Have you heard? Nobody works in LA. One of the more tired stereotypes of our city has long been confused with the fact that our city does work, we just don’t do it in office buildings. Whether you’re a writer, an entrepreneur, or an actor who just realized there’s a typo on your resume, getting work done in coffee shops is a way of life in Los Angeles. But not all of them are created equal. Sure, they might have great coffee, but you need wifi that actually works and some seating that won’t throw your back out after an hour. Here are the 19 best coffee shops to actually get some work done - organized by neighborhood.
If you’ve ever typed something into a laptop while in Los Angeles, you probably did it at Coffee Commissary. The coffee chain has developed into probably the most well-liked place to write and get work done in the city, and while its Fairfax location can be an all-out mob scene, the Culver location is far more relaxed. It has an industrial vibe, but that keeps you from getting too cozy and taking naps. There are outlets aplenty.
It should come as no surprise that Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade has very little in the way of real coffee shop options, but The Refinery is pulling its weight. The place isn’t big and seats can be tough to come by at times, but the coffee and laid back feel inside are worth waiting for somebody to get up.
Mar Vista is one of those neighborhoods you’re always driving through, but never know where you can stop and do some work before your next appointment. There is, and it’s Coffee Connection. There’s nothing particularly special about the coffee and snacks here, but their back courtyard is as ideal a place to get an hour of work done as it gets.
If you’re in the market to walk amongst designer motorcycles and surfboards and then plop down and finish that powerpoint for tomorrow, Deux Ex Machina is your holy grail. There’s no doubt this cafe/art gallery/ode to the sensitive bro in Venice is a strange spot, but when they’re serving Handsome Coffee Roasters, solid food, and have an oddly serene back patio, it all comes together.
Despite being steps from UCLA’s campus, Espresso Profeta in Westwood is surprisingly void of lawless undergrads. All their drinks are very reasonably priced, and you by no means will be the only person with a laptop there. They have a nice back patio, but our preference is the bright interior space. Be warned there are absolutely zero outlets. Plan accordingly.
Bourgeois Pig has all the requisite couches and scattered tables and chairs to make it an ideal space to get some work done in. They’re even open till 2am every night, in case you’re one of those people. But the real reason you come to Bourgeois Pig is for that magical back room. Decorated like some sort of magical Hobbit forest for unemployed improv actors, if you can’t get creatively inspired while sitting inside the trunk of a tree, we can’t help you.
Insomnia might be the only spot on this list solely created for people to write in. Located on Beverly Blvd., wifi is free with a purchase, there are more outlets than they know what to do with, and they even play opera music most of the day (hopefully you’re into that). The coffee is fine and if you get hungry, the lovely couple who run the place will throw a sandwich together for you. But that’s inconsequential - you’re here to get work done and so is everyone else.
It’s fairly impossible not to fall in love with Bricks & Scones. The free-standing building on Larchmont is actually massive and feels like the lake house of that professor you used to have sexual tension with. There’s a great back patio if you’re looking to soak up some Vitamin D, but our move is the secluded second floor where you can stretch your legs out for several hours and not even realize it. There’s free wifi, easy street parking, lots of outlets, and most importantly, scones.
Verve’s best feature is the fact that it’s smack in the center of the city and the chances of you driving past it at some point this week with an hour to kill are strong. It’s also a big, bright space with plenty of seating, a great patio, good coffee, and snacks for when you get hungry. Just know you might have to scout for an outlet.
Dialog is a family-run operation right off the Sunset Strip, and it’s the kind of place you always forget about, but then remember it’s exactly what you want when you need to get sh*t done. The atmosphere is low-key and unintimidating, and their breakfast burrito is killer. Come charged up - there aren’t any outlets.
Over in Echo Park, Eightfold doesn’t look like much on the outside, but they’ve developed a fairly rabid following for their coffee. And despite it’s bare bones interior it’s surprisingly unpretentious and welcoming, and for such a small space, they utilize it well with small tables and plenty of outlets. Warning for late-night workers: They close at 5pm.
As good of a name as The Semi Tropic would be for a gay bar, it turns out it makes for a good coffee shop too. The free-standing building off Sunset in Echo Park is actually pretty large, with plenty of couches and sitting areas to set up shop, and solid food for when you get hungry (the avocado toast is actually worth it). There’s also a full bar for when you need some liquid motivation to get through that project.
Silverlake Coffee is a no-frills, family-run operation with an excellent back patio, seating inside with outlets, and Hawaiian bread sliders you’re going to need in your life. Even more importantly: parking in the back. There’s always a sea of laptops too, so no need to fear being tech-shamed by the baristas if you don’t move all afternoon.
Is this the best coffee in LA? Who the f*ck knows, but it’s certainly delicious. And if that’s a critical detail for you in getting as much work done as possible, head to this Silver Lake cafe immediately. The place is certainly more of a restaurant than an all-day hang, but come here any day of the week and you’ll see plenty of laptops. The food is simple but good, and you can usually scrounge up an outlet if you need one.
This cult coffee chain has expanded all over the city recently and no matter what time you go, there will definitely be a line of girls you went to college with waiting for their mint mojito iced coffee. Mayhem aside though, we love Philz because it’s one of the best places to set up shop and plow through some work. There are tables everywhere, the wifi is strong, and there are enough outlets for all of downtown combined.
Located a block down from the Ace Hotel on Broadway, Mega Bodega popped up out of nowhere and gave the neighborhood a sleek new coffee shop and chill space to get some work done. There are only about four tables and some weird white cubes you can sit on, but the place never gets so swamped you can’t find a seat. Another bonus: they take beer just as seriously as coffee here.
One of LA’s most under-appreciated coffee chains, Groundwork has great locations across the city. But our choice for getting work done is their Arts District spot, solely based on how big the place is. There are long communal tables, plenty of booths, and a separate upper section where you can judge everyone from a safe distance. It can certainly get crowded and almost everyone is on their laptops, but don’t fear - there are plenty of outlets to go around.
Chimney’s location might be a bit off the beaten path in Chinatown, but you’re here because parking is plentiful (and free), the space is comfortable, and you can’t deal with the downtown crowds today. The coffee is good, and the Hokkaido brick toast is an excellent snack while you cry into your laptop for the fourth day in a row.