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Not very secret super secret coffee stop

Hide in plain sight, they say, it works. At least it seems to be working for Art of Espresso on the UCSD campus. The coffee cart at the south end of the Mandeville center has been pulling top-quality shots of espresso since 1999 and it's a fixture for students (and people passing through campus by bike).

On any given weekday morning there will be a queue of students lining up for caffeination before the day's scholastic pursuits. There's no better shot of espresso to be found on campus. In fact, the java at the Art of Espresso can go toe to toe with just about anyone in town. Make no mistake, the cart isn't a stop for a lackluster morning jolt, it's a serious espresso bar. As is the case with any really good coffee place, I recommend sticking with espresso or macchiato to get the most out of the experience. The plain truth is that good coffee needs no adornment. Nevertheless, the staff is super-pro and they will make whatever with care and skill.

People in a rush can opt in to the self-service, honor system airpots on the left flank of the Art of Espresso. Prices are rounded for ease of transaction and there's a basket out of which it's possible to make change, but the most elegant solution is to bring the exact sum (a small coffee is $1 and prices increase by quarters) and achieve a zen-like, seamless purchase. It's really quite gratifying.

Sure, maybe the Art of Espresso won't become everybody's go-to coffee spot, for no other reason that it's concealed within the college campus. But anyone passing through UCSD or the area would be well advised to pop in. It's just off Gilman Drive, accessible via Mandeville Lane.

Open only during classes
M-F 7AM-4PM
Closed weekends

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Hide in plain sight, they say, it works. At least it seems to be working for Art of Espresso on the UCSD campus. The coffee cart at the south end of the Mandeville center has been pulling top-quality shots of espresso since 1999 and it's a fixture for students (and people passing through campus by bike).

On any given weekday morning there will be a queue of students lining up for caffeination before the day's scholastic pursuits. There's no better shot of espresso to be found on campus. In fact, the java at the Art of Espresso can go toe to toe with just about anyone in town. Make no mistake, the cart isn't a stop for a lackluster morning jolt, it's a serious espresso bar. As is the case with any really good coffee place, I recommend sticking with espresso or macchiato to get the most out of the experience. The plain truth is that good coffee needs no adornment. Nevertheless, the staff is super-pro and they will make whatever with care and skill.

People in a rush can opt in to the self-service, honor system airpots on the left flank of the Art of Espresso. Prices are rounded for ease of transaction and there's a basket out of which it's possible to make change, but the most elegant solution is to bring the exact sum (a small coffee is $1 and prices increase by quarters) and achieve a zen-like, seamless purchase. It's really quite gratifying.

Sure, maybe the Art of Espresso won't become everybody's go-to coffee spot, for no other reason that it's concealed within the college campus. But anyone passing through UCSD or the area would be well advised to pop in. It's just off Gilman Drive, accessible via Mandeville Lane.

Open only during classes
M-F 7AM-4PM
Closed weekends

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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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