Where to Have a Great Cup of Coffee in Davis, CA

coffee trio

Davis, California – a small town about 20 minutes from the state capital – is home not only to one of the ten University of California campuses, but also to a plethora of independent local businesses and smaller chains serving Sacramento and the Northern California region. As the student population has grown with the university, new study spots have popped up all over town to accommodate the demand for a quiet place to work. Even for non-students coffee shops have become a positive presence in the area, providing inviting spaces for residents to hang out and meet up.

While there are quite a few coffee shops in Davis, a few in particular stand out not only for their high-quality coffee but for their welcoming and student-friendly atmosphere. So, the next time you’re in Davis, be sure to give one (or all!) of these coffee shops a try:

Temple Coffee

Davis feels. #templecoffee . Photo: @ashleymuirbruhn

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Temple Coffee is a small chain with locations in Davis and Sacramento. Temple prides itself on “good vibes, great service, and exceptionally well-prepared coffee,” offering not only a variety of speciality drinks, but a wide selection of ethically-sourced blends for the at-home coffee brewing enthusiast.

In addition to their coffee, Temple also stocks a small selection of baked goods. Each Temple location has a similar look and feel: warm lighting, earthy furnishings and lively music playing. The Davis location in particular is a favorite of UC Davis students, and can almost always be found completely packed with students and Davis locals alike. Davis is also one of two Temple locations to have a Nitro tap system, used to craft “Nitrogen-infused coffee and tea beverages.”

While Temple offers a wide variety of specialty drinks and treats, one of its best offerings is its classic latte, carefully crafted right down to the swirl of whole milk that often takes the shape of a heart or a bird, depending on the barista who makes it. Another customer favorite is the Bliss Tea, which consists of peppermint tea, vanilla soy milk, coconut milk, and honey. Finally, upon walking into Davis Temple, customers can find the wall closest to the door lined with merchandise, from shirts and hats to custom Davis-themed mugs. Even as a Sacramento chain, Temple has carved out a home on G Street in downtown Davis and is deeply enjoyed by its residents.

Common Grounds Coffee

Common Grounds Coffee is an independent coffee shop located in South Davis (with one other location in Woodland, CA). UC Davis students and other South Davis residents frequent the Davis location, as it is within easy walking distance from many of the popular South Davis apartment complexes. Upon entering Common Grounds, customers can find a large chalkboard menu boasting a large variety of specialty coffee and tea drinks, as well as smoothies and snacks. Of the ample selection of specialty drinks, the White Mocha stands out with its sweet, warm flavor.

With its low-key vibe, its wide selection of drinks, and the smattering of local business cards found around the front counter, Common Grounds truly feels like a local watering hole and one of Davis’ best kept secrets.

Peet’s (Downtown Davis)

TGIF! Come in to cool down. #peetniklife #peetsdtdavis Photo: @peetscoffee

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Though Peet’s Coffee is a large chain with a multitude of locations, one of the two Davis branches stands out as a local favorite, where residents and students can be found studying and socializing throughout the day. With its proximity to other restaurants and shops, the Downtown Davis Peet’s is an inviting space where customers can dip in for a break from their meandering or settle down for a long day of studying. Of all the local coffee shops, Peet’s appears to be the most accepting of student customers, offering ample seating, plenty of electrical outlets and a seemingly endless playlist of soft jazz that plays throughout the day.

In addition to the students that make Peet’s their weekend home, professors can be found here holding their office hours and a number of local regulars stop in throughout the day to greet friends. Early mornings at Peet’s are almost always dominated by these locals, and as the day goes on students wander in to begin their cram-sessions.

When settling in for a study session or a coffee date, a classic latte is a great go-to drink – best served hot, two pumps of vanilla optional! Whether you’re just stopping in between classes or hunkering down to study the weekend away, Downtown Davis Peet’s will be sure to welcome you with open arms and a delicious (fairly priced!) latte.

What coffee shops have you discovered in your area lately and what do you like most about them?

Feature Image via Maddy Corbin

Rachel holds a B.A. in French with a minor in Linguistics from the University of California-Davis (2016), and will begin graduate studies in Romance linguistics and second language acquisition this fall (2017). Rachel’s hobbies include reading books of all genres, hanging out at coffee shops, and having deep discussions with friends over brunch.

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