Get your jolt of java with our top five haute coffeehouses in LA and the OC!
Intelligentsia has won both local and national honors for a reason: its brews are unbeatable. Of the Chicago-based brand's three LA locations, it is the Venice space that we adore for its modern, industrial design and the people watching from its outdoor area looking out onto trendy Abbot Kinney boulevard. However, you'll still get that elegant java kick from Intelligentsia's Silver Lake and Pasadena outposts as well.
2 Caffe Luxxe
It's no idle boast that Caffe Luxxe calls itself an artisanal expression. We’ve dedicated a lot of our time to help LA drinkers discover what fine coffee can taste like, and earned numerous accolades by journalists and customers along the way for Best Tasting Coffee in Los Angeles.Caffe Luxxe has also set out to celebrate European caffe culture - We encourage you to sit and enjoy socializing with friends and family. The coffeehouse, founded in 2006 by best friends Mark Wain and Gary Chau, was determined to bring some European sensibility to Santa Monica, and it has achieved that success. Sit back and relax in their Santa Monica shop -- and gasp with glee at the coffee art found in every single cup.
3 Lamill Coffee Boutique
Silver Lake's Lamill Coffee is like a luxury boutique for coffees. There is a five page menu of drinks all prepared in the most high-end devices, from a Marzocco espresso machine to a siphon. Sure, the prices for a hand-brew or pot of tea can be pricey (in the $8 range), but their beverages are worth it. The nibbles menu -- created by Providence chef Michael Cimarusti -- is equally as impressive.
4 Cognoscenti Coffee
Cognoscenti Coffee pop-up shop was so in demand two years ago that owner Yeekai Lim's was almost required to find a permanent home, which it did at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village. That demand has continued because of Cognoscenti's delightful coffee creations, and the architect-turned barista has now opened his second location in Culver City's Arts District. Java lovers will be pleased to know that Lim will feature special brews like Wrecking Ball and Ritual from San Francisco and Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters from Calgary at his second outpost.
5 Café Lucca
An elegant atmosphere accompanies the java you'll be consuming at Café Lucca in Orange, CA. The wrought-iron and glass doors host a whole bevy of treats, from Italian panini to gourmet omelets, pancakes and pastries. Do yourself a favor and order the affogato -- coffee over Cafe Lucca's artisanal gelato -- which may just be the best of its kind in Orange County.