A recipe for a Cardamom Latte inspired by our time in San Diego! Hot espresso is combined with honey, ground cardamom, and steamed milk for a wonderful start to the day.
We loved our short time in the area so much, we ended up going back for a longer trip during Spring Break! I recently shared Pastel de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Pastry) and San Diego and Lavender Lemonade and San Diego: Balboa Park, so today I am covering the USS Midway and a few surrounding food stops.
Before our day at the USS Midway, we stopped by The Invigatorium at 631 Ninth Ave in East Village for breakfast.
At the time of our visit, the restaurant had indoor and outdoor seating. The kids especially loved the decor with an abundance of dinosaurs and even a Godzilla on the wall made of post-it notes.
We enjoyed the Cinnamon Sugar Toast (Cinnamon Sugar, Agave Syrup, Bruleed Lemon), Cardamom Cortado (espresso, steamed milk, cardamom bitters), Ango Oat Cold Brew (Cold Brew with Science Lemon and Angostura Bitters), All Day Breakfast Sando (Toasted Potato Bun, Fried Egg, Melted American Cheese, Sliced Smoked Ham, Kewpie Mayo), and Chorizo Hash Skillet.
The USS Midway was definitely a highlight for the kids during our trip. Opened as the USS Midway Museum in 2004, this historic aircraft carrier is docked at 910 N Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego.
It was first commissioned as the world’s largest ship in 1945 at 1,001 feet (305 meters) long and decommissioned in San Diego in 1992.
The museum is open daily (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas). Check the website for seasonal hours and ticket prices.
We parked in the lot next to the ship (not owned by the museum) with parking rates subject to change based on the time of year. During the summer and holidays, it can fill up quickly.
Complimentary audio tours (plus a family option) are available and a great way to keep the kids engaged during the self-guided walk through the ship. Bringing your own earbuds/headphones is recommended.
Many of the over 60 exhibits have hands-on activities, photo opportunities, and lots and lots and lots of buttons too. Highlights for the kids included the kitchen, brig, engine room, sick bay, and flight deck.
The flight deck is home to 29 restored aircraft and some incredible views of downtown San Diego and the San Diego Bay.
Pack sunscreen and sunglasses/hat. The sun reflects off the water and it gets very bright.
Overall, we had a wonderful visit to the USS Midway Museum and spent around 3 hours here. Allow for 2-4 hours to walk through all levels of the ship.
Same day re-entry is allowed if you want to take a break for lunch and return before closing.
Many modifications have been made and the ship is now 60% wheelchair accessible. A paper map at the entrance highlights these areas.
Much of the space below deck has narrow staircases and low ceilings with lots of walking. Open-toed sandals, high-heels, and other items that can get caught are discouraged. Layers of clothing are recommended due to temperature fluctuations in different sections.
Carnitas Snack Shack
After visiting the USS Midway, we went to Carnita’s Snack Shack at 1004 N Harbor Drive for lunch. It was only a 0.3 mile (0.5 kilometer) walk.
Carnitas’ Snack Shack is San Diego’s original fast-casual pork house with a variety of sandwiches, tacos, burritos, sides, craft beer, and specialty cocktails. There is plenty of outdoor seating with views of the San Diego Bay. They have another location in Petco Park.
We ordered the Baja Fish Tacos, Carnitas Tacos, Kids Chicken Tenders, Kids Cheeseburger, and Mango Margarita.
Bay Books Coronado
After checking out of our hotel, we stopped by Bay Books Coronado at 1007 Orange Avenue before eating lunch and driving back to Los Angeles.
This independently-owned bookstore was established in 1990 and is packed with children’s books, new titles, cookbooks, stationary, greeting cards, magazines, and more.
With its location near the Naval Base, there is a large collection of military history books as well.
Caffe Buona Forchetta
Caffe Buona Forchetta is attached to the bookstore. They feature a delicious variety of coffee, tea, pastries, and breakfast items.
After asking for a recommendation, I tried the specialty Barista Signature Jorge: Hazel Cubano- a latte with brown sugar, cinnamon, and hazelnut. The flavors were wonderful. We also enjoyed the Amorini (Buttercream Cookie) and a shortbread cookie dipped in dark chocolate with apricot jam filling.
We came across Geppetto’s Toys across the street from Bay Books Coronado at 1146 Orange Avenue and it was a fun ending to our trip.
This locally owned shop first opened in Old Town and has now expanded to nine stores throughout San Diego County.
After trying the Cardamom Cortado at The Invigatorium, the flavors quickly became a favorite rotation for my morning coffee.
I used my Maple Cinnamon Latte as the base for this Cardamom Latte by swapping the cinnamon for ground cardamom and the maple for honey.
I have tried this latte now a few different ways and included the recipe for the easiest. Simply whisk ground cardamom, honey, and vanilla extract into hot espresso to infuse the warming and fragrant blend of flavors in every sip.
Adding the ground cardamom creates the strongest flavor, but will create a little grittiness at the bottom of the cup when the excess cardamom settles.
A Few Tips
Adjust the honey as little or much as you like for sweetness and flavor. For 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) espresso and 3/4 cup (175 milliliters) milk, I usually add about 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of the honey. You can also swap it for a simple syrup or maple syrup I desired.
Freshly ground cardamom will have a stronger, more pronounced flavor compared to store-bought ground cardamom.
1/8th teaspoon (or a large pinch) of cardamom is usually perfect for me. For a more pronounced flavor, bump the amount up to 1/4 teaspoon (though you will have more settle to the bottom of the glass).
Cardamom Latte Recipe
Adapted from Aubrey’s Kitchen
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) honey
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (175 milliliters) milk steamed, dairy or non-dairy
- Pour the honey, cardamom, and vanilla extract in the bottom of a latte glass or mug.
- Pour in the hot espresso and stir well to combine.
- While holding the mug slightly to the side at a 45˚ angle, slowly pour the steamed milk in the center to fill the mug and add a thin layer of the foam to the top.
- Serve immediately.