Rise and shine downtown Los Angeles this year’s list of 10 Great Places for Coffee is percolating with some of the most flavorful cups of Java our City has to offer.
1. Nice Coffee
The first stop on our list it’s Nice Coffee recently reopened with a new owner, coffee aficionado Mr. Elliott Lau. Lau has a long track record making Java since coming here from Washington D.C. years ago. When visiting Nice Coffee there are a few sites we immediately notice.
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One, Nice Coffee is surrounded by some of the Downtown’s highest skyscrapers. Located at the City National Plaza, the minimalist Gensler designed, the stand-alone coffee bar gives visitors a modern feel while allowing guests to sip cups of iced latte, espresso, cappuccino, and other town favorites, amongst the corporate elite.
Two, the adjacent “Ascension” water sculpture by Herbert Bayer provides peace and tranquility against the backdrop of a busy city accentuating the coffee shop’s open-air seating area.
Lastly, the nice people of Nice Coffee blend Las Lila’s Coffee. Las Lila’s Coffee is grown, nurtured, and harvested in the San Miguel region of El Salvador at an elevation of 4,800 feet. The family-owned operation has been around since 1850. Nice Coffee is located at 515 S. Flower and is open from 7am – 4pm Monday through Friday. www.nicecoffee.com
Two. Lucky Coffee Roasters
It only took owner Tyler Smith a few short years to expand his first Lucky’s Coffee Roasters location in 2019 with three additional locations by 2022, and two more planned for Pasadena and Downtown in addition to the already existing Downtown location inside the base of the Wells Fargo Tower on BunkerHill.
Taking the entire Northwest corner of the building, upon entering the massive skyscraper’s impressive lobby, hang a right to discover Lucky’s Signature blends of “Go Juice”. The Honey Cinnamon, Matcha Love, and Tonic and Espresso are just a few delicious reasons office dwellers above frequent Lucky’s Coffee Roasters. Lucky’s also serves pastries, juice, and an array of snacks that compliment every cup.
Lucky’s Coffee Roasters is located at 333 S. Grand and is open from 7am until 3pm, Monday through Friday. www.luckys.coffee
Three. Boketto Cold Brew
Special delivery! Boketto delivers cold brew coffees and teas directly to homes, offices, and restaurants.
Brewed locally, the cold brewed coffee comes in 1.5 Liter pouches to keep air out and ensure the coffee stays fresh for up to a month. For parties, outdoor gatherings, and storage these no-spill pouches are more than ideal.
This isn’t just an iced coffee, Owners Ben Westley and Chris Prenza use a basic drip bean process of steeping coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures for 12 to 24 hours. Westley then takes this a “steep” further by charging his cold brews with nitrogen, giving his coffee a rich creamy head similar to that of a draft beer.
Boketto offers a monthly subscription to replenish orders so their customers never run out. Boketto also provides businesses with nitro-charged Kegerators along with product support. Www.bokettocoldbrew.com
Four. Civil Coffee
Inspired by the flavorful, complex cups of Mexican specialty coffees, brothers Alex and Alan Morales kept asking themselves, how they could create a specialty cafe experience that was just as memorable and approachable to all the folks of various cultural backgrounds in LA.
In May of 2022, Civil Coffee opened in a space formally occupied by Stumptown, pre-Covid. Now, in the heart of the city, Civil Coffee became part of the group of young, pioneering entrepreneurs investing in our community’s growth and evolution.
On the northwest corner of 8th and Los Angeles, sits Civil Coffee DTLA, an airy cafe with plenty of room to work, have meetings or just sip coffee and lounge. The natural lighting, high ceilings, and modern interior design suggest Civil Coffee drinkers are the hip, young coffee connoisseurs of the future.
Visitors enjoy some alone time on the comfortable two tops studying or working. Others basque in the sun at the window sipping on a latte with a croissant in coversation, or have work meetings at the conference table.
After a few sips, it’s evident Civil belongs on our town’s “10 Greatest Places for Coffee list. https://civilcoffee.com
Five. Cognoscenti Coffee
Of the many cafes Downtown, Cognoscenti Coffee roasts coffee beans from a variety of countries in Central and South America, Africa, South Asia and Oceania on location in the Fashion District.
Their beautifully refurbished vintage Probat roaster produces sacks upon sacks of freshly roasted coffee beans every Monday ready for shipping or consumption onsite.
Former architect turned roaster, Yeekai Lim started Cognoscenti on the grind as a pop-up back in 2009. Since Cog Coffee Shops have been sprouting up across Los Angeles with a cafe in Culver City and another in downtown Los Angeles on 9th and Olive.
Unique flavor-rich selections include such as their traditional Americano, Cortado, single origin pour overs, and a few select flavored drinks like the Latte Noir and the Maple Latte.
Most food items are snack bites with exception of the Breakfast Sandwich, a delicious stack of eggs, bacon, and cheese on a toasted bagel or brioche bun. Cog Coffee Roasters is located at 1118 S. San Julian in the City Market Plaza and open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. www.cogcoffee.com
Six. Cherry Pick Cafe
Amir Hesmat has owned and operated Cherry Pick Cafe for close to two decades. Serving freshly baked goods, locals may visit the cafe for the light coffees but can stay for the high-quality selection of deli meat sandwiches, pastries, organic salads, fresh juices, and fruit bowls.
The checkered floor beneath the dining room’s tables stretches back throughout the dining area creating a delightful atmosphere and contrast of color while the walls are littered with heartfelt mementos collected over time by the Hesmat family.
Although most of Cherry Pick’s customers come from the government offices of the Civic District, they also get their fair share of travelers being located at the base of the Kawanda Hotel, making Cherry Pick Cafe one of Downtown’s most convenient cafe landmarks. Cherry Pick Cafe is located at 208 S. Hill Street and is open from 7am to 3pm. www.cherrypickcafe.com
ilcaffè is that one cafe that takes it a step further by offering choice selections of their signature coffees made into lattes, mochas, macchiatos, cappuccinos, espresso, cold brews and drips, plus fresh juices, sourdough paninis, danishes, and charcuterie plates to accompany their rotating selections of beers and natural wines.
Owner Michael Backlinder brings his special touch of Swedish hospitality to the iconic Eastern Columbia Building providing the perfect location for nearby loft dwellers to nurture, accommodate and build a strong sense of community.
The pet-friendly cafe offers inside and outdoor seating presenting visitors with an ideal opportunity to make themselves cordial. ilcaffè is located at 855 S. Broadway, and is open from 7am to 7pm, Sunday through Wednesday and 7am to 9pm, Thursday through Saturday. ilcaffe.la
Eight. Boxx Coffee
Let’s talk about body and aroma! There’s just something about the taste and smell of freshly-ground brewed cups of coffee that coffee lovers just can’t resist.
The newly opened Boxx Coffee Roasters Co visitors to explore every aspect from roaster to cup. They roast coffees made with imported beans from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, among other countries onsite in the Arts District and for worldwide shipping.
Boxx Coffee Roasters was established in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015, so needless to say Boxx may just be the best cafe in DTLA to enjoy a traditional cup of Turkish coffee.
Boxx’a Turkish Coffee is made in a cezve, a small brass long-handled pot set to flame just large enough to produce a 2.5oz size serving of single origin of your preference. When done right -and it always is at Boxx- it should produce a clean and sweet coffee enchanting characteristics of the particular bean and the tiny cup of coffee packs a strong caffeinated punch. Before wondering about swirling the cezve in a batch of hot sand, know that making Turkish Coffee in hot sand is about as untraditional as a burrito in Mexico. Boxx Coffee is located at 950 E. 3rd and open from 7am to 6pm, daily. boxxcoffee.la