Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Coffee Shops of NELA: 7 Faves (and 6 runners up)

Northeast LA (NELA), or the area that comprises Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Silver Lake and Echo Park (north of Sunset Boulevard) and more, is teeming with culture, new eats, hip bars and -- my personal favorite -- coffee. As a writer and freelancer, I tend to frequent a lot of these places because otherwise I'm warming up instant Bustelo at home (it's the Cuban in me) and everyone knows that's not the same as a fresh cup. Below I've compiled a list of some great spots in NELA, the pieced-together neighborhood I'm lucky to call home.

Cognoscenti Coffee - "pop-up" coffee shop inside Proof Bakery
On the weekends (weekdays, too, sometimes) there's a crazy line so I tend to avoid it, but when the line's not too bad this is easily the best coffee spot in Atwater. Pastries are amazing. Love the Earl Gray coffee cake and the currant scone.

Kaldi Coffee - across the street from Proof, no frills, simple, good cortados
This shop is stress-free, easy to work at and has a constantly revolving assortment of pieces on display by local artists. Most recently the shop has turned part-bookstore thanks to local bookshop and publisher & Pens

The Trails Cafe at Griffith Park - forest-like setting and tranquil escape from LA traffic
Have yet to try the coffee here, but would go back for the ambiance alone (and the cookies). You'll run into this outdoor spot on the drive back down from Griffith Observatory.  

Valerie Confections - tea-focused cafe with coffee and snacks 
Tiny shop on Echo Park Ave with pastries, tartines, and drip coffee. Cute patio. Relaxed environment, great for a light brunch catch-up with a friend. 

Cafe de Leche - Latin-inspired drinks on the cool, up-and-coming York Boulevard
This place tends to get pretty packed. I like their iced lattes. Also, there's a play area for little kids, which is a plus for parents in the area. 

Spoke Bicycle Cafe - dog-friendly Frogtown spot accessible via the LA River bike path
Open Thursday through Sunday, this cafe doubles as a bicycle-repair shop. Love the concept, have yet to visit. Yelpers say coffee and espresso drinks are free and tips/donations will help to build out a new kitchen. Ummm, hello?!?! Go there. 

Civil Coffee -  yummy drinks, beautiful shop perfect for design-obsessed Instagrammers
Highland Park's newest coffee shop was a pop-up coffee cart before it got its brick-and-mortar start. Espresso with milk (pictured above) is my go-to, but they have this Latin-inspired coffee treat with condensed milk and cinnamon called the Figueroa that's a must. 

Some runners-up in the area: Habitat Coffee and Tea in Eagle Rock, Silverlake Coffee, Fix Coffee in Echo Park, Bru Coffeebar in Los Feliz, Lamill on Silver Lake Boulevard and Found Coffee in Eagle Rock


  1. I love to take coffee and here I find so many coffee shop, But there is one more option i.e Barista Underground for you where you can get the best quality coffee.

  2. very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.


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