Where to Get Work Done in LAMarch 18th, 2019
If you often find yourself on the move, working remote has its perks in LA. Finding a café where the Wi-Fi is as strong as the espresso or a hotel lobby that doesn’t raise an eyebrow to the laptop crowd can be tricky in a new city. In fact, it took more than a few false starts to locate our favorite out-of-office offices, but the ones we landed on are coffee shop gold. So settle in, order a cup of wake-up call, and clear your inbox in the most civilized of ways.
Deus Ex Machina
1001 Venice Blvd., Venice | 888.515.3387
It’s easy to miss Deus when driving down Lincoln Boulevard as it looks like a garage—albeit a pretty slick one—rather than a sweet coffee shop. This is fitting, since you can buy a custom-made motorcycle, a leather jacket, and a latte in one fell swoop. Seating is limited, but the outdoor communal table and indoor charmingly lived-in couch, coupled with an awesome soundtrack, get the job done.
1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.663.4441
It’s fitting that LAMILL is set up on Silver Lake Boulevard, i.e., the epicenter of LA’s freelance culture. Grab a table in the dining room, which, with its leather banquette, artsy wallpaper, and glitzy chandeliers, looks like it belongs to a fancy restaurant rather than a coffee shop. There’s a full menu of toasts, soups, and salads as well as an oft-replenished fresh pastry case. Baked goods and décor aside, the quality of the coffee (roasted on-site) comes first. Stop by the tiny gift shop next door if you’re in need of a last-minute hostess gift.
3922 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.663.6173
Intelligentsia is really the quintessential hipster LA coffee shop—and we get why. Tables and bar seats are usually available at all the well-designed locations, and there’s a smattering of great baked goods as well as some home goods for sale. At both the Venice and Silver Lake locations, the outlets are as abundant as the man buns. There’s also an outpost in Pasadena.
Brentwood Country Mart
225 26th St., Brentwood
This 1950s old-time country mart got a renovation and restoration about a decade ago. Home to a spate of great boutiques (Jenni Kayne, Turpan, Broken English, adorable kids store Poppy), it wins huge points with little ones for its interior food court, where you’ll find the world’s best chicken (Reddi Chick), burgers (Barney’s), and tacos (Frida). There’s also an old-school candy shop (Edelweiss), an ice cream parlor (Sweet Rose Ice Cream), a bookstore (Diesel), a toy store (Toy Crazy), and a mini carousel. We, however are addicted to the delicious salads and seared salmon at the mart’s restaurant. Always buzzing at lunch, the space grows quiet in the early afternoon and is a hidden gem for for a relaxed glass of wine and, in the absence of a friend, your computer for company as you blast through a stuffed inbox.
4334 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Dinosaur distinguishes itself from a bounty of good coffee in the neighborhood with its design-minded space. Designed by MASS Architects, everything about it is well-considered, from the Scandinavian stools to the fin-shaped sculpture above the counter, which also displays the menu. The attention to detail also spills over into the coffee, which is fully up to Silver Lake hipster standards.
2150 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Judging by the droves of locals who come out to newly opened Bar Bandini on a nightly basis, the dimly lit, refreshingly underdesigned spot met a very obvious need for a chill—but just romantic enough—neighborhood watering hole. The owners earned their stripes working in the food industry in both NYC and LA and wanted to focus on all-natural and organic wines, which they source almost exclusively in-state and serve on tap (the craft beer selection is also worth exploring). It’s all supported by a menu of bar snacks (the Sicilian olives are bomb) and small plates of cured meats and local cheeses.
Alfred Tea Room
705 N Alfred St., West Hollywood | 323.592.3465
Regulars have always loved Alfred’s coffee shops for their design-conscious interiors, but the tea room (around the corner from Moon Juice on Melrose Place) is downright indulgent, aesthetically speaking. The teensy space is tiled floor-to-ceiling in a soothing, feminine millennial pink, with gold finishes and one of Alfred’s signature cheeky neon signs, explaining “tea, yes! you, maybe!” The menu here specializes in tea; in addition to matcha (which you get at any Alfred location), there’s a lengthy list of loose-leaf and several flavors of boba, which are made from scratch. P.S. Coffee junkies, don’t panic, the original location with a full coffee menu is just across the street.
3900 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.375.5370
LA has plenty of places that can keep caffeine cravings in check, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t psyched when Philly staple La Colombe finally made it west. It occupies what used to be Café Casbah at Sunset Junction, but the space has been completely reimagined. The café is bookended by two open-air areas: The back is sheltered and quiet for those looking to settle in for the long haul; the front overlooks the main drag and is filled with tree-trunk-like stools and tables perfect for people-watching. Breaking the LA trend of serving everything in some kind of ceramic, the coffee is served in porcelain cups and saucers. If you’re in a rush, the East Coast transplant has you covered: The fridge inside is packed with cold-press.
Standing Egg Coffee
2833 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake | 323.407.6998
Not everyone likes drip coffee, and a good espresso-based brew is not something to be taken for granted. Standing Egg, one of the new cafés in Silver Lake, gets it. The space is sparse—polished stone walls and floors with a few plants in the corners. The baristas are enthusiastic, always keen to make your coffee just as you like it (and like it we do). The gluten-free doughnuts are excellent, the complimentary water is always ice-cold, and the old-school record player in the corner plays the Rolling Stones at 7 a.m. daily.
1412 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park | 213.568.3827
By day, this Echo Park hangout is a café where patrons curl up on leather sofas with books and laptops, sipping coffee and ordering salads packed with veggies and grains or comforting bowls of tomato soup with toasted sourdough. Once early evening hits, though, it transforms into a jam-packed bar and restaurant, where locals stop in for the popular happy hour and huge cocktail list.
1716 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park | 213.413.3733
Stories is Echo Park’s much-loved local bookstore, but what most people don’t realize is that behind all the books is a tiny café (and a good one, at that). We love escaping here for the quiet—the stacks and stacks of haphazardly arranged tomes soak up all the street noise. The tables are filled with other studious folks tapping away on computers or reading through screenplays, so there’s not much chatter. You can sit here for hours munching through the pastry selection without being disturbed.