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Superbloom lays claim to best café location in the city – updated Dec. 6

On a patio overlooking Mission Bay, even boring mochas taste good

With a backdrop of Mission Bay, this vegan coffee counter Superbloom has it made.
With a backdrop of Mission Bay, this vegan coffee counter Superbloom has it made.

I’d like to be disappointed, but my surroundings won’t allow it. There’s Mission Bay, spread out to the west, with the first shade of sunset color taking form overhead. I’m seated in a spacious patio, surrounded by the manicured grasses of Mission Bay Park, beside the familiar, conch-inspired design of the old Mission Bay Visitor Information Center.

Place

Superbloom Coffee & Juice

2688 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego

Except the info center shuttered ages ago. Now, after years of sitting empty, the kitschy bit of 1960s architecture has been re-purposed as the Mission Bay Beach Club, a different sort of hospitality hub, which includes bike and beach gear rentals, and this sharp-looking little vegan cafe, dubbed Superbloom.

The former Mission Bay Visitor Information Center, now with beach rentals and a coffee counter

The coffee counter manages to bridge the building’s retro vibe to a contemporary coffee parlor look, with subway tiles lined up behind white marble bartop and black striped awning. However, the genuine appeal of the place resides on the patio, where the wooden dining sets include seat cushions, and there are just enough planters that the landscaping is noticeable, despite competition from the bay scenery.

The expansive, bay view patio at Mission Bay Beach Club

It’s there we’ve settled with our purchases, and the disappointment looms. I’ve brought my wife here after spotting posts about Superbloom’s $6.50 mocha lattes on Mission Bay Beach Club’s Instagram. There, the seasonal special, peppermint mocha was recently photographed with a topping of whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and crumbled candy cane. A few weeks back, the counter’s first signature menu item, called Fire at the Bay, was similarly pictured, but with toasted marshmallows and a smattering of chocolate nibs.

Superbloom mocha lattes, according to Instagram

We’ve ordered both these two lattes — one oat milk, one almond milk, given this is a vegan coffee stand — yet none of the toppings materialize with them. No whipped cream, no marshmallows or candy cane. Instead, another timely reminder of the great gap between the reality Instagram project, and the reality we experience every day.

But, again, my disappointment is fleeting. The social media fantasy led us to this place, an ideal spot to enjoy the beauty of the bay even as the weather turns cool. Especially so with hot beverages. And both mochas taste great, despite the lack of adornments. Rumor has it, Superbloom brews with beans from Mostra Coffee, one of our region’s best roasters, so maybe they had that going for them all along.

Superbloom mocha lattes in real life

In seems most of Superbloom’s food and drink offerings are primarily curatorial while it continues to build out a kitchen. Guests will find packaged salads from the likes of Urban Remedy and Bol, and cold pressed juices from a business called Little West. Not to mention the $8 ice cream sandwiches offered by Summer Afternoons, the ice cream cart we found parked next to the café.

An ice cream sandwich from Summer Afternoons, sold from the cart, or the Superbloom cafe

Summer Afternoons is another brand coming out of Beaucoup Creative, the group behind this whole Mission Bay Beach Club makeover. Apparently a pizza place is in the near future, and original food items for the café. Hopefully, Beaucoup’s execution of its vision will more closely conform to the social media fantasy it’s generating in the meantime. Either way, this is already a plum spot to hang out, proving that you can accomplish a lot with a prime location, and the food just needs to be good enough to keep people from leaving.

Update

Kristine Overacre of Beaucoup Creative sent word that the missing toppings on Superbloom's mocha lattes of late are the result of supply issues, specifically availability of vegan whipped cream. Customers should expect decorative beverages to be available again soon. Additionally, she notes Mission Bay Beach Club was created in partnership with Bradley Schnell of Playground Agency.

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With a backdrop of Mission Bay, this vegan coffee counter Superbloom has it made.
With a backdrop of Mission Bay, this vegan coffee counter Superbloom has it made.

I’d like to be disappointed, but my surroundings won’t allow it. There’s Mission Bay, spread out to the west, with the first shade of sunset color taking form overhead. I’m seated in a spacious patio, surrounded by the manicured grasses of Mission Bay Park, beside the familiar, conch-inspired design of the old Mission Bay Visitor Information Center.

Place

Superbloom Coffee & Juice

2688 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego

Except the info center shuttered ages ago. Now, after years of sitting empty, the kitschy bit of 1960s architecture has been re-purposed as the Mission Bay Beach Club, a different sort of hospitality hub, which includes bike and beach gear rentals, and this sharp-looking little vegan cafe, dubbed Superbloom.

The former Mission Bay Visitor Information Center, now with beach rentals and a coffee counter

The coffee counter manages to bridge the building’s retro vibe to a contemporary coffee parlor look, with subway tiles lined up behind white marble bartop and black striped awning. However, the genuine appeal of the place resides on the patio, where the wooden dining sets include seat cushions, and there are just enough planters that the landscaping is noticeable, despite competition from the bay scenery.

The expansive, bay view patio at Mission Bay Beach Club

It’s there we’ve settled with our purchases, and the disappointment looms. I’ve brought my wife here after spotting posts about Superbloom’s $6.50 mocha lattes on Mission Bay Beach Club’s Instagram. There, the seasonal special, peppermint mocha was recently photographed with a topping of whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and crumbled candy cane. A few weeks back, the counter’s first signature menu item, called Fire at the Bay, was similarly pictured, but with toasted marshmallows and a smattering of chocolate nibs.

Superbloom mocha lattes, according to Instagram

We’ve ordered both these two lattes — one oat milk, one almond milk, given this is a vegan coffee stand — yet none of the toppings materialize with them. No whipped cream, no marshmallows or candy cane. Instead, another timely reminder of the great gap between the reality Instagram project, and the reality we experience every day.

But, again, my disappointment is fleeting. The social media fantasy led us to this place, an ideal spot to enjoy the beauty of the bay even as the weather turns cool. Especially so with hot beverages. And both mochas taste great, despite the lack of adornments. Rumor has it, Superbloom brews with beans from Mostra Coffee, one of our region’s best roasters, so maybe they had that going for them all along.

Superbloom mocha lattes in real life

In seems most of Superbloom’s food and drink offerings are primarily curatorial while it continues to build out a kitchen. Guests will find packaged salads from the likes of Urban Remedy and Bol, and cold pressed juices from a business called Little West. Not to mention the $8 ice cream sandwiches offered by Summer Afternoons, the ice cream cart we found parked next to the café.

An ice cream sandwich from Summer Afternoons, sold from the cart, or the Superbloom cafe

Summer Afternoons is another brand coming out of Beaucoup Creative, the group behind this whole Mission Bay Beach Club makeover. Apparently a pizza place is in the near future, and original food items for the café. Hopefully, Beaucoup’s execution of its vision will more closely conform to the social media fantasy it’s generating in the meantime. Either way, this is already a plum spot to hang out, proving that you can accomplish a lot with a prime location, and the food just needs to be good enough to keep people from leaving.

Update

Kristine Overacre of Beaucoup Creative sent word that the missing toppings on Superbloom's mocha lattes of late are the result of supply issues, specifically availability of vegan whipped cream. Customers should expect decorative beverages to be available again soon. Additionally, she notes Mission Bay Beach Club was created in partnership with Bradley Schnell of Playground Agency.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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