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Feb 15, 2010 05:37 PM

Best Coffee Spots in LA?

So: I am a self-confessed addict of Cafe Luxxe on Montana Ave in Santa Monica and think it is fantastic in every possible dimension, but because I spend a lot of time studying over coffee, I'm looking to find a few new places where I can crash with my books and a really good latte. Any thoughts on what some of the truly finer coffeehouses of Los Angeles are? Bonus points if they have free internet.
Thanks a ton!!

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  1. Intelligentsia in Silver Lake or in Venice. La Mill in Silver Lake is also worth a visit. These places have coffee that's near as good as coffee gets. The food at Intelligentsia is slightly better than marginal by Chowhound standards; the food at La Mill is legitimately good. Whether you like the overall vibe of these places depends on you (the Venice and Silver Lake Intelligentsia locations feel very different).

    I'm not 100% sure Intelligentsia in Venice has WiFi, but the others do.

    1. Well, since you are mere feet so to speak from Peet's on Montana Avenue, how do you compare the lattes? Obviously Peet's has many more units than most of those competing on the higher end of the market, yet maybe not Luxxe or Intelligentsia level, but still very good.
      I find their product very very good, but I am in the Valley, so it is the best available to us.
      I have tried Intelligentsia and LA Mill and find them not up to Peet's' tastes - good, yet not as good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carter

        I drank Peet's every day for years. It's a good product. Peet's roasts beans more deeply than La Mill and Intelligentsia, using a proprietary roasting process. This creates a good flavor, but it strips the beans of nuances. For espresso or black coffee, I currently prefer the lighter, fruitier roasts at La Mill and Intelligentsia, but this took a transition period. I wouldn't be surprised if Peet's makes tastier lattes with its deeper roast. In terms of appearance, I'm sure that the staff of Peet's aren't as skilled at latte art as the staff at Intelligentsia.

      2. you HAVE to try Aroma :) there is one in the valley on ventura blvd and one on sunset: Aroma Bakery Cafe
        7373 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046-3412
        (323) 850-8120‎
        i'm not sure how close that is to you, but i *love* their coffee, i would get an iced coffee from them, its called "ice aroma" i believe. its like a blended ice coffee drink..not like many coffee places which make cold coffee drinks with ice cubes floating around and is very tasty :) good luck!

        1. btw, i just figured out that all borders stores (which include seattle's best coffee usually) have free internet *bonus* :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: tAyiiM

            When I think "truly finer coffehouses in LA," Borders and Aroma do not immediately come to mind...
            In addition to LA Mill, with their long coffee menu and complicated tableside presentations, and Intelligentsia with the award winning baristas, I would add the Fix in Echo Park for a truly great espresso and laid back atmosphere. However, given your location, I think Intelligentsia Venice is your best bet.

            1. re: tAyiiM

              While the wifi is fine, the Seattle's best coffee, a Starbux product, is not.
              One out of two.

            2. You may want to "grind" on this previous thread by Chowhound (and now LA Times paid food reviewer) Thi for a while.... ;-D>

              1 Reply
              1. re: Servorg

                Ooo thank you for directing me to this, I'll definitely check it out. And for future recommendations: yeah, no chains like Peets or Borders please.... am looking for something that's really got character and ambiance as well as great brew.