Most people are aware of a writer’s relationship with alcohol, but as Ernest Hemingway said himself this process requires you to “Write drunk, edit sober.” As much as I agree with Hemingway, I realize this is somewhat inefficient, so I will sing the praises of another beverage that pairs well with writing: coffee.
Los Angeles is filled with aspiring screenwriters, writers, and creative-types looking for a good spot to scroll through Buzzfeed posts produce their next masterpiece. After wading through my fair share of coffees that I couldn’t pronounce and baristas with lumberjack beards named Milo, I’ve narrowed it down and here are my picks for the five best coffee shops in L.A.
- Alfred Coffee and Kitchen
8428 Melrose Place, Los Angeles
Located amongst the brick and mortars of top designers on Melrose Ave., it’s no surprise that the standard barista uniform consists of Rag + Bone. Alfred Coffee and Kitchen is trendy from its décor to the people filling the communal tables. Before you know it you know it you will be filtering photos of your Stumpton Roasters latte before cracking open your laptop. It’s an Instagram dream (most on this list are). Aside from the ambiance, the coffee is somewhat overpriced, but delicious. I highly recommend the Alfred cone. It’s a 4-ounce waffle cone dipped in milk chocolate, used as a cup for either an espresso or macchiato. But be warned that the indulgent and edible cups are $5 in addition to whatever drink you buy with.
- Verve Coffee Roasters (multiple locations)
8925 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Verve has two locations (soon to be three) in L.A. If you want to drink a coffee that looks like a stout, than you should check out Verve. A popular choice is the nitro-charged cold-brew on tap. The nitrogen gives the coffee a nice smooth froth. If you’re looking to get your daily juice fix in (as many Angelenos do), Verve’s partner Juice Served Here offers 23 varieties of juices. If you’re indecisive about which one you want, go with the Juice Flight. That’s right, a flight of nutrition and not guilt. Each location has a similar contemporary vibe, with copper countertops and rustic wood flooring. The outdoor seating area is perfect to enjoy the SoCal weather.
- Intelligentsia (multiple locations)
3922 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
What originally started in Chicago, thankfully has made its way to the West Coast. This is no Starbucks, Intelligentsia roasts its coffee beans in a gas-powered German vintage roaster from the 50s to ensure even roasting, and so it makes sense that coffee snobs from all corners of L.A. are familiar with the brand. However, the coffee lives up to the hype and is worth the additional few bucks. Maybe it’s the hip and grungy aura of Silver Lake or maybe because I saw Patton Oswalt there once, but the East Hollywood location gives off good vibes for putting your creative cap on.
- Stir Crazy
6903 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
Two words: bottomless coffee. It’s definitely not the pretentious coffee shop you would expect to find on Melrose, but in the best way possible. Stir Crazy has a mom and pop feel, with good coffee. The Wi-Fi is free and I’ve never been when it has been too crowded.
- Otus Thai Kitchen and Coffee
1253 N La Brea Ave, West Hollywood
Coffee and Thai food are an unlikely match made in heaven. Otus is relatively new in the West Hollywood neighborhood and a hidden gem. You can enjoy Tom Yum Soup with your coffee while great acoustic covers are in the background. The décor is modern and minimalistic which helps when trying to focus. If you are fan of latte art, this is your spot. You can get yourself a 3D cat made of foam in your coffee, which although doesn’t sound appetizing, take my word it is.
If you’re looking to get your caffeine fix, or looking to take a great Instagram photo of your latte, I highly recommend any of the aforementioned places.