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.
RECOMMENDED:Best coffee shops in LA
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.
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.
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.
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.
Down the block from Silver Lake's neighborhood meeting point, this quaint cafe offers Morocco-does-south-of-the-border charm, however off-beat. The bougainvillea-covered sidewalk patio has a few small tables to soak in the sun on Sunset Junction, but inside lone laptop workers tap away on tiny tables in a bazaar of home furnishings and Mexican clothing and accessories. Take a cue from the cafe's theme and order a fresh mint tea supplemented with baked empanadas and a huge, rustic bowl of chicken soup—fill up on chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes and corn on the cob. Seating and outlets can be limited, so prepare for Plan B. (We love the nearby Broome Street General. There are no outlets, but there's free wifi, plenty of parking and a charming outdoor patio.)
Coffee cover: $2.50, small; $3, large
Parking: Metered parking and 2-hour residential parking
Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Good luck trying to find a seat by the single outlet.
If you prefer typing away with a side bar of people-watching, you'll find home office nirvana at Melrose Place's Alfred Coffee that oozes cool (handlebar mustaches and Rag & Bone uniforms) and serves up Stumptown coffee. Snag a seat downstairs at the communal table or on the ground level on the patio or along the wall. The space is a tight squeeze and the hard-surfaced (and often backless) seating uncomfortable, so you'll find an able-bodied set here. Cake Monkey pastries and Cloverjuices provide sustenance for this fashionable coffee joint.
Coffee cover: $3
Parking: Limited metered parking
Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Uncomfortable seats and a small space limit long work days.
Sure, the coffee is overpriced, the staff is snooty and the rules are ridiculous (no water bottles allowed, one glass of complimentary water and $1 thereafter), but the lofty space offers comfy, spacious seating in a stark white, gallery-like space that breeds creativity (and your next script). Wifi is complimentary with a purchase of a drink and limited to an hour and a half, but the well-sized parking lot relieves meter maid anxiety. The baristas sport bulging biceps in ultra tight T's and the playlist rotates between nostalgic to offensive, but a well-stocked menu—Bouchon and Cake Monkey pastries, Fonuts, Lamillteas, Intelligentsia coffee—and an only-in-LA experience makes this cafe one of our favorites to visit.
Wifi: With purchase and limited to 1.5 hours
Coffee cover: $3.95
Parking: Free, on-site lot
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. Though we can't stand the attitude, high prices and limited wifi, we still come back for the beautiful space.
Seattle's cult-fave coffee lands in Silver Lake at this industrial-looking, bi-level storefront. Eastside freelancers stay caffeinated around the clock with single-origin and blended coffee and well made espresso drinks. Groups and singles can snag a spot by the floor-to-ceiling windows or perch on the compact mezzanine level. Bonus: The water is triple-filtered and serve-yourself free.
Coffee cover: $2.50-$3 French press, $5 pour-over
Parking: Limited street parking
Loitering meter: 4 out ot 5. Your Intelligentsia alternative.
Bang out your next script and bro out at this retail spot dedicated to bikes, surfing and Venice cool. Handmade Deus Ex Machina motorcycles and surfboards shaped in-house are on display, along with other "dude-like" paraphernalia. With Handsome Coffee to caffeinate and sandwiches and pastries to satiate, loiterers can spread out on the alfresco patio or at the communal table and leather couches inside.
Coffee cover: $2.50
Parking: Free, on-site lot
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The types who come in are more interested in chrome hardware than Apple hardware.