10 LA Coffee Shops Where People Go To Look Cool10 spots with good coffee but better people-watching.
Coffee shops in Los Angeles serve many purposes, some of which have nothing to do with drinking coffee. Besides fueling our emotional dependency on oat milk, they can act as a stage for fashion influencers, "creative" "directors," and various friends of celebrities' friends. So whether you want to blend into a scene, simply observe it from a distance, or just avoid podcasters who wear their merch altogether, here is our guide to the city's sceney-est coffee shops and the LA archetypes who frequent them. Oh, and if you like good coffee, don't worry, these spots have that, too.
People tend to hang around Community Goods to play influencer bingo or network with other ambiguously employed people. But we get it—killing an hour at this small, cabin-like shop in Weho is pleasant, with its plentiful outdoor seating and genuinely good coffee (get the vanilla bean latte.) If you need an excuse to wear your Diesel jeans and tabi boots, premiere them here, because people dress like they're going to Apt 200 afterward.
Maru's Arts District location is the preferred neighborhood caffeine station for DJs, music producers, and overworked stylists. This minimalist cafe isn't particularly chatty or lively, but it is aesthetically pleasing, just like its clientele’s monochromatic outfits. Beige Kith sweaters act as camouflage in this muted space, but the crowd definitely wants you to notice their style choices. They’re probably scanning your outfit, too, except you can never tell because everyone has their sunglasses on. The matcha is very good
Verve's Melrose location is prime real estate for A-List celebrity sightings, but that's not what coaxes people into spending $20 on a latte and pre-packaged chia pudding. The reason Verve is a feeding ground for West Hollywoodians that love to look busy is its spacious outdoor patio. It's a popular venue for Weho power meetings, especially if you're an entertainment exec or real estate broker trying to get on reality TV. That means you’ll eavesdrop on plenty of boring conversations about work drama and bad Raya dates. The coffee, however, is still some of the city's best.
ilCaffé is attached to the Acne Studios store in DTLA, which makes total sense. They're both Scandinavian, painfully chic, and appeal to those with edgy (and expensive) tastes. This industrial cafe is full of FIDM students and chain-smoking photographers wearing vintage clothing that cost the same as a car payment. Days at ilCaffé start with espresso and Swedish cardamom buns and end with 5pm rosé and paninis on the sidewalk. If you’re looking for a cafe experience that feels like a NY club kid hang, this is it, complete with loud Downtown traffic and wafts of American Spirits blowing in your face.
Intelligentsia's Sunset Junction location is where several crowds intersect. On weekdays, this mosaic-tiled cafe in Silver Lake doubles as a workspace for screenwriters and graphic designers suffering from acute caffeine dependency. Set up shop at the counter as you furiously reply to Slack messages and order your third americano of the morning. Come weekends, there's a noticeable shift. Intelligentsia turns into the official sponsor of the Adorable Dog Olympics, where hot people who unironically wear trucker hats show up for cold brew and an excuse to show off Rico, their Shiba Inu. If you have a cute dog, and an Instagram account for them, you'll fit right in.
This Blue Bottle location is a scene by default because it's one of two specialty coffee shops in Malibu. So unless your favorite local celebrity and their entourage collect Starbucks Rewards points, they'll probably come here for a nice pour-over. There's also a subtle—emphasis on subtle—buzz on the weekends because this Blue Bottle location is inside the Malibu Country Mart. Also known as the only place in the general area with stuff going on.
If you dabble in film photography and romanticize your daily pour-over "ritual," sorry, Canyon Coffee will be your honey trap. This beautiful corner cafe in Echo Park looks like a sun-filled ceramics studio, with a warm glow pouring in like a 35mm filter. There's (uncomfortable) wooden furniture, and a vintage record player plays soft rock in the background. This effective formula appeals to all ages, too, from young graphic designers with micro bangs to Tumblr kids-turned-creative directors refueling on matcha pistachio lattes (which, by the way, are on tap).
The crowd at Coffee MCO in Koreatown tends to skew younger. Translation: USC students and hypebeasts with bleached hair. This multi-story coffee shop has tons of seating, nutty hojicha lattes, and speedy wifi for getting work done, but good luck chatting with the dude next to you who's wearing head-to-toe Palace. His Sony headphones do a great job of tuning you out. Come here to be seen and not heard, and maybe finish that work assignment that was due last week.
If you've ever wondered how many ways Uniqlo pleated trousers can be worn, check out the crowd at Laveta. Most everyone at this concrete cafe in Hi-Fi dresses like a style influencer: chunky sneakers, baggy hoodies, and cool sunglasses with no UV protection (check out Laveta's Instagram, which showcases their favorite fits with #OOTD). Beyond fashion, Laveta offers creamy ube lattes that aren't too sweet, sweeping views of Downtown, and a fried chicken sandwich with apple slaw that warrants turning a coffee stop into a proper sit-down lunch.
Reading Stereoscope's menu feels like perusing tax documents: there's a lot of fine print that makes your head hurt. But this sleek spot in Echo Park is Eden for coffee snobs and designers who get real type-A about pour-overs. The coffee here is truly fantastic, and you can try to fit in by pretending you taste notes of peonies and cola in your brew. Don't forget your laptop, though. Every beanie-wearing customer is plugged into Adobe XD. So, even if you know nothing about UI/UX, try to look busy.