If you know me at all, you know that coffee shops are an escape for my introverted self, a treasure to search for, and pretty much number one on my happy list. Whenever I’m traveling in a new area, or adventuring in one I’ve known for a while, I make it a point to find the best coffee spots around. Being in Southern California this summer, these were not hard to come by. I felt like there was shop after shop, with equally good coffee as there was good aesthetic. After visiting a handful, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorites, because I can’t be the only one looking for a unique place to enjoy a cup of coffee & enjoy the slow (or busy) moments. ..
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1. the Gypsy Den: I loved this place. With 3 locations throughout Southern California, you could have a familiar coffee shop while exploring each of these areas. I, like the coffee lover I am, made it a point to try all three locations: Costa Mesa, Anaheim, & Santa Ana. Each of them have such different atmospheres. My favorite was hands down the Santa Ana location. It’s the biggest location, but also just has more nooks for intimate moments & conversations.
^Love all the art on the walls. So beautiful!
The Gypsy Den served a killer breakfast. Not to mention, they do live music throughout the week AND a wine wednesday. You just cant beat half price wine! It’s the perfect atmosphere for candle lit conversations while sipping on a red or white wine!
My favorite drink on the menu is their vanilla chai latte! Wooooow. So good. I’m usually just a straight up black coffee drinker, but this chai latte made me a big fan.
If you follow me on instagram, you’ve probably seen me post about this Los Angeles go-to coffee spot. Alfred is the coffee shop that coined the phrase you’ve been seeing around: “But first, coffee.” (I can totally relate to that phrase). Located in a neighborhood off Melrose Ave, Alfred is a quaint coffee spot with a killer interior.
I absolutely loved their interior decoration. Black walls will always have a special place in my heart. They also had an awesome selection of drinks, juices, snacks, chocolates, etc. My only complaint would be that there isn’t enough seating for the amount of people that come through & they only have a couple outlets. So, this is a more social oriented place than work oriented.
My favorite thing about Alfred was their coffee sleeves. Every few months, they debut new illustrations to accompany your favorite morning pick-me-up. It gave such a unique touch! Alfred was one of my favorite places to get coffee when I came out to Los Angeles on the weekends. I highly recommend it!
This LA spot set the bar high for my expectations in a ‘mid day getaway’. I love finding my own place to retreat to when I need to relax or get on the work grind. Paper or Plastik was totally that place for me. I found it the first weekend I got to LA just by driving by. The industrial exterior drew me in, and I couldn’t not stop. I went in, and absolutely loved the feel of the place. Local community living life together mixed with a family style operation. I loved it. The coffee was made with care. It took a bit (as they only do pour overs for their coffee), but it was worth the wait. Not to mention, they serve a great breakfast and pastries made in-house.
(above photo source)
One thing that makes Paper or Plastik really special is they don’t allow laptops on the weekends. While some might think this as inconvenient, the purpose is to promote community and conversation. Now, I can really respect that. My favorite drink from here was the cappuccino!
4. the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles
If you follow along with this blog, you remember seeing that ‘photo booth at the Ace Hotel’ was on my California bucket list. Luckily, I made it back a few times outside of that trip, and got to try their restaurant & coffee bar! The inside of the Ace is great, and makes for a really fun atmosphere for a coffee trip. It was more of a grab-and-go coffee spot for me. Since it was right down the street from Hillsong LA, I would usually go before or after service for a caffeine boost! If you go in, don’t miss the photo booth! Totally worth the $5! Additionally, if you happen to stop in during the golden hour, be sure to go up to the rooftop bar to see the sun set over the city. It truly is beautiful.
5. Urth Cafe
Urth Cafe is pretty common around Los Angeles. With many locations, there’s probably one near you wherever you are exploring in the LA area. They are known for their health conscious entree’s, but the biggest stand out to me was their spanish latte’s. I’m not a big latte person, but wow. These were incredible. Not to mention, they should win some awards for their latte art. Some of the best I’ve seen!
So there you have it! Those are my top 5 favorite coffee spots in Los Angeles. If you are planning to take a trip out there, I hope you enjoy each place as much as I do! The following are a few additional spots I visited and loved as well, all found south in the Newport Beach area: