With several options both within walking distance and a 10-minute drive, Luke Perez lists his top five coffee shops. Hint: they might be a bit controversial.
When I transferred to Azusa Pacific University, I was really impressed with the good chain and local food spots around campus, especially the cafes. Whether it was from word of mouth or stumbling upon them myself, I learned about all the hot spots for students.
With that being said, I think you all have your rankings wrong. It could be because I’m a commuter and not fully immersed in the community, but regardless, here are my top five coffee shops around APU.
No. 5 – Mantra (615 N San Gabriel Ave)
Visually and aesthetically I see why it’s popular. The little house, the patio, the plants, the big mugs and jars that hold your drink are cool and relaxing. At the same time, you can easily drive past the cafe because of its location, it’s packed and the coffee doesn’t do much to stick out among the other cafes on this list. It’s kind of pricey and yes, a bit overrated.
No. 4 – Classic Coffee (148 N Glendora Ave)
Similar to Mantra, the cafe is tough to find but this time it’s worth the search. There’s a good selection of drinks, pastries and sandwiches, a calm environment, and nice seating inside the cafe, in the lobby or outside. Downtown Glendora’s trees give this cafe a calmness to it, making it a great spot to chill or be productive. Despite all that, its high prices and small pastries and sandwiches put it in the No.4 spot.
No. 3 – Azucanela (401 E Foothill Blvd)
This brightly colored cafe has made some of the best Mexican coffee I’ve had. The Cafe de Olla and horchata latte will always be my go-to’s. Their coffee has an authentic taste that the last two cafes are missing. If you have a sweet tooth, this place is definitely for you because of its churros, baked goods and frappes. Since sweets are their calling card, the drinks tend to be on the sugary side and there aren’t a lot of food options.
No. 2 – Pressed + Flower (523 N Azusa Ave)
Pressed + Flower easily has the most diverse menu for your tastebuds. I’ve never been disappointed with their coffee or pastry selection. It has a market vibe inside with the knick-knacks and clothes that are sold within the cafe. The art and the sticky note wall are also a nice touch. Everyone is either working or chilling with their friends so the environment is always nice. There aren’t a lot of negatives for this place but it just doesn’t check off as many boxes as the No. 1 spot.
No. 1 – Café Cultura (709 N Azusa Ave)
Rich in taste, authentic and unique drinks, food and pastries. You can dine in or carry out, Cafe Cultura does it all. I get that it has the appearance of a busy restaurant, but many times during the week, you can sit outside, enjoy your order and chill or get schoolwork done. Even if you don’t want to dine-in, the wait for your order never takes long and you can easily take it back to campus. The good vibes, their brunch and coffee, and being able to sit down or take your order to-go make Cafe Cultura the best coffee spot around campus.