For a coffee shop that prioritizes ethically sourced beans, head to Espresso Cielo. Their menu includes the standard offerings (lattes, cappuccinos, espressos), but they also serve some unconventional options like Nitro cold brew. Gary Chau and Mark Wain’s cafe brings a little European style to Montana Avenue, where they offer pastries, savory items, and a small selection of gift items. They also have a range of unique coffee choices, such as Cafe Oaxaca with Mexican chocolate.
One of the more upscale Best coffee shops in santa monica in the city, this Montana Avenue spot has the look and feel of a small European cafe. Owners Gary Chau and Mark Wain pride themselves on using direct-trade, locally-sourced coffee beans and leaves from independent growers. They also serve homemade pastries and savory items from local bakery friends, as well as cute lifestyle retail goods like letterpress stationery and bath products.
Unlike other rockstar baristas who sneer at your decision to add a dash of Splenda to your latte, the friendly staff here is happy to help you with your drink choices. The menu features the standard 49th Parallel drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, espressos) and a selection of flavored teas. They even serve kombucha brewed with coffee rather than tea—an innovation you won’t find anywhere else in town.
Goodboybob Coffee Roasters
Goodboybob Coffee Roasters is a unique project that combines the creative worlds of coffee and entertainment. It was brought to life by Tool of America founder Erich Joiner and is a place for the intersection of culture, connection, and art. It has a full coffee menu and also serves food. Their food includes chapatis, pastries, and toast.
The interior has a mix of high tables and couches. Its outside area has tiered shaded bench seating and mid-century chairs. Its decor is really interesting starting with the burnt-charcoal painted wood in the center of the wall. There is a great selection of tea and a really solid vanilla latte. This is a hidden gem in Santa Monica.
Love Coffee Bar
The Fashion District’s Love Coffee Bar serves up spiced beet lattes, mushroom adaptogen chagaccinos and whole wheat flatbreads in an industrial-chic space. Expect to see a lot of green velvet furniture, plus plenty of tables and outlets. This dog-friendly shop aims to connect passionate California-based coffee roasters, tea artisans, designers and creators. They partner with those who believe in fair trade and sustainable sourcing. They’ve also developed an official environmental policy that incorporates eco-procurement guidelines into employee orientation and training.
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La Monarca Bakery
La Monarca Bakery is a popular bakery-cafe chain with twelve locations in the Los Angeles area. The Lincoln Heights branch is the first west of downtown. The space features contemporary lighting juxtaposed against a traditional chandelier and enticing displays of fresh pastries and Mexican coffee. The coffee shop santa monica has both indoor and outdoor seating.
The owners, who were born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, wanted to bring the taste of their homeland to Los Angeles. Their menu includes cakes such as Tres Leches (meaning three milks), tequila lime, and chocolate with preserved cherries. They also serve pan dulce such as cuernitos (croissants) and orejas (puff pastry cookies). The cafe offers Mexican savory fare as well, including tortas. The bakery’s Cafe de Olla, a traditional coffee drink brewed with cinnamon and brown sugar, is particularly delicious.
Primo Passo Coffee
This new entrant to the neighborhood serves Stumptown coffee in a simple space that’s just a short drive from the beach. It’s not as cozy or welcoming as the other options on this list, but their coffee is well-crafted. They also have a nice selection of pastries. Featuring Vancouver’s 49th Parallel roasters, this casual coffeehouse pairs pretty latte art with a bright street-side setting. Service can be a bit spotty, but the coffee is consistently great.
The Bottom Lines
This minimalist shop on Montana Avenue takes a Japanese approach to coffee, with siphon brewing and design-forward latte art that’s disarming rather than snobby. It’s a great place for laptop users, but the space can be a little noisy. They have a good happy hour as well. The pretzels are delicious.