There’s no city quite like Los Angeles. It’s a city of people on the go, a city that values efficiency and convenience. The coffee culture in L.A. has reflected this fast-pasted environment – Angelenos simply don’t have the luxury of time to wait for a hand brew, preferring to drive through big chains like Starbucks for a quick latte or a cold brew. And thus, it’s a city of drive-thrus, to-go cups, and car cupholders, a city full of people sipping their coffee while sitting in traffic on the freeway. Fast food is definitely favored over “slow food.” As a result, the specialty coffee scene has been slower to catch on – old habits die hard and the big chains have held the market for years. But this is a list of the little guys, the places that take their time brewing a quality cup of joe. Here’s our guide to our favorite small, independent coffee shops in L.A.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in L.A.? Check out our city map of Los Angeles!
The Best Coffee Shops in Los Angeles
For the most precise pour-over you’ll find in Los Angeles, head to Endorffeine. This hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza looks more like a science lab than a coffee shop, and that might be because the owner and barista Jack Benchakul was formerly a biochemist. Naturally, he looks at coffee like it’s his new experiment, starting with the water (which is 98.5% of coffee, after all). Benchakul makes his own coffee water, using distilled water and adding in his precise blend of minerals. His water works best with specific coffees, and Benchakul’s preferred roasters are Prolog Coffee in Copenhagen, Heart Coffee in Portland, Sey Coffee in Brooklyn, and Cognoscenti in Los Angeles. A perfectionist at his core, Benchakul personally prepares every cup of coffee himself. If you’re looking for a perfect cup of coffee in L.A., look no further – this is the highest form of craft coffee.
ENDORFFEINE Address & Contact Information 727 N Broadway #127, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
This adorable newcomer on La Brea has quickly become one of our favorite coffee shops in Los Angeles. They serve Canyon Coffee (we had a delicious Ethiopian pour-over) and pastries from Friends and Family (we enjoyed a cinnamon sugar croissant swirl). It’s a gorgeous space – natural light floods in from several windows, and the friendly staff always takes care to have fresh flowers on their wooden communal table. There are plenty of outlets (no WiFi, though), so this has become our go-to writing spot.
NEIGHBORHOOD Address & Contact Information 133 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram
This eye-catching shop on Sunset Boulevard looks like it was just made for the ‘gram, but don’t be put off by the cutesy neon signs – they actually serve great coffee here. There’s plenty of seating and outlets, so this is another great work spot. They sell lots of coffee bags from the best roasters around the world, including La Cabra in Denmark and Drop Coffee in Sweden. We tried a pour-over from Talormade in Norway, and took home a delicious, award-winning bag of washed beans from Sey Coffee in Bushwick. Dayglow recently opened a second location on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
DAYGLOW Address & Contact Information 3206 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
Maru is a Los Angeles-based coffee roaster with two cafés, one in Los Feliz and one in the Arts District. Their shops are the perfect place to relax with a good cup of coffee – the calming, all-white and wood interior and the minimalistic design are as soothing as that first sip. Maru is a great place to opt for a quality pour-over (their preferred brewing method is Kalita), and they also have an espresso bar.
MARU COFFEE Address & Contact Information 1019 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
Go Get Em Tiger
This cute specialty coffee brand has four outposts in L.A. The coffee-loving founders have each won a US Barista championship; however, they are anything but snobby – instead, they are passionate about educating their customers and even have a coffee dictionary and videos about brewing on their website. We love our coffee light-roasted and fruity, so we typically go for an Ethiopian pour-over, but there’s a coffee for everyone here, and they’ll help you find the perfect match based on your palate.
GO GET EM TIGER Address & Contact Information 230 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
Obet & Del’s
This colorful café is a must-visit in Thai Town. You can’t help but smile when you walk in the door; there’s a feel-good vibe radiating from the coffee shop. Obet and Del’s interior design is sunny and bright, with a painted rainbow running along the walls, exposed brick, and bold yellow chairs. If you feel like trying something new, we loved the Filipino Iced Coffee with ube and oat milk, and the Thai Town Latte with star anise, vanilla bean, cardamom, sweet tamarind, coconut, and oat. If you prefer to stick to the classics, they also have drip coffee and espresso-based drinks. A counter full of pastries is also available for those looking for something to nibble.
OBET & DEL'S Address & Contact Information 5233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California Instagram Facebook
Verve Coffee Roasters
Our favorite of the bigger coffee chains in town is Verve, which has five locations in Los Angeles (as well as five shops in Santa Cruz, two in the Bay Area, and a few in Japan). This Santa Cruz-based roaster proudly connects with farmers through their Farmlevel Initiative, ensuring high quality from seed to cup. Verve loves educating their customers about the rare, small-batch coffees they roast, and why they pay farmers a premium for quality beans. Their juicy, light-roasted coffees are perfect for pour-overs, consistently brewed with a smile by friendly baristas across all locations.
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS Address & Contact Information 833 S Spring St, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
LAMILL has been one of L.A.’s iconic coffee houses since it opened in 2008 in Silverlake. Over ten years later, they’re as busy as ever, and have added a shopfront inside LAX. LAMILL is an award-winning specialty coffee roaster – our favorite brew from them is the Ardi, a natural coffee from Ethiopia with citrus and floral notes. In addition to food and drinks, they also sell coffee subscriptions as well as home brewing equipment.
LAMILL COFFEE Address & Contact Information 1636 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
Coffee for Sasquatch
At a first glance, Coffee for Sasquatch might appear to be your typical minimalistic café – until you notice the giant furry Sasquatch outlined on the wall. The all-white interior design here (a leafy plant wall and curvy communal benches) is begging to be Instagrammed – and so is the rainbow latte art. Predictably, the latter is less of our thing, but when we popped inside in desperate need of a caffeine fix we were surprised to find Sey Coffee, one of our favorite roasters, offered for pour-overs.
COFFEE FOR SASQUATCH Address & Contact Information 7020 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California Website Instagram Facebook
Where do you like to get your caffeine fix in L.A.? Let us know which shops we should try next!