Food & Drink

The 24 Best Los Angeles Craft Coffee Bars

Updated On 06/06/2017 at 06:25PM EST
Alfred Coffee

Alfred Coffee & Kitchen

Beverly Grove (& other locations)

Alfred’s iconic sign, “But first, coffee,” is inherently Instagrammable and reinforces the shop’s core focus: pumping out plenty of espresso drinks and cold-brew coffees, and all using Stumptown beans. Since the opening of Zad’s first cafe in 2013, he’s expanded his stylish brand to half a dozen locations all over the city, and even launched a new concept, the Alfred Tea Room, where you can take an equally postable pic of your iced matcha green tea. And on top of all that, you can regularly find Yeastie Boys’ ridiculously tasty bagel sandwiches at the Alfred in the Alley and Alfred Silver Lake locations.

Joshua Lurie/Thrillist

Blacktop Coffee

Downtown

The cousins behind Wurstküche teamed with Tyler Wells, a co-founder of the late, great Handsome Coffee Roasters, on this sleek Arts District coffee bar. Douglas fir and marble are keys to the hip-and-clean aesthetic, and Sightglass coffee, Straus milk, and top-of-the-line equipment all make sure the brews stay true. Blacktop’s also supplemented its offerings with creative Sugarbloom pastries and a few different toasts (including, obviously, one with avocado).

Civil Coffee

Civil Coffee

Highland Park

Alex Morales and brother Alan spent time at Handsome Coffee Roasters and Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen before branching out on their own with Civil Coffee. Their stylish café on an emerging stretch of Highland Park sports an eagle logo and contains a white-and-blue color scheme and a high ceiling. The baristas brew Coava and Heart coffee, and Roomforty contributes ambitious coffee bar fare, including vegetarian avocado toast topped with shiitake “bacon,” and hearty grain bowls topped with all the fixin's, like spicy merguez, feta, and pepitas. The only thing missing is Wi-Fi, which is intentional: It’s to accommodate families... who apparently don’t like Wi-Fi?

Joshua Lurie/Thrillist

Coffee Commissary

Burbank (& other locations)

This growing chain, which has an imposing rooster logo on the wall and the obligatory Instagram-friendly tile, now keeps studio workers well caffeinated throughout TV, film, and radio production. It rotates mostly West Coast roasters, and serves all cups with foamy panache. Bonus: The Burbank location is the only branch of Coffee Commissary that has a full kitchen, meaning you can find fried chicken sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and impressive house-baked goods on a daily basis.

Joshua Lurie/Thrillist

Cognoscenti Coffee

Culver City

Considering owner/architect Yeekai Lim earned his bones with pop-up coffee bars around the city, it’s nice to see a fully realized take on his vision. At his first location in Culver City, he built a beautiful indoor-outdoor space amidst art galleries, complete with colorful chairs and a wise owl logo, and his other Downtown LA spots are equally sleek and modern. Cognoscenti’s countertop coffee line-up changes depending what’s really popping that season, though Seattle’s Kuma Coffee and San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee make frequent appearances.

Copa Vida

Copa Vida

Pasadena

This multifaceted café has managed to stand out in Old Pasadena, a neighborhood that has seen a glut of coffee concepts in recent years. Superlative West Coast roasters normally find their way into Copa Vida’s grinders and brewers, including single-origin selections from industry leaders like Ritual, Verve, and 49th Parallel. They also bake in-house, yielding bread that helps to fuel sandwiches and plenty of coffee-friendly pastries.

Courtesy of Dinosaur Coffee

Dinosaur Coffee

Silver Lake

Given the name, we were hoping for a T-Rex, and we found a miniature version on one of the gorgeous Douglas fir shelves (and a bigger beast on the bathroom wall). A longtime hospitality pro and her husband, who co-created Cards Against Humanity, serve Four Barrel coffee in a sharp space, which used to be an audio speaker repair shop.

Eightfold Coffee

Eightfold Coffee

Echo Park

Soo Kim’s coffee bar looks like it was born to appear on lifestyle blogs. Her airy space, which resides along an especially fashionable stretch of Echo Park, sports white walls (including white brick), a tile-backed marble bar, and wood-bench seating, and baristas brew Heart Coffee in vac pots, with a La Marzocco espresso machine, and as cold brew, which packs a potent punch and comes in a glass big enough to keep you conscious for at least two days straight.

Endorffeine

Chinatown

Jack Benchakul is a coffee scientist who applies exacting standards to his minimalist coffee bar in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. If you’re looking for a jolt of endorphins and caffeine (Endorffeine!) this is the place. Sit at the nine-seat, horseshoe-shaped bar and watch the master at work behind the stainless steel Modbar. Signature drinks are super-strong, with iced lattes flavored with unique combos like palm-sugar whiskey and vanilla-pandan. Benchakul also hosts “9”: a three-course pairing that takes place on Monday nights and matches desserts with coffee cocktails.

Espresso Cielo

Espresso Cielo

Santa Monica

Espresso Cielo has two primo locations, each just a few blocks from the beach with Carrera marble and sky blue styling to spare, and an antique clock that would make Flavor Flav jealous. A strong coffee program complements the refined surroundings, including 49th Parallel coffee beans roasted in Vancouver and Kyoto-style towers that slowly drip masterful cold brew.

G&B Coffee

G&B Coffee

Downtown

Even in this group, there’s something about Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski’s open-air Grand Central Market stall that stands out. Sure, the barista champs take a meticulous approach, sparing no gram when pulling espresso shots or brewing cold brew, but the duo also has fun. Just look at their specialty drinks like their turmeric-ginger and almond macadamia, or the powerhouse shake made with GCM neighbor McConnell’s ice cream.

Menotti's Coffee

Menotti’s Coffee Stop

Venice

A seasoned veteran named Christopher “nicely” Abel Alameda, who clocked time behind some of Seattle and LA’s best coffee bars, runs this quick-grab spot within shouting distance of Venice Beach’s drum circles. Four Barrel Coffee gets the star treatment, and their latte art is probably the city’s best -- after all, nicely is a three-time winner of the Latte Art World Championship. And -- shhhh -- Menotti’s also has a secret menu (with unique drinks like an espresso & tonic, and the “Love Potion #9” with raspberry syrup and chocolate ganache) hidden behind a photo of its founder on the counter.

Go Get Em Tiger

Larchmont Village & Los Feliz

This similarly precise coffee bar from Misters G and B in Larchmont Village may be even more ambitious, with pastries and food made in-house, indoor seating, and a hand-painted astronaut who looks like he’s floating across the wall. If you’re willing to risk cardiac arrest, consider the Full Nelson, a flight of coffee drinks named for a regular customer that includes an espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, and the phenomenal G&B shake. The new (and even hipper) location in Los Feliz boasts a large front patio shaded by trees, perfect for those quintessential LA weekend brunches. Speaking of which: In addition to serving similar coffee offerings (including the famed iced almond macadamia latte), they prepare Filipino-inspired breakfast dishes, like adobo grain bowls and savory rice porridge with roasted chicken.

Intelligentsia Coffee

Intelligentsia

Silver Lake

The dream team that opened this Sunset Junction coffee bar in 2007 has long since disbanded, but Intelligentsia’s first LA branch remains a juggernaut. The coffee is roasted in nearby Glassell Park, the quality remains good given the high volume, and the signature Angeleno beverage is as popular as ever, featuring a quadruple shot of espresso shaken with milk, agave, and ice.

Paramount Coffee Project

Paramount Coffee Project

Fairfax Village

It took three Aussies (Jin Ng, Mark Dundon, and Russell Beard) to reinvigorate a former Fairfax Village produce market and turn it into one of LA’s best coffee shops. They first teamed on Paramount Coffee Project at the one-time Australian headquarters for Paramount Pictures, and are now brewing some of the world’s best coffee beans. The concrete and wood space features a multi-roaster lineup that rotates beans from American coffee powers like Heart and George Howell, plus coffee from roasters back home. The food program is more ambitious than most coffee bars, featuring plates like a burrata that’s accompanied by pistachio dukkah, kale, and eggs; and a Superfood Bowl that comes with quinoa, candied beets, lebni, blueberry, and cocoa.

Cacá Santoro

Rubies + Diamonds

Hollywood

LAMILL co-founder Jean Shim went solo in 2015, debuting her fashionable coffee bar in Hollywood’s Columbia Square complex, in a space that features blue-grey and red walls lined with art and two elaborate chandeliers, including one crystal and another that resembles spaghetti. They promote BKON vacuum processed RAIN technology for coffee and tea, and they have many nitro drinks, which you can order up as a cascading nitro flight with cold brew coffee and three teas: matcha, ginger ale green, and hibiscus.

Joshua Lurie/Thrillist

Verve Coffee Roasters

Mid-City (& other locations)

This Santa Cruz import made a great first impression, with its first LA shop brightening an emerging part of Downtown, and others popping up around the city. Their beans roast up north, but they already fuel a space-age espresso machine, nitro cold brew, and drip. The Mid-City outpost on Third Street is the most ambitious to date, with a round copper and marble bar, exposed wood rafters, and a Farmlevel Bar in the back featuring rare coffees that showcase “Ethics & Excellence.”

Woodcat Coffee Bar

Woodcat Coffee Bar

Echo Park

Janine Awan and husband Saadat got the Echo Park coffee scene rolling with their rustic café just north of the lake. Reclaimed wood, box seating, and red walls give life to this neighborhood favorite. It also helps that they brew expertly roasted beans from San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on their sleek Faema espresso machine, which sports a racing stripe. Clearly, this bar was built for speed, but the crowd is always chill.

Bar Nine

Bar Nine

Culver City

Like in that Portlandia sketch where a couple grills the waiter to find out where their chicken was sourced, coffee nerds patronizing Bar Nine could easily get all their detailed questions answered here. Jereme Pitts and Zayde Naquib, the owners behind this sleek and industrial coffee shop in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, are involved in every step of getting the bean to the cup. The duo works with Ninety Plus Coffee Agents to source coffee beans from Panama and Ethiopia, and then roasts them in-house. Bar Nine’s baristas use the shop’s high-tech Modbar system with Chemex coffeemakers to get the precise cup of joe. It’s all in the little details, too, like how the to-go coffee gets served in adorable glass jars with lids. Try the creamy hazelnut milk latte, and don’t forget about breakfast: Highland Park’s Amara Kitchen has a daily pop-up in the cafe serving gourmet organic and healthful offerings like the Purple Egg Pot, a jar filled with poached eggs and pesto over purple potato mash. And if you want to learn from some of the best, they offer cupping and latte classes on the reg.

Coffee Colab

Downtown

This charming cafe nestled in the Fashion District has a distinct style of its own. It’s decorated with stacks of chromatic hardcover books and vintage knickknacks, and its menu is cleverly integrated inside a black-and-white drawing of a Chemex pourover on the back wall. Even its snazzy white La Marzocco espresso machine is decked out with black-lined drawings of anime and Sanrio characters. The design is hip, yes, but let’s talk about the coffee: The beans come from Coffee Colab co-owner William Miyazaki’s Downtown-based Suits & Knives Coffee Roasters. If cortados and lattes aren’t enough to get your buzz on, order the off-menu “Bruce Lee” for a one-inch punch of espresso, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk.

Demitasse

Demitasse

Little Tokyo (& other locations)

We like to think of Demitasse as one of the OG purveyors of craft coffee in LA. Owner Bobak Roshan was among the first in the city to start using siphon coffeemakers, making his humble Little Tokyo cafe look more like some steampunk coffee lab. Now he’s opened a few more outposts throughout the city, and propelled Demitasse into becoming a micro-roaster. For that je ne sais quoi, get Demitasse’s specialties like Kyoto cold brew, and lavender hot chocolate that comes topped with a roasted marshmallow. If you want to geek out a bit, Demitasse also offers cupping and roasting classes.

Found Coffee

Found Coffee

Eagle Rock

When Annie Choi left Demitasse’s Santa Monica outpost as general manager, she made a big jump and launched Found Coffee: a bright and airy cafe in Eagle Rock, punctuated with pops of color like green metal chairs and a yellow La Marcozza espresso machine. She hasn’t forgotten her roots, and still serves Demitasse’s roasted beans at her shop, but her patrons also get to try a rotating roster of roasters from all around the country -- this year, she’s bringing in the likes of Airship from Arkansas and Pure Intentions from North Carolina. Choi also brings in food vendors for pop-ups at Found Coffee, slinging everything from gourmet avocado toasts to next-level churros. She recently joined forces with Creme Caramel to open up a custard-and-coffee place, FrankieLucy Bakeshop in Silver Lake, where you can also get Choi’s special concoctions like her popular bourbon vanilla latte.

Balconi Coffee Company

Sawtelle Japantown

We never get tired of percolating siphon brewing systems like the ones Balconi has, which produce coffee with clean and crisp flavor profiles. If you need a little more oomph to your drink, get its popular almond essence latte, a sweetened beverage that’s made with organic Straus milk. The baristas there take a little extra time with their latte art, sometimes conjuring up images of bears and swans for some truly Instagram-worthy drinks.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle

Arts District (& other locations)

There was a huge hullabaloo when Blue Bottle took over Handsome Coffee Roasters in the Arts District back in 2014. Since then, the Oakland-based coffee giant has expanded to eight locations scattered throughout the greater LA area. It’s still producing wonderfully rich and earthy coffee from the single-origin beans that’s roasted in-house at the Arts District location, and offering its popular NOLA-style, chicory-laced cold brew. As an added bonus, the Arts District location offers roastery tours on Saturdays.

Up Next
Food & Drink

Where to Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Los Angeles

Published On 06/08/2018
W e Americans may lag in our collective enthusiasm over pro soccer, but we’re certainly trying these days, with an increasing interest in our own league and, more locally, a shiny new stadium just unveiled downtown. The World Cup kicked off on June 14 this year, hosted by our old pal Russia, and plenty of bars, pubs, and restaurants around LA will be airing games throughout the tournament (some will even be opening at 5am for die-hards who can’t miss a kick). Bummer the US team didn't make the World Cup this time around, but you can still join in the revelry, cheering on whatever country you like, or just drinking and people-watching (or all of the above).
We’ve been doing some recon to scope out the best bars in LA to watch the World Cup this summer, and even checked in with former US men’s national team members Alexi Lalas and Stu Holden, who are a part of the FOX World Cup broadcast team, for some tips on their favorite soccer spots in Los Angeles. And be sure check back for updates on opening times and food and drink specials!
Joxer Daly's

Joxer Daly's

Culver City

Laid-back neighborhood bar with tons of beers and ample TVs
Joxer Daly’s is that quintessential neighborhood watering hole with its laid-back semi-divey vibe, decent pricing, and killer imported beer selection along with a patio of outdoor tables overlooking a nothing stretch of Washington Boulevard. The bar, which draws a mixed crowd of die-hard regulars, after-work imbibers, day drinkers, and yes, soccer fans, is also guaranteeing it will show every single game, opening at 5am for your viewing pleasure.
Specials: None, but the owners insist that their "prices are already below market" -- so, there's that!

Ye Olde King's Head

Ye Olde King's Head

Santa Monica

Seriously British pub near the beach
This stalwart British pub a quid’s throw from the beach is a labyrinth of wood-heavy dining rooms with royal portrait-lined walls, a beer-heavy bar, dart boards, TVs galore, and a bakery and gift shop touting British specialties. In other words, it's like a giant British museum. There'll be all the shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and fish and chips you'd expect, but YOKH will be showing the World Cup games starting at 8am, so you’ll want to take advantage of the traditional British breakfast plates complete with English baked beans.
Specials: TBD

Big Wangs

Downtown and North Hollywood

Dual sports bars known for their wings and plentiful flat-screen TVs
This duo of sports bars will be open for all the games (even the 6am starts) and offering a bacon-egg-cheddar-and-avocado-stuffed World Cup Breakfast Burrito with a side of tater tots for $12 -- because you’re going to need some sustenance to properly cheer on your team at that hour. If you plan to stay for the back-to-back games, you’ll want to move on to the fabled wings next. Wangs’ sibling venues -- The Thirsty Merchant in Valley Village and Elbow Room in Hollywood -- will follow suit, opening early in time for all the games and serving up the same brekkie special.
Specials: World Cup Breakfast Burrito for $12

Highland Park Bowl

Highland Park Bowl

Highland Park

Retro bowling alley on the Eastside
LA’s oldest bowling alley (which actually dates back to prohibition) is looking good thanks to its refurbished retro look, a trio of bars, and a big, beautiful 1930s mural, as well as solid pizza and cocktail offerings. For the quarterfinals, semifinals, third-place playoffs, and the final game, HPB will open early to screen the games on the 15-foot projector over the bowling lanes, with sound -- so you can watch one sport while playing another.
Specials: Happy hour and food specials for the final-round games, and prize raffles during the final game.

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Downtown

Mexican-American museum hosting free viewing parties
The museum and cultural center will be the site of three big (and free) viewing parties with live entertainment, activities for the kids, a photo booth, and -- since it’s sponsored by McDonald's -- a free breakfast courtesy of the fast-food behemoth. Doors open at 7am on Sunday, June 17 (for the Mexico vs. Germany and Brazil vs Switzerland matches); Saturday, June 23 (Mexico vs. Korea and Germany vs. Sweden) and Sunday, July 15 (finals). If you plan to go, register here.
Specials: Free breakfast for all attendees 

Hangar Inn

The Hangar Inn

Manhattan Beach

Old-time Packers bar with an airplane sticking out of the roof
This 60-plus-year-old Packers bar on Aviation Boulevard draws a raucous crowd of jersey-wearing fans come American football season and gets an equally enthusiastic influx of screaming soccer-loving patrons during World Cup days. The plan is to start showing all the games on Hangar's 17 TVs starting at the usual 7am opening time, but the place may decide, as it gets closer, to open the doors at 5am for some games; call ahead to find out which ones.
Specials: Pints of Dos Equis, Dos Equis Lager, Heineken, and New Castle for $5; $2 off pitchers; and buckets of Coors, Coors Light, Miller, or Miller Lite for $16 

Wirtshaus

Fairfax

German restaurant with outdoor beer garden
If you’ve got a soccer-loving pup you don’t want to leave at home, this German eatery is your go-to thanks to its dog-friendly, flat-screen-adorned outdoor beer garden; expect a 120-inch projection screen in the “soccer room,” in addition to more TVs in main part of the venue. The place will be offering food and drinks specials during all of the matches it airs, in addition to special morning breakfast and brunch menus, sponsored giveaways, and post-game deals. Wirsthaus will be opening early for all of the Germany and Mexico matches, including those on June 17th (at 8am), 23rd (at 8am), and 27th (at 7am).
Specials: A World Cup food menu including potato pancakes, pretzels, sausages, and schnitzel; half-off Erdinger beers for those who stick around after the game.

The Stalking Horse

The Stalking Horse Brewery & Freehouse

West LA

Brewery and British pub with vegan offerings
Artisanal Brewers Collective’s stylish new British pub boasts both an onsite brewery (which will start brewing its own beer in the coming months) and an adept kitchen, churning out Cornish classics like Yorkshire pudding and fish and chips, as well as vegan-friendly options like a plant-based Welsh rarebit and Impossible burger. World Cup games will be screened on TVs in the bar and on the patio and via projector in the dining room, opening at 7am on weekends and 11 during the week. Pro tip: You can book seats in advance on The Stalking Horse's website.  
Specials: $4 drafts during games and multiple $4, $6, and $8 “breakfast of champions” offerings available at 7am on weekends.

Cafe Brasil

Culver City

Cozy Brazilian eatery with wine and beer
This colorful Brazilian cafe with a lush patio doesn't have a proper bar (though beer and wine is available) and offers just two TVs, but it’s a top spot for those cheering on the South American soccer team who want to be amongst fellow fans and take advantage of a good and cheap breakfast menu with specialties like fried plantains and acai bowls. Later in the day, look for fish specials, pastas, black beans and rice and empanadas. Stay tuned for early opening hours, as the place will most likely get going in time for early AM Brazil games and lots of impressively long goooooooooaaaaaaaaal-yelling.
Specials: TBD

Sharks Cove

Sharks Cove

Manhattan Beach

South Bay sports bar packed to the gills with TVs
This South Bay sports bar is reminiscent of a TV network control room thanks to its rows and rows of flat-screens -- 50 in fact, all of which make for some great game viewing. There’s an attached street-facing patio if you want to get some fresh air or some natural light after gazing at screens in a dark bar all morning, and there’s also a basic breakfast menu in addition to the usual bar fare. Sharks Cove will open at 5:30am for the Brazilian games and 7am for every other game, and the kitchen will start serving food at 8am.
Specials: Buckets of Bud Light or Coors Light for $16.75; buckets of Corona for $19.25; $5 Jager shots or Jager bombs; $4 Fireball shots; 22-ounce domestic drafts for $5.50; 22-ounce Modelo, Corona, or Pacifico for $6; $5.50 Estrella Micheladas; 22-ounce double shot Bloody Marys for $9.50; and free bottomless champagne or Mimosas with purchase of breakfast on weekends.

The Fox and Hounds

The Fox and Hounds

Studio City

British pub popular among international sports fans
This Ventura Boulevard pub is known for doling out plenty of British breakfasts and beer to fans who come in to watch international sports, so we’re expecting the World Cup scene to be pretty tremendous. You'll be able to watch all the live tournament games on its two projector screens, as well as the 10 TVs scattered throughout the bar. The venue will be opening early to show every World Cup match, but certain games will require tickets. Check the schedule here.
Specials: TBD

The Cat and Fiddle

The Cat & Fiddle

Hollywood

British rock-inspired restaurant and pub
The resurrected Hollywood pub may not have that same signature sprawling patio at its new location, but you’re here to watch soccer anyway (and there is, indeed, some outdoor space at this venue). Expect British fare to the tune of Scotch eggs, shepherd’s pie, and curried chicken, along with lots of draft beer offerings and fun cocktails like the Picadilly Pimm’s. The venue will be opening early for several of the matches; check their schedule here.
Specials: Pint of Stella and a Savory Pie or a pint of Stella and Cat and Fiddle Burger for $15

Double Take

Westwood

Westside hotel lounge with game room
The Kimpton Hotel Palomar’s onsite restaurant, bar and lounge -- inspired by the look of a Hollywood backlot -- comes complete with a clubby game room filled with Skee-Ball, pool, shuffleboard, darts, video games, and some newfangled 4K Ultra HD TVs ready to show you tons of World Cup action. The venue will be airing all World Cup games beginning at 6:30am daily.
Specials: $1 beer specials, $1 surprise beers during the games, and every patron gets a voucher for a $1 beer of their choice when a goal is scored
 

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