July 2, 2017
The cute, yellow, Victorian house was an actual Santa Fe Depot train station built in 1888 and was originally located up the road and across the street from its Leucadia home today. Still keeping its train roots in the decor inside the building, Pannikin Coffee & Tea is as quintessential Encinitas as anything can get.
When we first moved to the hood back in ’01, we were told to go here by our realtor, Klara Strauss-Henkles, from Premier Homes Director Windermere Homes & Estates (call her!) “Bring your dogs” she recommended. Not only is this place kid and dog-friendly, there was a pet llama parked out front while it’s owner was inside ordering. And if you have a train obsessed young child as we did, it can’t get better than a REAL train depot by the tracks where the big, loud trains goes by regularly, selling all the chocolaty drinks and sugary goodies your child could ever dream of. As long as you don’t mind listening to “Train! Train! More train!” this is the kind of place you can hang out all morning!
You will see many bikers and runners ending up at Pannikin, so today, our group of eight decided to hoof the few miles there. If you don’t show up to Pannikin looking a little sweaty or work-out-worn, you will feel self conscience. If you must drive, I suggest a squirt of the water bottle on your clothes, and a rustle of your hair before going. Just to fit in.
Be prepared to wait in long line on a weekend morning, but no fear, this line is a great place to make new friends, or just people watch while you are Procaffeinating.
If your first time going is on a weekend, things can be stressful. The menu is located on a chalkboard by the baked goodies, which is right by the register. So by the time you get to see what’s on the menu, or in the display case, it’s your turn to order. And make it fast because you have some grumpy procaffeinators waiting behind you!
As you walk up the stairs and inside, there is an adorable store filled with tantalizing coffee, teas, mugs and other related chatchkes.
When you take a few steps closer to the display case, you will see signs telling you about what a good choice you made to come here.
Now you have finally made it to the display case and menu where it’s time to order. But oh no! There are soooo many sinful looking desserts staring at you, daring you to try them. How can you choose? Can you order one of everything? Too piggy? You hear the kids whining about their hunger behind you so you know you have to choose fast. But by ordering one thing, you have given up on all of those others! Ahhh!
Decisions, decisions! Ok, you need to narrow this down. Is it a sweet or savory kind of morning? Do you want muffins and scones or eggs and bagels? This morning we decided on some egg dishes, but ordered a blueberry scone for the table while we waited (they were out of lemon poppy seed by 9:00 am, bummer!). IMPORTANT TIP: Always order a goody for the table while you wait- there are no calories in these “for the table” items. I suggest having your baked goods served warmed up. If you ask nicely, they will slice and toast your scone instead of microwaving it. Having the outer edges a little crisp is definitely the way to go.
You can sit choose to sit on two different levels indoors, or enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather in an array of tables outdoors.
DEBBIE’S TIP: Always match your nail polish to whatever you are ordering
Bottom Line: Pannikin is a gotta go kind of place. We always take our out of town guests here because of its very cool vibe. Although the made to order menu items are good, they aren’t memorable. Get the delicious scones, cakes, coffee and teas. These are the true Pannikin gems. Come directly from your morning workout. Just please sit outside.