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Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

February 24, 2012 12:06 PM

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coffee bean header Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

Coffee connoisseurs will pass up twenty five coffee shops on their way to find the best single origin roasts expertly prepared by experienced baristas. Here in Los Angeles we found several places to geek out on great coffee.
demitasse espresso Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

1149 3rd St #100
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 260-6308

Inside in the triangle shaped building at the corner of San Pedro and 2nd street in Little Tokyo, Demitasse features an aroma bar to offering the time to sniff the coffee bean choices before placing a drink order. They make coffee with beans from several roasters and serve sweets from Cake Monkey, Jin Patisserie, Batch from Scratch, and Compartes.

cognoscenti proof Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles


Cognoscenti Coffee at Proof Bakery
3156 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(213) 986-6624

What was once a pop-up coffee bar, Cognoscenti has now found a home inside Proof Bakery. Owner Yeekai Lim’s buys beans from several top roasters and makes coffees that attract fans from all over the city. Pair a cup with one of Na Young Ma’s stellar pastries and grab a seat at this bustling little neighborhood bakery.

lamill Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-4441

This is the place to experience unique coffee concoctions and a multitude of extraction methods. If you spend too much time debating over coffees extraction choices – clover chemex, eva Solo, French Press, Hand drip, or siphon – the giant menu can be daunting. For a sure bet, the café au lait is made with extra strength clover coffee and steamed milk served in small pitchers, and poured French style at the table. Be sure to order a plate of the house made warm brioche donuts fried to order with vanilla cream.

bru espresso Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles


Bru Artisan Coffee + Tea
1866 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 664-7500

Across the street from House of Pies on Vermont in Los Feliz, Bru makes coffee and espresso drinks with beans from Ritual Coffee in San Francisco. Their menu board and website list the seasonal coffee beans they are offering each day including information’s about origin, farm, and tasting notes. Bru also serves a variety of loose-leaf teas and pastries by Susina Bakery.

 Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles


7080 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 466-5600

Nestled into a building on the South side of Hollywood Boulevard east of La Brea, Tiago might be an unlikely location for a specialty coffee bar. Thankfully for the people who live and work near Tiago and the tourists and visitors to the Walk of Fame, Tiago makes really good coffee. For each espresso or pour over, beans from Intelligentsia, Ecco, Handsome or Barefoot are ground and brewed to order. The results…delicious.

paper plastik Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

Paper or Plastik
5772 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 935-0268

Located on Pico just east of Fairfax, this coffee bar space is connected to Mimoda Dance Studio. The baristas make individual pour over coffees and espresso drinks with Intelligentsia and Ecco Caffe beans. The wood beamed space is a peaceful respite in the middle of the city.

commissary Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

Coffee Commissary
801 N Fairfax Ave #106
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 782-1465

The baristas at Coffee Commissary will make espresso drinks and pour overs with roasts by Temple Coffee in Sacramento, Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco, Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, and Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle. After drinking coffee, inside the café or at one of the outdoor patio tables, head next door to buy local, pastured, organic meats from Lindy & Grundy.

single origin Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

Single Origin
6333 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Barista Nikolas Krankl heads up the coffee program at the newly opened Single Origin. Described as a contemporary coffee bar, Single Origin shares an Original Farmers Market Stall with Short Cake Bakery as part of the Short Order family. Specializing in espresso drinks made with beans from Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, the Single Origin menu also features Nik’s cold brew, a mocha made with TCHO chocolate, and Aunt Nancy’s 4 shot Shakerato (Aunt Nancy is Chef Nancy Silverton).

scoops Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

Scoops Westside
3400 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(323) 405-7055

This Westside outpost of Scoops Ice Cream is run by coffee obsessed Matthew Kang. So along with scooping up cones of unique ice cream flavors (blackberry jasmine, chocolate bourbon, brown bread…) Kang is ready to talk about coffee and serve up pour overs made with freshly roasted Intelligentsia beans.

intelligentsia Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Los Angeles

(credit: Julie Wolfson)

1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA
(310) 399-1233

Excellent coffee, talented baristas, and cool spaces make Intelligentsia the go to spot for coffee geeks throughout Los Angeles. Don’t be deterred by long lines- they work quickly and expertly to take care of everyone. With their own LA Roasting Works in Glassell Park churning out fresh beans daily, Intelligentsia coffee is as close as a drive or bike ride to their Venice, Silver Lake, or Pasadena locations. For further study their website is filled with useful resource information about the coffee process, direct trade practices, and brew guides.

View Comments
  • Reggie

    Scoops over Spring for Coffee or Coffee Bar?

    It’s what makes lists like this irrelevant. Sorry, but epic FAIL.

    • Ben

      CoffeeBar is a carbon copy of Intelligentsia and their service is really boring. I agree with you about Spring for Coffee though, one of the best coffee spots in the city.

  • Melanie Waldman

    Helloooo, bookmark bar! Bless you, as this round-up will save me having to Yelp “coffee cafes” every time I want to meet a friend for caffeine in a different part of town. Well DONE.

  • Angela

    Intelligensia has always been one of my favorites, but I am so glad there are so many cool places in LA to get coffee and try new things, which is why lists like this are never irrelevant.

  • Shelby Barone

    I love all these coffee places! What a great round-up! Thanks!!

  • Vivian

    Good to know! Im sick of the starbucks and coffee beans….I like coffee bars with personalities. Thanks for this great list!!

  • Ben

    A glaring omission is definitely Spring for Coffee. LAMILL’s service is laughable and their coffee is less than spectacular. Glad to see Demitasse on this list, highly underrated.

  • Donna

    Great article! I just wish you could find some good spots here in the Valley. (Maybe a subject for a Part 2).

  • JR

    I’ve been to Bru a few times now & it’s terrible. Both the coffee-making is sub-par & the service was awful

    • JR

      actually i forgot to add – I’d also put Coffee bar in there – i had a cappuccino last week that was pretty magnificent

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