There are certain cafés that nail the aesthetic vibe with their logo, inviting counter filled with baked goods, beautiful open-air spaces, and Insta-worthy food that tastes as good as it looks. Then there are cafés with everything aforementioned that don’t make you feel like you just walked into an elitist, judgmental hub for ultra-hipsters.
These are rare gems but I think I might have just stumbled upon one. I recently found myself off campus and in Laguna Beach for a weekend trip with my roommate. It was my first time in the cute, beachy town and luckily I had a local to show me the ropes.
We spent our weekend perusing the local farmers market and people watching at the beach, but it was breakfast at Zinc Market and Café that left Laguna Beach fondly in my memories for days after we were back at school. If you're down for an inspiring start to your morning at a cozy and hip spot in Laguna Beach, Zinc Market and Café is the one.
Avocado Breakfast Toast
This fulfilled my basic needs for avocado toast and then some. They were very generous with the avocado, putting heaping spoonfuls on each piece of toast and finishing it off with dill and chives. It was the tartness of both the radish and lemon zest that packed flavor into every bite. The bread was perfectly toasted and to step up your toast game even more, ask for a poached egg on top.
I now regret not recording my roommate ripping the popover apart, so sadly, it will only live on in our memory. It really was the epitome of food porn. The bread was light and fluffy on the inside, with the perfect flaky crust holding it together. The cinnamon sugar may have gotten everywhere, but it was definitely worth it.
Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte & Iced Mocha
I have had a few too many matcha lattes in my life than I would like to admit, so I had high hopes going in. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed, as the matcha flavor was strong and not too watered down or milky. Also, the mint was a great touch.
The iced mocha was almost too pretty to drink... almost. The dark chocolate pooling at the bottom of the cup is only a sneak peak at the decadence of this drink. It was definitely more chocolate than coffee, so order this drink if you're in the mood for a very sweet breakfast.
Approaching Zinc, there are two separate rooms surrounded by plenty of outdoor seating. In one, there are the baked goods and café portion of Zinc, and in the other, you can order a more complete meal. We arrived at around 10:30 am on a Saturday morning, and while it was pretty busy, we were able to find seating and didn't have to wait long in line to order.
Zinc Market and Café is great for anyone, whether you are going for a family breakfast or impressing your out of town guests (shoutout to my roommate!).
For a college student, it isn't easy to pay $4.50 for a single drink, no matter how good it is. That being said, I do believe that I got a nicely-sized portion of the avocado toast for how expensive it was. Overall, the quality of food and the atmosphere made the total cost worth it.
Zinc Market and Café is a gorgeous space with good looking (and tasting!) food to match. It was a great place to sit back and enjoy the great weather of Southern California over a nice breakfast.
There are so many other things I want to try, like the Huevos Rancheros served with mango or papaya salsa or the Breakfast Bahn Mi. Not only does Zinc do a killer breakfast, but they are also open for lunch and summer dinners. If I ever find myself back in Laguna Beach, you'll know where I'll be.