Walk into a coffee shop in Venice and you just might see a surfer who's come straight from the beach—bare feet, wetsuit and all. Forget the espresso bars of Downtown—the carefree residents of Venice are all about grabbing a cup of coffee in a relaxed (albeit super fashionable) setting. So whether you're a surfer or a boutique owner, working on a script or going on a friend date, take a peek at our list of the best places in Venice for a cold-brew, latte, espresso or whatever helps you get through the day.
RECOMMENDED: Best coffee shops in LA
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 taxidermy armadillo. You won't really 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 ($5) a dose of tranquility to tote along the Boardwalk. But there are occasional opportunities to linger inside, namely during coffee tasting sessions of San Francisco-based Four Barrel Coffee.
This Venice sanctuary for java fiends and banjo strummers fosters a community of musicians, writers, artists and families to enjoy a bit of art with their coffee. There's Wi-Fi for students, cheap eats for vegetarian vagabonds, and rentable rooms for event hosting—not to mention live music almost every night. Check the calendar to see what artsy activities The Talking Stick's got going on this month.
In the spirit of Venice, this Windward Avenue coffee shop’s strong suit is the people watching. Take a table along the sidewalk or inside the simple but clean space—nearly every seat faces a window—and watch the Boardwalk denizens stream by from behind the safety of your Nutella latte. There’s a thorough selection of smoothies, teas and sub-$3 espresso, as well as a full menu of wraps, sandwiches and salads. If you’re beach-bound, might we suggest dropping two bucks for a refreshing mango iced tea?
After the shuttering of the city's beloved Röckenwagner in Santa Monica's Edgemar Center, Hans Röckenwagner moved to Venice's Abbot Kinney with a casual cafe and bakery offshoot. 3 Square Cafe + Bakery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to a local crowd of families and the block's weekend crowd. Bring your sweet tooth to breakfast—the signature pan-fried German apple pancake and muesli served with cream and berries are excellent, and there's an assortment of German pastries at the next-door bakery that can be enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee.
What was once a flower shop on the corner of Venice Boulevard has been transformed into a temple to all things dudely—namely, surf culture, badass bikes and strong espresso. Bring your buddies to marvel at Deus Ex Machina motorcycles handbuilt in-house, surfboards shaped at the Deus shop in Bali, and floor-to-ceiling art celebrating both of these noble pursuits. For those who can’t fit a custom bike into their carry-on, grab a double shot from LA’s Handsome Coffee Roasters (they brew in the shop) to enjoy outside on the patio filled with communal tables.
As one of LA's most reputable coffee chains (with locations in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Downtown, West LA and Venice), Groundwork in Venice on Rose sells beach-going Angelenos organic, custom-blended coffee to start their day. A favorite among regulars, the Bitches Brew is their darkest roast, and leaves a smokey aftertaste long after the cup is empty. Single origin variations come from all over—Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru—while their latest addition, a cold brew coffee, has become so popular that its also sold in bottles for wholesale. At the Venice location, seating is scarce—then again, there's nothing like sipping on a good cup of coffee at the beach.