A Look At Five of Los Angeles’ Best-Looking And Tasting Coffee Shops
Believe it or not, there was a time in Los Angeles when it was tough to find a decent cup of coffee. Sure, they’ve had the big chains here forever, but those who wanted something better always had to look North to the misty environs of the Pacific Northwest and dream. Thankfully this is no longer the case. Los Angeles is in the midst of a coffee culture renaissance of sorts and now not only is there a non-franchise, artisanal coffee shop a few blocks from almost anywhere, but good coffee and good design are now so pervasive that one can choose where to get their morning joe simply by deciding who has the best tile patterns or chairs! These are great times we live in, design nerds. So, come with us and check out five of the best looking and tasting Los Angeles coffee shops!
1. Occupying a space that was once a gas station and then a flower shop at the corner of Lincoln and Venice, Deus Ex Machina’s Emporium Of Postmodern Activities serves as a temple to those on their way out to carve canyons or those coming back from an early morning surf. The interior is as well thought out and meticulously curated as everything else that Deus pumps out with plenty of white subway tile, heavy wood furniture, surfboards, and motorcycle gas tanks repurposed as flower vases to elevate even the most basic of coffee-based beverages to McQueen levels of cool. The Emporium serves coffee from Vittoria, a roaster from their native Australia, and thus imbues their Flat Whites with all the authenticity you can stand.
2. Alfred Coffee + Kitchen opened in its Melrose Place location in January of 2013 to equal amounts of fanfare and jokes. The jokes were easy, with their baristas wearing uniforms from the much-loved Rag + Bone label and their toney address. But, despite this, they have been running an excellent coffee program from Portland’s Stumptown since day one and they’ve been doing it in a unique and welcoming space that makes you want to grab a seat and stay all day. Their food menu is also awesome. Bring your out-of-towner friends here and blow their minds.
3. Intelligentsia’s Sunset Junction location has been a bright star in the Los Angeles coffee for a few years now and with good reason: the atmosphere they’ve created with carrera marble and geometric tile work perfectly suits the laissez-faire attitude of the neighborhood of which it is a part. Oh, that and the fact that both the baristas and the coffee they serve are consistently top notch. There is a reason that this location is almost always packed. There is also an amazing currywurst place across the street to help take the edge off that caffeine buzz with beer and sausage.
4. Los Angeles is spoiled for choice right now when it comes to quality coffee, so standing out from the crowd can be a huge challenge, but Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski have managed to do precisely that. Kyle and Charles are the wizards behind the excellent G&B coffee bar at DTLA’s Grand Central Market and Go Get Em Tiger is their second venture, a sister location to the GCM stand. Coming from these guys, you’d expect a fantastic coffee program and they don’t disappoint. Their Larchmont Village location is cozy but comfortable and features a great minimalist design. Grab a coffee from GGET and then head over to Salt and Straw for ice cream to get your mind blown twice!
5. There are a lot of things that might make someone not want to live in Silver Lake. It’s crowded, expensive, and packed to the brim with people trying so hard to be cool that they’re going to sprain something. But if you can put up with living in Silver Lake (and they haven’t Logan’s Run-ed you out and off to Los Feliz) there are some pretty awesome benefits, one of which is Dinosaur Coffee. Dinosaur Coffee was started by one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity and his wife, and together they’ve created a visually interesting space that is at once both uncluttered and welcoming. The ceiling details in particular are fantastic. Furthermore, with a coffee program by San Francisco’s excellent Four Barrel coffee roasters, you’re going to want to hang around and caffeinate for hours and hours.
Dinosaur Coffee Photo Credit: Brandon Shigeta, Elizabeth Daniels, wrk-shp, and Dinosaur Coffee.