Finding a good coffee shop while traveling is as fundamental to enjoying your vacation as the destination itself. So for the millions of visitors to Mammoth Lakes California each year, your trip will be that much more enjoyable with frequent visits to Stellar Brew and Natural Cafe.
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Closer to Reno Nevada than most of the big name cities in California, Mammoth Lakes is a ski resort much of the year and a place that celebrates the outdoors all year long. With the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite National Park less than 30 minutes away and Devils Postpile National Monument just a winding mountain road from downtown Mammoth, there’s a lot to celebrate.
Mammoth Lake’s Best Coffee Shop
Andrea Walker is the adorable owner of Stellar Brew, and a passionate lifelong resident of Mammoth Lakes, a community of about 8,000 in the High Sierras.
She is all about keeping this part of the world beautiful. One of the many things she does to that end is offer compostable straws made from corn starch or metal straws rather than those plastic things that take 30 years to decompose in a landfill, if they are not floating in an ocean pile somewhere.
Of course, hot coffee does not require a straw, but those to- go cups require a sippy cup lid, right? Andrea uses lids made from corn starch as well. You see, corn is a sustainable product and plastic, made from petroleum by-products, is not.
Get some Reusable Straws of Your Own
All of the yummy munchies offered at Stellar Brew are super healthy, but still so good. Ignore the fat layer of icing on this carrot cake muffin, but focus on the carrots inside. Andrea sources her produce and other ingredients from local farmers, many of them with little more than over-sized back yard gardens. But supporting local businesses is what she’s all about.
“Stellar Brew is my ten foot space where I can change the world,” she told me while bouncing her baby girl Adeline on her lap.
“I believe that what you put in your body is essential to your happiness, which in turn effects the happiness of those around you.”
Coffee That Supports Mammoth Lakes
But more than organic coffee and healthy food contribute to the essence of Stellar Brew. Take a look at the artwork on the exterior wall. It’s all made by local artists. Andrea sells the work of other artists in small displays of jewelry, pottery and other niceties that make the world a more colorful place.
If the people serving your coffee at Stellar Brew seem super happy, well, that’s in part because they are just naturally happy people. But it’s also because Andrea pays them above minimum wage, a rate that, along with tips from happy customers, is what some people call “a livable wage.”
Another Fun Place to Eat in Mammoth Lakes
So we’re walking around through Mammoth village and see a restaurant that would surely catch the attention anyone who follows baseball or who has ever been to Kansas City.
Toomey’s is just the name of the chef — Matt Toomey — a super nice guy who happens to love baseball. But look closely at that logo above his name. Take away the plate and cutlery, and that’s the crown scoreboard at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals. And we’re 1900 miles away in California. hmm.
So we settled in for some fabulous pancakes and got the story on Toomey’s of Mammoth Lakes.
Back in the day of George Brett, Matt Toomey was growing up in San Diego, but became a huge Royals fan because of Brett. All of these years later, he still follows the team and has become close friends with two time Cy Young award winner Brett Saberhagen, pitcher for the 1985 World Champions.
In addition to Saberhagen collectibles and other baseball gear around Toomey’s, you’ll often find Sabes himself, hangin’ out with Matt Toomey.
It’s a great place in Mammoth Lakes, with a lot of royal blue color from Kansas City.