11 LA Coffee Bars With Fantastic Food
Most Los Angeles coffee bars focus on pulling espresso, steaming milk and whipping up one or two signature drinks. If you're lucky, you can purchase a scone that's not stale and a croissant with decent lamination. Only a handful of spots pay as much attention to their food as they do to their coffee programs. Breakfast burritos, smoked fish on toast, composed bowls, stacked sandwiches. When you need a caffeine fix and a bite to eat, this is where you go.
Cognoscenti with Yarrow
Chef Royce Burke recently moved his popular Yarrow menu from a yoga studio on Fairfax to Cognoscenti in DTLA's Fashion District. He's famous for flavorful vegetarian dishes like pureéd carrot tartines and mushroom sandwiches. Burke makes breakfast burritos filled with roasted vegetables and Romesco sauce with a crisp cheese exterior has earned him a cult following. His new breakfast burrito features breakfast sausage from Standings, a sustainable L.A. butcher shop. It goes well with a cup of coffee made from beans roasted in-house by Cognoscenti owner Yeekai Lim and his team.
1118 San Julian St., downtown L.A.
Go Get Em Tiger
Since GGET's early days as a pop up inside Sqirl, founders Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski have always paid close attention to the food they served alongside their espresso drinks. With the recent opening of a coffee bar at the Music Center and a cafe at The ROW, they've expanded their menus. Already popular for its soft scrambled eggs and waffles, the cafe has added more sandwiches and a burger topped with sharp American cheese and caper aioli. Pair it with their fizzy, hoppy tea for a refreshing lunch.
767 S. Alameda St., B2 Suite 184, downtown L.A.
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Baldwin Hills hosts open mic nights, exhibitions and a monthly fashion market. Drink options include mochas and lavender lattes. For breakfast, they fill their Soul Bowl with grits, braised greens, charred creamed corn and a poached egg. The Fish Don't Kill My Vibe bowl pairs Mahi Mahi with a Brussels sprout slaw, rice, avocado salsa and cilantro lime crema. Their toasts, called Droptops, include a tuna melt version and one loaded with almond butter, berries and honey. The menu also features sandwiches, waffles and beignets.
4427 W. Slauson Ave., Baldwin Hills. 323-815-9833.
Brothers Alex and Alan Morales celebrate their love for coffee and the flavors of their childhood at their contemporary Highland Park cafe. Growing up their mother would make large breakfasts of chilaquiles, migas and huevos rancheros served with giant fruit filled licuados. At Civil Coffee, the brothers make chilaquiles that feature their mother's sundried peppers and spicy red sauce. For hearty appetites, the Morales Breakfast is a skillet filled with scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, sweet peppers and tomatoes. The coffee menu features a multi-roaster coffee program that includes a rotating lineup of coffee companies such as Heart, Coava, Camber and Madcap.
5629 N. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
Since opening in 2013, Copa Vida has matched their enthusiasm for coffee and tea with with a taste for zesty chilaquiles, vibrant avocado toast, hearty breakfast burritos, with an assortment of sandwiches and salads. A seasonal summer breakfast special might feature smoked salmon on toast with everything bagel cream cheese, persian cucumber slices and pickled onions. They also make chorizo egg hash, Croque Madame ham and cheese sandwiches with a fried egg on top, and offer an extensive tea menu. Owners/partners Steve Chang, Frank La and Sam Hong have added a roasting program to the expanding company. In addition to the original Pasadena shop, Copa Vida has opened six San Diego locations.
70 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. 626-213- 3952.
Cafe Dulce customers might come for the creative coffee drinks and tea lattes but they often stick around for the housemade donuts and roti, which resemble pan dulces. Don't miss savory offerings like a spicy Korean cheesesteak made with marinated beef, kimchi, provolone and sweet chili sauce. For a lighter lunch option, try the crunchy Peanut Kale Salad with serrano peppers and mint. Dulce also makes tapioca rolls, green tea brick toast, gorgeous cakes and several donuts including a maple macadamia nut and a strawberry cream.
134 Japanese Village Plaza, Building E., downtown L.A. 13-346-9910.
USC Village, 3096 McClintock Avenue, Suite 1420, Exposition Park. 213-536-5609.
At renowned San Francisco bakery Tartine, which Mark Bittman of the New York Times once called his favorite in the country, lines spilling out the door and onto Guerrero Street are a common sight. That fandom made expansion to L.A. an obvious choice, which the company did by opening The Manufactory at The ROW in early 2019. The massive complex houses two restaurants, a marketplace, a coffee and ice cream window, a full bakery and extensive kitchens. It also features Coffee Manufactory's new state-of-the-art roastery. Breakfast and lunch offerings include smorrebrod, open-faced Scandinavian style sandwiches topped with smoked trout, pickled shallots and seasonal vegetables; savory Koda Farms rice porridge; little gem salads with buttermilk dressing; fig tartines and, of course, their famous morning buns, croissants and cookies.
757 Alameda St., Suite 160, downtown L.A. 213-375-3315.
Bloom and Plume Coffee
Known for making lush, colorful floral creations for 2 Dope Queens, Cinespia and Essence magazine, designer Maurice Harris turned his stylish eye to coffee, opening a cafe a few doors down from his studio in Historic Filipinotown. Customers come to Bloom and Plume to sip coffee while eating egg sandwiches filled with edible flowers or toast topped with ricotta and seasonal berry jam. Printed on a fan, the menu at the church-themed cafe features the Deacon Herb egg sandwich — a fried egg with Havarti, avocado, herbed aioli and arugula on a black sesame bun best enjoyed with peppery housemade hot sauce. More church themed menu items include the Sister Connie, a cornmeal waffle topped with honey butter, and the Sister Coco, a chocolate waffle topped with ricotta, seasonal berries and a drizzle of condensed milk, are also favorites. The coffee comes from Stumptown.
1638 W. Temple St., HiFi.
When Tyler Wells opened All Time, Los Feliz residents who showed up for espresso drinks made with 49th Parallel beans often stuck around for cheesy, egg-topped toast or brioche French toast. Ashley Ragovin's wine list, focused on sustainable varieties made by small producers, complements the proteins and seasonal produce served at lunch and dinner. The menu showcases local lettuce and vegetables in the Good Ass Salad, among other creative dishes. There are always big dry aged steaks and seafood options.
2040 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz. 323-660-3868.
Only a few months old, this all-day restaurant in downtown L.A.'s Arts District features a patisserie, a cafe and a French brasserie menu during dinner. For breakfast and lunch, chef Lincoln Carson offers bagels, sandwiches and sweet and savory pastries. Try the short rib tartelette topped with cabbage slaw or the pâté sandwich on a chewy, housemade baguette. Bon Temps serves brewed coffee and espresso drinks made with beans roasted by 49th Parallel. Carson plans to launch an expanded lunch menu this fall.
712 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown L.A. 213-784-0044.
When Kat Turner and her Highly Likely partners opened in West Adams in May, 2018, they hoped they'd attract enough customers to fill their gorgeous, airy space. Thankfully, the community streamed in and Highly Likely has become a destination for egg sandwiches on bread baked locally by Andy Kadin of Bub and Grandma's, salads with grilled halloumi cheese and oat porridge breakfast bowls. Turner makes "The Saltie," a sandwich of carrots, herbs, labneh, a pink kosho pickled egg and red chermoula on focaccia. (It's a tribute to Saltie, a Brooklyn sandwich shop that closed in 2017.) Highly Likely serves hot and cold coffee drinks made with beans roasted by Common Room, based in Newport Beach.
4310 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams. 310-622-4550.
Editor's Note: GGET (aka Go Get 'Em Tiger) is a sponsor of LAist.