Fact: Cafés are the backbone of any great city. Somewhere you can rendezvous, maybe go on a date, get some work done (ahem, procrastinate) or grab a coffee on the way to work. But with a caffeine fix available on practically every corner, how are you supposed to know which spot is going to gel with your vibe (and serve you your iced matcha latte just the way you like it)? Relax—we’ve got you covered. As serious java enthusiasts, we‘ve been to a lot of coffee shops in the city but these are the ones we keep coming back to again and again. Whether you want somewhere with monastery-like vibes so you can actually focus, a coffee shop that’s mindful about its beans and community or just a place that serves delicious pastries, find the perfect spot for you in our roundup of the best cafés in Los Angeles (and one must-visit in Orange County).
12 of the Best Cafés in Los Angeles (And One Must-Visit in OC)
1. Doubting Thomas LA
- Why We Recommend It: small-batch seasonal pastries, amazing chicken sandwich, innovative drinks (that are all made in-house)
Why settle for coffee at home when you could sip on an iced coffee sweetened with Catalana (orange, cinnamon, and vanilla) syrup whilst trying a passion fruit pie lined with graham cracker crust? And if you’re really hungry, the menu of breakfast items, rice bowls and more, is nothing short of yummy and filling. All of which are made in-house. Nestled on a sunny corner in Historic Filipinotown, grab a seat outside or indoors—which is just as bright and airy. Make sure to stop by on the first and second Saturday of each month for their fresh bread pop up by Out of Thin Air, which is a must-try for carb lovers (aka, everyone).
2510 Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
- Why We Recommend It: Nordic design details, delicious toasts, tons of latte art
If super zen and minimalist design is your vibe, this tucked-away gem in Echo Park is for you. This quirky triangular cafe is detailed with communal cement seating, gorgeous blonde wood tables and a window area you can sit in front of that gives off major breakfast bar vibes. Or pull up a chair and drink your latte in their patio overlooking Glendale boulevard. Either way, you should have no problem focusing at this no-distractions spot.
318 N. Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
3. The Shugar Shack
- Why We Recommend It: shoebox-themed packages for desserts; gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free options; great playlist
If you’re looking for a day trip to Huntington Beach, this trendy number is located in Huntington Harbour—only a five minute drive from the HB sand. Vibe in this woman-owned, basketball-themed cafe while listening to throwback R&B and hip hop hits, and enjoying their house-made bread or cakes. Sip on coffee that’s sourced from women-owned co-ops while perusing displayed art, quotes and more. Hailing from Queens, New York, the owner of this cafe played basketball growing up and integrated the sport into the aesthetic of the cafe, down to the takeaway shoeboxes for desserts (which are totally reusable by the way). If that doesn’t impress you, maybe the floating-flowered hallway to the bathroom (or the decor in the bathrooms themselves) will.
16907 Algonquin Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92649
- Why We Recommend It: innovative cake-themed coffee drinks, delicious toasts
We love the laid-back vibes at Koreatown spot, but their specialty is definitely their menu—both coffee and food. Their Vienna coffee went viral earlier this month for its delicious tiramisu-inspired recipe. Not to mention, the Lox and Prosciutto toasts are nothing short of fantastic. This little Koreatown gem, while being small in size, is big in flavor and quality.
3033 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
5. Yoboseyo! Superette
- Why We Recommend It: roast their own coffee, curated selection of unique small-batch goods, martial arts
The owners of Cafe Dulce, Cindy and James Choi, brought their coffee expertise to this new unique location in Little Tokyo. A coffee bar and store in one—filled with decor, drinks, trinkets and more from fellow AAPI small businesses—is a must-visit. But there’s more: sip your coffee in the back seating area where you might catch a live jiu-jitsu fight. The cafe has mats for people to train Brazilian jiu jitsu during certain days and times, which is almost as thrilling as your next cup of coffee.
358 E 2nd St, Los Angeles CA 90012
6. Obet & Dels
- Why We Recommend It: Black-owned and Asian-owned, delicious Filipino iced coffee, ‘70s vibes
An intriguingly delicious menu with a ‘70s inspired theme, this Thai Town cafe is passionate about community and coffee. Ask for their housemade oat-condensed milk for a little extra oomph to your latte or try one of their specialties like the Filipino Iced Coffee, made with the creamiest ube milk. And if caffeine is a no-go, you really can’t go wrong with a freshly squeezed lemonade.
5233 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027
7. Thank You Coffee at Paper Please
- Why We Recommend It: innovative drink menu, located inside a stationary store
Is there anything that makes you feel more like a freakin’ boss than writing a to-do list while sipping your morning coffee? Accomplish both at the tiny but mighty Thank You Coffee location in Chinatown that lets you shop stationary while you sip. (Adorable greeting cards, planners and tiny pencils galore!) Not to mention, they’ve got a menu of one-of-a-kind drinks. Try a Hojicha latte–made with oat milk and green tea–to start your day on the right foot. Some drinks come in a packaged to-go version, too.
938 N. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
8. La Terraza
- Why We Recommend It: family owned, tamale Tuesdays, proximity to beach
This South Bay gem is the perfect cozy cafe to nestle in and play some board games in, or to pop in on a Tuesday for some house-made tamales. Sip on their fan-favorite Iced Shaken Espresso in their outdoor seating area (which is only two blocks from the Redondo Beach sand, by the way).
1201 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
9. Maru Coffee
- Why We Recommend It: roast their own coffee in the Arts District, relaxing vibe
Maru’s stand-alone structure between two bigger buildings in the Arts District, beautifully boutique-esq and inviting, is just as tranquil inside as it is on the outside. Sip on some of the most potent and freshest coffee you might ever try while enjoying an especially peaceful atmosphere—when they’re not having community events like toy drives in their space, that is (which we also love).
1019 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021
10. Deus Ex Machina
- Why We Recommend It: half clothing store, half coffee shop; great playlist
Retail therapy whilst sipping an iced latte sounds like the perfect Saturday activity in our book. Sip and shop and at this motorcycle-themed clothing store and coffee shop, but if you’re not in the browsing mood, there’s ample indoor and outdoor seating area where you can sit and relax instead.
1001 Venice Blvd Venice, CA 90291
11. Republik Cafe
- Why We Recommend It: wine bar plus coffee shop, live music every weekend
Vibe at this Pasadena location with live music every weekend from 2 to 4 p.m. while sipping on your favorite espresso drink or glass of wine (or both!). This green space is perfect for getting some work done during the week and kicking off some fun on the weekend. Work hard, play hard.
854 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101
12. Clark Street Bread
- Why We Recommend It: fresh bread baked in-house, ample seating area
From freshly made loaves of bread to organic, hand-rolled bagels and pastries perfect for your sweet tooth, this place in Echo Park is a carb lover’s dream. Though known for their made-in-house bread, their coffee is also noteworthy. Come for the smooth espresso drinks and ready-made breakfast sandwich, stay for the endless and delicious glutenous selection.
331 Glendale Blvd, Log Angeles CA 90026