#cafeyvrinLA Winter 2015

Los Angeles is home to a diverse group of neighbourhoods with many of them in a state of flux but you can usually find a local cafe at the heart of it trying to create a bridge between long time residents and newcomers.

Coffee wise you will find a lot of roasters that you can find being served around Vancouver, but it's interesting to see the Southern California weather reflected in the drinks and spaces. And along with the independent cafes you an find the big guys well represented with Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia, Stumptown and Verve which boast some of the nicest designed spaces in the city.

While not a "best of" list these cafes are probably excellent starting points for a coffee crawl or exploring a new corner of the city.



Bar Nine | barnine.us | 3515 Helms Ave, Culver City

Blacktop Coffee | blacktop.la | 826 East 3rd St, Arts District

Civil Coffee | civil-coffee.com | 5629 N Figueroa St, Highland Park

G&B Coffee | gandbcoffee.com | C-19, 317 S Broadway inside the Grand Central Market, Downtown

go get em tiger | ggetla.com | 230 N Larchmont Blvd, Larchmont Village

Menotti's Coffee Stop | menottis.com | 56 Windward Ave, Venice Beach

Paramount Coffee Project | pcpfx.com | 456 N Fairfax Ave, Fairfax


Bar Nine

We care a lot about making people happy. Everything that has been set up here, the way we brew coffee, the low bar, a lot of reliance on machines to automate the process, is so that we can make eye contact, have great conversation and connect over something that we’re excited about.
— Zayde Naquib/FoodGPS

Bar Nine is a forward thinking roaster and cafe that set up shop in Culver City using solar power and limiting their use of paper cups by serving to-go drinks in major jars. And this January they made the switch to a no tip policy in the cafe to give their baristas a higher living wage. Bar Nine's space is also home to one of the more photogenic Modbar setups cleanly mounted on a natural wood countertop. The Bar Nine's huge warehouse space is also regularly opened up the community with food trucks, cuppings and other events.

Coffee: Bar Nine

Keywords: roaster, industrial, modbar, community

Design: Designed in-house

Nearby: Cognoscenti Coffee


Since the beginning, I’ve always wanted a little 200 foot espresso bar. Something truly European, where people can stop in and have a drink, a little two minute bright spot in their day, and go on to whatever’s next.
— Tyler Wells/LA Weekly

Blacktop Coffee marked the return of Tyler Wells to the LA coffee scene after working as a general manager at  Intelligentsia and then later asco-founder of Handsome Coffee Roasters. A small coffee bar in the Arts District they have a straight forward mission at Blacktop to bring good coffee to the neighbourhood. The 240-square feet coffee bar has no seating inside but like most LA cafes they make great use of their outdoor space with patio seating. The original Handsome roastery was located nearby which is now home to Blue Bottle which purchased the company in 2014.

Coffee: Sightglass Coffee

Keywords: coffee bar, heath ceramics, patio, anaglypta

Designer: Kellie Patry

Nearby: Blue Bottle Arts District, Cafe Dulce, Stumptown Arts District


LA Weekly: Blacktop: Tyler Wells' New Coffeehouse, and Why He Left Handsome

Garrett Leight California Optical: Blacktop Coffee


Civil Coffee

It is a very special space and difficult to find one of this size and style in Los Angeles. The space speaks coffee bar! It was a completely empty space so we knew it would need a build out from ground up and going to take some work, but we could not let this opportunity pass and we jumped on it.
— Alex Morales/Sprudge

After working at Handsome Coffee and later a popup coffee iteration of Civil Coffee the Morales brothers have taken the huge step of opening their own cafe. Located inside an old heritage storefront in Highland Park they've created a stunning space for the neighbourhood fitted with Mexican tile and stone marble with no detail overlooked in the design from the branding to the furniture.

Coffee: Coava Coffee and Heart Coffee Roasters

Keywords: tile, figueroa, eagle, walnut & mirror

Designer: Charisse Cardenas (interior), Jessica Booth (branding)

Nearby: Look for Verve to open a new cafe in Highland Park soon. Over in Echo Park and Silver Lake you can find Andante Coffee, Blue Bottle, Dinosaur Coffee and Intelligentsia Coffee.


Sprudge: Build-Outs Of Summer: Civil Coffee In Los Angeles, California

Typical Mag: Civil Coffee


G&B Coffee and go get em tiger

Most coffee bars have fallen into this place of being full of people but it’s dead silent. It’s eerie. That’s not what we’re looking for with this. It’s the coffee shop as facilitator. The space itself and the people working in it are making it happen. Having face time and conversations, people are meeting each other over some mutual interaction with the baristas.
— Kyle Glanville/LA Magazine

The product of Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville you can find the G&B Coffee in Downtown Los Angeles while their second cafe sits over in the more secluded Larchmont Park. While you'll find similar coffee menus at both cafes (with a larger food program at go get em tiger) both are worth visiting. The recently remodeled G&B bar inside the Grand Central Market brings an order anywhere bar service model.

Coffee: Rotating menu featuring 49th Parallel Coffee, Heart Coffee, Ritual Coffee Roasters and Roseline Coffee

Keywords: bar service, grand market, buddy shot, order anywhere, astronaut

Designer: Ricki Kline (G&B Coffee), Joe Wedding (go get em tiger)

Nearby: G&B Coffee: Cafe Dulce, COFFEE Colab, Verve Coffee DTLA


Understanding that, when I see somebody like Espresso Vivace baristas, who not only take the time to know your drink order, but care about the book that you’re reading, or the movie you just saw. That inspires me, because that’s what’s fostering the community, that they care above and beyond just charging you or giving you a cup of coffee.
— Christopher Abel Alameda/FoodGPS

Just standing in line to order a drink at and seeing Christopher Abel Alameda talking with customers it quickly became apparent this visit to Menotti's Coffee Stop would be one of the highlights of my trip. From the name Menotti's which pays homage to the old owner of the building built in 1915 with a bar and later a speakeasy in the basement. You can also drop by every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM for a public cupping at the cafe.

Coffee: Four Barrel Coffee

Keyword: Cesar, boardwalk, nicely, secret menu

Design: Chapple Design

Nearby: Blue Bottle Coffee Abbot Kinney, Intelligentsia Coffee Venice, Superba Food + Bread


For me, going out and getting in line for a cup of coffee is very foreign because I wouldn’t get back in line to have that second coffee. [Australians] are all about having a cup of coffee, sitting down, and showing up.
— Mark Dundon/LA Magazine

Located in another changing neighbourhood of Los Angeles you will find Paramount Coffee Project which brings the best of Sydney cafes to the city with good food paired along with coffee offerings from around the world. The interior of the cafe is amazing mixing green square tiles with precast concrete blocks while the back of the cafe opens up onto a stylish patio. Founded by the people behind cafes/roasters Reuben Hills and Seven Seeds Coffee in Australia they have a welcoming space that got started with the Paramount Coffee Project cafe in Sydney which is a reference to their space in the old Paramount Pictures headquarters.

Coffee: Rotating menu featuring 49th Parallel Coffee, Copa Vida, Elm Coffee, Everyday Coffee, Heart Coffee, Seven Seeds, Small Batch Coffee

Keyword: sydney, vegemite, brunch, mcparamount, tableside

Design: Alana Cooke (interior), We Buy Your Kids (graphic)

Nearby: Blue Bottle Beverly Grove, Verve Coffee 3rd Street, Verve Coffee Melrose


Lawrence Lee