Best coffee shops in LA: Top places to sip coffee while you work in Los Angeles
LA's best coffee shops can also function as your office space—work from home, much?—where the coffee is top-notch and laptop loiterers are welcome.
Mon Jul 29 2013
Photograph: Courtesy Graffiti Coffee
In this town, you can throw a stone in any direction and you'll find actors shuttling between auditions, writers working on their next script and freelancers loitering in coffee shops and outdoor cafes. As laptops crowd cafes and coffee houses, you might ask, "do these people work?" (Afterall, this is an "it's always summer in Los Angeles" town. Having those best beaches nearby is pretty tempting.) The short answer? Yes, we do work. Pack your laptop, bring your headphones and get ready to work at LA's best coffee shop home offices.
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This Fairfax storefront is a favorite neighborhood meeting spot for locals who laze on the patio and coffee nerds who drop in for single-origin pour-overs and cold brews from a rotating roster of roasters such as Sightglass Coffee, Coava Coffee and Victrola Coffee Roasters. Writers also drop in (and stay) with their laptops at one of the few tables—be prepared to stake out seating—inside the industrial, minimalist space. Refuel with homemade chai tea and house-baked treats from salted caramel rice crispy bars and granola.
Coffee cover: $4 for a pour over
Parking: Free underground lot inside the 801 N Fairfax complex. Enter on Waring Ave.
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The number of tables inside (re: outlets) are limited, so be prepared to work outside until you run out of juice or come early to snag prime work space.
- Mid-City West
One part retail store, one part dance studio and one part cafe, this Pico Boulevard storefront is a mainstay for local families, diners and home office workers alike. Order at the counter—coffee from Intelligentsia, Ecco Caffe and Coava; pastries by Cake Monkey and Sweets for the Soul; sandwiches, salads and other plates are seasonal—and sit at one of the many tables inside or out. (The upstairs mezzanine is the place to work.) The wifi can be spotty, but outlets and other coffee shop workaholics are aplenty. Writers should avoid putting in hours on the weekend—wifi and laptops aren't allowed—but Thursdays have the added bonus of farmers market shopping 4pm to 8pm from Produce Project pop-up.
Wifi: Free. No wifi on weekends
Coffee cover: $3.27-$4.75
Parking: Ample 2 hour metered parking
Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. You'll be working side-by-side with other home-office workers round the clock.
- West LA
Coffee nerds and the Portlandia set rejoice as Seattle's Espresso Vivace lands in LA, namely in Westwood Village. Expect to see fewer UCLA students and more young professionals and a hip, coffee-loving crowd geeking out on perfectly pulled espresso shots. Wifi is free but there are no outlets, so come fully charged (on your laptop, that is) and expect to get recharged on java that's expertly made from a helpful staff. The idyllic, ivy-filled patio is inspiring and the small list of pastries and breakfast items—we love the almond butter and jam on brioche—satisfying. Try the Café Nico and make sure you get your name in their computer to rack up free shots.
Coffee cover: $3
Parking: Limited metered parking
Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Quiet, quality coffee and never-too-crowded—good for 2 to 3 hour work sessions.
With long hours (Mon-Thu 7:30am-10pm, Fri 7:30am-8pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm), free wifi and plenty of comfy seating, this neighborhood coffee shop is the dream home office away from, well, home. Bi-level inside seating is a hodgepodge of leather chairs, tufted armchairs and communal benches, while the lush, lofty front patio is perfect for an alfresco work sesh (outlets included). Prices are cheap and other laptop workers aplenty (so you don't feel like a 9-to-5 pariah). The go-to pick-me-up is the namesake housemade scones—we love the nuts and jam or blueberry heated up.
Coffee cover: $2.30, small; $2.75, large
Parking: 2 hour street parking on side residential streets
Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. Cheap coffee and plenty of comfy seats make for an ideal at-home work day.
- Mid-City West
This Santa Monica coffee shop takes coffee so seriously that they've got it done to an art, or, by the look of rows of glass siphons and spotless counters, a science. Teas are brewed á la minute—don't miss the masala chai or potent ginger tea—and coffee is painstakingly prepared (yes, in the siphons). Single-origin teas and coffees fill an extensive menu, and the selections of baked goods includes vegan, gluten-free breads and cookies. Set up your work station in front of the soothing water fountain on a comfy leather couch or on one of the many tables. But we prefer the front counter—lest you're easily distracted by coffee slight of hand—overlooking the machine-like crew in the kitchen helmed by JC who's eager to share with his customers.
Wifi: Free with a purchase of a drink
Coffee cover: $4.25
Parking: Plenty of 2-hour metered parking
Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Wifi users and coffee nerds are all welcome to stay awhile.
- Santa Monica
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