Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Dec 14, 2010 04:23 PM

Best Coffee shops in Santa Monica to write/work

I'm looking for a cool coffee shop on the west side, preferably santa monica, where you can hang out and work for a few hours w/out being hasseled. Wi-fi's optional, more imporant vibe is cool. not into the super crowded, cramped Starbucks. And don't want to feed the meters all day, so hopefully someplace w/free parking if possible.. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. literati is what you are looking for

    1. I like Funnel Mill on Broadway and 10th I believe. It's been quiet and not that crowded the few times I stopped by for coffee in the middle of the day. No parking lot, but you might be able to find parking on one of the nearby residential streets.

      Funnel Mill
      930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: PandanExpress

        Definitely Funnel Mill. It is spacious with lots of tables and exceedingly comfortable leather couches. Power outlets are everywhere. Wifi is free. Usually there are lots of people there to provide ambience, but it is not crowded or cramped. There is actually free garage parking -- you enter through the alley.

        If Culver City is OK, the Conservatory is a great option. Yummy coffee; always a nice place to work. Free parking on the side street.

        Intelligentsia Venice has by far the best coffee on the West Side IMHO. Unfortunately, I think it isn't comfortable for working. Free parking along Abbot Kinney or residential streets.

        Novel Cafe on Lincoln near Ocean Park is worth a try -- decent all around, lots of people working there. Residential street parking and a small parking lot IIRC.

        Flying Saucers at Pico and Third is also worth a try. It has the best food of all these places (they get their baked items from Le Pain du Jour), and pretty good coffee. The staff are super nice. My beefs are that the Wifi never seems to work and it's cramped inside -- not a good room layout for a coffee shop. Free parking lot in back.

        Funnel Mill
        930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA

      2. I work from home, which actually means I work from a coffee shop everyday. I have been on the hunt for the best coffee shops on the Westside, as I just moved to Santa Monica. My best suggestion, considering what you are looking for, would be 18th Street Coffee House. They don't have wifi, but they do have a parking lot in the back. I love the atmosphere of this cafe; it has a great vibe. There are booths, small tables, large tables, and a beautiful outdoor patio, so plenty of seating options. The drinks are pretty good, too.

        In response to the other posts:
        I haven't been to Funnel Mill yet, but they do get good reviews, and I hope to try them soon. I hear they are VERY pricey though.
        I feel that Intelligentsia is overpriced and agree with the reviewer that it's not a comfortable place to work.
        The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa in Culver City is one of my favorites. They do have free parking in the back. However, they don't have wifi, and it's usually really crowded and hard to find a seat. I don't think it would be ideal for working.
        I haven't been to the Novel Cafe on Lincoln, but I have been to the one on Main St. The coffee's not exceptional, but there is plenty of seating inside and out and you could work for hours. You can find 2 hour parking on the street behind it.
        I agree 100% with the other reviewer about Flying Saucers. It's cute but not ideal for what you want.

        Lastly, if you want to go for a little drive, here are two other options: Coffee Commissary in West Hollywood and Bricks and Scones in the Larchmont area of LA. Coffee Commissary has AMAZING lattes (I loved their iced nonfat vanilla latte), and a modern, loft-style feel to it. There is seating inside and out, free wifi, and they have free parking in back. Bricks and Scones is large, but still manages to be cozy and quaint. They have couches, arm chairs, and tables upstairs and downstairs. They also have a nice garden-like patio out front. There is free wifi and free parking in back. Their drinks are really strong (I wasn't a huge fan), but there pastries look delicious.

        Hope this helps. I have a coffee blog that you can follow if you are interested: and you can also follow on Twitter @coffeeandboba.

        18th Street Coffee House
        1725 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404

        Coffee Commissary
        801 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        3 Replies
        1. re: khusted

          i adore Funnel Mill. yes, it's expensive, but it's also some of the best coffee & tea in town, the employees are really sweet, and it's quiet & comfortable. the one drawback is that seating is really limited, so if you don't get there at the right time you're SOL.

          i don't understand how people get any work done at the Conservatory - i was just there for the first time the other day, and found it way too cramped & loud for my taste.

          Funnel Mill
          930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Some people like cramped and loud for working. My favorite place to work away from the office is Intelligentsia Silver Lake, because it's so cramped and loud. I find it (and the coffee) energizing.

            As for Intelligentsia being overpriced -- perhaps. But, IMO, it's only overpriced compared to Spring for Coffee downtown (which is at least 33% cheaper for similar quality). There are very few places in LA that serve what I'll call "winey" drip coffee, with prominent fruit and floral flavors. None of the other places in this thread qualifies.

            1. re: sushigirlie

              different strokes...which is why it's nice that we have options. i'm already ADD, so a noisy place with too many distractions just exacerbates the problem and makes it impossible for me to focus. i can't even listen to music that has lyrics when i'm trying to get some writing done at home.

        2. This is a daily/nightly event at any location of the Novel Cafe's.

          Novel Cafe
          212 Pier Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          Novel Cafe
          2901 Ocean Park Blvd Ste 125, Santa Monica, CA 90405