A Guide to Long Beach Coffee Shops
About a block from the promenade, near and dear to the heart of downtown, is Recreational Coffee, an independently owned gem among Long Beach coffee shops. The team here responsibly sources then roasts java beans from the world’s premier growing regions, this is how they’re able to develop those sweet, complex, and balanced coffees that make you wonder why you’ve been drinking anything else.
The modern industrial vibes complete with brick walls, exposed ceilings, and wooden floorboards only add to Recrational’s vintage charm. When it comes to acclaim, they have been voted the best coffee shop in town per the Long Beach Post as well as one of Thrillist’s 12 essential places to eat and drink in Long Beach.
The clean, 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.
Sporting smooth white walls, wooden furnishings, and the occasional burst of exposed red brick structure, Black Ring is a budding northside independent coffee roastery focused on labor, quality of life, and sustainable practices, among other java-related procedures whose end result is that tasty mug of morning joe,
They’re known for having the best cold brew in the United States, we mean that quite literally, Coffee Fest is one of the nation’s largest coffee- and tea-centric conventions and it’s very critical judges for America’s Best Cold Brew believe that Black Ring does indeed serve the nation’s best cup of cold brew on nitro.
Kerstin Kansteiner was originally born, raised, and educated in Germany, when in September of 1988, a work opportunity brought her to Long Beach. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the surrounding community, as by 1990 she and a partner had firmly established Portfolio Coffeehouse, a cornerstone business along the tree-lined 4th street corridor’s Retro Row.
Since opening their doors over three decades ago, this wholesome team has been rendering culture, friendships and caffeine fixes amidst an eclectic collection of people, vintage furnishings, and fine art. Especially on a sunny Southern California day, don’t be shy about trying their deliciously refreshing ice blended drinks, which include a peanut butter mocha and green tea latte!
Rose Park was born in 2009 to address the needs of home coffee brewers across Long Beach while also furthering the idea that the best cup of joe is the one brewed from home – inexact science, improvised brewing equipment, lack of formal barista training, and less than ideal water composition included. All jokes aside, their quaint cafe is accentuated by its inviting plant-dappled atmosphere, cute wooden furnishings, ample sunlight, and the ever-relevant phrase “welcome to the process” in bold white letters on a wall.
Whether grabbing a bag of freshly roasted beans for the house, picking up your favorite seasonal latte, or enjoying baked goodies while comfortably typing away at any one of Rose Park’s seating arrangements, there’s something for everybody at each of their 3 locations.
Yet another aesthetically flawless gem among Long Beach coffee shops, and also conveniently situated near the city’s community college campus, family-owned Wolf’s Brew features retro boho vibes, black and white checkered flooring, and numerous real-life plants, which yes, are for sale.
On top of their own locally roasted blends, you’re sure to find the flavorful hints of other celebrated west coast roasters as Wolf’s Brew is proud to offer guests a diverse, rotating selection of high-quality coffee. Did we mention they carry delectably glazed and sprinkled vegan donuts from nearby Caffeinated Kitchen?!
Once a used bookstore, now a spacious coffee house with renaissance charm, plush mismatched seating, mood-lit shaded lamps, framed artworks, and bookshelves purposefully placed throughout, The Library is certainly one of the coziest coffee shops in Long Beach. Aside from offering guests an exceptional environment for gathering over coffee with friends or just simply kicking back and reading a book, as many have done in this very room for decades, this is also a great spot for exotic drinks that rock!
We’re talking sweet delicacies sporting names like Leprechaun Lipsmacker, Hazlenut Hipster, Muddy Coconut, and Peppermint Patty.
Stepping inside Viento Y Agua will teleport you from the bustling city streets of Long Beach to a beachside bungalow in some off-the-map, relaxing Mexican village. Intended to be an art gallery with a noteworthy coffee bar, due to popular demand, the coffee aspect eventually took over and transformed the space into an upbeat co-op atmosphere perfect for getting work done, whether alone or with a large group!
Needless to say, if there were ever a place to satisfy those heartfelt Mexican Mocha and Mexican Hot Chocolate desires, this is certainly it! Additionally, Viento Y Agua hosts a weekly open mic and regular live music performances.
Likely the most aesthetically gifted new addition to Long Beach coffee shops, family-owned Ground Hideout opened in the heart of downtown as recently as 2019! Design-wise, expect amazing lighting courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows, plush decorative pillows, white neon signage reading “caffeinated,” dark wooden tables, and the cutest little potted plant arrangements hanging from the ceiling.
They serve specialty coffee roasted fresh every week by Verve, not to mention, the seasonal drinks here are superb. From the Spiced Gingerbread Latte to the Brown Butter Toffee Latte to a Holiday Espresso Tonic, which has double ristretto, cranberry, tonic water, and is topped with rosemary, you really can’t go wrong.
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.
Wide Eyes Open Palms is a specialty coffee and seasonal food cafe snuggled amidst a strip of Cherry Avenue storefronts. Having been started by a barista and chef who together share decades of experience in the service industry, these owners are living the dream each and every day, don’t just take our word for it, they’ve got over 500 Yelp reviews with an average five-star rating to prove so; which is insanely good, that rarely ever happens, for those who may not recognize the significance of such a feat.
Odds are, you might just have the best cafe experience of your life at this multi-roaster, which currently rotates between Heart, Ritual, Tectonic, Augie’s and a variety of local favorites. On an environmental note, Wide Eyes Open Palms composts all of their coffee, tea, and food waste at a local farm, uses all compostable eco-products, including cups, napkins, plates, to-go containers, and utensils, and they have 100% eco cleaning products.
In 1976, when most people were satisfied with coffee made from one pound metal cans from the supermarket, Mike Sheldrake blended his deep knowledge of coffee roasting and brewing with his passion for people and built a coffee business in the then-sleepy Southern California beach town of Belmont Shore.
Since those early days, the business has evolved into an adorable coffee house with stained glass light fixtures, an espresso bar, an in-house bakery, patio dining, fine teas, and whole bean coffees. On that note, Sheldrake selects only the finest, top-grade arabica coffee beans from around the world and roasts them fresh in-house.
A little-known up and coming gem among Long Beach coffee shops, Cafe Cabinet is a quaint java outpost snuggled at the base of an Ocean Boulevard apartment building. They specialize in fine brewed Australian style Lattes and Cappuccinos and their Kyoto cold brew is slowly dripped to perfection for each guest. You can find limited but stylish seating available inside and a shared, shaded patio setting outside. Oh, and the wall art opposite the front counter is breathtakingly epic.
Talk about having it all, Commodity lures you in with sleek, modern signage juxtaposed against a vibrant Insta-worthy wall mural – that’s not taking into account the stylish cars parked out front either. Aside from aesthetics, they offer visitors a superlative cup of coffee, an extensive food menu, and a finely curated selection of beer and wine. Whether to satisfy your caffeine fix or wind down with a tasty alcoholic beverage and bite to eat, kick back amidst their minimalistic boho vibes brimming to life via soft pink tones, exposed brick, and an extensive collection of plants and pots, which yes, are for sale!
A petite java enclave, The Merchant combines old-world charm with wholesome service and although seating is limited inside, there is a very well maintained patio area perfect for soaking in another ridiculously gorgeous Southern California day. Seasonal concoctions are the move, from the Peppermint Mocha Latte to Eggnog Steamer to Chaider, which is a warm, spiced up, winter alternative to coffee that captures a sweet mash-up of masala chai flavors and mulled cider.
Sweet tooths are gonna want to try their fresh-baked Gingersnap cookie, its soft, chewy, rounds with their cracked, sugary tops are absolutely delicious.
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Long Beach coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 30 Coffee Shops in Los Angeles!