Have you heard? Nobody works in LA. That old stereotype is tired, but 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. Sure, they might have great coffee, but that’s almost beside the point. What you need is Wi-Fi that actually works and some seating that won’t throw your back out after an hour. So here are the 20 best coffee shops to actually get some work done - organized by neighborhood.
Superba’s flagship location is a full restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also a great place to work. It’s quiet enough that you can hear yourself think, but there’s still enough buzz to ensure you won’t fall asleep on your laptop. Their lattes are excellent, and if you’re there long enough, they’ve got a Happy Hour that starts at 4pm and includes $6 house wines, if you need to level yourself out after six shots of espresso.
Culver City & Mar VIsta
If you’ve ever typed something into a laptop while in Los Angeles, you probably did it at Coffee Commissary. The coffee chain has developed into probably the most well-liked place to write and get work done in the city, and while its Fairfax location can be an all-out mob scene, the Culver location is far more relaxed. It has an industrial vibe, but that keeps you from getting too cozy and taking naps. There are also outlets aplenty.
Mar Vista is one of those neighborhoods you’re always driving through, but never know where you can stop and do some work before your next appointment. The answer is Coffee Connection. There’s nothing particularly special about the coffee and snacks here, but their back courtyard is an ideal a place to get an hour of work done.
Despite being steps from UCLA’s campus, Espresso Profeta in Westwood is surprisingly devoid of lawless undergrads. All their drinks are very reasonably priced, and you by no means will be the only person with a laptop there. They have a nice back patio, but our preference is the bright interior space. Be warned there are absolutely zero outlets, so plan accordingly.
Insomnia might be the only spot on this list solely created for people to write in. Located on Beverly Blvd., Wi-Fi is free with a purchase, there are more outlets than they know what to do with, and they even play opera music most of the day (hopefully you’re into that). The coffee is fine and if you get hungry, the sandwiches will certainly do the trick. But that’s inconsequential - you’re here to get work done and so is everyone else.
Verve’s best feature is the fact that it’s smack in the center of the city and the chances of you driving past it at some point this week are strong. It’s also a big, bright space with plenty of seating, a great patio, good coffee, and snacks for when you get hungry. Just know you might have to scout for an outlet.
Dialog is a family-run operation right off the Sunset Strip, and it’s the kind of place you always forget about, but then remember it’s exactly what you want when you need to get sh*t done. The atmosphere is low-key and friendly, and their breakfast burrito is killer. Come charged up - there aren’t any outlets.
Los Feliz & East Hollywood
Bourgeois Pig has all the requisite couches and scattered tables and chairs to make it an ideal space to get some work done in. They’re even open till 2am every night, in case you’re one of those people. But the real reason you come to Bourgeois Pig is for that magical back room. Decorated like some sort of Hobbit forest for unemployed improv actors, if you can’t get creatively inspired while sitting inside the trunk of a tree, we can’t help you.
Friends & Family is a cafe in East Hollywood with excellent food - that also serves as the unofficial coworking space of office-less Eastsiders. Come in any weekday, and you’ll find a crowd of people getting work done while they eat grain bowls and avocado toast. And despite the big crowds, the place is huge, so you’ll never have to worry about not having a place to sit. We also would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about their housemade CGT (carrot, ginger, and turmeric) juice, which can cure even the most stubborn of hangovers. It’s ideal for when you definitely shouldn’t have gone out last night because you need to actually get some work done.
It’s fairly impossible not to fall in love with Bricks & Scones. The free-standing building on Larchmont is actually massive and feels like the lake house of that professor you used to have sexual tension with. There’s a great back patio if you’re looking to soak up some Vitamin D, but our move is the secluded second floor, where you can stretch your legs out for several hours and not even realize it. There’s free Wi-Fi, easy street parking, lots of outlets, and most importantly, scones.
Silver Lake, Echo Park & Atwater Village
Eightfold doesn’t look like much from the outside, but they’ve developed a fairly rabid following for their coffee. And despite the bare-bones interior, it’s surprisingly unpretentious and welcoming, and they utilize the small space well, with small tables and plenty of outlets. Warning for late-night workers: They close at 6pm.
In a neighborhood loaded with high-end places serving $8 lattes, Muddy Paw is a welcome relief. It’s a dog-friendly spot on Sunset in Silver Lake with a great outdoor dining room. You can still get a cup of coffee here for $2.50, and additionally, a portion of all their profits go to local animal shelters. It’s not the most glamorous spot in the neighborhood, but any place that lets you sit with your three bulldogs on a patio with free Wi-Fi all day should be near the top of your list.
As good of a name as The Semi-Tropic would be for a gay bar, it turns out it makes for a good coffee shop, too. The free-standing building off Sunset in Echo Park is actually pretty large, with plenty of couches and sitting areas to set up shop, and solid food for when you get hungry (the avocado toast is actually worth it). There’s also a full bar for when you need some liquid motivation to get through that project.
There are a lot of options for coffee shops on the main stretch of Atwater Village, but Black Elephant is by far the best for working. Or staring at your laptop and pretending you’re working. Their coffee is good (it’s Stumptown, like nearly every other place in town), and if you get hungry, there’s an equally good ham and cheese croissant. It’s quiet, you’ll always be able to find a seat, and most importantly, they’ve got plenty of covered sidewalk seating for when you need to distract yourself from script notes by gazing off into traffic on Glendale Blvd.
Is this the best coffee in LA? Who the f*ck knows, but it’s certainly delicious. And if that’s a critical detail for you when it comes to getting as much work done as possible, 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. The food is simple but good, and you can usually scrounge up an outlet if you need one.
This cult coffee chain has expanded all over the city and no matter what time you go, there will definitely be a line of girls you went to college with waiting for their mint mojito iced coffee. Mayhem aside, we love Philz because it’s one of the best places to set up shop and plow through some work. There are tables everywhere, the Wi-Fi is strong, and there are enough outlets for all of Downtown combined.
Groundwork Coffee Co.
One of LA’s most under-appreciated coffee chains, Groundwork has great locations across the city. But our choice for getting work done is their Arts District spot, solely based on how big the place is. There are long communal tables, plenty of booths, and a separate upper section where you can judge everyone from a safe distance. It can certainly get crowded and almost everyone is on their laptops, but don’t fear - there are plenty of outlets to go around.
Chimney’s location might be a bit off the beaten path in Chinatown, but you’re here because parking is plentiful (and free), the space is comfortable, and you can’t deal with the Downtown crowds today. The coffee is good, and the menu is full of excellent snacks if you get hungry while crying into your laptop.
Highland Park & Pasadena
You’ll walk in to Jameson Brown in Pasadena thinking that your career is going well - after all, you’re not at the office right now! - and walk out ready to become a coffee importer. Because they roast all their own beans in full view of the dining room, which is not only inspirational, but a great distraction from work when you need one. There are plenty of outlets to plug into, and the Wi-Fi is super reliable. The room is huge, and nearly always full, but we’ve always managed to find a place to post up with our laptops.
Go Get Em Tiger is basically a chain now, with six locations from Larchmont to the Arts District, but the best one for when you want to work - or to stare at the blinking cursor on your Rick and Morty spec script - is the Highland Park location. Its patio is back off the road in the same complex as Triple Beam Pizza, and though it gets crowded on weekends, it’s definitely quiet enough to get work done on weekdays.