It doesn’t matter if you’re a coffee snob or caffeine rookie, breaking free of the mega-chains that seemingly monopolize the java industry can be an exciting way to expand your espresso palette.
When you support an independent coffee shop, you’re not only helping out a local business, but also getting the quality and care that make these spots so popular. Oftentimes, independent shops are known for paying extra special attention to their product sourcing (which means fair trade coffee beans—woohoo!) while creating an atmosphere perfectly tailored to their surroundings. So read on for some top rated Socal-based independent coffee shops that will satisfy all your coffee cravings!
Located in the heart of Long Beach’s East Village Arts District, Berlin Bistro serves up the perfect blend of bold brews and healthy cuisine. Whether you’re stopping by for a to-go drink (they have Stumptown nitro cold brew on tap) or sitting down for a full course meal, (their vegan options are definitely to be taken note of), this coffee shop/cafe has options that will satisfy your caffeine cravings any time of day. Red brick, natural light and wooden decor curate a fresh and creative atmosphere ideal for a coffee date or work space.
Recommended drink: Peanut butter mocha
The perfect blend of leisurely atmosphere and dependable drinks, Coffee for Sasquatch, markets itself as “a sanctuary away from the LA hustle where you can be yourself and enjoy premium coffee and bites.” This unconventional spot, located right on Melrose, features a larger-than-life yeti art piece that is undoubtedly Insta-worthy. Their menu is simple and to-the-point, featuring caffeine classics like a pour-over and cortado (as well as a sprinkle of not-so-classics like a tea-gato).
Recommended drink: Matcha latte
Your friendly Los Angeles coffee/boba/tea shop, Supa has something for everyone. Boasting “thoughtfully sourced” coffee, their beans are roasted in small batches on Whidbey Island (right off the coast of Seattle, WA). This joint is known for colorfully concocted drinks with names referencing some timeless celebs including ‘The Kobe’ (Sparkling rose lemonade) and ‘Dr. Dre’ (Supafly iced latte). Luckily, their drinks are more than just aesthetically pleasing. This is definitely a coffee shop that brings back returning customers because their drinks are just that good.
Recommended drink: Supa+ (Drip coffee with butter and coconut oil)
If you’re one to enjoy the simpler things in life, then Simply Coffee in Burbank, CA is a must-visit. This Socal hot spot promises a community-driven specialty coffee bar complete with fair trade coffee beans from the popular Stumptown Coffee Roasters. According to the glowing Yelp reviews, Simply Coffee baristas are known for being laid-back and non-judgmental (ideal for coffee newbies and aficionados alike). Customers have the option to make themselves at home at an indoor table or cozy up on their outdoor patio. Either way, Simply Coffee offers a comfortable environment that will make your experience all about the brews.
Recommended drink: Raspberry white chocolate latte
Copa Vida strives to ensure that grabbing coffee is about more than just getting caffeinated—it’s an experience. This coffee shop is a Pasadena native and offers a wide open space perfect for chatting with friends or working on homework. A hip, fast, casual, coffee-lover’s paradise, Copa Vida is a sanctuary for all those who appreciate a dependable cup of joe. And bonus: Copa Vida brings out a quarterly seasonal menu to keep customers on their toes all year long!
Recommended drink: Iced shakerato
Contrary to its name, Rubies and Diamonds is in fact not a jewelry store. It is however, home to the most delectable cup of sea salt cold brew in all of Los Angeles. While it’s no question that their coffee drinks are absolute liquid dreams, their teas don’t fall short either. An iced fennel blend will brighten up any warm day, and their hot antioxidant kukicha green tea will have you ready to take on the world. Covered in brightly painted walls, luminescent chandeliers and trendy artwork, Rubies and Diamonds might just be a Socal diamond in the rough.
Recommended drink: Sea salt cold brew