Saturday, January 18, 2020

A City Guide: Coffee Shops of Old Towne Orange

I'm so excited to start this series of City Guides for Old Towne Orange. This downtown area is the hub of Orange, CA and the home to so many coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, antique stores, and so much more! With Chapman University in this downtown area, it is booming with life and creativity. Just look at my maternity about art! We also took our family photos in the heart of it all.

Orange has been my home since I was 8 and Old Towne has always drawn me in. Whether it was walking, biking, or driving my friends and I made our way there as often as possible. Now, my husband and I take our kids there a lot. One of their favorite activities is throwing coins in the fountain after having dinner at our favorite pizza place.

This town will always have a piece of my heart, so much so that my husband and I even have orange tattoos. Ha!

It is with so much passion that I'm starting these City Guides with all of the coffee shops Old Towne currently has to offer. The coffee shops are what I frequent the most, taking any chance I get to hunker down with a delicious cup of jo to read, blog, or grade papers. And as a Chapman University graduate, I reminisce about my study days. I sometimes miss the days I basically lived in these coffee shops. There will be a City Guide on the best study spots soon enough 😉

Coffee Shops of Old Towne Orange
The Aussie Bean
The Aussie Bean started as a coffee truck on the Chapman University campus while I attended and shortly moved into a brick & mortar location on the corner of W. Maple Ave. & Glassell St. They've recently added Chunk-N-Chip to their offerings, which is just a bonus alongside their deliciously strong coffees. If you have a chance to chat with Gavin, the owner, you'll be able to pick him out by his authentic Aussie accent. How fun is that? Gavin's passion is bringing authentic Australian coffee to his shops. Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Website

Contra Coffee + Tea
Josh and I discovered Contra Coffee + Tea at Orange Homegrown's Farmers' & Artisans' Market. This too started as a coffee truck. We followed Contra on Instagram so we would know their weekly offerings at the farmers' market & I was so bummed when I had to cut back due to being pregnant with Maverick. They set up shop inside the 1888 Center, which is home to Heritage Future, a non-profit with a mission "to provide...diverse neighborhoods with creative and cultural opportunities" (Heritage Future Website). You can visit their bar to enjoy all of their specialty coffee & teas on draft. Instagram // Website

Pandor Artisan Bakery + Cafe
Pandor took the place of my most favorite coffee shop, Caffe Lucca. I still morn this switch, but I do enjoy what Pandor has to offer. I'm also thrilled they kept the yummy gelato offerings. I probably grab a coffee from here the most & it's a miracle when I don't snag one of their delicious pastries to accompany my unsweetened iced coffee. They also have an entire breakfast and lunch/dinner menu. It's a place worth checking out. Facebook // Instagram // Menu // Twitter // Website

The Pie Hole LA
Don't let the "LA" fool you. This coffee & pie shop is alive and well in Old Towne. I've never really been a pie person but their Mexican Chocolate pie is my absolute favorite. I actually just sent a text to my husband to keep it in mind as an option for my birthday cake. For real. Their coffee is delicious, too and they recently added comfy seating alongside their traditional tables & chairs. Payton & I have gone on a mommy-daughter date here, which was just perfect. I had coffee & she had something sweet- pie! I might have snuck a few bites here or there, too. No one is perfect. Facebook // Instagram // Menu // Twitter // Website

Portola Coffee Roasters
I think I first heard of Portola when I moved back to Orange from Seattle and it was for sure before it came to Old Towne. Back in the day, the baristas wore lab coats because it was called "Portola Coffee Lab" or something similar. It was really fun to visit for this reason, but it has transitioned since then. Their coffee is still the wonderful, artful liquid it always has been. This particular location is inside of Provisions Deli + Bottle Shop. It seemed to take forever for it to open because of historical and/or structural obstacles with the city. It was torture seeing the "coming soon" sign for so long. Thankfully, they persevered! Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Website

I don't need to say much about Starbucks except that there is a location in Old Towne if you're interested. It seems to always be busy! It is a pretty cool location because it's in the old Orange Daily News building. History is definitely something Old Town appreciates!

Locals, have I forgotten anything? What is your favorite coffee shop and why?
Future visitors, what draws you into a coffee shop?

Thanks for stopping by & be sure to Pin this for later, especially if you're currently planning a trip to Orange County. You won't want to miss what Old Towne Orange has to offer! I promise.


  1. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I were planning on visiting California in the future since it's one of the places on our travel bucket list. We will have to bookmark this page and check some of the out!

    1. I hope you're able to, but more than visiting these coffee shops, I hope you're able to get to this trip that you're wanting to have. I know sometimes life can get in the way of vacay...

  2. Visiting cool coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do when exploring a new town. These all look AWESOME!!

    XO, Katie |

    1. It's my favorite thing to do as well! I almost always research coffee places when we travel. Even it it's just to a neighboring city.

  3. I love unique eateries! Especially coffee shops!!!