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Best SANTA MONICA cafes or coffee shops to chill?

I need to find a cafe or coffee shop (NOT STARBUCKS) where I can relax for a few hours, read, study, chill, etc.

Good coffee/pastries/sandwiches a plus! Relaxing environment.

Any place near Colorado Ave & 26th? I'm willing to walk a bit if necessary.

Thanks, Hounds!

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  1. There are art galleries and a café at Bergamot Station (approx .25 mile from 26th/Colorado)
    http://www.bergamotstation.com/

    Took the liberty of searching for coffee on MQ
    UnUrban is non-SB coffee that I've been to that is chill and has food is about one-mile-ish from 26th /Colorado

    Unurban
    3301 Pico Blvd.
    310-315-0056

    http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?...

    1 Reply
    1. There is a small, cute coffee shop on Broadway somewhere between 16th and 20th. Also on Ocean park between 16th and 17th is the talking stick... another coffeshop on ocean park is on the corner of 18th.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bern1

        The 18th Street Cafe on Broadway is a good suggestion.

        Believe it or not, the patio at the Coffee Bean on Wilshire near 10th (I think) is a great place to chill. They have a fireplace and everything.

      2. Not too close to Colorado & 26th, but it IS Santa Monica :)

        Panera Bread on Wilshire & 5th
        fantastic soups and sandwiches
        And they have 100% absolutely completely FREE wireless internet access

        http://www.panerabread.com/

        1. In grad school I used to study at Literati Cafe on Wilshire (& Bundy - next to Ralphs) - really good sandwiches, soups, lattes and cappucinos! Tasty desserts too.

          http://www.literaticafe.com/

          Parking can be difficult since they expanded, I think it's $2 to valet now. Not in SM, but worth the trip!

          1. The Santa Monica main library is a very short blue bus ride away (the #1 is really frequent).
            The library is pretty great and if you don't care for the in library cafe, you can always walk across the street to the smoothie cafe that has great wraps, or any number of other little spots in the area. Free reliable wireless (ethernet and plugs as well) and private study rooms too. 7th and Santa Monica.

            1. Balcony Cafe at the corner of Santa Monica and Centinela is also very close to you...

              1. Does anyone know if Amandine "allows" this? I'd hang out there in a second, but staying for hours would be deadly to my waistline... Everything I've tried here is absolutely amazing...

                Amandine Patisserie
                12225 Wilshire Blvd
                LA, CA 90025
                310-979-3211
                Closed Mondays =(

                2 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I recently discovered Amandine, which is freakin' amazing (and adding inches to my waistline, too). Banana chocolate danish, miroir danish, almond croissant, brioche...drool. One practical consideration that might stop me from lingering -- the seating isn't the most comfortable that I've found.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    My very first bite from a croissant created by the magic of Amandine became a zen experience. From that point on, everything around me was shut out and all I could do was to become one with that buttery crescent sent from the stars. I could have been sitting on a jagged rock and probably wouldn't have noticed... If you are able to work your way past the baked goods, try their cakes, tarts, and cheesecakes. I have yet to run into one that didn't meet a quick but painless demise at my hands.

                2. I got to pimp the Balcony. Individually brewed cups and a relaxed environment for chilling out. Live music one night a week or so; other than that great for reading/studying.

                  Balcony
                  12431 Rochester Ave Los Angeles
                  CA 90025 (310) 820-6916

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Noclue

                    I suggest Back on Broadway. Food is good, healthy..service is warm and friendly. Definitely a place to chill for a few hours. No-one will rush you. It's close by on Broadway, around 20th street.