The Best Coffee Shops In LA For Getting Work Done guide image

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The Best Coffee Shops In LA For Getting Work Done

Can’t spend another afternoon working from home? Killing time between meetings? These coffee shops have you covered.

Haven't you heard? No one works in LA. And while that old stereotype is tired, there is a sliver of truth to it—Angelenos definitely work, we just don't work in office buildings. 

Whether you're a writer, an entrepreneur, or an actor who just realized there's a typo on your resume, getting work done in coffee shops is a way of life in this city. But not all of them are created equal. Apart from great coffee, you need WiFi that actually works and seating that won't throw your back out after an hour. So here are the 32 best coffee shops to actually get some work done, broken down into neighborhoods.


THE SPOTS

PASADENA/SAN GABRIEL VALLEY

photo credit: Visit Pasadena

Mandarin Coffee Stand review image

Mandarin Coffee Stand

$$$$

380 S Lake Ave, Pasadena
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The quiet Pasadena corridor Mandarin Coffee lives in has a certain charm—European flags hang from the second floor and flap in the wind, there's a bright-red phone booth next to the tables, and wrought-iron chandeliers collect dust above. In other words, if you're looking for a coffee experience outside the typical, crowded mill that borderline feels like a WeWork, this quirky cafe is right for you. A majority of the seating is outdoors in a cool, hushed hallway, where you'll sit next to kimono shops and vintage barbers (an ideal setting for anyone who, for whatever reason, needs almost complete silence to do anything on a laptop). And the coffee here is worth the trip alone. Try the Gua Hua latte, a creamy espresso drink infused with sweet olive honey and cardamom bitters, with a dash of oat milk. 

AK Fresh Roast is a Vietnamese coffee shop inside San Gabriel’s Blossom Market Hall where you’ll find really good iced coffee, plus unique items like pandan lattes and croissant waffles (aka “croffles”) topped with pork floss. If you want to get a little work done, the secret here is to head up to the food hall’s spacious second floor, which is basically an unofficial study area, complete with wifi and outlets. Once you’ve procrastinated enough, head downstairs to one of the market’s dozen food vendors.

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Blame it on those CalTech students cramming for their STEM final, but finding a coffee shop in Pasadena that has both ample seating and usable WiFi (not to mention great coffee) is surprisingly tricky. We usually make a beeline to Rosebud, a spacious coffee shop on Colorado Blvd. with lots of counter seats and tables where you can bust out the laptop. You’ll also be supporting a good cause—as part of its mission, the shop employs unhoused and at-risk youth transitioning out of the foster system.

ARTS DISTRICT/CHINATOWN/DOWNTOWN LA

Il Caffé is an ultra-chic Scandinavian café that makes us want to up our fashion game. Apart from its customers dressed in vintage clothing that costs the same as a car payment, this spot near the Ace Hotel has an equally stylish industrial interior with mirrored walls and cement floors. There are plenty of outlets, excellent coffee, and a curbside patio that lets you work in the middle of DTLA's hustle and bustle, along with your Swedish cinnamon bun and a double espresso. So chic.

We don't know the science behind it, but there's something about hot pink neon signs and adorable bear drawings that gets the neurons firing. No Ghost Bears offers exactly that in the Fashion District, a plush coffee shop filled with green velvet furniture and fun caffeine drinks like the spiced beet latte and mushroom adaptogen-filled chagaccino. There are a few bar seats inside, as well as a patio for getting work done.

Maybe coffee makes you anxious, or you need a certain degree of aesthetic to feel inspired. Steep, a beautiful tea shop in Chinatown, has got you covered. Located in Mandarin Plaza is their showroom—a cozy space with soft, minimalist touches and giant tables filled with hyper-regional teas and great Chinese/Taiwanese foods, like scallion milk bread and bowls of chicken rice. The WiFi is fast as hell, and there's a large outdoor patio, just saying.

CULVER CITY/WEST ADAMS

We're convinced that Highly Likely was specifically built for remote working. This huge coffee shop in West Adams has tons of indoor and outdoor seating and outlets everywhere. If you can't find one, check underneath your booth because there’s probably one you just haven’t noticed. The cold brew at Highly Likely is great, and we're always in the mood for their breakfast sando with melted sheep's cheese and roasted tomato to kick off our morning email-answering ritual.

Why are there so few hybrid bookstores/cafes in Los Angeles? It's a perfect concept. Case in point, The Village Well: a groovy bookstore in Culver City with bold colors and lots of electrical outlets. New releases, a book of the week, watermelon basil agua frescas, smoothies, and almond butter toasts—you'll find it all here, as well as a wonderfully lit space and a large community table where they host meals and conversations.

WESTWOOD/MAR VISTA/WESTCHESTER

Decorated with so many earth tones and houseplants it could double as a spa, Sachi in Del Rey is a peaceful place to finally face your demons (a.k.a. whatever project is currently overdue). Equal parts cafe, plant shop, and retail space, you'll find everything from Peruvian mochas and honey cinnamon lattes to neon heart-shaped Philodendrons and mini daruma dolls. It's a quirky, cute space—the ideal mix of tranquility and stimulation to get you through work.

Equator Coffees is a Bay Area coffee roaster that opened its first SoCal branch in Culver City's Ivy Station, a sleek, primary-colored coffee shop complete with glossy, light wood tables and plenty of sunshine streaming through its large windows. And apart from its great lighting and premium coffee options like the sweet lavender vanilla latte, Equator has teamed up with the chefs behind Border Grill and Socalo to offer specialty items like guava and cheese empanadas.

Upside Down is a Westwood coffee shop that doubles as an art space and community center. We come for their delicious (and strong) caffeinated drinks, like the tiramisu latte and lavender London fog made with Earl Gray, but we stay for the immersive art exhibits. And Upside Down has earned a place in the hearts of many UCLA students who gather here to check their schedules and have a mini-spiral over impending deadlines. Check out their monthly Shabbat dinners, too.

Despite being steps from UCLA's campus, Westwood's Espresso Profeta isn't entirely overrun by lawless undergrads. All their drinks are reasonably priced, with the Caffe Nico being our go-to latte order with its cinnamon and orange zest garnish. There's also a lovely back patio that never gets too loud, but we still prefer the bright brick-walled interior. Be warned: there are absolutely zero outlets, so plan accordingly and charge up beforehand.

KOREATOWN/LARCHMONT/THAI TOWN

Stepping into Obet & Del's in Thai Town is like entering a time warp—you're met with a funky, 70's design full of mustard yellow and orange hues. It's all reminiscent of a simpler era, one where emails and "online workflow management systems" didn't exist, plus there are great cold brews and a signature "golden milk cappuccino" made with turmeric, honey, and coconut sugar. Waiting for inspiration to strike? Check out their collection of local zines and artwork near the cash register.

Coffee MCO in Koreatown is a cute, minimalist cafe where we find a new pocket to work in every time we visit. The multi-level café has tables on the ground floor, even more on the second floor (a treehouse-like room that overlooks Western Ave.), and even more on the rooftop. There, you'll find astroturf, heaters, and friends catching up over coffee. If we could sleep over at any café, it would be this one.

Bricks and Scones looks like an early 2000s castle, complete with chalkboard menus and brightly colored walls. But you're not here for aesthetics. You're here because you ignored a deadline and need somewhere to drown your nervous system in caffeine. This Larchmont coffee shop is that spot: two floors filled with large wooden tables, big comfy couches, and a barebones patio out front. No one here is trying to bother you, and everyone's typing away and minding their own business.

SANTA MONICA/VENICE

Café Bolivar is a great spot to get work done for a few reasons: it's always soothingly quiet here, there are plenty of outlets by the shop's large windows, the WiFi is speedy, and, most importantly, they make great arepas. Come to this South American café in Ocean Park for strong Colombian coffee, a delicious lunch of corn cakes stuffed with anything from pulled pork to fresh cheese, and plenty of space to zone out and make that looming deadline.

Goodboy Bob in Santa Monica looks and feels like an extension of a tech start-up with its soft brown leather couches, sharp geometric chairs, and overall industrial feel. This means you don't have to worry about standing out with your laptop because nearly everyone here is working in the café-coworking space hybrid. All of the coffee is roasted in-house, plus they serve whole wheat flatbreads, salads, and an extensive Happy Hour drinks menu.

Yes, we're rolling our eyes at the name and technicolor beverages. But La La Land Kind Café in Santa Monica is the chic, minimalist escape you need whenever your pass at NeueHouse expires. There's a pleasing, all-white aesthetic (think high ceilings and minimalist décor) that is so sparse you're coaxed into a sort of zen-like trance. Plus, there are plenty of places to sit: at the bar, on the sprawling wooden patio, or in your car while pretending to be at home for a Zoom call.

INGLEWOOD/COMPTON/VIEW PARK/WINDSOR HILLS

Sip & Sonder is not only Inglewood's first specialty coffee house but also an independent publisher, creative studio, and event space. Their sleek, black and earth-toned space is quiet and serene, filled with house plants, warm lighting, and long communal tables. Grab a coffee and a few pastries, then get to work. Start your new web series, fire up a spreadsheet to track your expenses, or maybe just organize your Spotify playlists. We're not here to judge.

Patria combines everything we love—the smell of freshly roasted beans, fast WiFi, and an invigorating atmosphere—and turns it into a coffee shop. On any given day, you'll find young professionals using futuristic computer programs you've never seen before, as well as people reading a book while sipping an oat milk coffee slushie. Everything at this Compton coffee shop is roasted in-house, and if you've been working from home a lot more, get their monthly coffee subscription.

A casual hangout in View Park-Windsor Hills (as well as Inglewood and Eagle Rock), Hilltop combines great breakfast sandwiches with motivating wall quotes. Seriously, who wants to scroll Twitter when "Keep Climbing" and "The mountaintop has been a symbol for dreamers and doers for centuries″ is staring at you? It's the ultimate inspiration station, complete with lots of room, individual seats, and large communal tables to spread everything in your backpack out on.

ECHO PARK/SILVER LAKE

This sunny Historic Filipinotown cafe is one of our favorite places to work. You'll find mismatched wooden furniture ripped from a quirky indie film, a spacious sidewalk patio, and excellent coffee. Plus, they serve fresh pastries (get the morning bun, it comes with seasonal jams and sprinkled sugar) and a pork shoulder breakfast burrito that's saved us from the brink dozens of times.

Café Tropical is one of LA's cutest places to work in. The charming Silver Lake café is run by the same people behind El Cochinito and has the same fun, laid-back atmosphere—pink walls fill the space, there are little wooden tables to work/pretend to work, and colorful orbs hanging from the ceiling. There's always a case of freshly made desserts and pastries: pay attention to the strawberry guava morning bun and pineapple tarts.

Eightfold doesn't look like much from the outside, but they've developed a fairly rabid following for their coffee. And despite the barebones interior, it's surprisingly unpretentious and welcoming, and they utilize the small space well, with small tables and plenty of outlets. We're fans of all the natural light pouring into the room throughout the day, which makes us feel like we're out in the world instead of filling our expense reports. 

Is this the best coffee in LA? Who the heck knows, but it's certainly delicious. And if that's a critical detail for you when it comes to productive working, head to this Silver Lake cafe immediately. The place is certainly more of a restaurant than an all-day hang, but come here any day of the week, and you'll see plenty of laptops. Menu items like yogurt bowls and toasts are simple but good, and you can usually scrounge up an outlet if you need one.

NORTHEAST LA

Located on Eagle Rock Blvd. in Glassell Park, Habitat is a fairly quiet spot filled with locals doing some light reading and or people writing pilot scripts all day on their laptops. If you get here early, you might even be able to grab one of the shaded outdoor tables outside. But no matter what you’re here to do, you should definitely be taking advantage of the food menu. There’s an assortment of not-sad daily sandwiches and salads (get the cinnamon beet one), plus a full breakfast menu that goes until noon on weekdays.

MELROSE/WEST HOLLYWOOD/FAIRFAX/BEVERLY GROVE

Harvey's is a cozy corner café owned by Easton Gym upstairs, which has been in business since 1938. Harvey's isn’t a historical relic like Easton, but it emulates an "old-school" aesthetic with exposed brick, vintage sofa chairs, and sports memorabilia on display. There are plenty of outlets and never too much foot traffic, plus we get really excited about the rotating Toast Tuesday special (the egg salad toast with capers and shaved radish is a favorite).

Verve's best features are that it's smack in the center of West Hollywood and has one of the best outdoor patios in the area. It's also an ample, bright space inside with plenty of seating, great coffee, and snacks like parfaits and sandwiches if you're working through your lunch break. It's one flaw, however, is the lack of outlets, so come fully charged and ready to maximize your productivity. Also, street parking can be a pain here.

SOUTHEAST LA

A deadline is approaching, you've run out of coffee, and your boss is sending out-of-pocket emails like, "Hey, just checking in—are you OK?" Head to Cruzita Deli and Café. This Huntington Park shop is known for its traditional cafe de olla, a beautiful blend of cinnamon and molasses-like unrefined sugar. They also have homemade agua frescas, fresh bread, and great breakfast sandwiches that make us want to sink into a chair while devouring one.

SOUTH BAY

Working from the beach is a recipe for disaster: loud waves, bad sunburns, and the real possibility of sand in your keyboard. But Boy & The Bear's Redondo Beach location is a safer bet, where you can sip Colombian coffee a couple of blocks from the Redondo Pier. The space looks like a modern surf lodge with geometric rugs, exposed beams, and brown leather couches to sink into. Have a coffee with your morning meetings and maybe escape to the beach once your boss goes offline. 

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

This all-day coffee shop/screenwriter safehouse in Studio City is absolutely slammed on weekends, but you should expect a line at all times of the week. And everybody's here for two reasons: a big menu full of solid sandwiches, salads, and wraps and a winding back patio with abundant WiFi ideal for finally finishing that pilot you started last year.

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