Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Graham Bishai.
18653 Main St., Groveland, CA.; (209) 962-4686; open daily 7am-5pm
When you’re in need of a pick-me-up, this place has more than coffee—it will greet you with open arms and give you a hug. In a gorgeous country house, this coffee bar coexists with an art gallery and a clothing store, all of which is surrounded by a large outdoor garden shop. (Read: a lush green wonderland with singing birds and flowers all around.) Wonderfully furnished, the house radiates joy with its landscape paintings and beautiful hardwood floors. You can find the coffee shop in the back, filled with tons of natural light. Sit down and recharge in one of its several places: a living room complete with couches and chairs, the front porch, at the bar stool, or at one of the tables. Not only will you feel at home, you’ll wish it were your home. You do have to leave by closing time, though.
Coffee from $2; vegan options available; wheelchair accessibility; Wi-Fi
Stellar Brew & Natural Cafe ($-$$)
3280 Main St., Mammoth Lakes; (760) 924-3559; stellarbrewnaturalcafe.com; open daily 5:30am-6pm
If you want to see the archetypal person who hangs out at Mammoth Lakes, come to Stellar Brew in the morning. Beanies aren’t required, but you’ll see plenty. The coffee shop’s color scheme matches the natural world around it, and they serve made-to-order breakfast and lunch options, most of which are wraps, bowls, and salads. The vibes are best described as granola—oh, and they serve that, too. Try one of their protein shakes for a nice start to your morning. Sit inside or out, revel at the mountains around you, and sip a fresh cup of Joe.
Breakfast from $6, lunch from $10; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options; wheelchair accessible
Kevin and Randi’s Old Fashioned Meat Market
18687 Main St., Groveland, CA; (209) 952-5500; open Tu-Sa 10am-5pm, kitchen closes 4pm
This is a true Mom-and-Pop store—their names are literally on the storefront. If you’re needing a good pick-me-up on your way towards the park, Randi will hook you up! If you’re craving meat or vegan anything isn’t your thing, Kevin and Randi run a cute little neighborhood deli that offers a variety of fresh sandwiches. To top off the small-town cuteness, your order will come wrapped up in checkered paper. You can either eat there or on the go.
Sandwiches from $8; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options; wheelchair accessible
Graham left behind the stressed-out chaos of Cambridge for the laid back life on the West Coast. A refreshing change of pace, he assumed, until the line for coffee on his first morning took 2 mins longer than he’s used to, and the Northeast nasty jumped out. Starting in Vancouver, Graham meandered south, toning his calves being a pedestrian on San Francisco’s hills and by navigating the monstrosity that is Los Angeles using just his feet and public transit (only resorting to Uber twice!) Graham’s love for the West Coast life only increased as he sat by the Puget Sound in Seattle, sipped kombucha in the crunchy cafes of Portland, climbed into a waterfall in Yosemite and stayed in an abandoned opera house in Death Valley. By the time he hit upper 80s sun of San Diego, buff calves and sun tanned, the words “West Coast, Best Coast,” almost slipped out of his mouth. Identity crisis looming, he figured it was time to go home.