Can’t stand this guy? Head to one of these joints for a relaxing, phone-free time. (credit: istock)

Escaping the beeps, blips, vibrations, and clicks from phones is becoming increasingly difficult as technology advances. There was a time when hosts asked if you liked smoking or non-smoking. Today the question should be: do you prefer Wi-Fi or non-Wi-Fi? While society grapples with today’s electronic social etiquette questions, we found local businesses in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties that have said enough is enough and are limiting or banning high tech devices.


EVA Restaurant – LA

Check in your technology
7458 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 634-0700
More Info

Bringing conversation back to the table plays an integral role in the EVA Restaurant story. In an effort to promote a people-friendly atmosphere, owner and Chef Mark Gold has encouraged guests to check their phones at the host stand in exchange for discounts off their meals.

If you are looking for a restaurant where organic dialogue between guests is encouraged you will enjoy EVA for more than their fresh stream-caught trout. This quaint cozy restaurant’s unique stance on encouraging human interaction over digital reaction has created a national media buzz. If you dine at Eva you have a chance to enjoy an atmosphere where friends come together, phones are put away, stories are told and memories are made all while indulging in the freshest food and aromatic wine.

Related: Upscaled Eatery OFfers Diners a Discount To Ditch Their Cell Phones


Patina – LA

Vibrate only please
141 South Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-3331
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Located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, Patina demands the highest standards in cuisine as well as diner etiquette. The recipient of a prestigious Michelin star, this fine dining restaurant frowns upon cell phone use but does not ban the menacing devices entirely.

On the menu a request is made to all guests, “This restaurant is a quiet haven from the stress and tumult of everyday life. Please help us by turning your cell phone to vibrate while dining.”
The only notes Master Chef Joachim Splicha at Pantina hopes to hear ringing during dinner are guests singing accolades over the sight, taste, and flavors of his culinary creations.

(credit: 18th Street Coffee House)

18th Street Coffee House – Santa Monica

Surf the web but shhh! No cell phone chatter.
1725 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 264-0662

This chatty cell phone talker would not be welcome at the 18th Street Coffee House. This coffee house in the middle of a neighborhood with industrial and residential buildings is a strict cell-phone-free zone.

The atmosphere is relaxed, with patrons quietly working on laptops, reading papers or gossiping among friends. On the patio guests can sit along a small water fountain and listen to the soothing sound of water. If you are looking for a quiet place to read, study or write pull up a chair, order a latte and relax at the 18th Street Coffee House.


Theorem Portola Coffee Lab – Costa Mesa

Put the phone away!
3313 Hyland Ave.,
Costa Mesa, CA
(949) 284-0596
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This coffee bar has only six seats, is reservation only and considered one of Orange County’s most intimate bars. Due to the exclusivity and interaction between the patrons and baristas, cell phones are not allowed at the coffee lab. Theorem is such an unique experience if a guest spends his time typing a text or checking email he will miss out on the artful scientific creation of drinks like the Filtron Fizz. The Fizz takes duromina coffee drawn with cold water into a concentrated extract. The cold coffee is blended with a honey steeped with grapefruit, citrus, and peaches, blended with egg white, shaken with club soda, and served in lab glassware.


Alta Coffee House – Newport Beach

Park the cell phones.
506 31st St Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 675-0233
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If you have been looking for a place to have a date or meet up with your cell phone addict friends then meet up at Alta Coffee House. This quaint coffee house was once a bookstore then in 1985 it was transformed into a wholesale coffee roasting warehouse. Locals caught wind of something new in the neighborhood and soon the roasting house began serving fresh hot coffee out of the side door. Now the roasting house serves breakfast lunch and dinner, offers live music and a friendly atmosphere where people talk to each other over a latte instead a cell phone.

A quaint, local gathering place that offered great fresh coffee, good eats and good times. Welcome to Alta. Enjoy!


The Cellar Lounge – Temecula Wine Country

Cell phones allowed but no signal….very clever!
35053 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(877) 314-9463
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The Cellar Lounge is located in the hotel of Ponte Vineyard Inn. It is one of Temecula’s only lounges where a guest can have a small meal like a pulled duck sandwich with a glass of late harvest wine and converse without phone interruptions. Guests are allowed to take their phone into the cellar but only email and web surfing can be viewed so guests are not cut off completely from the outside world.

The only tunes playing in the gastro pub on Friday and Saturday evenings are the live bands. The band members love not having to compete with cell phone music during their sessions.


E.A.T. – Temecula

Take the phone outside please!
27535 Jefferson Ave.
Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 694-3663
More Info

EAT Cafe is a field-to-fork eatery that gathers its daily harvest from local farms to create homemade baked goods and artisan dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At E.A.T there are community tables set up to encourage conversation and engagement with others. Diners are encouraged to treat the café as a community hub where locals gather to swap stories and stay up to date on current issues.

E.A.T. ‘s Chef and owner Leah Di Bernardo prefers patrons to take their cell phone conversations outside. Before Di Bernardo opened her café doors one of the first rules she put in place was to ban cell phones. Bringing face-to-face conversation back to the table where friends and family talk to each other instead of through a phone is welcome and promoted at E.A.T.

(credit: Bella’s Kitchen)

Bella’s Kitchen – Santa Ana

The Feds will confiscate your phone
34 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Bella’s Kitchen is a popular lunch spot in Santa Ana and the food must be great since patrons must endure a federal security check that includes taking off your shoes and handing in the cell phone. Having the phones on silent will not cut it. The devices are banned from the premises. Bella’s Kitchen is located inside a Federal Building. The café is known for café style food like breakfast burritos to pizza for lunch. The portions are decent sizes with low prices. Bella’s is a cash only establishment.

Michelle Mears-Gerst is a writer in Orange County who prefers to ban technology at the family dinner table.