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LA's Best Coffee Shops
By: Mathew Kang  

Cognoscenti Coffee

3156 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 319-6459
Cognoscenti Coffee 
There's a reason why this coffee "pop-up" at Proof Bakery has become the ultimate hangout for lovers of espresso and brewed coffee - there's always a rotating list of top roasters available, as well as a constant supply of fresh beans in take-away bags. In addition, espresso drinks carry the same quality as the best shops in the country, using organic "barista" milk from Straus Creamery.

Intelligentsia Pasadena

55 East Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 578-1270
Intelligentsia Pasadena 
Intelligentsia's full service cafe, with simple, crafted meals alongside their incredibly polished coffee service. There's also a number of beers and wines available with the small-producer, craft-brewery focus that appeals to foodies.

Intelligentsia Silver Lake

3922 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029 
(323) 663-6173
Intelligentsia Silver Lake 
Still perhaps the foundation of the newest movement in the world of coffee, Intelligentsia blends high quality coffee with a quintessential Eastside ambiance with an expansive patio that overlooks Sunset Blvd. Considered ground zero for those seeking a great coffee experience.

Intelligentsia Venice

1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Intelligentsia Venice 
The second L.A. outlet of Chicago-based Intelligentsia (though they roast locally in Glassell Park), this high-design space features an industrial, modern look with a perfectly casual outside atrium that's ideal for people-watching along Venice's Abbot Kinney. Espresso and pourover programs are their normal offerings, while the back-bar tends to stretch the bounds of what coffee can be with the form of a special menu that depends on the barista's choice.

Handsome Coffee Roasters

582 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(323) 606-3593
Handsome Coffee Roasters 
The newest of the iconic L.A. coffee shops, it's one of the first to feature a full roasting and packaging area behind the front coffee bar. The menu is as simple as it gets, with espresso and various amounts of steam milk, as well as one or two different batch-brewed coffees available each day. Pastries from Proof Bakery round out the offerings.

Espresso Cielo

3101 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 314-9999
Espresso Cielo 
Featuring Vancouver's highly-regarded 49th Parallel roasters, this Main St. Santa Monica coffee bar puts together pretty latte art with a sunny setting just steps from the beach. The towering cold brews are best for warm summer days.

Spring For Coffee

548 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 228-0041
What might be L.A.'s best attempt to resemble Manhattan, this tiny walk-up storefront features roasts from Stumptown, Blue Bottle and Ritual. Baristas work quickly to get your coffee made and you on your caffeinated way. Pourover brews via Chemex and Hario V60 are also available. 

Cafecito Organico

534 N Hoover St
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 537-8367
Cafecito Organico 
After making a name for themselves at local farmer's markets, Cafecito boasts their own organic, fair-trade beans while embodying the Eastside aesthetic better than anyone - a bit laid back, but still quite delicious. Both the Hoover and Heliotrope locations (just a mile or so apart) capture that "sit all-day in a coffee shop" vibe.

Paper or Plastik Cafe

5772 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 935-0268
Paper or Plastik 
A sweeping view of Pico Blvd and an airy room that works well for laptop warriors and conversationalists alike, Paper or Plastik touts excellent beans from Intelligentsia and Ecco Caffe. All together, it makes for one of the best Pourover coffees come via Hario V60.

Coffee Commissary

801 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 782-1465
Coffee Commissary 
One of the first to adopt the multi-roaster model in L.A., Commissary occupies a sweet spot along Fairfax Avenue. The open space allows for plenty of seating while the Coava, Sightglass, and Victrola beans on rotation offer a varied experience every time you visit.

Tiago Espresso Bar + Kitchen

7080 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 466-5600
Tiago Coffee 
Perhaps the lone star in specialty coffee in Hollywood's main drag, Tiago features Intelligentsia, Handsome Roasters, and San Jose's Barefoot Coffee and baristas who know their craft.

Single Origin

W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 761-7976
Short Cake LA 
Located side by side with the late Amy Pressman's Short Cake, Nik Krankl takes Santa Cruz's Verve Coffee and serves it with the spectacular pastries. Single origin pourover brews start front and center while custom espresso machines and grinders pull swell shots. Delightful ceramic cups and wooden trays allow you to take your drink to any seat in the Farmers Market and people watch.

Bru Coffee Bar

1866 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 664-7500
Bru Coffee Bar 
A simple interior allows the Ritual Coffee program here to shine, with a near reflection of the San Francisco Mission District roaster's original location. A pourover program with Hario V60's serve single origin beans while a La Marzocco pulls sweet shots for those more inclined to espresso.

The Refinery

413 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 986-2776
The Refinery This newcomer singles out the best in San Francisco's Ritual Coffee just steps from the touristy 3rd Street Promenade of Santa Monica. You're also just a few steps from the weekly Farmer's Market, giving you the proper fuel for some spectacular produce shopping. The refined, simple interior allows for a quiet work place.

Cafe Dulce

134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 346-9910
Cafe Dulce 
This coffee shop and bakery features amazing house-made pastries alongside a superb espresso and brewed coffee program using La Mill Coffee.

Cafe Demitasse

135 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-9300
This corner cafe along Little Tokyo uses Equator Coffee to the fullest, with a fancy siphon coffee brewer or on La Marzocco espresso machines. They also have a rotating list of local roasters, such as Handsome Coffee, so regulars can taste something different from time to time.

Two Guns Espresso

This Manhattan Beach outpost brews Seattle's Caffe Vita coffee beans in a simple but relaxing space just a short drive from the ocean. The espresso drinks are high-quality and the cold brew is excellent. Easily the best coffee bar in the South Bay. Two Guns Espresso
350 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 318-2537

Brew Coffee Bar

This shop inside the Yahoo Center brews Stumptown Coffee from Portland. They have professional baristas who care about crafting great cups for busy office workers in the area.
Brew Coffee Bar
b118, 2425 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 635-3355

Cafe De Leche

This Highland Park shop serves Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters in a minimalist, bright space that's comfortable for laptop warriors and even kids.
Cafe De Leche 5000 York Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 551-6828

Espresso Profeta

This cute shop in Westwood only serves espresso drinks by committed baristas using Seattle's Vivace. The cappuccino is the drink to get. Grab a cup and relax on the outdoor patio.
Espresso Profeta
1129 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-3375

Caffe Luxxe

Taking a modern Italian approach to coffee, Caffe Luxxe brews short shorts are darker roasted coffee that holds well to large amounts of steamed milk, which is why the latte is the most popular beverage here. They are now roasting their coffee beans for their retail locations.
Caffe Luxxe
225 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90049
(310) 394-2222

Primo Passo Coffee

This newcomer to Santa Monica brews Stumptown Coffee in a simple, elegant space. The decor might be minimalist but the coffee is well-crafted.
Primo Passo Coffee 
702 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 451-5900

Lamill Coffee Boutique

This high-design space in the heart of Silver Lake might have more flash than cup-to-cup quality but the best bets are the espresso based drinks that are best enjoyed sitting on the patio. 
Lamill Coffee Boutique 
1636 Silver Lake Boulevard
 Los Angeles, CA 90026
 (323) 663-4441

Balconi Coffee Company

Serving a rotating selection from West Coast Coffee Roasters, Balconi specializes in siphon filter coffee, an impressive technique that's a sight to behold. The espresso drinks are pretty good too.
Balconi Coffee Company
11301 W. Olympic Blvd, #124
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 906-0267

LA's Best Coffee Shops

By: Mathew Kang
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