grind is very quirky and eccentric. Street signs and license plates plaster the grey painted walls — even bikes can be found throughout. There is a large number of seats and tables for people to set up their laptop while enjoying their meal, and the place bumps with old ’90s songs (everyone’s favorite music decade).
Started in 1995, The Daily Grind is an all-ages-oriented coffeehouse that strives to “take a family approach to [their] business and greet each customer as if they were walking into [their] own home.” This is quite evident to all the customers, where upon entry they are greeted by the friendly employees who are quick to start up a conversation.
Aside from the unique interior, picture-perfect exterior and friendly service, the best part of this place was, of course, the food. Not only do they serve the typical espresso drinks and juices, but they also have homemade muffins, scones, sandwiches, salads, bagels and burritos — all at reasonable prices. There are also endless variations of each food that can be added based on your preferences, and they provide gluten free and vegetarian options. The most popular dish here is the Lox Bagel Sandwich, which comes with onions, tomatoes, smoked salmon and your choice of cream cheese, capers and avocadoes.
In an attempt to be adventurous, I decided to sample a taste of their Lemon Cranberry Nut Muffin with a soy latte. Much to my surprise, the muffin was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, with bits of cranberries and nuts on the inside, topped with cinnamon crumbs and finished off with a zesty lemon streusel. The muffin perfectly complemented the foamy but silky and bittersweet taste of the latte, creating the perfect breakfast snack.
The Daily Grind provides their customers with great service, reasonable prices and some of the best sandwiches around time. With free Wi-Fi and parking — not to mention $1.00 refills — this is the perfect place to come and study or relax.