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Photo from Cafe Demitasse

Matador community expert Juliet C. Obodo picks 10 of her favorite Los Angeles cafes, all featured in her upcoming book, Writer’s Retreat Los Angeles – A Travel Guide for Writers, Bloggers & Students.

AS A WRITER I pretty much exist between two worlds at once: the “real” world, and my imagination. But I still need somewhere to work. These 10 cafes in LA range from the high-end to the homely to the chic. They all offer great drip coffee and espresso, and you won’t get any dirty looks when you bring out your laptop.

1. Bourgeois Pig

I love to go here if I land in the city after 10pm, or if it’s the middle of the week and I’m not in the mood to swig beer and take shots. The Bourgeois Pig is open till the wee hours — which isn’t that common in LA — and although it’s in a popular location, it never gets too noisy. There’s a pool table in the back room which is decked out like an enchanted forest and is watched over by a stuffed owl. The kitchen is open late too, and the Rotisserie Chicken Panini makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

5931 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-6008

2. The Cow’s End Café

Normally I go to cafes to work whilst drinking a latte, and I’ll eat elsewhere. But I love the sandwiches at The Cow’s End and would rather eat a sandwich there than at a restaurant or deli. There’s a study lounge upstairs that’s nice and cozy to work in.

34 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292

3. Café Audrey

Named after Audrey Hepburn, Café Audrey is a great place to work during the day. It’s bright and cheery and they don’t blast the air conditioning. It’s a chic set-up, not just the usual tabletops and benches, and there’s a section with overstuffed chairs where you can relax with your drink or reread your manuscript for the umpteenth time. The afternoon crowd consists of locals and not a lot of tourists.

They all offer great drip coffee and espresso, and you won’t get any dirty looks when you bring out your laptop.

6701-B Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 465-5359

4. Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea

As a coffee enthusiast and frustrated barista, I always stop by Intelligentsia. It’s in every hipster travel guide, including my own, but there’s a good reason it sets the bar for other indie coffee shops: they offer freshly roasted coffee, perfectly noted cappuccinos, and a knowledgeable staff. I prefer the Sunset Boulevard location as it’s smaller and most of the customers do carry-out, leaving the tables for me and my mobile office.

3922 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 663-6173

5. Handsome Coffee Roasters

The menu at Handsome Coffee Roasters is for purists: coffee, espresso, or espresso and milk. Their lattes are made with Clover whole milk, and are so sweet and frothy that you don’t need sugar — which is good, because they don’t offer any. Their latte art, however, is Instagram-worthy.

There’s a see-through glass that provides a peek of the roasting room, and don’t be intimidated by the sleek décor and the models-slash-baristas: they’re very friendly and will teach you the ways of the bean. There also isn’t any WiFi, but that’s what is so great about this place. It’s my choice spot if I’m downtown and need a place to stop, take a well-prepared latte, and jot down some notes while avoiding a sugar high.

582 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(323) 606-3593


K-town is known for its cafes, and DRIP is worth taking the trouble to find. The prices aren’t high, the food is delicious, and they offer free parking. Because of this, many of the patrons are students, and the ambience is library meets downtown museum.

3525 W 8th St
Ste 203
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(818) 521-7338

7. Demitasse

The first time I saw Demitasse I was a bit blue about having to postpone a trip to Europe, but after walking in here that all went away. Their espresso machine is a thing of beauty. They offer all the usual café fare and they do it well, with smooth espressos and yummy sandwiches. But they also have items that you can take home and brag about. “Oh you’ve never had an oatmeal latte? Well, when I was in LA…”

“Oh you’ve never had an oatmeal latte? Well, when I was in LA….”

135 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-9300

8. Stir Crazy Coffee Shop

Stir Crazy is one of my favorite places to hunker down if I have a deadline. They offer bottomless cups of coffee, comfortable seating, and great service, meaning you just have to worry about the words.

6903 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 934-4656

9. Coffee Commissary

In my opinion, Coffee Commissary has hands-down the best drip coffee in LA, and is perfect for iced coffees. It’s an industrial-style space with friendly staff, and they have the most deliciously chunky chocolate chips in their cookies. If I’m not pushed for time I order two and enjoy the people-watching.

801 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 782-1465

10. Susina Bakery & Café

Susina’s has amazing combinations of cakes and teas. Pretty much everything on the menu is divine, but I think the berry blossom cake and coconut crème tea (served in a mini French press) is definitely the way to go. This is a very popular spot, but isn’t ridiculously crowded if you go early or late. They have paid WiFi, but the ambience is more conducive to note-taking and composing love letters to the boy you met at the bar last night.

7122 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-7900



About The Author

Juliet C. Obodo

Juliet C. Obodo is the author of Writer’s Retreat New York City - Best Cafes, Restaurants & Coffee Shops for Writers, Bloggers & Students and The Written in the Sky Trilogy, both available on Amazon. She is based in New York City, but travels out-of-state once a month and internationally every two months in search of the perfect cup of coffee. For more hip travel tips visit her blog Traveling*Indie*Writer*Chick.

  • Andyridgway

    There’s no mistaking their intent, but two of my favorites on the Westside managed to pull it off: Literati Cafe on Wilshire & Bundy, and Novel Cafe just off Main St. In Santa Monica. If being around readers and other writers helps inspire you, you’ll find no shortage.

  • Scottethomsen

    Ever been to Daily Dose? It’s at the top of my LA cafe list. 

  • braden

    Bricks & Scones is a must with the upstairs quiet section. Awesome drinks & food too!

  • Tim Tan

    Mandee Dee Maybe you may like to hang out in these places :-) For Tranquility & Mind stimulation.

    • Tim Tan

      @[100003812550440:2048:Manny Dee] :)

    • Mandee Dee

      Thanks for sharing but we are not coffee drinker and more on gourmet. We like your thought and ideas; idol kita. Ha ha ha

    • Tim Tan

      i’m more on the ambience :-) not necessarily the coffee.m sure there are things you can have & not fattening. & Rested mind. So be it haha…

    • Mandee Dee

      Life in America is always busy but I will once I retire in.couple of years. Excited to join the senior club ha ha ha

    • Tim Tan

      Rested mind is to RE Tire ( have a new tire) to do things that you are imagining :-) “Imagination is better than knowledge” Einstein.

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