Like most big cities in the world, Los Angeles offers a burst of activity in the coffee category. With every area of the city showcasing their way of roasting and brewing coffee in their own way, it can be tough to figure out which are the best spots unless you try them all. Whether you are looking to get a start on your day or a midday pick-me-up, these top coffee houses in L.A. take pride in what they are brewing and have proven that coffee is an art form all its own.
806 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021
At Stumptown, coffee is the main focus, but besides the coffee, it’s the relationships with farmers, employees, customers, growers and each other, which is what keeps them roasting terrific coffee day after day. With a focus on quality, Stumptown has taken over the scene by providing delicious tasting coffee for anyone that is lucky enough to walk through the doors. Created by Duane Sorenson, beans are meticulously sourced, carefully roasted and thoughtfully brewed to bring out the flavor for each cup of coffee. Named after the logging business of the town it was established in, Stumptown still uses its very first 5 kilo Probat roaster, brews on a La Marzocco espresso machine and as of 2011, offers cold brew coffee as well.
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1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Established in 1995, Intelligentsia has grown to three cities from one charming coffee shop that began in Chicago. Brewing on a temperamental 12-kilo roaster, Intelligentsia coffees are fresh roasted daily in vintage German roasters which give its coffee a distinct taste. Forget Starbucks or Coffee Bean, Intelligentsia puts pride in its coffee by sourcing its beans from some of the most remote places on earth. In Los Angeles, Intelligentsia has two locations, both with their own unique atmosphere and vibe. First to arrive was the Silver Lake location, which has an airy, crisp, white interior and a patio that looks out onto Sunset Boulevard. Here, you’ll find patrons working on the computer, lounging outside with their dog and meeting friends, all over a great cup of coffee any time of day.
The Venice Beach location offers a beachier, relaxed ambience which is just as dedicated to delivering up a steady flow of some of LA’s best coffee.
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
With headquarters in Alhambra, CA, LAMILL Coffee is on a roast-to-order philosophy, which guarantees absolute freshness. Located in Silverlake, their retail boutique offers drip coffee that may be enjoyed in a variety of methods, including Clover, Chemex, Siphon, Eva Solo and French Press. They also serve espresso drinks, using a one of a kind, hand-pounded brass La Marzocco espresso machine. In addition, they have a wide variety of tea offerings, specialty drinks and signature drinks, including Hong Kong Milk Tea, Green Tea Mojito, Cafe Con Leche, Coffee & A Jelly Donut, and even a Pink Lady, which is sweetened berry hibiscus tea topped with soda.
801 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
At Coffee Commissary, the motto is “in pursuit of the perfect cup”, which they achieve with beans from Portland’s Coava Coffee Roasters and Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters. Espresso drinks are churned out here with care using their 2 Group La Marzocco Strada machine, which ensures that their signature drinks such as the Commissary Cubano come out tasting amazing. At their popular Fairfax location, patrons enjoy indoor and outdoor seating, offering a quiet coffee spot to catch up on work or hang out with your furry friend. Aside from brewing some of LA’s best coffee, Coffee Commissary is stepping up their food game with house-baked treats like their salted caramel rice crispy bars as well as homemade granola. Other delicious offerings include the fried chicken and biscuits, chicken sausage mcmuffin and breakfast tacos.
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Grand Central Market
324 S Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
G&B first started with a pop-up at SQIRL, but now find themselves at their permanent location in the exquisiteness of the Grand Central Market, which has been in the process of a huge food and beverage overhaul as of late. Founded by Kyle Glanville (G) and Charles Babinski (B), G&B’s mission is to introduce people to the great coffees of the world, which they have pulled off with great ease due to their large following from their original pop up shop. Here, patrons enjoy cold brew, batch brew, espresso drinks and more, all while lingering around and striking up conversation with other customers.
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Go Get Em Tiger
230 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Located in the cozy enclave of Larchmont Village, Go Get Em Tiger, also from the guys behind G&B, features various roasters and a bar-like setup. Unlike typical coffee shops, where you line up, here, you go directly to the counter and order with baristas. With an idea of creating the best-tasting coffee in a communal space and being part of an active experience in the neighborhood, Go Get Em Tiger prepares its single-origin filter coffee with automatic Fetco brewers. In addition to their coffee and espresso drinks, try some unique twists like the almond-macadamia milk cappuccino or the espresso milkshakes.
Menotti’s Coffee Stop
56 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Located in the beachy enclave of Venice Beach, Menotti’s offers both the charm and great coffee that keeps customers coming back over and over. Just a block from the boardwalk, Menotti’s brews San Francisco’s Four Barrel coffee which has become popular as of late due to its old-fashioned roasting style and taste. With a motto of “inspiring the neighborhood together, one cup at a time,” Menotti’s be seen in the minimal stop that has a standing-only counter which encourages patrons to enjoy their drink by the beach. Serving your typical range of coffee, they also serve vegan and organic coffee, espresso, flat whites, Cortados, Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos and cold brews.
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Blue Bottle Coffee Roasters
582 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Located in the old Handsome Coffee shop, Oakland based Blue Bottle Coffee Roasters is united by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to customers.
Roasting coffee on vintage machines, and put in composite bags, Blue Bottle use great care, attention to detail and an intentional manner to brew coffees one at a time by hand on Bonmac drippers. In addition to coffee, they prepare delicious espresso drinks ranging from cappuccinos to lattes and a more unique concoction called the NOLA (New Orleans style iced coffee) that is a cold brewed coffee made with chicory, a little sweetener and organic whole milk.
Cognoscenti Coffee Bar
6114 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
First a pop up and now a permanent fixture in Culver City, Cognoscenti Coffee Bar is a multi-roaster shop which uses both the Kalita Wave 185 Stainless Steel machine as well as the Hario v60 no.2 depending on barista and coffee. The staff here have perfected the art of brewing at the pop up and they will pour everything from a cortado to a classic espresso. Need coffee on the run? They can provide a fetco batch brew for those in a hurry. This high energy shop is run with care and baristas are happy to provide any coffee and espresso drink to keep you going through out your day.
3515 Helms Ave
Culver City, CA 90232
From green storage, to roasting and packaging, to the complexities of extraction, Bar Nine is designed to showcase every aspect of coffee production. By using forward-thinking techniques as well as tried and true methods, Bar Nine believes, “this is coffee at its finest hour.” They also believe in simplicity, which is why their coffee menu only features three of the finest coffees of the season, plus one decaf. The shop keeps a simple aesthetic with The Modbar system, which keeps all of the machinery of coffee and espresso brewing below the counter. The coffee brewing is done by a programmed and automated pour over system that uses the Kalita Wave brewer and the large roaster is on the cafe floor, so that customers can see all the roasting action.
1149 3rd St.
Santa Monica, CA
At Denitasse, these self-proclaimed, “coffee geeks” brew every cup of coffee to order and each barista has a signature drink made from a lifetime of tinkering with espresso, coffee and tea. For ice coffee, they use Kyoto Iced Coffee drippers, which slowly drips cold water over coffee grounds for about 15 hours to get a super-rich coffee. In their Little Tokyo location, coffee is either made on Clever Coffee Drippers to order or on their Siphon Bar, while in Santa Monica, baristas either make it in their Steampunk or by hand in a Kalita Pourover. At either location, you will find baristas and coffee enthusiasts always looking to learn more and keep creating their cups.
Alfred (Coffee and Kitchen)
8428 Melrose Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Hidden in Melrose Place, Alfred Coffee and Kitchen is a traditional, quiet, neighborhood coffee shop which exclusively brews Stumptown Coffee, is known for its mustache logo as well as drinks like espresso, Americanos, Gibraltar, macchiato, cappuccino, lattes, drip coffee and their new Pressed Juicery Iced Almond Latte. Aside from deliciously roasted coffee, they also offer fresh sandwiches, salads, and pastries from Farm Shop daily. Make sure to try the #alfedcone, a triple-dipped chocolate cone that you can get your espresso or macchiato served in!