Established in 1968, Pannikin’s history is reflected by its run-down interior. Gloomy walls are decorated with coffee-themed posters and odd, mismatched pieces of artwork. Seating choices include multicolored worn-in sofa benches, rustic wooden chairs by the window and small tables and chairs strewn about. However, seating is limited due to the shop’s small size.
The interior is quite small and can feel cramped at times, but the real space to sit at Pannikin is outside on the large patio and deck, where guests can soak up the San Diego sunshine. Their outdoor seating wraps around the side of the building, providing ample space to enjoy a cup of Pannikin’s signature blend, a local favorite, which is a medley of beans from four different continents.
Although it’s run-down, Pannikin is always filled with La Jolla locals and regulars who are greeted by the friendly staff. Service is efficient and helpful. The chalk-written menu may be difficult to read, but it’s filled with tons of options, including vegetarian and vegan items. However, the real food to focus on is the selection of pastries, baked fresh every day. Try the chocolate-chip muffin ($2) or any of the scones and have it heated up on the spot. Pair your pastry with a stellar espresso drink, such as the Vietnamese Coffee ($3.75) or a classic Americano ($2), and you won’t be disappointed.
Studying is easy with the free Wi-Fi, which is accessible both inside and outside. Bring your laptop fully charged, though, because the number of outlets is limited. Expect light music and background noise from the chatty employees and customers. Do not plan on spreading out all of your study materials, since you’re bound to be fairly cozy with your neighbor. With closing time at 7 p.m., early birds and those who prefer to study outdoors are the perfect crowd — Pannikin opens at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 6:30 a.m. on weekends.