Where: 3558 State Street, 805-687-7196
What: A tea, spice, and coffee shop that just celebrated its 33rd birthday
How much? The usual range for coffee, baked goods, and tea
The dish: Vices and Spices operates in a casual manner that corporate coffee heads would frown upon, but that’s been a large part of the appeal keeping it in business on Upper State for more than 30 years. Quality coffee and espresso drinks are the main focus, but it is the variety of teas and spices sold by the ounce and the eclectic worldly feel, including a small but select amount of gifts and jewelry for sale, that keeps it busy from the moment the door opens in the morning. Candy bin-like glass containers full of teas and spices such as juniper berries and licorice spice line the walls. With an inviting atmosphere that encourages lingering visits, you can refill your vanilla nut cream flavored coffee at the self-service bar as you finish your game of Chinese Checkers at one of the few tables. It is a perfect meeting spot to catch up with friends, see familiar faces, and rev up your energy in the morning before hopping on the neighboring 154 to go wine tasting in Santa Ynez.