In Inglewood, gentrification and a post-SoFi stadium sea change in the community makeup remain ongoing points of contention and debate. Bridging the gap is Inglewood’s Sip & Sonder, a Black woman-owned cafe that opened in 2017, with a second Downtown outpost at the Music Center. Owners Shanita Nicholas and Amanda-Jane Thomas, who previously worked in law, chose their cafe’s location carefully, intending to represent their community and fill a gap in Inglewood’s neighborhood coffee needs. The cafe also doubles as a recording studio and local event space.
In a city full of amazing coffee shops, L.A.’s Black-owned cafés stand out from the rest for a couple of few distinct reasons. In addition to brewing high-quality java, many of them explicitly center on Blackness and L.A.’s Black community. Some serve as art galleries and local event spaces, and others regularly partner with local and international nonprofits to further give back. Others are more straightforward operations dedicated to crafting your daily cup of joe—with one that even doubles as an excellent delivery service in Downtown L.A.
If you’ve been looking for a way to regularly support Black-owned businesses, look no further than this neighborhood-specific coffee shop guide. Whether you’re looking for a café around the corner or in search of a cozy new spot to spend a relaxed Sunday morning, this comprehensive guide has you covered from the far reaches of the Valley down to Long Beach. If you'd like to find the exact region of L.A. you live in, command-F for the following areas:
- South L.A.
- Central L.A.
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- Long Beach
Know of or already love and support a Black-owned coffee shop in L.A. County not on this list? Email us at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: While "coffee" might be in the name, we’ve excluded Watts Coffee House and Altadena’s Little Red Hen Coffee Shop—two excellent, longstanding Black-owned establishments offering extended food menus and full-service hospitality that aren’t as grab-and-go-friendly as a standard coffee shop.