Southern Californians (or “So-Cals”) may have a reputation for taking life at a leisurely pace, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a quick dose of caffeine to jumpstart the day. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to grab an iced soy latte (no sugar) before heading out to explore the city.

From its start in Santa Cruz, Verve has blossomed into a coffee chain across California—they’ve even got three stores in Japan! In L.A., there are a few locations to choose from. Our favourite is the one on Melrose Avenue with its spacious, bright and welcoming interior. Squeeze in some work, or some people-watching (behind sunglasses, of course), while you’re here.

Dinosaur Coffee

Having ample space in a cafe is one of key things we look for when we want to hang out with a group of friends. With undulating wooden boards hanging from the ceiling, custom-molded tiles, and a cute stegosaurus logo to boot, Dinosaur Coffee is a place as fun as it sounds.

Intelligentsia Silver Lake

A veritable institution in the hipster enclave of Silver Lake, Intelligentsia arguably launched the third-wave coffee trend in Los Angeles. The gourmet brews here are still as excellent as ever, so enjoy a cappuccino before you head out to explore the neighborhood.

Document Coffee

The vibes at Document Coffee can be a bit funky, but if that’s your thing, then read on. Prepare yourself for some unorthodox lighting...imagine plastic buckets, repurposed as light fixtures, hanging from the ceiling. The long tables at Document Coffee make it ideal for a morning or afternoon of spreading out while you knock off some of those e-mails that are still marked as unread.


This local chain is the place to go for serious coffee-holics. Cognoscenti offers a dizzying array of beans, sourced from all over the country, all roasted to perfection so you’ll be able to find just what you’re looking for. The Culver City branch, the most popular of them all, is the place to go.