As college students, we pride ourselves in our abundant coffee intake and our fascination with studying at coffee shops. While it’s convenient to head to Starbucks and Coffee Bean, the Ventura area is blessed with amazing locally owned coffee shops worth supporting! The pandemic hurt small businesses the most and since we’re going to spend $5 for coffee anyways, it’s better to go to someone local instead of The Man. These insta-worthy cafes have creative menus, delectable pastries and are perfect for studying!
- Singing Sun: Across from Ventura High School is a quaint coffee shop following the modern coffee shop trend. While their options are limited, the quality of their coffee is high because they serve Sightglass Coffee, a well-known San Francisco-based coffee roaster. There are different seating options including cafe tables, bar seating and their namesake sunlit window seat. Bonus: Singing Sun is right next door to Timbre books, a cute local bookshop also worth supporting!
Best Drinks: Good Fortune Latte, Oatmilk Mocha, Vanilla Bean Latte, Kombucha on tap
Study Vibes: Limited seating, quiet, some outlets, rarely packed, WiFi
- Ragamuffin: With two locations in Oxnard and Newbury Park, Ragamuffin is a local favorite across the county. The Oxnard cafe is located in the Annex at the Collection shopping area. You can’t miss it with the beautiful Ragamuffin mural and neon signage. They actually roast their coffee right there in the corner and it always smells amazing. The baristas are well-trained, their drinks are top notch, and their menu has lots of options. Don’t think of it just as a quick stop coffee shop; grab a bite at one of the take-out places in the Annex and stay for a while.
Best Drinks: Mexican Mocha, Dirty Chai , Brown Sugar Latte (as recommended by their baristas)
Study Vibes: Indoor seating in the Annex, outdoor seating with sun or shade, no outlets, can be busy, free WiFi
- Simone’s: A longtime Ventura favorite, Simone’s has two locations worth trying in Ventura. Their original location in the Kimball shopping center is smaller but has an extensive menu of drinks, pastries and entrees. Their decor has vintage coffee shop vibes and they have mugs, jewelry and other gift items for sale. (Be sure to check out their ornaments and gift options around Christmas time!) Their new location opened across from CMH and has beautiful, modern decor. This location is a great place to study or meet a friend with their long seating design. Their staff is always friendly and they have a very loyal customer base.
Best Drinks: Any Seasonal Beverage, Bianco, Frozen lemonades, Smoothies
Study Vibes: Kimball location is small and sometimes loud but offers adequate seating, CMH location perfect for studying, no outlets, WiFi
- Cafe Ficelle: If you want to be transported to a parisian bakery, head over to Cafe Ficelle (in Camarillo or across from Pacific View Mall). Known for their artisan pastries, breads and desserts, you’ll feel classy AF enjoying a croissant and espresso drink here. Cafe Ficelle serves Verve coffee, a recognized Santa Cruz coffee brand, and adding a rich flavor to all their drinks! Both locations are ornately decorated with plentiful seating indoors and out. The Ventura cafe has a large community table perfect for group projects and meeting friends. This is one coffee shop that won’t disappoint!
Best Drink: Butterfly Matcha, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Mocha (all paired with a flaky pastry or macaron, of course!)
Study Vibes: Lots of seating, outlets, WiFi, occasionally loud
- Frontside: The newest coffee shop in Ventura is Frontside over on Front St. by Transmission Brewing and Toppers Pizza. This hidden gem is arguably the most instagrammable cafe in the area. The owners are Australian and include Aussie “brekkie” staples like meat pies and fairy bread on their menu along with your favorite cafe staples. The minimalist beach style of the cafe captures the natural light and at Frontside there are no bad angles. Open Wednesday through Sunday, it can be hard to get a seat, but one always opens up quickly. Check it out for a bright place to study or meet for a lunch date!
Best Drink: Oatmilk Latte, Hot Chocolate, Drip Coffee
Study Vibes: Plenty of indoor/patio seating, often busy, WiFi
It’s a win-win! The quality at all of these coffee shops is infinitely better and you’re supporting the local business economy instead of the large corporate chains. So next time you’re going out for coffee, hit a local spot!