When we think of green cities, Santa Cruz, Portland, and Boulder naturally come to mind, but over the past few years, San Diego has had an impressive increase in its number of green businesses. This is good news for people who believe in reducing their carbon footprint, as well as people who prefer to consume foods and beverages made from high quality, sustainable, and organic ingredients.
In the past, those who chose to embrace a greener lifestyle have been limited in their choices of where they can eat out, or grab dessert, or go clubbing…but not so much these days. Two perfect examples are Cups and the Kava Lounge. Cups in La Jolla has become San Diego’s first Star Green certified Bakery, and the Kava Lounge offers a unique nightlife experience equipped with organic drinks and a progressive vibe.
Cups in La Jolla came on the scene a little over two years ago, and it’s revolutionizing San Diego’s relationship to eating healthy, especially when it comes to rich and satisfying treats. They use only the highest quality organic ingredients from local farms. Not only do they use organic coffee blends, loose-leaf teas, and milk from the Straus Family Creamery (California’s first family-owned, certified, organic dairy), they have organic sugar, agave syrup, and natural stevia to sweeten those beverages. Additionally, all of their sodas are made with naturally carbonated water and fruit juice blends.
With 100 flavors of the most exotic and alluring cupcakes, there’s something for everybody. Everyday, 10-12 of these exquisite cupcakes are put on display, simply to tease our pallets. Chocolate lovers will delight in the Death by Chocolate, a truffle-filled chocolate cup topped with rich, dark chocolate frosting, while those with more exotic tastes will enjoy the Brulee-J, a vanilla cup filled with sweet custard and topped with caramelized sugar.
Cups also caters to those with specific dietary needs. Every day, there’s at least one vegan, one low glycemic and 3 gluten-free cupcakes (all freshly made), and these sweet treats are not any less desirable than any of the other cupcakes. The Bottoms Up, a gluten-free dark chocolate cup filled with chocolate chunks, mascarpone cheese, and topped with cream cheese filling, will have even the hardest-to-please consumers salivating.
Cups continually strives to reduce its carbon footprint by employing eco-friendly practices and materials. Their to-go containers are made from compostable or recyclable materials, and they use cleaning products that are non-toxic and environmentally responsible.
Once the sun goes down, head on over to the Kava Lounge in Little Italy, an organic-minded venue that features eclectic styles of music and an unorthodox ambience in comparison to the mainstream San Diego club scene. Kava Lounge supports green living and the healing arts - it revels in music, art, and dance.
Kava Lounge doesn’t play the regular pop-hop-crunk-hall that’s heard in most downtown venues. Instead, they feature local artists and more unconventional forms of music such as electronic, experimental, goth and darkwave, and world beats. Some of their upcoming shows include Liquid Geometry (experimental), Club Metro 80s, Ascension (the best in darkwave and gothic underground), and Dragon Lounge (dubstep).
Unlike any other late night venue, the Kava Lounge serves organic, alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic teas, juices and restorative elixirs. In fact, their slogan is “Drink Outside of the Box.” Drinking outside of the box consists of some creative concoctions like the Typsy Gypsy, a mixture of vodka, ginger, and lime. Or there’s the Vegan White Russian, a combination of vodka, Kona coffee liquor, and hazelnut milk. They even have their own version of the mojito called the Besito, and it’s basically a mojito with basil. Some of their non-alcoholic alternatives include limeade-passion fruit juice, kombucha, shots of raw ginger, miso broth, mate, chai, and green and herbal teas.
The Kava Lounge is best known for its kava elixirs. Kava, a root from the Pacific Island, simultaneously relaxes the body while keeping the mind sharp and agile. It helps to ease anxiety and depression, and promotes peaceful sleep. Kava is to Pacific islanders what alcohol is to westerners, minus the nasty hangover. They regularly drink it during celebrations ceremonies and rituals.
So after enjoying a Limone Ricotta cupcake at Cups, venture over to the Kava Lounge to bounce to some original beats while sippin’ on a Typsy Gypsy or a Kava Sutra.
Cups in La Jolla | 7857 Girard Ave., La Jolla, CA. 92037, (858) 459 – CUPS (2877), CupsLJ.com
Kava Lounge | 2812 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA. 92101, (619) 543-0933, KavaLounge.com