A Guide to Los Angeles Coffee Shops
Verve’s two-story Roastery Del Sur in the Arts District showcases a minimalistic atmosphere brimming to life with warm hazel tones set against creamy white walls, ample crafty seating, and an abundance of space that allows for either “long-overdue” or productive gatherings of virtually any size. Moreover, this gigantic hallmark among Los Angeles coffee shops hand-roasts the finest coffees in the world in small batches daily as well as curates a seasonal and sustainable food menu covering breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Talk about humble beginnings, Alan and Alex Morales launched Civil with little more than home model espresso machines and a desire to bring great coffee to the people. They were nomads, roaming southern California, serving coffee from the back of a red pickup truck, sometimes even at a friend’s backyard.
These days, the duo operates out of a visually stunning shop – along Figueroa’s main stretch – that features high ceilings with low-hanging trendy light fixtures, lively patterned tile floors, a white granite wall, and plenty of seating arrangements.
Their menu has something for everyone, whether you want to sip the latest Peruvian coffee or snack on a barbacoa burrito in the sun, you’ll find that Civil was built just for you.
Originally established by Andres Piñeros in 2012 as a pop-up shop in Villavicencio, Colombia with the goal of exclusively serving Colombian coffees, The Boy & The Bear was first introduced to LA in the form of a full-scale, stylish Redondo Beach roastery. There, guests are greeted with the delightful aromas of fresh coffees, taken aback by the beautiful weathered wood accents, copper detailing, and dark tones throughout the store’s atmosphere, and grooving to the sounds of Colombian music in the background.
A multi-story coffee house fit for the trendsetting South LA community, Hilltop’s Inglewood location is a modern chandelier illuminated, plant dappled, WiFi-enabled space for creators of all walks. The shop’s founders are native Angelinos who are thankful to have spent many formative years in the same neighborhoods where they are now in a position to create fun environments for people to connect with each other and themselves.
Hilltop offers locally roasted gourmet coffee, cold-pressed juices, and all-day breakfast and lunch, always paired with a healthy serving of good vibes.
Nestled in the adorably busy Larchmont Village, Go Get Em Tiger’s floor-to-ceiling glass storefront trimmed with burgundy steel beams is home to an energetic atmosphere perhaps most underscored by how guests are expected to order: bar style. That’s right, no lines, just step right up to the super long coffee bar and place your order with any one of their world-class baristas. They’ve got beloved versions of your caffeinated favorites, delicious seasonal beverages, and a full kitchen to make your brekkie + lunch dreams a beautiful reality.
In part thanks to his time spent as a touring drummer for the band From Indian Lakes and a childhood spanning from Mexico City to Chicago, Dayglow founder, coffee nerd, and serial traveler Tohm Ifergan has enjoyed the pleasure of fostering intimate relationships with skilled coffee makers scattered throughout the globe, an invaluable treasure he shares with Los Angeles via his Silver Lake and West Hollywood cafes.
Bright neon signage, pink furnishings, patterned tile walls, and good vibrations aside, Dayglow boasts an obsessively curated and ever-rotating selection of artisan coffees whose divine taste earned them the #2 spot on Food & Wine’s Best Coffee Shop’s in America list.
Dayglow also manages a monthly subscription box service that brings the world’s best roasters to your doorstep while simultaneously furthering the plight of inspired at-home baristas everywhere.
Conveniently situated near bustling Chinatown, Endorffeine was started with a simple desire to serve others. The shop’s founder, a son of Thai immigrants, once labored as a biochemist, where he helped develop cancer-fighting pharmaceuticals for patients around the world. Now, he personally brews every drink at this coffee bar, meticulously impressing his calculated signature upon each flavorful sip.
Endorffeine is an amalgam of “endorphin” and “caffeine.” Endorphins are produced by our bodies, and here, represent one half of the coffee culture equation – the self; your experience can only be as good as an open mind will allow. The second half comes in the form of the caffeine molecule, which triggers an increase of dopamine in the brain, and leads to pleasurable feelings.
A Los Angeles County-certified social enterprise, Hot + Cool Cafe is family-operated and located in the heart of Leimert Park Village. This vibrant cafe is home to moving works of art, fun live events, healthy vegan dishes, and tantalizing signature beverages, such as The Be Cool, a blueberry and raspberry infused cold brew delicacy.
As a certified social enterprise, Hot + Cool’s mission is to ensure that South Central communities have access to Black-centered arts and culture, delicious, plant-based food, and employment opportunities and training, regardless of circumstance.
A culinary jewel snuggled at the base of one Historic Filipinotown apartment building, the delectable fare at Doubting Thomas is derived from the creative genius of Naomi Shim, a longtime LA pastry chef who garnered invaluable experience while working with familiar places like Salt’s Cure, Copa Vida, and Coffee Commissary. The floor-to-ceiling glass storefront allows for a bright, sun-drenched setting accentuated by mismatched tables and chairs, pristine white granite countertops, and minimalistic cement floors, pillars, and walls.
Whether searching for specialty pour-over coffee, small-batch handcrafted pastries, a heavenly daytime meal, or an excellent environment to knock out some work, Doubting Thomas has you covered.
You can’t miss this big, beautiful, purple Echo Park building adorned by a shiny gold coin-like emblem and draped with lively green foliage. Making your way inside family-run Bloom & Plume, past the refreshing scent of flowers, one is met with an uplifting aesthetic beauty intimately designed by co-owner Maurice Harris; it’s very apparent, this is a space meant to build beloved community while providing an elevated adventure for customers to enjoy excellent coffee and delicious food.
An off-white gem among Los Angeles coffee shops, Kumquat is a cozy little cafe with soothing beige tones, comfy seating, and the occasional touch of adorable plant life. The shop carries unique coffee roasters from many parts of the world and the highest quality garden-direct tea from Asia. That being said, it’s no wonder Kumquat’s menu includes flavorful signature creations like the Hong Kong Mylk tea and Hojicha latte, a delicious mix of powdered roasted green tea and pure cane sugar.
Near and dear to the heart of West Hollywood, since its opening, Alfred has been a first among third-wave cafes to place an instagrammable emphasis on customer experience. Their original multi-story space on Melrose Place is no exception to this rule, offering aesthetically inclined patrons a photo op per every beautified corner – there’s the budding pink floral wallpaper, powder-white tile fireplace adorned by what looks to be a pair of bull horns, and bright neon signage reading “Meet me at Alfred.”
The picturesque decor acts as an accomplice to daringly innovative, rewardingly delicious coffee beverages and a scrumptious selection of bagel sandwiches, croissants, and gluten-free blueberry muffins.
Groundwork proudly serves freshly roasted, sustainably sourced, and certified organic coffee at some eleven gorgeous java outposts dappled along Southern California’s dreamy coastline. Their North Hollywood location is housed within a late 19th-century historic train depot that’s registered as a State Historic Landmark Building, breathing new life into a longtime hub of the neighborhood, and in another yummy way, keeping Angelinos chugging forward!
Derived from smallholder lots, or half-acre farms spread throughout planet Earth, Groundwork utilizes a model called direct trade. This is a process in which roasters work directly with farmers to meet higher standards for coffee quality in exchange for a premium price. That way, the farmers get liveable wages, and Groundwork gets to give you the best coffee out there.
Since opening in 1995, The Conservatory has been a locally cherished provider of freshly roasted organic coffees as well as a mainstay among Los Angeles coffee shops. Inside, the wholesome atmosphere has warm copper tones, beautiful cast iron seating, a fairly realistic corner tree that’s usually decked out with festive holiday decor, and many golden tea tins stacked near to the ceiling. Concerning the latter, the shop offers more than 50 unique loose leaf teas, tea blends, tisanes, and herbs from around the world, each cozily nestled on their Great Wall of Tea.
Through unique relationships with international growers and importers, goodboybob is able to regularly feature some of the world’s rarest coffees – we’re talkin’ java you definitely won’t find anywhere else in LA! Not to mention the beloved, welcoming, and self-described coffee nerds behind the counter, who pour their heart and soul into finding, roasting, and preparing coffee with the highest standards, whilst not acting all hoity-toity about it.
Having procured one of the most visually pleasing Santa Monica coffee shops to be found, goodboybob’s interior is underscored by creative artworks, colorful chesterfields, and high wood vaulted ceilings. Or you can always hang out next to the verdure-wrapped brick storefront, beneath the starry lights of their rustic courtyard, and while you’re basking in that illuminating glow, maybe stay for a glass or bottle from their diverse selection of wine and craft beer.
Sheltered within a warehouse-sized community-driven space rife with seating, tables, and subtle bohemian flare is Bar Nine, a cafe and roastery centered on delivering a great guest experience through simplicity, hospitality, and sustainability. This operation harbors the impressive kind of java talent that has earned them a 2017 StarChefs Rising Star Roaster, a featured service at TED 2015, multiple 95 point reviews on Coffee Review, and an LA Times 101 mention for their blend The 9.
Bar Nine is one of the first coffee shops in the nation to have fully embraced an all-glass takeaway program, meaning to-go coffees come in cute jar-like glasses rather than wasteful single-use cups, that being said, the prices may seem a bit steeper than usual but bearing in mind each menu item’s price also includes the thoughtful value of paying their employees exceptional living wages makes the slight upcharge well worth it!
Boasting a creamy white exterior graced with the cool vintage charm of Menotti’s written in golden cursive lettering, this corner java stop is certainly one of the hippest hangouts around. The vintage element continues as you step through the door and are greeted by dark wooden furnishings, a dutifully arranged vinyl collection, and a wall mural photograph of American novelist James Baldwin enjoying his own mid-day delight.
You’re going to see some uniquely amazing drinks dappled throughout the room; one is the Espresso & Tonic, an iced 16oz beverage that consists of tonic water, a double shot of espresso floating on top, and a fresh orange peel zested to top it off; another is the Spanish Latte, made with sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon.
On a separate note, we gotta give them a shoutout for having an artist paint one of LA’s most iconic Kobe Bryant murals over their clean white storefront shortly after the late great Laker legend tragically passed away in January 2020.
What originally started out as the whimsical fantasy of an established architect from China, first came to fruition in the form of a Highland Park pop-up, and ultimately found a forever brick & mortar home on Olive Street, has since become one of the most frequented Los Angeles coffee shops there is. A multi-roaster, Cognoscenti serves a variety of rotating products with an open mind, taking pride in their everlasting journey perfecting the art of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.
Established in 2015 and housed within a daylight-rich, quaint minimalistic space most accentuated by warm maple tones, the giant sign reading “LOVE,” a golden-state-shaped coffee table, and some really cool reflective honeycomb tiles wrapped around the counter.
Menu-wise, the espresso drinks are excellent, and it’s worth trying the weirdly good lemonade iced coffee. This is a great spot for work if you’ve got a puppy in tow too – the entire space is dog-friendly, and the backyard offers plenty of room for them to stretch out under your table.
Demitasse is the earthy-toned, plant-riddled brainchild of a handful of coffee geeks from all walks of life, who by the way have each concocted their very own signature beverage exclusively available when they are on bar. Take, for instance, the Smokey 2.0 by Bobby, it’s mixed with free spirits bourbon, honey lavender syrup, milk, espresso, and a giant ice cube, and gets smoked in front of so fortunate customers.
Whilst roasting their own coffee one small batch at a time, Demitasse also locally sources ingredients and invests a lot of time trying to find the best Los Angeles has to offer, from pastries to chocolate truffles and even to the ice cream used in their affogatos.
A delicately arranged, aesthetically gifted shoebox-sized store resting beneath the shade of a ginormous tree on one easy boulevard corner, Alana’s is a must-visit for coffee connoisseurs and digital nomads alike. First things first, this community gathering space roasts purposefully sourced, seasonally available beans from around the world in-house, almost daily.
They make their own syrups, keep the powders simple, and offer the best milk and milk alternatives so that special ritualistic order of yours carries with it a reliably tasty but flavorfully noteworthy memory. The outdoor patio is dreamy too, especially come golden hour, when the sun’s warm golden rays are illuminating a retro camper parked deck-side and the leaves of many green, exotic-looking plants dappled throughout the starry light covered terrace.
Situated along Hollywood Boulevard, in the midst of Thai Town, is recently opened and already locally beloved Obet & Del’s Coffee. An exposed brick wall, colorful furnishings, and overall vintage vibes underscore the beauty of this retro spice-laced space twinkling amongst a city filled with bright stars.
If you’re in the mood for something new, a bit adventurous, and dependably delicious, give their Filipino iced coffee, Thai tea latte, golden milk cappuccino, and other signature favorites a try!
Let’s be honest, the secret has been out, Angelinos from all over the county flock to this verdure-wrapped hallmark that’s perfect for putting the finishing touches on another blockbuster Tinseltown screenplay. Upon entering Aroma, you’re transported to a romantic hillside cottage complete with vibrant plants, hardwood floors, a crackling fireplace, stunning chandeliers, copper tabletops, and untold vintage trinkets.
Nestled at the quaint corner base of what’s remaining of a six-story brick hotel dating back to 1925, Highlight’s warm wooden furnishings, minimalistic white walls, classic glass storefront, roomy high ceilings, and overall throwback vibes are admirably instagrammable – imagine the golden hour glow! Their signature beverages impress too, there’s a phenomenal butterscotch latte, espresso pom-tonic infused with house-made grenadine, and coffee lemonade AKA “Nathan Palmer,” whose description reads, “Yup. A coffee lemonade. House-made lemonade with just the right amount of coffee. Trust us.”
Located in northwest Silver Lake, at the corner of Sunset and Fountain, Dinosaur is a brick-wrapped, independently-owned gem among Los Angeles coffee shops known for its minimalistic design elements, light hardwood features, and gorgeous centerpiece java bar. That’s not to mention the uniquely delicious Fourbarrel coffee and fresh brewed Song Tea they serve alongside scrumptious baked treats. Just a heads up, they do not offer WiFi.
Finca Dos Marias (“the farm of the two Marias”), is where Mireya Jones’ grandmother and great grandmother began producing one of the highest-grade coffees in the highlands of Guatemala, in the mid-1870s. Though most of the farm’s coffee is now sold to other sustainability-minded coffee roasters around the country, some of it is kept in the family, at Jones Coffee Roasters.
Of their four Pasadena coffee shops, the two-story Mission Street one is a beauty worth visiting. The store showcases olive green awnings pronounced against gorgeous red rock bricks, colorful flooring, crafty chairs, Fosselman’s ice cream, and fresh-baked pastries await!
The husband and wife duo that operates Copa Vida originally began their entrepreneurial journey with a lone noodle shop, following the sale of that first business, they looked forward to bringing about a community-oriented cafe experience where everyone could feel welcome to come together.
A peek inside this getaway among Los Angeles coffee shops reveals just that: a creamy white, light hardwood-accented coffee bar set beneath an intricately designed ceiling, and surrounded by an ample array of comfortable seating arrangements – more pointedly, luxurious style meets cozily procured grace in a splendid crossover that devoted java farers and virtual, wifi-enabled nomads alike can appreciate.
Copa Vida brilliantly partners with multiple roasters in an effort to consistently showcase a variety of flavors and tastes that are savored by a myriad of palettes daily.
A jet black standout among Magnolia Park storefronts, this pint-sized java outpost can definitely attract quite the crowd at times, and yes, it’s certainly worth the wait. Blvd Cafecito offers a Cuban coffee menu showcasing authentic takes on tasty classics from the Cortadito to Cafe con Leche that will make you feel like you’re standing at “la ventanita” somewhere in Miami!
The stylish gray and white storefront of this shoebox-sized shop fits the bill as it sits along an artistic stretch of Wardlow Road that features numerous wall murals worth the gander and photograph. Stepping inside gives way to foliage hanging from above, trendy light fixtures, a retro cherry red La Marzocco espresso machine, and a handful of tables, in culmination, making Steelhead one of the LBC’s must-visit destinations for coffee connoisseurs and aesthetically inclined patrons alike.
Steelhead operates two more coffee shops, one is a walk-up renovated sea container with visual appeal, another is on Broadway and boasts stunning sea green tones.
Intentionally roasting high-grade beans from all around the world in-house, Lord Windsor takes a casual pride in every subtle flavor profile enjoyed with each guest’s sip. Lengthy wooden workbenches, minimalistic white walls, exposed brick, black and white checkered floors, and trendy light fixtures add to the legendary aura of this east beach area hideaway.
As of writing, Lord Windsor is temporarily closed, check out the shop’s Instagram account for updates on when they’ll reopen.
If you enjoyed this guide to the 30 best coffee shops in Los Angeles, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Orange County!