Category Archives: Encinitas

Pannikin’s “Hip”pie Coffee and Desserts

My friend Eddy talks a mile a minute. One might presume he is:

A. On speed
B. Nervous
C. Caffeine-crazed

The answer is D. None of the above. Eddy just has a lot to say. And I love it because mostly what flows out of his mouth is joke after joke. He’s honestly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

What I don’t find funny is the fact that never in his life had Eddy tasted a sip of what I like to call “liquid heaven.” Naturally, I persuaded him to break his coffee aversion during a visit to San Diego. It all went down at a little place in Encinitas called Pannikin Coffee & Tea.

Berkeley hippie. Really, there’s no other way I’d describe this local favorite, a can’t-miss custard yellow house located at 510 N. Highway 101. Pannikin has been in the coffee biz since 1968, an era still evident inside with its vintage decor and incredibly chilled-out vibe.

A quarter of the space is dedicated to a store with knickknacks, mugs and beans for purchase (and who knows, maybe even some kush if you ask the right person). Though slightly cluttered, other parts of the café are spacious and perfect for sitting with a cup of coffee.

That said, don’t expect fancy latte art adorning your order. This isn’t that kind of place. What you will get, however, is a fresh cup of pretty decent brew that you’d drink enough of to at least leave a lip stain on the mug. What did Eddy make of his coffee intro? “Mmm,” he says of his mocha. “This is really good.” Let’s be real — chocolate makes everything better. His order is slightly void, but that was as far as he’d let his palate venture. Not quite a bull’s-eye, but at least on target.

Truthfully, the pastry offerings are far more impressionable—they’re of eye-popping, gargantuan portions. That alone convinces me to convince you to stop by, and I suggest three things. One, get the carrot cake and kill every bite. It’s a thick slice of bliss worth the caloric splurge. Moist and sweet with a hint of spice, topped with exceptional cream cheese frosting and a dusting of toasted coconut.

Two, leave fido at home. He’s not welcome inside, and even if he was, he’d attack your carrot cake.

Finally, bring a journal. This is the kind of place where, for some reason, you’ll feel compelled to write about something. There’s a nook perfect for doing so—Pannikin’s patio, which is accompanied by several two-tops and complementing red folding chairs.

If ever the place gets too crowded, across the café resides a spare chair, kept out of danger on a roof (so kidding. I’m not quite sure why that chair is on the roof).

The café closes at 6 p.m. daily. Get yours.

Follow me on twitter this weekend, and find out where’s my next cup.