Alta Coffee – Newport Beach
It’s unlikely that you would ever find it if someone didn’t tell you where it was. However, once you find it you’ll certainly find your way back. Alta Coffee Warehouse in Newport Beach has the feel of an actual coffee warehouse, which caused me to walk by the first few times without it occuring to me that I could actually get a coffee here. I really did think it was a coffee wholesaler and not a cafe.
A friend stopped by the office to help with a project and asked if I’d had my morning coffee yet. When he said we should walk over to Alta Coffee, I responded with something along the lines of “Oh, they actually sell coffee there also?”. I think he was amused with this answer and couldn’t wait to introduce me to this great little hole in the wall coffee shop.
We walked around the corner and up to the back of the shop. Even though I had seen the front of Alta Coffee Warehouse a few times, I would not have known it was there when walking up to the back entrance. It looks like many of the old cannery buildings in the area, without much to give it away as a gourmet coffee shop. Once you get closer though, you notice the patio sitting area which is a fantastic getaway from the industrial and cannery type of buildings that surround you in this section of Newport Beach.
Aside from the inauspicious exterior, the whole shop has a very eclectic and artsy feel to it. There are poetry sessions and live music regularly featured at Alta Coffee Warehouse too. But while all of these aesthetics are charming, the real issue here is the coffee.
I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed in the coffee to be found here. There are several brews available (organic and frequently from small farms), and the flavor and roasting are far superior to chain coffee shops that are easily located on any main thoroughfare. There are foods available too, so if you need a bagel or sweet (their chocolate cake is incredible) to enjoy over your cup of joe, Alta Coffee Warehouse has you covered. If you need something a little more substantial they have great sandwiches on amazing bread and a savory Zuni stew.
While they are clear about not having anyone hang around during peak hours (no cell phone and no studying policy is in effect!) this is a great place to relax, enjoy your brew, and even do a bit of people watching.
Alta Coffee does not have a parking lot so you’re better off walking a few blocks if necessary. Signs won’t wave you in from Newport Boulevard, but if you find your way here…..you will be back.
Alta Coffee Warehouse is located at 506 31st Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663