Catch Way More Than A Buzz At L.A.'s 27 Coolest Coffee Shops

We may not be "pot" heads like the good people of Portland or Seattle, but it's a known fact: You never mess with Angelenos and their lattes. Coffee shops are about so much more than a liquid love affair in our town — they're where we commingle, study, and catch good vibes along with our java high. Therefore, it's mandatory that the roasting spot itself is simpatico with your personality, just like the café au lait is with your palate.
So, with your quirky Lala sentiments in mind, we've rounded up 27 buzzy spots that are anything but pedestrian. From hidden-forest decor on Franklin and legal advice with your mug in Santa Monica to a shop that'll play your LPs on Vermont, you'll be hard-pressed not to find your new jam on our nifty list. Bottoms up!
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Bourgeois Pig
You may question whether your coffee contained a narcotic after exploring this famed Franklin Avenue mainstay (totally kidding)! It's like Snow White's dwarves stepped into a disco with tree stumps as tables, fairy lights, and billiards in the back. But, despite the dimly lit vibe, we've been crazy productive any time we've gone to the Pig to bang out work.
Bourgeois Pig, 5931 Franklin Avenue (at Tamarind Avenue); 323-464-6008.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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This shop's somewhat of a chameleon and it totally suits those who work and play hard. You can show up at 6:30 a.m., sip as many cups of Joe as you need to get the BPM going, then by 4 p.m., you're wrapping up just in time for a happy hour wind-down with wine. Oh, and the Caviar Toast Tartine and Chocolate Croissants are like serious spoonfuls of sugar to help studying go down!
Zinque, 600 Venice Boulevard (at Abbot Kinney Boulevard); 310-437-0970.

Other Notables:
Legal Grind, 2640 Lincoln Boulevard (near Hill Place North); 310-452-8160.
Dogtown, 2003 Main Street (near Bay Street); 310-310-3665.

Photo: Via Zinque
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Paper or Plastik Cafe
Located in an odd little nook of Mid-City Pico, you'll find some of the best java in town from third-wave roasters like Ecco Caffe and Coava. It may be a bit spendy, but you pay for an overwhelming cool-kid crowd and a rad view of the MiMoDa dance studio in the back (we can affirm that the ballet is totally legit, too!). It's not the kind of place you want to roll into wearing jammies, though, as we've seen quite a few dreamy men sipping the P or P drip.
Paper or Plastik Cafe, 5772 West Pico Boulevard (at South Ogden Drive); 323-935-0268.

Other Notables:
coffee + food, 5630 Melrose Avenue (between North Gower Street and North Larchmont Boulevard); 323-962-3390.
Commissary, 801 Fairfax Avenue (near Waring Avenue); 323-782-1465.
The Oaks Gourmet, 1915 North Bronson Avenue (at Franklin Avenue); 323-871-8894.
Food + Lab, 3206 West Sunset Boulevard (near Descanso Drive); 323-661-2666.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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There's nothing demi about this DTLA brew venue. Black broth may as well be the finest of wine, and there's chemistry-lab like contraptions en masse to prove its dedication to the craft. Our top trys? The Lavender Hot Chocolate is muy bien for those who prefer to stay mellow, the Date Latte with fruit-infused syrup is heavenly, and the locally sourced treats like macaroons go well with any mug! And, true to academic form, Demitasse holds home-brewing events and roasting classes (perhaps an idea for the caffeine queen on your holiday list?).
Demitasse, 135 South San Pedro Street (at East 2nd Street); 213-613-9300.

Other Notables:
Spring For Coffee, 548 Spring Street Suite 106 (near West 6th Street); 213-228-0041.
Café Dulcé, 134 Japanese Village Plaza, Building E (near East 1st Street); 213-346-9910.

Photo: Via Demitasse
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Graffiti Sublime Coffee
Of any of the joints on our list, this is where we'd like to move in (surely the baristas would be really stoked on finding space for our shoes, right?). It has the slick minimalist feel of an agent's Hollywood Hills pad, doles out Intelligentsia drip, and even serves up our favorite comfort food, Fonuts!
Graffiti Sublime Coffee, 180 South La Brea Avenue (at West 2nd Street); no phone number.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Bourbon Street Cafe
Order the Fat Americano (Coke and Espresso), bring in your favorite Velvet Underground album, and groove to "Sweet Jane" while you brush up on art history (or for the GRE!). Pictured is the Vanilla Affogatto — a.k.a. the best gratification after a long day of hitting the books...or while indulging in some "me" time.
Bourbon Street Cafe, 698 South Vermont Avenue, Suite 103 (at West 7th Street); 213-388-7888.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Muse on 8th
Muse serves as exactly what its name claims. With a rotating gallery of artsy creations plastered upon its walls and a total local charm, you may just come up with your next great idea here. It's really just a zen sort of spot (the vegan-friendly fare attracts the easy-breezy type of crowd, too)!
Muse on 8th, 759 South La Brea Avenue (at West 8th Street); 323-933-6873.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Lamill Coffee Boutique
The word "plush" doesn't even scratch the surface of this ode to Joe in Silver Lake. The wacky, lavish interiors are just as sumptuous as its F & B. How does an Orange Infused Cappuccino with Cacao sound? Or, how about a Jelly Donut Coffee? Any time we've had a shoot or a shopping jaunt on the Eastside, we stop here to refuel, and then truly wish we could rethink the rest of the day (like, jumping on the phone to have all upcoming meetings relocated immediately).
Lamill Coffee Boutique, 1636 Silver Lake Boulevard (near Effie Street); 323-663-4441.

Other Notables:
Echo Lake Coffee Co., 1202 North Alvarado Street, Suite A (near West Sunset Boulevard); 213-483-3955.
Chango Coffee, 1559 Echo Park Avenue (at Morton Avenue); 213-977-9161.
The Trails Cafe, 2333 Fern Dell Drive (at Griffith Park); 323-871-2102.

Photo: Via Lamill
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Stir Crazy Coffee Shop
Upon first glance, a snobby caffeine fiend may think this teensy Melrose space just pours battery acid. Well, we beg to differ. And at $1.85 for bottomless beverages all day, you better believe we'd drink it anyway! As for your fellow patrons, it's all business, and fairly hip-to-drip. Definitely don't plan on showing up on a Tuesday morning to host a trunk show!
Stir Crazy Coffee Shop, 6903 Melrose Avenue (at North Orange Drive); 323-934-4656.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Bricks & Scones
B & S is the ultimate quirky coffee shop with soul, and we may heart it the most on this list for the following reasons. First, if you B.Y.O.Mug, you instantly get 10% off. Second, don't plan on ascending to the second floor unless you turn your cellie off, and plan on taping your mouth shut — we're talking college-library strict, here, people. And while we're on that topic, the Larchmont space has its own biblioteca, which you can even take books from — just be sure to pay it forward and swap them out with your own. Coffee's served for sure, but you'll want to have your scones with tea here, naturally.
Bricks & Scones, 403 North Larchmont Boulevard (near Beverly Boulevard); 323-463-0811.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Sabor Y Cultura Cafe
People from Pasadena to Hollywood rave about the Mexican Mocha here, and its mix of spices like cinnamon and chili powder pack such a punch you may feel like doing the Macarena (please don't). The atmosphere is ideal to grab a small bite, host a mini-meeting, and at night, hit the open mic featuring a revolving door of musicians, poets, and writers.
Sabor Y Cultura Cafe, 5625 Hollywood Boulevard (at North Gramercy Place); 323-466-0481.

Photo: Via Sabor Y Cultura
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The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa
For 14-plus years, this Culver City "hot" spot has been peddling its popular sugar-free vanilla lattes and Mexican Mocha Lattes (wonder who would win in a blind test between Sabor Y Cultura?). You can swill your mud al fresco at cute little tables outside, or sit next to the fake tree that grows out of one corner of the room. Either way, you'll feel right at home.
The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa, 10117 Washington Boulevard (near Clarington Avenue); 310-558-0436.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer
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Handsome Coffee Roasters
Just like requesting a substitution on your burger order at Father's Office, don't even dare ask for sugar or anything but whole milk at this DTLA hipster hangout. The trio of owners came from the Intelligentsia clan (they are good looking, btw), and if you don't like the way the dudes brew it, you can fulfill your thirst elsewhere! It's all about pura-vida pots in the Arts District, and you'll be thankful for the policy after just one sip.
Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo Street (at Willow Street); 213-621-4194.

Pictured: Handsome Coffee Roasters Comfort And Adventure Set, $40, available at Handsome Coffee Roasters.

Photo: Via Handsome Coffee Roasters
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Black Cat Bakery and Cafe
Across from the mayhem of the grove, this quaint cafe is a welcome refuge from the Mid-City storm. We recommend you sit outside, eat a hearty breakfast (waffles, please and thanks!), and then head full-bellied next door to Tini for some sick vintage decor.
Black Cat Bakery and Cafe, 519 South Fairfax Avenue (between West 5th Street and Maryland Drive); 323-932-1500.

Photo: Via Black Cat Bakery and Cafe
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Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
If you haven't heard of Intelligentsia by now, you may need to get your L.A. IQ tested. The line outside the door and sometimes up the Abbot Kinney block isn't just one of those flatform-like trends that spreads like a sports wave through the city. It's a staple because it's virtuously good. And, boy, will a non-fat latte get those juices flowing!
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, 1331 Abbot Kinney Boulevard (near California Avenue); 310-399-1233.

Photographed by Christy Kurtz
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Espresso Profeta
Don't have the dough for that Europe trip after all? Well, order a White Velvet, head to this Westwood fave, and close your eyes. The combo of the deliciously sweet drink, exposed brick, vines along the windows, outside patio, and homey decor will give you both a caffeine- and fantasy-trip fix!
Espresso Profeta, 1129 Glendon Avenue (near Lindbrook Drive); 310-208-3375.

Photographed by Shawna Sellmeyer