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7 Legendary Coffee Shops In Los Angeles

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The word “city” is synonymous with coffee. Nearly every street corner in Manhattan is marked by a coffee stand, which is right down the street from a Dunkin’ Donuts, which is next to a craft coffee joint for the real espresso heads. As the second most populated city in the country, the City of Angels is just as teeming with coffee stops, whether they’re swanky coffee bars serving up the latest trends amidst the Los Angeles mansions or down-home establishments that have been around longer than most of the patrons. These are seven legendary coffee shops to keep you buzzed for a complete day of shopping, sightseeing and beaching it in LA. 

Nick’s Coffee Shop and Diner


Start your visit to LA in the Jewish Corridor between Beverly Hills and Culver City, because this is where you’ll find one of the best hole-in-the-wall coffee stops in the city -- Nick’s Coffee Shop and Diner. Fresh coffee, cheap eats, and a classic diner feel, complete with more than a hundred framed photos of Hollywood stars, makes this one of the best old-school places to fuel your day in a city that seems to grow more upscale every day. Don’t tell your friends, because this is one breakfast nook where you may not have to wait in line for several hours to taste the best omelet of your life. 

Menotti’s Coffee Stop


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When you’re looking for something a little less old-fashioned, head west to Venice. Here, you’ll find Menotti’s Coffee Stop, offering an ideal combination of skilled baristas, quality espresso, and cool quirks, like a secret menu and vinyls spinning mellow coffee shop tunes. You don’t have to be shy about ordering something complicated (they even have hemp milk for vegans), because these baristas know how to make it all, and with cute latte art on top to boot. If it’s your first visit, don’t leave without trying the Spanish latte.  

Go Get Em Tiger


It’s hard to imagine a better place to start your day than one named Go Get Em Tiger. But it’s not just the name that draws crowds of coffee lovers to this Larchmont Village and Los Feliz gem (there are now two locations). The coffee is always fresh and the mellow ambiance is perfect for easing into your day.  A case of fresh baked good is available for those on-the-go, but taking a seat and enjoying the waffle with ricotta and berries, or one of many other mouthwatering breakfast dishes, is highly recommended. Head back in the afternoon for the famous coffee milkshake. 

Nick’s Cafe


Not to be confused with Nick’s Coffee Shop and Diner, Nick’s Cafe has been a Chinatown favorite since 1948. It’s one of the most classic cafes in the city, serving up cup after cup of joe fresh out of the pot and signature dishes like ham and eggs and biscuits and gravy. Sit at the counter to soak in some local gossip and enjoy countless coffee refills. Come here looking for a classic American breakfast -- not a double skinny latte with two Stevias -- and you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and don’t forget to bring cash, because Nick’s doesn’t accept cards. 

Document Coffee Bar


Many travelers who frequent coffee shops are looking for a place to log online too. Document Coffee is a place where you’re welcome to order an espresso and sit on your laptop for hours, and you can bring your dog too. The WiFi is just as strong as the espresso, the coffee is served up quickly, and the Document Latte (sweetened with maple syrup) is a must-try. The long wooden tables are excellent for catching up on emails, and visitors aren’t given the stink eye for staying a few hours. Start your day at this locally-owned Koreatown favorite, and it is already headed in the right direction. 

Cognoscenti Coffee


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Culver City’s Cognoscenti Coffee has roots, and those roots are part of what makes this place so special. Owner Yeekai Lim earned his following with his pop-up coffee bars, which have become sought-after coffee stops throughout the city. This brick-and-mortar location is a symbol of dreams becoming reality, and you can practically taste the good vibes in his single brews and espresso. Bring some extra cash to take a bag of beans from one of Lim’s favorite roasters -- like San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee or Seattle’s Kima Coffee -- to go. 

Can’t make it to Culver City? Stop in Lim’s other locations in South Park or the Fashion District for the same affordable, world-class coffee, simple eats and fresh baked goods. 

Cafecito Organico


North Hoover Street is where you’ll find a sustainably sourced coffee joint that’s consistently favored among locals. It’s cozy, unpretentious and loaded with delicious coffee drinks and pastries. The interior is small, but the large covered patio in back will make you want to stay and chat or work for a while, especially when you see all of the adorable local pups hanging out with their owners. Bike racks are plentiful, because that’s how most of the patrons arrive, so grab two wheels and enjoy this cool neighborhood sandwiched between Silver Lake and Rampart Village. 

Coffee isn’t a difficult drink to find in the City of Angels, but with so many acclaimed coffee shops on offer, it pays to do your research and taste one of the best. From historic establishments dating back to the 40s to trendy pop-ups in up-and-coming neighborhoods, LA is giving New York City’s coffee scene a run for its money. 

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