It has become a trend among millennials and Gen Zs to work for hours in coffee shops and I love it. Getting out of the house to enjoy a fantastic cup of joe with chill music playing in the background, surrounded by people who may or may not actually be working behind their screen, all while making small talk with the baristas, has become an important part of our daily routine. I’m here to spill the beans on the best place to go for specialty coffee, pastries and productive vibes.
Dune Coffee Roasters, otherwise known as The French Press, hits all the requirements for an awesome coffee shop and let me tell you why. For starters, the coffee is delicious and they roast their own beans in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. They have beans from Ethiopia, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for your classic pour-over coffee. Ranging from smooth chocolate, tropical watermelon, caramelly tangerine, brown sugar blueberry and apricot cherry, there is a single-origin or blend that will make anyone’s taste buds happy. You can even snag a bag of your favorite one in the store and make it at home. If coffee isn’t your thing, they have great matcha (which they also sell), tea, kombucha on tap and hot chocolate.
But what if you need a snack break and another drink just won’t do? Dune has an option for any food craving you might be having. For a savory mood, you can grab an English muffin frittata sandwich, bagels, pretzel sticks or homemade sourdough toast with smoked salmon, prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella and seasoning. For a sweet tooth, there are triple-berry scones, morning buns, blueberry muffins, croissants, yogurt parfaits with amazing granola, seasonal fruit danishes and homemade toast with almond butter and honey, butter and seasonal jam or butter and cinnamon sugar. Dune is a bakery and a coffee shop brewed into one and no one can be mad; it’s the perfect blend.
While you’re set on the food and coffee, we all know the layout of the cafe is important too. You can’t sit somewhere dark for several hours without getting fidgety for fresh air and light, but this isn’t a concern at Dune. It has huge open windows and outdoor seating that allows you to soak up the sun while catching up with a friend, journaling or studying for an upcoming midterm. There is plenty of space inside at communal tables, bar stools at high tables and bench seats for ultimate comfort. The bright, open, airy setup gives you so much personal space and relieves you of the pressure to rush out quickly. Take your time and enjoy the relaxed energy — you might even strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Everyone working at Dune is extremely friendly and I’ve had only great experiences, learning something new and having a laugh every time I’ve gone there.
So, there you have it — Dune is the best specialty coffee shop in town in this writer’s opinion. Grab a friend for an essay-writing date, midterm study session or a good old catch up and head over to one of their three locations on Storke Road, State Street or Anacapa Street. I promise you’ll love it a latte!