(Photos by Natalie Baugh)
The Go-To Coffee Spots in Los Angeles and the Surrounding Area
By Johnny Reed
I cannot officiate myself as a coffee connoisseur, but after living in Los Angeles for a few years now, I have had my fair share of excellent assorted beverages. All throughout Los Angeles, it seems that wherever you turn, you cannot help but run into an esthetic, organic, farm-raised hipster-esque coffee spot. Los Angeles is literally infiltrated with them and can easily become one of the most prominent hot-spots for the most expert of coffee snobs. Whether you like your coffee raw and black or layered with crème and sugar, here are a couple spots you surely need to check out if you are in the Los Angeles or surrounding area.
Address: 300 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013
Blue Bottle has grown its reputation over the years. While the menu may be simple and straightforward, the taste surely exceeds any expectations. In addition to their fine espressos and cafe mochas, one of the drinks that put them on the map is their Nitro Cold Brew. Cold Brews began a revolution and now may be found in all of the expensive, organic, health-conscious grocery stores. In addition, they are also famously known for their pour over.
Address: 2134 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026
Now, I know all of my coffee experts have reached this point of the article and are about to exit once their eyes run across the word, “Starbucks.” But Linda, listen, this Starbucks is special in its own snowflake kind of way. Starbucks Reserves are a rare breed of the all basic-girl Starbucks regular assortment of drinks. While they have their typical, expected Starbucks go-tos, they also have some rare specialized drinks that come in some pretty cool looking glasses when ordering the drink in. The drinks are labeled as a “selection of the rarest, most extraordinary coffees Starbucks has to offer.” In addition, they have a pretty spiffy bar that allows you to look upon their experts crafting the drinks, as well as talk to other coffee lovers. The Los Angeles Starbucks Reserve lies on the border of Echo Park on Sunset Blvd., and its extraordinary exterior cannot be missed.
Address: 1716 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles CA 90026
Stories is a hidden gem nestled in the hipster land of Echo Park. It is appropriately named, “Stories,” as it is placed directly inside of a bookstore. The owner took the beauty of a bookstore and cleverly merged it with a delicate coffee shop. They also have an expected assortment of coffees, such as black coffee, cappuccino, americanos, mochas, as well as some specialty items like chai lattes, matcha lattes, yerba mates and hot chocolate. I also suggest going hungry, as they are known for their Avocado Tost and their gluten free, vegan sweet breads.
Alfred’s Coffee Shop
Address: 8428 Melrose Pl Los Angeles CA 90069
Alfred’s is on the all too famous Melrose Ave. Located right in the center of Hollywood, the shop’s usuals sure fit the part. Aspiring creatives and out of country tourists fill the shop. They also offer the trendiest new flavors, such as Matcha, Cold Brew and Oat Milk. While the one on Melrose may be the most well-known, other locations can be found throughout L.A.
Address: 3313 Hyland Ave Unit B2 Costa Mesa, CA 92626
While not located directly in Los Angeles, most Southern Californians have heard of Portola coffee. Orange County is becoming known for their hipster all-inclusive anti-malls that include an eclectic assortment of various foods and drinks. Portola may be found in such a location called the OC Mix in Costa Mesa, California. While they also include various trendy new tastes in their coffee, Portola is known for their latte art. Each barista delicately crafts the lattes with art that makes it both esthetic and tasteful. Coffee connoisseurs agree––Portola sure meets the mark.
Address: 330 El Camino Real Tustin, CA 92780
This one is for all the ladies out there. Morning Lavender is the newest, hottest blogger girl spot. As the name gives away, Morning Lavender offers all things, well, lavender. From scones to coffee to tea, if you are a lavender fan, this is the place for you. They also offer other flower flavored drinks and pastries. In addition to opening to the public on the daily, you may also reserve a spot to have brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 3pm. Make sure to book in advance though, as my girlfriend tells me they book out months in advance.
Now, as stated in the beginning of the article, these are just a few of the vast amounts of coffee spots Southern California offers. Other ones to check out would be Intelligencia, the Woodcat, Rubies and Dimonds, Kean Coffee, Alta and Sweet Elle’s Café. As promised, all of these spots will surely fill your coffee needs. You will not be disappointed. Stay caffeinated, my friends.