Get us in your inbox

Search
Bloom & Plume Coffee
Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

A guide to L.A.’s Black-owned coffee shops, by neighborhood

Support Black-owned businesses with our comprehensive list of Black-owned coffee shops in greater Los Angeles.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
Advertising

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.
  • Mid-City
  • Central L.A.
  • Downtown
  • Westside
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • Northeast
  • 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 getlisted.la@timeout.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.

South L.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Inglewood
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sip & Sonder (@sipandsonder)

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • South LA

An independent daytime café that appeared on HBO’s Insecure, Hilltop's Slauson and Inglewood locations offers high-quality coffee and tea—including a delicious lavender latte—and a simple all-day menu of pastries, grain bowls, sandwiches and “droptops” (fully loaded toasts). Powdery beignets and weekend-only waffles round out the café’s food offerings, which are substantial enough for a full-on meal. Both South L.A. locations have plenty of tables and a few charging outlets apiece, but the Inglewood shop’s lofted couch seating are more optimal for casual morning or afternoon hangs.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • South LA

At its roots, this brightly colored coffee shop in Leimert Park puts community first; certified by L.A. County as a social enterprise, Hot and Cool Cafe prioritizes the transitional workforce in hiring, including those previously incarcerated and seeking training, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. The café, which offers a fully vegan food (and smoothie) menu and uses transparently sourced Ethiopian coffee beans, also partners with local nonprofits like Made in South Los Angeles to create educational opportunities and cultural events.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • USC/Exposition Park
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by South LA Cafe (@southlacafe)

Providing South L.A. with fresh, affordable and healthy food is one of the key goals of South LA Cafe, but that’s only a part of its overall mission. Owned by Celia and Joe-Ward Wallace, the coffee shop serves as a community events space and free grocery distribution hub. As of late, South LA Cafe has also served as a site for free Covid testing and boosters. For the casual walk-in customer, you’ll find delicious pastries and a selection of hot and cold caffeinated drinks, but South LA Cafe’s extended community involvement more than reflects the fact that coffee shops aren’t solely just places to work and grab some java.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • South LA

This Leimert Park coffee shop serves toasts, smoothies, coffee and tea, with high-quality beans sourced from the Ethiopian province of Sidamo. It also doubles as an art gallery and community space; you’ll find artwork by new Black artists all over the walls and occasional panels hosting musicians, influencers and other creatives. Next door is Harun Intl, a retail and online shop that sells Harun-branded streetwear, bags of house coffee beans and other items curated by co-owner Chace Johnson, a former music industry executive.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • South LA

Proudly Black and Latino-owned, this small, fully vegan South L.A. coffee and retail shop offers a highly curated array of specialty coffee beans sourced from small farms all over the word. Each bag of beans, as well as the beans used for individual drip coffee and cold brew drinks, are roasted on-site by Coffee De Mundo for maximum freshness. Choose from oat or almond milk in your daily roast of the day, or opt for a country-specific cold brew to taste the unique flavors in each blend. The shop also makes vegan Thai tea, Mexican café de olla and Vietnamese coffee—a boon for anyone that’s lactose intolerant.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Inglewood

Tea, not coffee, is the focus of this family-owned Inglewood café with a charming patio and plenty of indoor seating. Though you’ll still find "the other drink" on the menu, Mingles offers over two dozen loose leaf varieties, including several caffeine-free herbal blends, with staff members happy to educate patrons about the health benefits and nuanced flavors of tea. Dessert, of course, is also on Mingles’ menu, from coffee cake and peach cobbler to danishes and brownies. Monthly tea tastings and retail bags of loose leaf tea and tea-making accessories make this café the perfect stop for those trying to wean themselves off java, or anyone who just loves a good cup of tea.

Mid-City

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Mid City

This takeaway-oriented neighborhood spot off San Vicente does, in fact, make some damn good coffee. Run by Joshua Mock (of the now-closed Little Amsterdam Coffee), Dam Good Coffee offers a brief, but satisfying menu of espresso-based drinks, hot and iced tea, lemonade and even a few affordably priced toasts and pastries. Add-ons like chaga, a superb dirty chai latte and friendly, efficient staff make this Mid-City café a must-go for locals in the area—and anyone else passing through.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Westside

Located on South Robertson Boulevard, this Westside-adjacent coffee shop’s cozy space, bright pink lids and all-day breakfast and lunch fare have made it a hit with neighborhood locals since 2018. Run by husband-and-wife pair Rachel and Ron Sazon, the shop offers a wide array of sweetened dessert lattes, tea lattes and conventional espresso drinks for anyone craving a treat-yourself early afternoon pick-me-up. In the mood for something a bit fruitier? Undergrind Cafe also serves several varieties of cold-pressed juice.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Mid City

Anyone who drives through the intersection of Pico and Redondo can’t miss this bright yellow coffee shop, which started out as owner Vanessa Punche’s side hustle and her own decision to boycott Starbucks after its 2018 racist incident. Today, Punche’s small brick-and-mortar (and mobile coffee catering business) serves fair trade Cameroonian coffee along with iced teas, smoothies and pastries to neighborhood locals and commuters alike

Central L.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Echo Park

Named for the endangered gorilla native to Rwanda and Uganda, this excellent Echo Park café and roaster was founded by Jack Karuletwa, a displaced member of the Tutsi. Today, Karuletwa’s Silverback Coffee now supports small coffee farmers, several rebuilding-oriented nonprofits and wildlife conservation efforts in his home country. In addition to its noble mission, the café itself is large, airy and full of indoor seating—the perfect Eastside-ish spot for a well-made cup of specialty coffee. Silverback Coffee also features an extensive milk-based drink assortment, an array of sweeter, dessert-like drinks and a food menu of breakfast fare and pastries.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Historic Filipinotown
  • price 2 of 4

Stradling Historic Filipinotown and Echo Park, Bloom & Plume is a gathering space for both neighborhoods—and communities beyond them. Run by artist and entrepreneur Maurice Harris (an L.A. icon unto himself), this bright purple and orange café and floral shop celebrates diversity, Blackness and community through its art, its collaborations and its entire purpose: Conveying—and proving—the South African belief of ubuntu, or "I am, because you are," meaning that everyone and everything is connected in community. It also happens to serve consistent and colorful espresso, matcha and chai creations, not to mention vibrant toasts, lemonades and floral arrangements to brighten your day.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Thai Town

This small, retro-themed Black and Filipino-owned Thai Town café offers standard coffee and drinks, plus a few, much sweeter L.A. originals, like a creamy, ube purple-tinged latte. Owned by couple Heather Knox and Joshua Oliveros, it’s named after his parents, who designed the shop’s current logo decades ago, and features wood tables with cushioned seats, a tiny assortment of retail goods and the kind of eye-catching interior design that brings all the Instagrammers (and locals, too). From time to time, Obet & Del’s also hosts small food pop-ups—check their Instagram for updates.

Downtown

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Downtown Historic Core

Lined with houseplants and black-and-white photos from the ‘60s, this Downtown L.A. coffee shop is a true hidden gem. Run by owner Farah A. Hagar, author of Blackie Bohemian: Book of Questions, this eclectic spot offers artisan chai, espresso drinks and fully vegan smoothies and light bites with a side of genuinely good vibes. The simple seating, collection of Ethiopian and Eritrean jebenas and more unique options (a camel milk cortado and caffeine-free date seed latte among them) all contribute to the cozy, free-spirited feel of Bohemian House—which has kept locals coming back since 2019.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Downtown Historic Core

Do you live within delivery distance of Downtown L.A.? Boketto Cold Brews wants to bring you or your office an excellent cup (or keg) of cold brew nitro coffee and tea. Founder Benjamin Westley—who also operates Boketto as a pop-up catering business—also offers retail bags of vacuum packed espresso and loose leaf tea and a small, everyday food menu.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • South LA

Located in the lobby of creative hub the Reef, this coffee counter is run by mixed media artist Koffi Effah, who can often be found behind the counter working on his button-adorned pieces. Convenient for anyone headed to the nearby Hill Street courthouse and nearby USC and LATTC students and employees, Coffee by Kofi offers coffee drinks, teas, pastries and to-go salads, fruit cups and kombucha.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • South Park

Inspired by all things Harry Potter, this Hope Street coffee shop’s Potion Makers are ready to serve you a cauldron’s brew. Inside, you’ll find cozy seating, a door covered in wands and other unique, wizard-inspired design touches. Nimbus Coffee offers something for everyone, whether you’re an “adventurous wizard” (house specialties), “basic witch” (standard coffee drinks), “river nymph” (fruit spritzers) or “garden gnome” (plant-based milkshakes). The shop uses Stumptown coffee beans.

Westside

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Playa Vista

With two locations in Santa Monica and Playa Vista, Café Ruisseau prides itself on providing an individual, bespoke coffee experience in the face of “fast, impersonal, mass produced mediocrity.” Founded in 2005, the coffee shop offers non-dairy milk options at no additional cost and a slate of unique specialty drinks, including a butterfly pea blue latte and Ruisseau’s take on the chagachino, also known as a mushroom latte. The Playa Vista coffee stand features plenty of open-air and outdoor seating, while the larger Santa Monica outpost sports a more modern look with plenty of indoor tables.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Venice

Equal parts coffee, flower and gift shop, this laidback Venice café offers Westside locals gorgeous floral arrangements with a side of coffee. The shop carries unique home goods, personal accessories and (of course) a few crystals, with a colorful exterior floral display that brightens up its busy traffic-prone stretch of Lincoln Boulevard every day of the week. Of course, Flowerboy Project’s simple drink menu incorporates florals, with excellent lavender and rose lattes that would change any skeptic’s opinion about consuming flowers.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Named after a competitive French cycling term, this small bike-friendly coffee shop with two locations in Downtown Culver City and the Culver City Arts District offers excellent breakfast burritos, market priced single-origin matcha and a deep commitment to the surrounding community. Super Domestic's larger Washington Boulevard sister spot, Mañana Coffee, also sells a bevy of plants and other assorted artisan goods. Both coffee shops roast their own beans and make all alternative milks and syrups in-house, for quality you can taste in every sip.

 

 

San Gabriel Valley

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Glendora

Way out in Claremont and Glendora, the Reverse Orangutan is a local roaster and coffee counter bringing exceptionally good specialty coffee to the far reaches of the 626. Founded in 2018 by Jamil Radney and Geoffrey Clark, both stands offer simple, straightforward menus of coffee, tea and pastries—not always an easy thing to consistently provide so far from the city center. The unusual name is inspired by a famous chess game’s “orangutan opening” move, whereupon the player on white’s intentions are made known before the player on black. The coffee shop’s name runs counter to that play: “Life has already made its move, it’s all about how we respond.”

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Old Pasadena

Founded in 2019, this vibrant neighborhood coffee shop on Union Street is fully plant-based—meaning you won’t find traditional dairy in any of its drinks. True to its name, the tiny Pasadena café sells a variety of succulents, houseplants and retail items as well as a standard coffee, tea and a specialty drink menu. A wall of greenery and other floral design touches make Coffee and Plants particularly Instagrammable, but the friendly baristas and delicious drinks made with love and care will keep you coming back time and time again.

Northeast

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Eagle Rock

Hilltop’s Eagle Rock location offers high-quality coffee and tea—including a delicious lavender latte—and a simple all-day menu of pastries, grain bowls, sandwiches and “droptops” (fully loaded toasts). Powdery beignets and weekend-only waffles round out the café’s food items, with many items on the menu substantial enough for a full-on meal. Located on the ground floor of an apartment building, Hilltop Eagle Rock’s minimalist interior and small outdoor patio area make it an excellent spot for Northeast L.A. denizens hoping for a quick cup of joe.

San Fernando Valley

  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries
  • Burbank

Run by husband-and-wife pair Laurent “Lou” and Karima Correa, this weekend-only Burbank coffee shop, patisserie and sandwich spot has been serving the Valley since 2016. All pastries, from seasonals to Lou’s wonderfully flaky daily croissant, are made using organic milk, eggs and produce, as well as French butter. The shop’s traditional espresso-based drinks also use organic milk as well, with an artisan tea selection larger than most neighborhood coffee shops. Note that the tiny storefront doesn’t have much in the way of seating, aside from a few patio tables outside—making it a better choice for takeaway drinks and snacks.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Woodland Hills

Located in Woodland Hills, Tang and Java is a Black- and Filipina-run gelato and coffee shop founded by a pair of friends in 2021. Inside the tiny strip mall spot you’ll find a sleek, modern interior with plenty of tables and counter seating. Tang and Java’s specialty gelato flavors feature uniquely L.A. creations like the Ole Ole, a mango sorbet topped with chamoy, tamarind candy and Tajin, while the drinks menu goes beyond standard coffee and tea with fruity iced drinks and several choices of non-sugar sweeteners. The woman-owned shop uses beans from L.A.-based Cafecita Coffee, which works exclusively with organic, women-run coffee farms.

Long Beach

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Long Beach

This Long Beach coffee roaster and café is proudly queer Black- and Latina-owned—the product of two women who left corporate jobs to provide fresh, high-quality coffee to every kitchen and increase the visibility of women of color in the specialty coffee industry. While the fully plant-based coffee shop is only open on Sundays for now, Scary Good Coffee also sells bags of single-origin specialty coffee and house blends every day of the week online.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising

      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!