Coffee is practically a religion in Los Angeles. You can find a great coffee shop on almost every block in the city. Freelancers and screenwriters alike are trading office cubicles for coffee shops. Laptops are propped open and creatives switch between taking a sip of their oat milk latte and frantically typing away on their keyboards. Coffee shops are also a popular spot amongst LA Instagrammers who flock to get the perfect shot for their Insta’ feed.
While some coffee shops in LA are best for a quick cup of coffee when you’re on the go, others invite you to linger with an extensive food menu perfect for brunch, Instagram-worthy drinks, and even pretty wall art.
Here are a few of the best coffee shops to sip and snap a photo of your cup of joe.
If anyone knows coffee it’s Aussies so I was thrilled when I found out the Aussie owners behind E.P. & L.P., the rooftop bar around the corner, would be opening a neighborhood cafe. The bright and airy indoor and outdoor cafe is tucked away off Melrose Avenue (enter from West Knoll Drive) and it’s always buzzing on the weekends. I live down the street so this is my go-to cafe and it happens to also be one of my favorite coffee shops in LA. I love having casual business meetings here, friend dates, or even doing a few hours of work on one of the outside tables (they don’t have wi-fi or outlets but you can tap into your personal hotspot). The coffee shop serves all-day breakfast and lunch as well as a selection of pastries but they do close at 4pm everyday. My favorite dishes are the breakfast burrito, veggie burrito (pictured above), and the chopped salad.
Carrera Cafe is home to one of the popular Instagram walls on Melrose Avenue – in fact, the mural changes all the time so it’s basically one big backdrop made for your feed. The cute corner cafe serves salads and sandwiches but I think the real reason people are here is for the ‘gram. What is really cool about this cafe is you can create a custom cup of coffee with any logo imprinted in the milk. You can choose one of their designs or get creative and upload your own (i.e. a logo or picture) and admire your face in froth.
The conscious shoe brand applies the same charitable values to its coffee beans. The coffee is sourced responsibly and also helps provide safe drinkable water to communities around the world through a partnership with Water for People. The Abbot Kinney retailer embodies the local Venice community vibe and welcomes everyone – even if you’re not a paying customer. You’re allowed to bring food from a neighboring restaurant, just make sure to clean up after yourself. The string-lit back patio has the best seats in the house – you might even be joined by a few furry friends too!
Rubies + Diamond
While the name Rubies + Diamonds might lead you to believe this is a jewelry store, it’s actually a really chic coffee shop with a stunning chandelier and jaw-dropping light fixture that’s hard to miss. It’s unlike anything you’d expect to find at a typical neighborhood cafe. But Rubies + Diamonds is anything but ordinary. The luxurious coffee shop serves premium coffee using a fancy brewing machine to whip up signature drinks like the rose vanilla latte and coconut sea salt cold brew.
Alfred Coffee was arguably one of the trailblazers when it comes to coffee shops that are too irresistible to post. With its trademarked tagline, “But first…coffee” plastered all over its walls (which has practically become a coffee anthem), it’s hard not to take out your phone and show off your latte. Even the coffee sleeve is a piece of art! The coffee shop is a bit overrated in my opinion and you can find way better coffee a block down, but it’s hard to write a roundup of coffee shops in LA and not include Alfred Coffee. They practically made coffee cool again. Walk around the corner and check out their sister tea room which is equally as Instagrammable.
Go Get Em Tiger (GGET)
The LA cult-favorite coffee shop has 8 locations in LA and counting (mostly on the Eastside). However, you can get more than just coffee at GGET. The neighborhood spot features a light breakfast and lunch menu with classic dishes that pays homage to LA like the GGET breakfast burrito, kale chicken caesar, and avocado toast. Enjoy the food on the outdoor patio.
While this isn’t the only outpost for the NorCal coffee brand, it’s one of my faves. From the outdoor stool seating which is perfect for people watching on Melrose Avenue, to the lush patio, Verve Coffee knows how to keep coffee drinkers coming back. Their coffee not only tastes good but will give you that caffeine kick you’re craving. Get there early because seats fill up fast in the morning!
The Butcher, The Baker, and The Cappuccino Maker
The European-inspired Sunset Strip cafe is a popular breakfast spot among locals and tourists alike. Aside from the cafe interiors offering prime photo opportunities, the food and drinks are also Instagram-worthy. The BBCM Signature Colorburst Latte is a colorful latte that is almost too pretty to drink. Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy people watching on Sunset Boulevard, one of LA’s most famous streets.
Coffee for Sasquatch
A giant living sasquatch wall greets you when you walk in but that’s not the only thing that will make you take out your iPhone. The bright and airy coffee shop uses Ritual coffee beans to pour classic coffee drinks like vanilla and matcha lattes but also their rainbow-colored signature drinks like the cryptid latte which pairs well with their selection of locally sourced donuts by fonuts.
Warning: this particular Urth Caffe location is tourist central and there is almost always a line. But if we’re talking about the best coffee in LA, I would be remiss to leave out a coffee shop that serves my favorite coffee drink in the city — the Spanish Latte. No other coffee shop makes a Spanish latte quite like Urth Caffe. I typically order mine strong (you have the option to order it mild) and with almond milk. You can also order the drink over ice if it’s a particularly warm summer day. I wouldn’t personally eat at this location but I do love the coffee. Oh, and the flourless chocolate cake! Pro-tip: If you’re in a rush, order your drink on UberEats or Postmates and just go straight to the pick-up line.
Demitasse Santa Monica
These coffee connoisseurs proudly roast their own coffee in-house. I love that every barista has their own “signature” drink and you can only order it when they’re at the bar. I had a lavender latte once that might be the best one I’ve ever had. The Santa Monica location is pretty small so it’s best for a cup of coffee to-go, especially after a trip to the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market every Saturday.
Laduree Beverly Hills
You don’t have to fly all the way to Paris anymore to enjoy the popular French dessert. The beloved patisserie has a pastel-colored cafe in the heart of Beverly Hills where you can feast your eyes on colorful macaron towers. Take a bite out of one of their delicate pastry masterpieces like the Fleur Noire for chocolate lovers, or the Vanilla Saint-Honore puff pastry.
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