Working remotely is a way of life in LA. And while there’s no shortage of coffee shops designed specifically to let people post up with their computers, what happens when you eventually get hungry and your only option is a dried-out croissant by the register? Anger, that’s what. And that’s exactly why you should be working from a restaurant instead. While not every sit-down spot is conducive to working, the ones that are offer the same perks as a coffee shop (free wifi, all-day hours), plus way more room to spread out, and food that you actually want to eat. Here are our 17 favorites in town.
All Time is best known these days as being one of the Eastside’s quintessential dinner spots, and an excellent place to catch your favorite comedian wearing a fedora and eating cavatelli with their friends. Most people have forgotten that it also opens at 7am every day, and is an ideal spot to post up with a laptop and answer those emails you’ve been putting off. The breakfast sandwich and cheesy eggs on toast both need to be ordered, but if you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the Good Ass Salad from the dinner menu is available, too. And don’t worry, there will still be comedians in fedoras there during the daytime.
If “Getting work done” is almost - but not quite - as important as “Drinking good beer,” rest assured: You can do both at Library Alehouse. This spot on Main St. in Santa Monica has a long tap list full of hard-to-find (and excellent beers) from places like Russian River Brewing and Bruery Terreux. Head to a picnic table in the back, order a beer and one of their very good burgers, and get to work on that script you’ve been putting off.
If you need true peace and quiet to get work done, head to Bar Avalon. This criminally overlooked lunch and dinner spot in Echo Park has excellent daytime sandwiches (get the mushroom sandwich or beef tongue Reuben), comfortable seating, and a casual dining room that never gets too crowded. Bonus: They also pour wine throughout the day, in case that helps you get work done, too.
They say where you work affects how you work - so it’s a good thing you’re working at Audrey, the only restaurant in LA where you can work in the same space as Degas and Manet paintings. As you might expect, this restaurant inside the Hammer Museum in Westwood is quiet, but you probably wouldn’t expect the food to be as good as it is. We stick to the salads in the daytime, but the corn soup with Dungeness crab is also a reliable bet. Don’t be afraid to get involved with some cocktails, either - the smoky, spicy, tequila-based Audrey is our favorite.
Unlike Tartine’s original (and now closed) location at The Row DTLA, Tartine Sycamore in Hollywood is alive and well - and settling in as the casual cafe the area desperately needed. The menu is filled with solid dishes like the smoked salmon tartine and the spicy chicken sandwich, not to mention excellent pastries - the bacon and chive savory scone is our favorite. Though the space can definitely get crowded during peak lunch hours, there always seems to be a spare table open for you and your laptop.
A hotel restaurant in DTLA, Sibling Rival occupies that sweet spot between “So crowded you’re distracted the whole time” and “So quiet you can’t focus.” They’ve got big booths if you’re working with someone else, but if you’re alone, you’ll want to stick to the front lounge area - they’ve got full food service, and some especially comfortable lounge chairs for you to post up, drink your coffee, and eat an absurdly large stack of pancakes doused in hazelnut sauce and butter.
Sycamore Kitchen is open from 8am-5pm, and we’ve spent the entirety of multiple days “working” there. Because not only does Sycamore have a great, shaded patio with plenty of space for your computer and your 19 ideation notebooks, they also serve excellent breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, get the pork belly hash or the cured salmon toast. At lunch, focus on the salads: The Vietnamese chicken salad is heavy on vinegary slaw, and we would be happy eating it for lunch every day from now until forever. Or, just spend your day housing one of their remarkably great chocolate chip cookies per hour - that works, too.
Paper Or Plastik is a true all-day spot, open from 7am-10pm, which makes it the ideal spot to work in an extremely in-between part of town. This cafe has multiple levels, with both quiet corners and busy main sections of the dining room. We like the food best in the daytime, when you can get things like a smoked salmon and avocado tartine, a beer-battered fried chicken sandwich, and a surprisingly good Brussels sprouts and kabocha grain bowl, but the pasta selection at night is solid, too. Just keep in mind they have live music some nights starting at 8, which will definitely get in the way of that draft you’re trying to finish.
We’re convinced there are more WGA members at Friends & Family at any given moment than in most writers’ rooms. This daytime spot in East Hollywood is a favorite amongst Eastside writers because there’s reliable wifi and ample room for you, your MacBook, and all those pilot ideas bouncing around in your head. The wide-ranging menu, featuring everything from buckwheat pancakes to a killer a fried chicken sandwich, is another plus.
A Thai spot that’s one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets, Otus has a really fantastic breakfast menu. You can’t miss the Kai-Kata - which is the most complete breakfast set around: A little pan of sour ground pork, sweet sausage, and eggs, with grilled bread, and OJ or Thai coffee. If you want something sweeter, go for the brioche French toast, loaded with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. Most importantly for when you’re trying to get work done - they’ve got a bright, quiet space, with some communal tables and a tiny patio. It’s the perfect oasis from the chaos that’s constantly outside at Fountain and La Brea.
This West Adams neighborhood hangout has one of our favorite breakfast burritos in LA. It involves slow-cooked heirloom beans, habanero-roasted tomatoes, and escabeche pickles. They also have a truly impeccable hot sauce that they package and sell - be ready to go home with a bottle or two. The space itself is bright and super comfortable, and working in here feels like you’re being allowed to work in a supremely well-appointed artist’s workshop.
If your question is “Where should I eat in Venice?” then Superba is a good answer, no matter the time of day. They’re open from 7am-10pm during the week (11pm on weekends), and you can get great food, coffee, and even beer and wine the whole time. It’s a massive space that’s a full-service restaurant, but they won’t rush you if you feel like sitting with your laptop, eating some lunch, and then hanging out until it’s an appropriate time to start drinking rosé (probably around 4pm, when Happy Hour starts).
The Rose is one of the most polarizing restaurants on the Westside, but at least we can all agree this massive Venice spot is a great place to set up shop and work from your computer all day. The multi-concept space has both indoor and outdoor dining, a beer garden, a bakery/market, a coffee shop, and a cocktail bar, so whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s definitely a space for you. Menus vary in each area, but our move is to order some pastries and a pizza from the front bakery and head to the back patio for some Vitamin C.
Setting up a laptop and getting work done inside a fish market sounds like a nightmare we wouldn’t wish upon even our worst enemies. But Joint Eatery, the coffee shop/fish market on Ventura, proves it can - and should - be done. The bright, clean space is quite large, and the fish and coffee areas are separated by a wall, so if you don’t feel like looking at giant tunas hanging on hooks while you answer work emails, you don’t have to. But when you do get hungry, you’ll have some of the freshest seafood in The Valley a few yards away. The lobster roll and any of the smoked fish are must-orders.
Openaire is the all-day restaurant at The Line Hotel in Koreatown in the old Commissary space, and yes, it still looks like a greenhouse on a Hamptons estate. So if you need a little inspiration to finish that rom-com pilot you’ve been working on all year, this might be your place. The breakfast and lunch menus have your typical mix of omelettes, sandwiches, and bowls of granola, and most everything is pretty solid. If you’re in Koreatown and looking for a scenic spot to get some writing done, Openaire is your move.
As good of a name as The Semi-Tropic would be for Jimmy Buffett-themed bar, it turns out it makes for a good daytime cafe, too. The free-standing building off Sunset in Echo Park is 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.