Settle in at the best coffee shops in Los Angeles
This peaceful all-day coffee shop and self-described “neo-bistro” slings so much more than espresso and avocado toast. The vibe is minimal—stark, even—giving the spotlight to its nuanced espresso pulls and some of L.A.’s most creative café fare. Leave it to an alumnus of Destroyer’s kitchen to create dishes so beautifully arranged, you barely want to disturb them with a fork. The menu is hyper-seasonal, its food rotating weekly, if not daily, and the beverages are just as gorgeous (see: black sesame cortados) and refresh just as frequently. Triniti employs two espresso machines: one for solo, single-origin pulls, and the other for drinks such as oat-milk lattes or ginger-spiced chai. The team also composts their grounds and other byproduct, or utilizes them on the menu elsewhere (always go for whatever’s in that slushie machine, like the cold brew and rhubarb concoction). Snag a barstool and sit near the front counter to watch the cars and people stream by along Sunset; you’ve already reached your destination and you won’t be budging for awhile.
Go Get Em Tiger comes from the growing coffee empire by Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, a duo whose G&B Coffee—housed in Grand Central Market—deserves just as much recognition as their Larchmont Village and Los Feliz coffee shop. At Larchmont’s light-filled, minimalist space, customers can choose from grab-and-go bottles of house-made cold brew, pastries, brunchy bites and retail items; the Los Feliz location boasts a beautiful patio where you can enjoy grain bowls and chorizo hash in the sunshine. There is, of course, an all-star lineup of coffee: Expect four to six rotating varieties at a time, like Ritual, Forty Ninth Parallel and Heart Roasters. Our pick? Try the almond and macadamia milk cappuccino.
This spacious and stylish coffee destination is busy no matter the time of day—no surprise, seeing as it’s one of Highland Park’s best gathering spots, remote-work spaces and of course top shops to grab a cup and a croissant. Tall ceilings, tiled floors and an array of seating options—spread between coutertops, tables, a couple couches and a back patio—make for a fashionable setting, while the fresh baked goods, toasts and breakfast burritos always make for a solid meal. The espresso rotates frequently, but the handul of teas and specialty coffee drinks remain more or less the same. We love The Figueroa, made with sweetened condensed milk, espresso, milk and cinnamon, topped with a Maria Cookie.
Tourists and Westsiders may wait in 20-minute lines at Intelligentsia up the street, but locals prefer Cafecito, the quieter shop on Hoover. Here you’ll find less pretension and more privacy—as well as the addictive Espresso Clandestino blend. The shop is small, with only a bit of counter space inside, but a spacious covered—and pet-friendly—patio makes for a good place to get work done, catch up with friends or make eyes at your neighbor. Street parking can be tough to find, but bike racks abound for two-wheeled commuters.
Blackwood Coffee Bar sits at the base of Runyon Canyon, a chic yet comfortable space offering caffeine hits to both hikers and sedentary folks. Inside, plush benches and chairs make it easy to settle in for hours—there’s free Wi-Fi, plus a magazine rack with plenty of reading material—while the outdoor patio provides a little more sunshine and some prime people watching. You’ll find standard cups of joe here, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t take a chance on some of the more out-there items: espresso shrub with sparkling water and orange zest, for example, or the Latin Cold Brew, which gets made with cashew horchata and Aztec chocolate bitters.
Remote workers, here is your paradise. There are outlets galore, plus plenty of seats, and enough menu selection to keep things varied throughout the day. San Francisco’s Fourbarrel Coffee provides the base for espresso, classics, and specials such as cacao cold brew, and you can also opt for house-made shrubs and tonics or a handful of specialty teas. On the food front, hulking ham and cheese croissants, caramel brownies and other baked goods rotate throughout the case daily, keeping things even more exciting. Who needs an office, anyway? Don’t forget to wave hello to the t-rex mural in the restroom.
The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea and Cocoa is a haven for coffee lovers—and as the name suggests, it’s a haven for tea and cocoa enthusiasts, too. Ask the friendly staff to help you decide which beans to bring home, or which of their hundreds of teas to order, and you’ll get an education that isn’t intimidating or brusque. The business roasts all of its beans in-house and also fulfills online and wholesale orders. It’s a popular spot for writers, moms and Sony employees, and you may see interns ordering a gaggle of coffees from a list on their iPhones—but there’s a good chance there won’t be a laptop in sight (it’s a no Wi-Fi zone). It’s a refreshing feeling to walk into a coffee shop and see people talking or reading books or writing with actual pens and paper—and it’s something the Conservatory wants to, well, conserve.
It may be devastatingly hip in both attitude and décor, but Alfred Coffee & Kitchen wears its signature handlebar mustache well. Swing by one of their many locations—West Hollywood, Studio City, K-town, Brentwood, Beverly Hills or Silver Lake—to witness a young, tanned (and invariably Rag & Bone-clad) barista fashion you a mean Americano. The Wi-Fi is free, the coffee is courtesy of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the pastries are tasty and the experience is irresistibly Instagrammable. Seriously. That “But first, coffee” decal should have its own handle.
Endorffeine isn’t your cutesy, sun-dappled, Instagram-driven coffee shop—not that there isn’t a place for those in L.A. and our hearts. This is Far East Plaza’s stripped-down espresso stop that fuels you with meticulously measured pulls from Coffee Collective and Heart Roasters beans, and offers a number of caffeinated options in a sleek, minimalist setting. Look for owner (and former biochemist) Jack Benchakul behind the counter, painstakingly preparing innovative drinks like the new (Not So) Thai-Iced Coffee made with cold brew, coconut milk, Johnnie Walker reduction and palm sugar. But his most ambituous concept? That would be "9," a cocktail-and-dessert experience for only nine people each event (follow along on Instagram to hear about the next one).
Old Pasadena has its humble share of boutique cafés, but Copa Vida offers the entire gamut of coffee and tea experiences: A $2.50-a-cup honor bar during weekday-morning rush hour, traditional counter service, an upscale slow-bar experience, coffee classes, and performances by local musicians. Oh, and did we mention brunch? The front section of the clean, bright space views the enchanting Castle Green, while the side room offers a more conversational-yet-intimate environment. Behind the counter, find a fleet of sleek contraptions that offer tastes to match their looks, particularly with a lever pull of the refreshing teas on tap—standouts are the charcoal-roasted Tung Ting and the fruity, mellow Apricot Escape.
Angelenos know the Aussie invasion is already well underway, and we’re loving every minute of it. At the forefront of the Australian-owned all-day cafés and flat-white-slinging coffee shops is Paramount Coffee Project, or PCP. Now with a second location—a sprawling and light-filled spot within ROW DTLA—PCP is expanding its menus as well as its footprint. The team skips all shortcuts and makes their own almond-macadamia milk (lightly sweetened by dates, naturally), and with executive chef Ria Barbosa heading up the food menu, you get great Aussie-meets-L.A.-meets-Filipino plates like lumpia sausage rolls. What are you doing still standing there? Get moving.
There’s nothing but smiles and pleasantries behind the counter at this bright, airy and minimalist shop, where you’ll find pastries and other snacky fare such as avocado toast and matcha chia pudding. The coffee shop has a Japanese influence to its selection, so try their killer matcha latte while perusing Eightfold’s well-curated book selection, or enjoy the simplicity of herbal tea or some single-origin espresso. Short marble-topped tables line one wall, while a communal table is perfect for collaboration or working on your laptop (yup, there’s free Wi-Fi here, too).
Menotti’s Coffee Stop—emphasis on the “stop”—feels like a friendly refuge from the neighboring Venice Boardwalk. The interior is welcoming but spartan, with most of the attention focused on the bean selection and, behind it, a stack of vinyl and a taxidermied armadillo. You won’t find much seating; there’s a bench, a single table and a narrow wooden bar that barely fits a coffee cup and a tasty, croissant-like cinnamon roll. Consider your almond milk latte to-go a dose of tranquility to tote along the Boardwalk.
After years of pop-ups, Yeekai Lim’s Cognoscenti Coffee found homes in Culver City, South Park and the Fashion District downtown. Every location spots a cool industrial-chic aesthetic, with espresso-based drinks and pour-over coffee from roasters like Phil and Sebastian, Counter Culture, Wrecking Ball and Ritual. Keep an eye out for seasonal drinks and select coffee-memorabilia retail like beans, grinders and scales at all three locations, and in the Culver and DTLA locations, keep an eye on the pastry cases—which are stocked daily with fresh baked goods by Friends & Family.
Formally a private home, Aroma Coffee & Tea Company has transformed itself into a darling cafe where you can grab a coffee, slice of cake or full-on meal to enjoy in one of the many seating areas. Their expansive coffee and tea menu caters to everyone from the espresso lover to the chai-latte enthusiast, and an abundance of milk options makes it easy to tailor your drink. Inside of the cafe, a library-like atmosphere (complete with fireplace) makes it feel like you’re chilling at home, while outside is more casual with a back patio and some tables on the front sidewalk. Our favorite time to visit? Brunch, when omelets and French toast galore are paired with coffee and shuttled out of the kitchen to chic Valley dwellers.
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