Holsem Coffee – San Diego, CA

Last month while I was in San Diego I stopped by a few coffee shops, one of them being Holsem Coffee. I didn’t really know much about this place or their coffee, but found it on a whim and decided to check it out. I definitely couldn’t say no to their huge marble bar that I’d seen in photos. The interior of this shop did not disappoint.


I stopped in on a Saturday afternoon and it was pretty packed. It’s in a pretty lively district of San Diego (North Park) and there were lots of people out and about even with the crazy heat wave that weekend. Holsem Coffee isn’t too much of a looker from the outside, but once you step inside it’s gorgeousssss. The space is quite large which I was surprised by because it looks so small from the outside. Never judge a coffee shop from its cover! Right? There were lots of two person tables and a rather large area towards the back of the coffee shop for lounging and hanging out.

Right away I noticed the front area was mostly full of serious studyers  and possibly freelancers, and the more lively bunch was towards the back. I think this place would be great for studying or hanging out. It really does serve multiple crowds of people. Typically when I visit a coffee shop it has the same vibe throughout, which can make Holsem Coffee slightly confusing. It’s like when you walk in to a library and it’s lively, but then once you get to the actual area with books it’s dead silent. The split wasn’t my favorite part about this coffee shop. There is also a ton of unused space in the center, and it’s just sort of awkward. Those small confusing vibes and interior architecture blunders aside, I did really enjoy the design of this place.

Holsem Coffee Menu

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Holsem Coffee features an over the top (in a good way) marble bar that has to be the longest I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning. Their menu is really f*cking cool too. It’s insanely large and runs up the wall when you first walk in. They have the typical drinks a coffee shop would serve, and I ordered a cappuccino. A lot of the seats in this shop were full so I sat at a few stools they had by the bar. I have to admit I felt a little awkward. Again I think the layout of the shop is a slightly awkward and there is a lot of negative space in the center. Don’t get me wrong, I am in to minimalism and some negative space, but I just wasn’t in love with this one.

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Holsem Coffee San Diego

My cappuccino was delicious and the art was beautiful. I didn’t have too much time to spend at Holsem because it was getting late and I had to drive back to Temecula, so I downed my cappuccino within a few minutes. The baristas seemed friendly, though not over the top. Typically I like to see a little more oomph behind the counter, but they weren’t unpleasant or anything. They have a few drinks that seem interesting on their ‘creations’ section of their menu which I would love to try! They have a rose and orange cappuccino and other things like a lavender and baklava latte/mocha.

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Holsem Coffee San Diego

Overall I don’t think there was anything particular that stood out to me. All the marble was absolutely stunning, and I would definitely return to try one of their creation drinks. However I don’t think I would go out of my way to make it happen. It’s a beautiful coffee shop to stop by if you’re in the area, but there are other coffee shops I love much more in San Digeo. Most of the reviews I write however are based off the interior architecture and design, and  solely judging on that, I think Holsem had some hits and misses for me. I don’t see them in an unfavorable light though, and this shop is worth a visit if you’re in the area! Very very Instagrammable with the nicest lighting towards the front of the store. Cause you know I have to always point that out…

Thoughts on this coffee shop? Would you check this place out if you were in San Diego? How gorgeous is the marble!?


Holsem Coffee


  1. I was just looking at this place on Yelp yesterday! I am so glad you did a review on it because I was debating whether or not to check it out the next time I’m in San Diego. The decor is pretty and I do like that they have an extensive menu! I may have to put it on list and check it out for myself when I get the chance.


    1. Haha what are the odds Crissy!? That’s awesome. Definitely check them out. They are worst a visit for sure. πŸ™‚

    1. I totally agree Carmen! You put it perfectly. I wasn’t overly impressed but it was a nice coffee shop. πŸ™‚

    1. Haha definitely. I did like this coffee shop, just not my absolute favorite. I have so many more in SD that I love. This one was very photographable though!

    1. Booooo. Though London has some of my favorite coffee shops!! I want to visit again soon so I can check out their coffee scene. Thanks for stopping by Vanessa!

  2. I’m guessing this place is popular because I’m sure I’ve seen photos of this place before a few times?! The interior is SO gorgeous, that marble….


    1. Oh really?! I had never seen it or heard of it before I went. I could totally see how there would be a bunch of photos floating around though. All that marble is totally photo worthy. πŸ˜‰

  3. You really are the Queen of Coffee aren’t you? This is certainly my kind of place though, I adore the marble! Can definitely imagine myself at the counter with a latte in hand and naturally I few instagram photos too!

    Musings & More

    1. Haha thanks Emily! Can I have that official title? Cause I’ll take it! I LOVE COFFEE. Hope you have a great week lady!

  4. Ah I’ve been living in SD for a year and had no idea this existed! Bless you… There are so many tasty coffee shops in this cityβ€”so glad you found an amazing one. That decor is outstanding… Definitely going to try it!

    1. Yay! So glad I could find you a new coffee shop. That’s what I aim for! So many of my readers are from all over, so very rarely will someone get to actually visit a coffee shop I suggest ha. But someone else in SD also put this one on their list to try. Makes me so happy! I really hope you like it!

  5. That marble bar is so gorgeous. Love all these pictures. All your coffee shop posts give me serious coffee shop envy. Every coffee shop I go to here has dark wood tables, which aren’t my favorite for Instagram. I crave that white marble top table haha.

    xx Yasmin

    1. I understand that all too well Yasmin! We used to have a ton of places like that (and still do), but recently in Phoenix people are catching on to the brighter interiors. It’s funny because people will recommend me coffee shops for my blog and my first response is “what does it look like?” I just can’t work with those dark cozy spaces unfortunately. I love my light and bright coffee shops with marble tables!

  6. HAHA! I would feel totally awkward with all that empty space too! I mean I understand that they want to keep the clean and simple look but they could have probably added at least one more row of seats. That way you wouldn’t have been forced to stand at the counter and made to feel even more awkward by that empty space. You are too funny Emily! Have a great week!

    xoxo Rina

  7. I could not help but stare at the marble, how gorgeous!! oh and those hanging pendant lights too. I don’t read much in coffee shops but I often go there when I want to have a chat with a girlfriend or something…

    1. Same Sharon! I either go to a coffee shop to blog (figures haha) or to meet up with friends and chat. For me it’s more of a social experience so I like it to be a little lively!

  8. Wow, the interior is definietly very interesting! I love that marble bar, but honestly, I’m not typically a huge fan of white, modern interiors like that. Something about them feels a little bit… cold, to me? I don’t know, maybe I’m just being weird! I definietly prefer more ‘cosy’, traditional and even old-fashioned interiors, especially for cafes. I really like the look of their menu, though! I would probably go for a Mocha myself as it is my favourite drink everrrr! πŸ™‚ <3 xoxo Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts! πŸ™‚ Kisses. x x


    1. I totally get what you are saying Kay. I think that was sort of my problem with this one too. While it was gorgeous, it just didn’t have the coziness or friendliness vibe. Still a beautiful coffee shop, but I have lots of other favorites that accomplish both style and comfort. πŸ™‚ I love mochas too! Mmmmm.

    1. You make me laugh Sonia! It’s so true though! And not weird at all. What’s weird is the 20 people staring at me while I’m photographing a coffee shop. Alwayyyysss awkward haha.

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