Not Your Average Cup of Joe

As an avid caffeine fiend I often find myself looking for my next coffee binge. And if there’s one thing Los Angeles is good for, it’s the coffee culture. In a city that never sleeps, fueled by entertainment, fashion and all things a little wacky, it’s no wonder why Angelenos can’t get enough of their daily drip. Unfortunately, with the daily hustle and bustle of never-ending traffic and busy schedules, it’s harder to get a good cup of joe than you might think. Because of this, most of us find ourselves stopping at the nearest Starbucks or Coffee Bean chain or average joe coffee joint to get our fix. If you’re as dependent on your daily dose as me, than you should agree – one size (or shot) does not fit all. May it be your favorite fall latte or a classic cappuccino, the fuel you put into your body matters. So, I’ve complied some of my favorite local off-the-beaten-path coffee shops that are sure to wake you up!

Located on the tree-lined street of little Melrose sits a quaint and personal favorite, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. This isn’t your average neighborhood coffee house and is as appealing in taste as it is in looks. Alfred exclusively brews Stumptown Coffee that is sourced from Portland, Oregon. Sandwiches, pastries and salads are now offered and made fresh daily. Along with their brews, juice from Pressed Juicery is available in-house to quench your thirst and keep things healthy. The ambiance at Alfred Coffee and Kitchen is perfect for a long day of writing or a quick lunch date. There is seating both inside and outside on their patio that faces Melrose Place. My favorite thing about visiting Alfred’s is their out of this world playlist that boasts the likes of The Beatles, The Kinks, Miike Snow, Magnative Complilation and Empire of the Sun (to name a few). The friendly atmosphere and skilled baristas make this local café the destination that it has become.

Alfred Coffee and Kitchen
8428 Melrose Pl  Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 944-0811

With locations in West Hollywood and Hollywood, Coffee Commissary has become a local favorite to all who frequent this modern joint. Coffee Commissary offers four different types of coffee: Victrola, sourced from Seattle, WA, Coava, sourced from Portland, OR, Sightglass, sourced from San Francisco, CA, and Temple, sourced from Sacramento, CA. The interiors are simple and give somewhat of an industrial feel. On any given day you can find people reading and writing inside and groups gathering out front on the patio.

The staff is very helpful and suggested I try a Dirty Chai, which I must say was a delicious way to transition into fall.

Coffee Commissary
801 N Fairfax Ave #106  Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 782-1465

With only two years under their belt, Coffee Tomo has already made a name for themselves. Located right off the West LA strip of Sawtelle, this up and coming coffee shop is the buzz of the boulevard. Their coffee is sourced from around the world, including: Kenya, Costa Rica, Brazil, Sumatra, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and El Salvador. They offer organic coffee in certain varieties and roast their coffee in-house twice a week.

Coffee Tomo has unique cold brews that drip for 24 hours using ice water. If you’re looking to try something special, I recommend the hand-dripped coffee that is made fresh to order and is timed precisely with an hourglass.  If you’re like me and fancy the little things, then you will enjoy their attention to detail with their latte art. Coffee Tomo’s very own barista won the latte art championship in Seattle this past year- so they know their stuff. Fresh pretzels and toast are also a favorite here and are all made in-house from scratch and fresh to order, meaning nothing is premade! Perfect for fall is this must try- the Pumpkin Latte, made with real pumpkin paste, cinnamon and steamed milk (espresso can be added).


For an afternoon pick me up we tried the Green Tea Latte (made with grade A Japanese matcha green tea and white chocolate) and the signature Tomo Latte (made with condensed milk and espresso).

Coffee Tomo
11309 Mississippi Ave  Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-9390


Although there are ample cafes and coffee shops throughout LA to choose from, this hidden gem is hard to beat due to its late night hours. If you couldn’t guess by the name, Insomnia Café is truly unique because they keep their doors open and coffee brewing till 1am. Being the only café in LA open this late, writers, students and coffee lovers alike can get their late night fix at this cozy joint. Aside from its great hours and location, this place has inviting décor that is made up of tufted couches, vintage chandeliers, needlepoint chairs and old wooden tables. Insomnia Café has been open over 25 years and has been featured in numerous films and television shows.


For my visit, I tried their classic handcrafted cappuccino with biscotti.

Insomnia Cafe
7286 Beverly Blvd  Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 931-4943