Live in L.A. long enough and you’re sure to stumble into a third-wave coffee shop on, say, a Tuesday afternoon. You will see a counter at which you can place your order. You will see baristas in a uniform that falls somewhere between monochromatic separates and matching denim aprons. You will see coffee gadgets and gizmos aplenty, whosits and whatsits galore. But unlike stumbling into a coffee shop in, oh, I don’t know, Burr Ridge, Illinois on the same day and time, you will also see a sea of creatives whose employment states vary from “I’m kind of between jobs right now but you can catch me in a standup showcase this weekend” to “Um, actually, I just sold my third novel,” soldier after soldier in a freelance militia armed with Macbooks and a never-ending supply of career-driven ennui. They are my comrades. They are your comrades. And this is what we’ve all been searching for: A guide to the greatest L.A. coffee shops in which to do work.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is the best one of its kind. Each coffee shop on it was subjected to a rubric whose criteria included type and quality of coffee served, amount of seating, number of power outlets, parking, aesthetic ambiance, wifi availability, and food offerings, if applicable. You’ll notice that some of the places on this list offer internet access while others do not; some have snacks, others full-on meals. Some places didn’t make it because their wifi gets spotty if too many people are using it. Others were cut because of their dumb “no laptops” rules. Others still, while purveyors of the finest caffeinated beverages, were left off the list due to lack of seating, or maybe music that makes it hard to concentrate. What it really came down to was this: Can you spend anywhere from three to eight hours in one of these shops and get some stuff done without wanting murder yourself or someone in your general vicinity, as is often the case at Starbucks/Peete’s/the Coffee Bean? As someone who’s spent the better part of eight years searching for places that belong on this list, I can confidently say yes.
Before we get started, let it be known that this is in no way a ranking, so don’t try to make it one.
Now let’s get started.
4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.
Coffee served: Four Barrel (San Francisco)
Seating: Some nice communal tables, some nice outdoor seating, some nice two-person tables. Nice, on the whole.
Power outlet situation: Satisfactory.
Parking situation: It’s Silver Lake. Prepare accordingly. (But srsly, there are meters along Sunset and Fountain).
Aesthetic ambiance: Light, bright, airy—lots of blonde wood and windows.
Food offerings: Pastries, with a Maury’s Los Angeles pop-up on Saturdays.
Other: Vanity points for the highly Instagrammable neon sign, unless someone unplugs it to use the outlet for their own computer at the cost of public joy and happiness.
1355 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock.
Coffee served: Demitasse Coffee Roasters (Koreatown) and Peri Coffee (Altadena) are the standards, but there’s a slew of rotating roasters on tap, too.
Seating: Communal tables, bar seating, two-person tables.
Power outlet situation: Not many. You may have to fight someone.
Parking situation: Lot and street.
Aesthetic ambiance: White walls, exposed ducts, floor to ceiling windows.
Food offerings: They’ve got a selection of pastries from Sherman Oaks’ Crème Caramel LA on the reg, but they also host pop-ups from delicious local vendors like AvocaToast.
Other: Sometimes the Ridges Churro Bar truck parks out front on Sundays, which is pretty dreamy. Follow them on Instagram for updates.
Stamp Proper Foods
4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz.
Coffee served: Equator Coffee (San Rafael); Stumptown (L.A.)
Seating: Communal tables and normal tables. There are a handful of tables outside, too.
Power outlet situation: Two, but it’s rarely uber-busy with workers, even on weekends. If you need a plug, you should be able to snag one at some point.
Parking situation: There are two spots in the lot dedicated to Stamp, but most of them are reserved for Messhall (next door). Try your luck at meters along Hillhurst or in free spots on the side streets.
Aesthetic ambiance: There are plenty of windows for natural light, so super pleasant on the whole.
Food offerings: Everything from house-made smoothies to buckwheat pancakes to zucchini pasta. Take over a plug and you could be at this place all day if need be.
70 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena.
Coffee served: Copa Vida (Pasadena)
WiFi: Yes. Unless you go during a crucial work window on Saturday or Sunday (between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.), in which case no.
Seating: Ample across two different rooms.
Power outlet situation: You shouldn’t have a problem finding one.
Parking situation: There’s a structure just north of the shop on Green St.
Aesthetic ambiance: The place is spacious with lots of windows but can feel cramped and loud when filled with gabbing Caltech students. Bring headphones.
Food offerings: Full service breakfast and lunch, plus brunch on weekends (a limited menu is available after 3 p.m.)
1866 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz.
Coffee served: Ritual Coffee Roaster (San Francisco)
Seating: There’s a lot of it, but on weekends, you might have a hard time staking your claim.
Power outlet situation: There are maybe two, so bring a fully charged computer.
Parking situation: Find a spot on surrounding residential streets—Vermont’s a toughie.
Aesthetic ambiance: Wooden and white and mod—the lighting is a touch harsh, if I’m being nitpicky.
Food offerings: Sub-par, but if you get hungry, venture out onto Vermont—I’d recommend grabbing a breakfast burrito from Tacos Tu Madre.
Other: If you forget headphones you’ll be subject to some pretty experimental jams (but in an interesting more than obnoxious way). And the baristas behind the bar will tell you all about it if you hear something you like.
Go Get ‘Em Tiger (Los Feliz)
4630 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz.
Coffee served: Go Get ‘Em Tiger (L.A.); Heart Coffee (Portland); Camber Coffee (Bellingham, WA); Methodical Coffee (Greenville, SC); Saint Frank (San Francisco); 49th Parallel (Vancouver, BC)
Seating: There are a bunch of tables and chairs on an outdoor patio, but nothing indoors, so dress accordingly.
Power outlet situation: N/A (see: seating).
Parking situation: Street parking along Hollywood Blvd. and surrounding residential streets.
Aesthetic ambiance: Lovely bleached wood inside; wooden bench and wire chair seating outside.
Food offerings: A full service brunch that has some pretty impressive offerings for a walk-up coffee bar operation.
Other: You’ll be sharing the patio seating with patrons of the McConnell’s ice cream next door, which may be a con in terms of securing a long-term spot. In the pro column, though, you’ll get to smell waffle cones all day, so. Also, if you get super hungry later on, you can walk down the street to Kismet for a plate of their Jeweled Crispy Rice (which we named L.A.’s best dish of 2017).
1294 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park.
Coffee served: Heart Coffee (Portland)
Seating: Marble tables with communal wooden benches.
Power outlet situation: Sufficient.
Parking situation: Free on the street.
Aesthetic ambiance: All white errthang (brick, tile, marble). Minimalist vibes, maximum vibe, you know?
Food offerings: Barely any, but you will find a wayward cookie or almond croissant in their tiny pastry case.
Other: Procrastinate on your own work by reading the work of other people: They’ve curated a neat selection of books and zines, all of which are displayed on two tall wood bookshelves. Also, the music is loud AF, but it’s good, so it feels less offensive. Not great if you’re trying to have a conversation, though. Double also, there’s only one bathroom, but the place isn’t super crowded so it’s not usually an issue.
1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.
Coffee served: Intelligentsia (Chicago)
Seating: Counter seating around the coffee bar, booths in the corners. There are some cool wooden risers/tables on the way in, too.
Power outlet situation: Atrosh. There are none.
Parking situation: Parking on Abbot Kinney is always a doozie; best to stick to the residential streets, which usually have a slew of open spaces on weekdays and enough to get by on weekends.
Aesthetic ambiance: Light, bright, airy, and lofty—there’s some pretty cool metalwork for you to stare at when you inevitably zone out from your work.
Food offerings: Wacky croissants (Churro Croissant, Elderberry Croissant, etc.), tea cakes, cookies, and other pastries.
Other: Like Eightfold, there’s only one bathroom. Unlike Eightfold, I think we can all agree that it’s annoying in a shop with as much foot traffic as this one.
Caffe Luxxe (Malibu)
22333 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 160, Malibu.
Coffee served: Caffe Luxxe (L.A.)
Seating: Indoor/outdoor, but the real standouts here are the precious sunshine-yellow tables on the back patio.
Power outlet situation: No bueno.
Parking situation: Free in a lot in front of the shop.
Aesthetic ambiance: Lots of white and gray, two walls of windows. Serenity.
Food offerings: Fresh-baked pastries; sandwiches; pre-packaged treats.
Other: If Malibu is a hike for you, consider the Brentwood location instead. I’m loathe to recommend it because it’s my own neighborhood spot, but the new-and-improved outpost is too great to keep to myself. Half of its awesomeness comes from the excellent managerial staff and army of pleasant baristi. They are the best, and you can tell them I said so.
Deus Ex Machina
1001 Venice Blvd., Venice.
Coffee served: Vittoria (L.A.)
Seating: Indoor/outdoor community tables and high-top seating, plus one super dope couch made by local furniture designer Stephen Kenn.
Power outlet situation: A solitary plug under a bench near the kitchen. Which is to say, not ideal.
Parking situation: The lot in the back is often occupied by motorcycles (the coffee shop is connected to a motorcycle, surf, and clothing shop—the brand’s flagship location), but there are a good number of spaces for cars. If all else fails, find a spot on Lincoln or a side street.
Aesthetic ambiance: Cool without making you feel like you’re not cool.
Food offerings: Juices, salads, sandwiches, pastries, and lots of pre-packaged goodies.
Other: It’s almost guaranteed you’ll see many dogs because of the cafe’s breezy digs, which all but negates the whole one-outlet thing.
Verve (3rd Street)
8051 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove.
Coffee served: Verve (Santa Cruz)
Seating: A melange of two-person tables, a community table, and some bartop seating, plus a few smaller wooden tables and chairs out front and out back.
Power outlet situation: Abominable, as there is only one. That’s still better than the Verve on Melrose, which has zero. (FWIW, though, that’s a nice Verve outpost as well.)
Parking situation: A tiny lot out front (stay as long as you want); two hour parking in a communal lot in the back; meters; free parking on residential streets. Even so, it’s still kind of hard to find a spot.
Aesthetic ambiance: Concrete floors, light wood tables, lots of natural light.
Food offerings: Heavier snacks (avocado toast, chia pudding); pastries and treats.
Other: It’s in the same little complex as Bel Campo Meat Co. and Sweetgreen, not to mention just up the street from Sweetfin Poke. If you get mega-hungry, you’re set. Also, the DTLA location deserves an honorable mention here, with its blonde wood tables and outdoor seating nestled among two plant walls. A little sceney, but if that’s you’re scene, then cool.
Bricks and Scones
403 N. Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont Village.
Coffee served: LAMILL Coffee (Alhambra)
Seating: Inside, there’s a lot of it, from chairs to chez lounges to couches to a communal table. Outside on the patio is your standard smattering of tables and chairs.
Power outlet situation: No qualms here.
Parking situation: May the odds be ever in your favor of finding a meter on Larchmont Blvd. or a spot in the tiny lot out back. Try your luck on Rosewood, half a block away, for free two hour street parking.
Aesthetic ambiance: This definitely isn’t your run-of-the-mill craft coffee house. The building itself is architecturally intriguing with an interior to match, but dark brick walls and its purple-and-yellow color scheme make the inside a touch too moody to be pleasant, IMHO. The patio, on the other hand, is sunny in all senses of the word.
Food offerings: Full service breakfast, salads, and sandwiches, plus a bevy of pastries baked on-site, including—duh—warm scones of the matcha, lavender white chocolate, blueberry, etc, etc. variety.
Alchemist Coffee Project
698 S. Vermont Ave., Koreatown.
Coffee served: Copa Vida (Pasadena), Heart Coffee (Portland)
Seating: A plentiful mixture of smaller tables and a communal table.
Power outlet situation: It’s a wonderland. Electricity for days (which may explain all of the lamps). They even have outlets under the tables.
Parking situation: It’s Koreatown, so, terrible. The place is in a double-decker strip mall with a tiny lot ($2), so avoid driving if you can, but otherwise leave yourself a good 20 minutes devoted to circling the block.
Aesthetic ambiance: If you’re one of those people who gets overwhelmed in Costco or Forever 21 or Walmart Superstores, you may want to avoid Alchemist. The vaguely steampunk spot can get a little crowded, but if you can score a station at the communal table or a seat near the windows, you should be fine.
Food offerings: Bougie salads, paninis, and toasts, plus pastries like macarons and croissants.
Other: If you’re hung up on the whole parking thing, don’t freak out. There’s a valet, too, which should help.
Friends & Family
5150 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
Coffee served: Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC; Emeryville, CA)
Seating: Being that this is more restaurant than coffee shop, you’ll find a plentiful mixture of smaller tables and a communal table.
Power outlet situation: Adequate.
Parking situation: Not-too-nightmarish street parking.
Aesthetic ambiance: A dope gilded ceiling and robin’s egg blue walls set a chill scene that’s distinctly un-coffee-shop-y, which is maybe exactly what you need in your life.
Food offerings: Delicious. Amazing. Incredible. Don’t miss the bagels.
Other: Hats off to the pleasantly eclectic music sitch, from Roxy Music to Arthur Russell.
Andante Coffee Roasters (West Hollywood)
7623 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood.
Coffee served: Andante (Koreatown)
Seating: Lots around the shop’s perimeter.
Power outlet situation: Plenty.
Parking situation: Not great. There are one-hour meters along Beverly, so be sure to refill if you’re planning to post up for a few hours, or steal a spot on a non-metered, non-permitted side street.
Aesthetic ambiance: White walls and skylights. Yas.
Food offerings: Pastries, avocado toast, selections from Juice Served Here.
Paradocs Coffee and Tea
1032 S. Fairfax Ave., Little Ethiopia.
Coffee served: Paradocs (Little Ethiopia)
Seating: A cozy mishmash of velvet wingback chairs, side tables, and more traditional table-and-chair seating.
Power outlet situation: Enough considering the number of patrons posted up at tables is pretty minimal.
Parking situation: Street meters along Fairfax.
Aesthetic ambiance: It’s all very brown, and we mean that in the best way.
Food offerings: A selection of fresh-baked pastries—almond croissants, matcha cookies, kouign amann.
Other: The owner, Taka Hirano, roasts all the coffee in-house. His wife makes the offerings in their pastry case daily. Let’s hear it for the mom-and-pop shops!
The Boy and the Bear
350 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach.
Coffee served: The Boy and the Bear (Redondo Beach)
Seating: Plush leather sofas, a handful of stand-alone chairs and tables, a small bar with stools, outdoor tables.
Power outlet situation: Not many, and the seating sitch isn’t totally conducive to plugging in.
Parking situation: Two hours free on the street.
Aesthetic ambiance: Super modern and minimalist: black walls, cement floors, patterned carpets, natural light.
Food offerings: Pastries and chocolates.
Other: The South Bay roastery just opened a new spot in Culver City, too (12712 W. Washington Blvd.), if that’s closer to your hood.
Tilt Coffee Bar
334 S. Main St., #1, DTLA.
Coffee served: Heart Coffee (Portland)
Seating: Inside, there’s a small counter with stools. Outside there are tables and chairs, amphitheater-style benches, and a lovely grassy knoll (Tilt even provides a handful of blankets if you want to sit on the grass).
Power outlet situation: There’s a power strip inside, but outside you’re outta luck.
Parking situation: Street parking on Los Angeles.
Aesthetic ambiance: The small tilted edifice (hence the name) is made almost entirely of glass, which makes it extremely enjoyable on a bright day.
Food offerings: They’ve got some pre-packaged cookies from Yvonne’s vegan kitchen, plus a handful of pastries (croissants, donuts, etc). Stop by on Saturdays for a selection of goodies from Donut Snob.
Other: This spot is hidden in a courtyard off Los Angeles St. It’s been there for a year, but it’s still pretty under-the-radar—hop on it before it gets too much hype.
2223 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights.
Coffee served: Ritual Coffee Roaster (San Francisco); 49th Parallel (Vancouver, BC)
Seating: Aplenty—both downstairs and in a loft area.
Power outlet situation: Lots. Praise be.
Parking situation: Meters are your best bet.
Aesthetic ambiance: Pleasant, bright, v Instagrammable.
Food offerings: A full breakfast and lunch menu, from avocado toast to paninis.
Other: This spot is known for some unconventional flavors—consider the banana latte (if imitation banana doesn’t make you want to die). The horchata latte is another winner. If you sit in the loft space, you’ll be pretty close to the speakers, which might harsh your mellow.
3121 W. Olive Ave., Burbank.
Coffee served: Chromatic Coffee Co. (San Jose); Temple Coffee Roasters (Sacramento); Madcap Coffee (Grand Rapids, MI); Coava Coffee Roasters (San Diego); Victrola Coffee Roasters (Seattle, WA)
Seating: Indoor/outdoor tables and counters.
Power outlet situation: V good.
Parking situation: Street, but be sure to read the signs—residents get I’m-going-to-leave-a-strongly-worded-note-on-your-windshield levels of hyphy if you park errantly on their block.
Aesthetic ambiance: The space is bright and non-claustrophobic thanks to ample windows and an open-ish floor plan.
Food offerings: Daaaang, their menu is stacked. Breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, from brisket burritos to pork belly brown rice bowls.
Other: Commissary’s other outposts (WeHo, Hollywood, and Culver) are worth a mention, too, but the Burbank spot feels like the crown jewel.
11275 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood.
Coffee served: Groundwork (North Hollywood)
Seating: Countertop seating and tables/chairs inside; massive patio with seating outside.
Power outlet situation: Aplenty inside.
Parking situation: It’s right across the street from the NoHo Metro station, which means you can skip the whole car thing and use L.A.’s train system for once.
Aesthetic ambiance: What makes this Groundwork so special is that it’s located inside of the North Hollywood Historic Train Depot, meaning it’s very visually interesting. Whether you’re inside or out, this isn’t your average third-wave coffee spot.
Food offerings: Full-on menu: Simple stuff like house-made granola, more complex items like the umami rice bowl.
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