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May 26, 2007 03:49 PM

good SFV coffeehouse to read and people watch?

I just moved to Tarzana and want to find a good coffee house to read and people watch, anywhere in tarzana, reseda, northridge, woodland hills, encino,etc. and it could be a cool little indie coffee shop or even a major chain(starbucks,etc..)as long as its good for people watching. thanks

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  1. Dupar's in Studio City. The best for people watching and the food isn't bad. Jerry's Deli (also in Studio City) isn't a coffee shop but it is still a good place to people watch.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Fru

      There's a significant difference between a coffeeHOUSE and a coffeeSHOP.

      A coffeehouse (such as Starbucks) tends to serve coffee and espresso drinks, pastries and at most a few sandwiches or salads, and they implicitly allow loitering after you've finished whatever you ordered. A coffeeshop (such as DuPar's) is a full-service restaurant, is relatively unlikely to serve espressos, cappucinos or lattes, and would probably not be happy if you sat down with your laptop and took up a table for more than forty minutes or so.

      Both are potentially good for people watching, but based on the Starbucks reference I'm going to assume AdamFoodie is looking for the latter, I haven't lived in the Valley for a while (and I've never lived west of North Hollywood) but I can recommend:

      Common Grounds in Northridge, on Reseda Blvd. near CSUN, is the only coffeehouse I'm familiar with west of the 405. Aroma, on Tujunga Ave. in Tujunga Village south of Moorpark in Studio City, is expensive and it can get crowded, but it has a great coffeehouse vibe, and it even has an attached bookstore. Lulu's Beehive, on Ventura west of Coldwater Canyon in Sherman Oaks, is probably the closest to a "pure coffeehouse" vibe in the Valley.

      1. re: maxzook

        Lulu's Beehive is a good choice. They are really nice there, have Wifi and some sandwiches and pastries. If you aren't in the mood for coffee they have some very tasty iced blended drinks like Orange Cremesicle and Chocolate Mint. It's kind of far from Tarzana though.

        I think the best of the big chain places in the area for people watching is the Starbucks in SO on Ventura at Allott. They have a huge outdoor patio that can be fun.

        1. re: Muhlyssa

          The patio at that Starbucks (on the north side of Ventura just a couple blocks east of Woodman) is smoky in the extreme. Smoky enough to make me hate walking through there to get into the store, where I do in fact meet a friend semi-regularly to drink coffee, gab and hang out for a couple hours since the interior of that store is pretty nice and the people watching is interesting. In any event, it's not especially close to Tarzana or even Encino.

        2. re: maxzook

          "There's a significant difference between a coffeeHOUSE and a coffeeSHOP"

          Gee, thanks so much for the rebuke....I guess my post is irrelevant.

          1. re: Fru

            not to be rude, but it wasn't what the OP meant. Yeah, it is kinda irrelivant. But that's OK, it offered some options.

            I often think the crowd at a coffee shop is far more varied and interesting to watch than the froo froo coffe house artsy fartsies.

            You're gonna see a lot more wildlife at Dupar's, Bobby's, Ricky's, and the like-especailly early morning or late night hours-when te weirdos shuffle in (and I can be one of them!)

            1. re: Diana

              Thank you for articulating my thoughts. It was a gut response to "people watching" and I agree with you!

          2. re: maxzook

            Common Grounds went out of business a few years ago.

            1. re: maxzook

              Unfortunately, Common Grounds has been gone for years. I used to study for my exams there when I lived in the Valley but attended USC and UCLA. The owner was chill and would let you hang for hours. I think its a scuba shop now. Across the street now is a drive-thru expresso shack. Common Grounds may have fallen victim to 2 very close Starbucks.

          3. Amore cafe in Studio City on Tujunga is awesome. so many people and really good pastries and coffee.

            1. Again, not in Tarzana, because the Peet's there is one of the only places, unless you go to Aroma Cafe and put up with its zoo conditions, but in sherman oaks is Pane Dolce on Ventura just east of Woodman, south side of the street, one block from the Starbux referred to below with the large outdoor patio.
              As to Dupars, modest people watching, yet the worst coffee, and definitely not a place to hang out, but rather to eat and go.

              1 Reply
              1. re: carter

                FWIW, I've seen David Crosby at that particular Dupars.

              2. A couple more options... Arrosto on Ventura, Paty's on Riverside, Coffee Roaster, Global Cafe, Jumpin Java, Le Pain Quotidien...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  thanks for all of the recs. I'll have to try alot of these places. I tried almost every starbucks and coffeebean from tarzana to woodland hills and all were horrible for people watching and reading. thanks

                  1. re: Emme

                    and also if anyone else has any other rec's of coffeehouses that have huge patios keep them coming. thanks. that starbucks in Sherman Oaks sounds perfect

                  2. Nowhere near Tarzana, but if you are in the Toluca Lake area, try Priscillas. Lost of tables, bright interior, outside tables, lots of industry types hanging out and writing. Nice kids working there.