The Best Coffee Shops In Los Angeles
Coffee culture has been growing over the years in Los Angeles, with plenty of shops serving up your not-so-average cup of joe, and major roasters from the Bay Area to Seattle moving in. We're not talking about Starbucks, but coffee shops that use high-quality, roasted beans to make your pour overs, cold brews, and cappuccinos. These places also serve as a great space for you to hang out (or write that masterpiece), grab a quick one to go, and get pastries and breakfast goods that will keep you sated until your next coffee fix. Here are our favorite coffee shops in Los Angeles—from a cute 3D latte art fixture to a spot that serves you liquid nitro ice cream to go along with your coffee—and as always, let us know yours in the comments.
Verve in West Hollywood (Photo by Josh Telles, courtesy of Verve)
We were giddy when Santa Cruz-based roasters Verve opened up their beautiful shop in downtown L.A. in January. After all, there were only a few cafes and restaurants in L.A. brewing their roasted beans up until then. Since then, they've made a quick expansion, with new outposts in Beverly Grove and West Hollywood, serving up their signature nitro cold brew, fresh, cold-pressed juices from Juice Served Here, and their kombucha-esque Dr. Kefir's sparkling, non-dairy probiotic drinks. It's kind of a one-stop shop to get all of your high-quality drinks, and if you're hungry, they've got delicious pastries made by the talented folks behind Short Cake. Even though each location has its own cool interior design, we have to say the downtown L.A. one is our favorite spot to hang out at, with its wall of leafy plants and flooring made to look like a Vox amplifier.
Verve Coffee Roasters is located at 833 S. Spring St. in downtown L.A., (213) 455-5991; 8051 W. 3rd St. in Beverly Grove, (323) 746-5070; and 8925 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, (310) 385-9605
Found Coffee is a relatively new coffee shop in the game, but is fitting in quite nicely in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood. Annie Choi, formerly of Demitasse, opened up this Eagle Rock specialty coffee shop earlier this year, and still brews beans from Demitasse. While you can get your regular pour-over coffees, we appreciate the fact that the cafe whips up mouth-watering drinks like bourbon vanilla lattes. One of the things we love most are the baked goods and pastries provided by Creme Caramel LA that pair well with the coffee here, like cheddar bacon biscuits, caramelized Spam biscuits and chicken adobo hand pies. Plus, the windows go from ceiling to floor, so it makes for a bright and cheery place.
Found Coffee is located at 1355 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, (323) 206-5154
3D latte art at Love to Go (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
Love to Go
While latte art might not give you that excitement that it used to, may we suggest 3D latte art? Over at Love to Go in the SGV, you can add some extra pizzazz to your coffee and teas, with adorable 3D latte art. The baristas are talented here, making the foam form everything from a bear chilling in a Jacuzzi to a mother pig spending time with her piglet. Love to Go also uses LAMILL coffee beans, and makes a variety of delicious tea lattes (we suggest the earl grey and matcha green tea mix). It's a cozy and tiny little spot, where you can catch up with a buddy over warm beverages, perfect for the cooler weather.
Love to Go is located at 307 S Mission Dr. in San Gabriel, (626) 264-8195
The "Hoover Wilderness" Cafecito Organico (Photo via Facebook)
While some of the locations of this L.A.-based coffee purveyor have shuttered in recent years, the existing locations remain as welcoming oases for quality beans and brews. Cafecito specializes in small batch roasts that sustainably support coffee farmers and biodiversity. The "Hoover Wilderness" of the borderline East Hollywood/Silver Lake location offers a cozy and peaceful backyard with a variety of shaded seating options on the porch and AstroTurf, perfect for sipping a cup, reading a book or cranking out your next big screenplay. The Malibu location also features an outdoor patio for relaxing, and is connected to a great independent bookstore, Bank Of Books. Cafecito also makes appearances at the Hollywood, Silver Lake and Atwater Village farmers markets and have locations in Costa Mesa at The LAB—where there's a cool patio with trees covered in knitted designs—and at the Anaheim Packing House. —Danny Jensen
Cafecito Organico is located at 534 N Hoover St. in Silver Lake, (213) 550-3738, and 29169 Heathercliff Rd. in Malibu, (213) 550-3738.
This is one of our favorite grab-and-go spots. Cofax Coffee, helmed by the same guys behind Golden State and Bludso's, occupies a tiny space on the bustling Fairfax Avenue. Their name is a nod to the Dodgers' baseball great Sandy Koufax, and an amalgamation of the words "coffee" and "Fairfax." (We see what you did there.) They serve up Stumptown cold brews on draft, as well as iced lattes, espressos, macchiatos and cappuccinos. But the perfect thing to pair your coffee with are their veggie and chorizo breakfast burritos; and pro-tip, always get their smoky salsa to go along with it—it's hauntingly good.
Cofax Coffee is located 440 N Fairfax Ave. in Fairfax District, (323) 424-7485
Awesome Coffee is awesome (Photo via Awesome Coffee)
This Koreatown coffee shop is a refreshing place to get some work done. Set on the second floor of a strip mall above a Pollo Loco, it's surprisingly open and airy with finished concrete floors, repurposed furniture and plenty of natural light. In addition to the standard coffee and espresso drinks, they also serve waffles and liquid nitro ice cream. If you feel like a sweet treat for a pick-me-up, I like the rose latte. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Awesome Coffee is located at 3959 Wilshire Blvd in Koreatown, (213) 674-7558
M Street Cafe latte art (Photo via M Street Cafe/Facebook)
M Street Cafe
M Street Cafe is one of the best coffee shops in the Valley. This chill, mom-and-pop cafe is a great place to grab a latte or cold brew (with the added bonus of creative latte art). Their drinks are more on the affordable side compared to hipster joints, and they even offer gluten-free and vegan options for baked goods for the folks who need it. There are plenty of tables to get your work done (like that script you've been working on), plus there's free Wi-Fi. The staff is friendly, and the decor is whimsical with artwork hanging on the walls. While you're there, you might as well grab a bagel with cream cheese, too.
M Street Cafe is located at 13251 Moorpark St. in Sherman Oaks, (818) 907-1400
Coffee Commissary has four locations in Los Angeles—Culver City, Hollywood, Burbank and West Hollywood. They serve delicious and rich pour-over coffees and espressos from roasters like Coava and Madcap, plus sweet and savory pastries. The cafe in Burbank has a fuller menu of sandwiches, brunch and breakfast options and heartier fare. Each shop has a slightly different feel. The Hollywood shop is industrial and open with a window where you can get coffee from the sidewalk. The Burbank location has zig-zag floors. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Coffee Commissary is located at 3121 W. Olive Ave. in Burbank, (818) 556-6055; 3417 Motor Ave. in Palms; 6087 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood; and 801 N. Fairfax Ave. in Beverly Grove, (323) 782-1465.
Copa Vida (Photo via Copa Vida/Facebook
Every time we're in Pasadena, we like to make a stop at Copa Vida. It's one of those spots where you can get serious about your coffee (and tea). This hip spot is bright and airy, has plenty of tables to sit, and a coffee bar to order your drink to go. We've seen them carry a variety of high-quality beans, including 49th Parallel and Supersonic. They serve brunch on the weekends, with dishes like chorizo egg hash and a croque madame). And if you feel like educating yourself some more, they host cupping events, and latte art and coffee brewing classes.
Copa Vida is located at 70 S. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena, (626) 213-3952
G&B Coffee in Grand Central Market (Photo via G&B Coffee/Instagram)
Go Get 'Em Tiger and G&B Coffee
Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski's G&B Coffee exists in two locations: Larchmont Village's Go Get 'Em Tiger and Grand Central Market's G&B Coffee. Their beans are carefully selected by the duo by taste, and ordering takes on a more casual, bar experience. Patrons come up to the counter and wait for a barista, as opposed to filing
into a neat, Starbucks-esque line.
Go Get 'Em Tiger has a small kitchen with a number of tasty breakfast options, and gets pretty packed in the mornings and on weekends. Their iced almond-macadamia milk latte was once named the best in the country by the New York Times, and Babinski href="http://laist.com/2015/02/23/us_barista_championship_2015.php">won first place at the 2015 U.S. Barista Championship. They also have a pie and coffee happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. where you can get a cup of coffee and a slice of pie for $7.50. At G&B, you can get a creamy milkshake. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
G&B Coffee is located inside Grand Central Market at 213 S. Broadway in downtown L.A., (626) 716-0705; and Go Get Em Tiger is located at 230 N. Larchmont Blvd. in Larchmont Village, (323) 380-5359.
Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
Conservatory For Coffee, Tea & Cocoa
Decades before most of the upstart, "third-wave" coffee shops started boasting of their in-house roasts, this tiny Culver City shop was quietly turning out their own amazing roasts in small batches. Nestled across the street from the Sony lot, Conservatory for Coffee continually draws lines of devoted fans. They even have an "express" line for those looking to skip the espresso-based drinks and grab a quick pour or pounds of whole beans to go. If you're at a loss as to which beans or brew are right for you, the friendly staff will gladly (and unpretentiously) give you the run-down. Above the wall of more than 75 loose leaf teas, you can scope out some cool vintage coffeemakers or purchase new ones in a variety of forms. Enjoy a quiet cup inside the Wi-Fi-free shop with a giant fake tree standing over you or catch some rays on the patio outside while you caffeinate. —Danny Jensen
Conservatory For Coffee, Tea & Cocoa is located at 10117 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, (310) 558-0436
Rainbow coffee connection at Caffe Vita (Photo via Facebook)
The only L.A. outpost of this Seattle-based roaster, Caffe Vita delivers strong on a variety of coffee preparations and offers a laid-back loft space for surfing the free Wi-Fi. From expertly-foamed lattes to pour overs and Kyoto cold brew on tap, the baristas—who, with a couple exceptions, are pretty friendly and helpful—extract plenty of flavor from a carefully curated selection of beans. As an added bonus, you can usually score some delicious pastries from Cake Monkey Bakery. Perched on a triangular corner by Sunset Boulevard across from the Vista Theatre with a ferocious sun sculpture above the door, Caffe Vita makes for a great pre- or post-movie spot or a great place to people watch while sipping an espresso and lounging on chairs constructed of skateboards. —Danny Jensen
Caffe Vita is located at 4459 Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, (323) 663-6340
We <3 Blue Bottle (Photo via Facebook)
Blue Bottle Coffee
While we shed a caffeinated tear for Arts District-based Handsome Coffee Roasters when it was swooped up by Oakland-based Blue Bottle, the top-notch brews from the NorCal roasters have quickly won us over. Whether we're sipping a perfectly-pulled single origin espresso or cooling off with their New Orleans-style cold brew with chicory, Blue Bottle hits the spot. And their delicious pastries are not to be missed, either. Each location—including the Arts District, Venice and recently opened Beverly Grove and Echo Park spots—maintains the cool, minimalist aesthetic of blonde wood and bright whites, and we suspect their soon-to-open Bradbury Building shop will as well. —Danny Jensen
Blue Bottle Coffee is located at 582 Mateo St. in the Arts District, (213) 621-4194; 1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in
Venice, (510) 653-3394; 1712 W Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, (510) 653-3394; and 8301 Beverly Blvd. in Beverly Grove, (510) 653-3394.
Demitasse Café's lavender liquid hot chocolate. (Photo via Facebook)
They have coffee at Demitasse, of course, but their lavender liquid hot chocolate is what catches your eye when you scan their menu. A small glass of molten chocolate spiked with a few drops of lavender oil, it comes topped with an oversized marshmallow that's freshly torched to give it a crispy, caramelized skin. It's so decadent and rich that it may as well be a meal replacement. If coffee is still what you want, they got that, too. With seasonal blends sourced from all corners across the globe, each cup is brewed in their own unique way that best suits the bean (for example, the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe gets the siphon). If you're feeling adventurous and trustworthy of your barista, find out what his or her signature drink is that day. You might find out it's what you wanted all along. —Carman Tse
Demitasse Café is located at 135 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, (213) 613-9300; 1149 Third St. in Santa Monica, (310) 260-6308; 6363 Wilshire Blvd. in Wilshire; and 609 Rose Ave. in Venice
The bar inside Dinosaur Coffee (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Right next to the "Elliott Smith mural" in Silver Lake, sits Dinosaur Coffee. Helmed by the co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, Ben Hantoo and his wife Michelle, the coffee shop is a bright and airy spot with a unique design. They make their coffee from San Francisco's Four Barrel Coffee beans, and offer cold brews and cortados, as well as your other coffee varieties. You can idle away the day by sitting at their many tables and chatting with friends, but if you're looking to work on your laptop, keep in mind that this is one of the coffee shops that doesn't offer Wi-Fi.
Dinosaur Coffee is located at 4334 W Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake
Balconi Coffee Company latte art (Photo via Balconi Coffee Company/Instagram)
Balconi Coffee Company
Westsiders can get their serious coffee-nerd brews at Balconi Coffee Company. This Sawtelle-area coffee shop proudly uses a siphon brewing technique, which to some, looks like they're working on a chemistry set. However, you get that clean, crisp coffee taste from their brewing methods. (But if you're not feeling that, we suggest trying their Almond Essence Latte.) Plus, they use a variety of beans from all over the world to give you different tastes that suit your elevated palate. These guys also really get into their latte art, giving you designs you might not normally find everywhere else.
Balconi Coffee Company is located at 11301 W Olympic Blvd., Ste. 124, in Sawtelle Japantown, (310) 906-0267
It was a big deal with Portland-based Stumptown spread its wings to L.A. in 2013. After all, this was one of the big names that put high-quality beans in the mainstream. At their Arts District location, the folks behind Stumptown even roast their own beans at the spot, which you can see behind a glass window. Their cold brew is a special one, so much so that they'll even fill your growler with it so you can enjoy it all week long at home. Feel free to grab a bag of fresh roasted beans to take home with you, too. While you're there, you might as well pick up a kimchi Spam croissant or miso butterscotch cookie and forget about your diet for a moment.
Stumptown is located at 806 S Santa Fe Ave. in Arts District, (855) 711-3385
Menotti's Coffee Company (Photo via Menotti's/Facebook)
Menotti's Coffee Shop
This joint off of the Venice Boardwalk is the place to get a righteously good cortado, Spanish latte, or almond milk latte made with Four Barrel beans. If you want something different, try their Caffe Rico. And if you want something pretty to look at in your coffee cup, the head barista there just so happened to have a won the Coffeefest World Latte Art Champion for a few years in a row. There's no Wi-Fi, so expect this to be your grab-and-go coffee spot while you're making your way to the beach.
Menotti's Coffee Shop is located at 56 Windward Ave. in Venice, (310) 392-7232
Intelligentsia in Silver Lake (Photo via Intelligentsia/Facebook)
Intelligentsia has become a household name when it comes to high-end coffee. Even Peet's Coffee and Tea took notice and bought the company just a week ago, though they're saying that they don't anticipate to make any changes to Intelligentsia coffee. (We hope they mean it.) You'll always find lines snaking around outside of Intelligentsia shops, where folks are queuing up for some Black Cat espresso. Each spot has a different vibe: their Silver Lake location is perfect for people watching (you might spot a celebrity or two); over in the industrial Pasadena spot, they even have a wine bar; and in Venice, we love their outdoor seating with trees lining the walls.
Intelligentsia is located at 3922 Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, (323) 663-6173; 55 E Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, (626) 578-1270; and 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, (310) 399-1233