Where: 2001 De La Vina St., (805) 687-0945

What: Bustling coffee house and lunch spot with quick service.

How much? Espresso drinks (double) $2.10-$3.70, Smoothies $3.50-4.95, lunch $6-$8.95

The dish: The Daily Grind, owned by Luis Cubilla, has been in business for an impressive 16 years on the corner of Mission and De La Vina. Longevity also runs among employees and clients, with a core group of regulars amidst the morning crowd. Traffic buzzing, milk steaming, people chatting, and birds chirping all contribute to the soundtrack for morning grinders, comprised of students, business professionals, and everyone in between. The scones blend buttery goodness with just the right amount of crumble, and in my eight years of patronage, the baristas have never scalded the milk on the espresso drinks. Pair the zucchini carrot muffin with a double soy latte for a winning combination. Smoothies, with names paying homage to musicians, movies, and Santa Barbara, offer a tasty and nutritious liquid meal. All scones and muffins are baked on the premises and each sandwich and salad made fresh to order rather than the pre-wrapped items found in some chain coffee houses. Friendly service, tasty fare, and speedy delivery continue to make the Daily Grind one the best options for that quick stop before the other daily grind begins.


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