Coffee Shop Review: Xanadu Cafe in Newport Beach


I’ve decided, whenever I work in a new cafe, I’ll offer up a review.

Today’s spot is the Xanadu Cafe in Newport Beach, California.

Now, too much of my life is spent looking for warm, inviting coffee shops that don’t mind hosting slob writers with bags overloaded with USFL folders and media guides. I mean, I will (quite literally) drive 60, 70 miles if there’s a place that really works for me. It’s insanity. I liken myself to the .220-hitting journeyman middle infielder (think Scott Fletcher or Juan Bonilla) whose eternally seeking out a groove. If he goes five-straight games with a hit after slightly adjusting his left wristband, he’ll stick with that placement. Same goes for coffee shops: If I roll out 2,000 golden words on a Tuesday at a Starbucks in Costa Mesa, I’ll be back Wednesday. If 300 shit words follow, I find a new joint.

I digress. I first learned of Xanadu last summer, when my kids went to camp down the street. And, quite simply, it’s fantastic. Free wifi, tables galore, outdoor patio, enough outlets (could use more), soothing background music, friendly staff. The menu is deep and detailed and delicious, coffee refills are just $1 and parking is free.


Best of all, it sorta feels like you’re in Europe. That’s weird to say, because everything’s in English. But Xanadu has a mojo that just oozes … bonjur.

Here are my ratings (1-to-10 scale):

Cleanliness: 10

Bathroom cleanliness: Also a 10

Overall affordability: 8

Drink affordability: 7

Ambiance: 10

Outlet abundance: 6

Biggest pros: Great food, ambience, couch.

Biggest cons: Closes at 4.

Overall grade: A