Foodie Friday
Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Northeast LA

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Northeast LA

Picky writers can’t just go to any coffee shop. We need good working spaces with comfy chairs and tables. We need decent wifi and electric outlets for our laptops. We (or at least I) need good reading light. And we like to be able to hang for a few hours without feeling like we’re overstaying our welcome. Which is to say — I’m really putting together this best coffee shops list for me. I often find myself stuck in a part of town I don’t know very well — usually before or after some event — because I don’t want to drive home until after rush hour ends. Now (or more accurately, soon, when I finish this 5-part guide covering most L.A. neighborhoods), whatever area of Los Angeles I happen to be in, I know where I can stop to read or get some writing done while I wait for traffic to clear. Earlier: * Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside * Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: The Valley ___ Silver Lake: Dinosaur Coffee. 4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Need freedom from free wifi? This no-free-wifi spot will force you to work on […]

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside

Picky writers can’t just go to any coffee shop. We need good working spaces with comfy chairs and tables. We need decent wifi and electric outlets for our laptops. We (or at least I) need good reading light. And we like to be able to hang for a few hours without feeling like we’re overstaying our welcome. Which is to say — I’m really putting together this best coffee shops list for me. I often find myself stuck in a part of town I don’t know very well — usually before or after some event — because I don’t want to drive home until after rush hour ends. Now (or more accurately, soon, when I finish this 5-part guide covering most L.A. neighborhoods), whatever area of Los Angeles I happen to be in, I know where I can stop to read or get some writing done while I wait for traffic to clear. Santa Monica: Funnel Mill. 930 Broadway, Ste A., Santa Monica. If you’re into rare, exotic coffees — like the kind made from beans pooped out by little animals — you’ll find what you’re looking for here. I’m more of a plain soy latte type — so I […]

Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values Motorcycles, matcha lattes, postmodern style, and philosophy. Combine all four by spending an afternoon at Deus Cafe with a copy of Robert M. Pirsig’s classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’d read this meditative and moving book long, long ago and loved it — then picked up a new-to-me copy a few months ago at a friend’s fashion and book swap party. And when I did, I knew exactly where I’d go to read it. Deus Cafe is part of Deus Ex Machina: The Emporium of Postmodern Activities, a Venice shop best known for its custom built motorcycles. Browsers can also peruse unique surfboards, clothes, artwork, and accessories — before heading to the back. There you can hang out, caffeinate, read, and chat with friends and strangers at the cafe’s communal tables. It’s a lovely spot with both […]

Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

This post comes with a caveat: I’ve only been to Portland twice, and between both visits, spent like five days in the city. That said, I did a lot of wandering around — and discovered that there’s a cute indie coffee shop or two on pretty much every block. These coffee shops generally come with all the amenities a writer desires — fantastic coffee, pretty latte art, yummy nibbles, kind baristas, open tables, and usually, free wifi. My theory as to why Portland has such a great cafe culture: People need places to duck in to escape the rain, which falls really, really often up there. These are the eleven places that I ducked into — and loved. The Clearing Cafe. If you are in Portland visiting Tin House — and have an hour to write — walk over to this cafe, which was recommended to me by Tin House’s Lance Cleland. Nice lattes, and filling bowls that the other customers raved about. 2772 NW Thurman Street. Coffee Time. While I was at this spacious coffee shop, a woman walked in wearing pink rain boots and holding pink bike basket after tying up her bike on which was perched a […]

Renew Juicery: Best juice shop for chilling out

Renew Juicery: Best juice shop for chilling out

When the weather gets warm, I start drinking less latte and more juice. And I’ve found a new favorite green juice for spring: Balanced at Renew Juicery. This cold-pressed drink’s a blend of pineapple, cilantro, cucumber, parsley, chlorophyll, lemon, and ashwagandha. I love that it’s not too sugary but still has a taste of tropical sweet — Plus the Culver City’s spot’s a nice place for writers — a sunny vibe with free wifi and friendly people. There are some raw vegan meals and snacks for sale too, if you get hungry. And if you really need to cool off, you can try cryotherapy! At the back of the store is a cryo machine that for a few minutes will surround you in -250 degree air, chilled by liquid nitrogen. This practice is said to have a range of benefits, from easing chronic pain to weight loss. I met some women who swear by cryo — so I tried it once. It was really cold! Afterwards, I didn’t really feel any different; I hear you need to do it a few times to really experience the benefits, but the first experience was so chilling I’m not sure I have the […]

Melrose Station: Best speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase

Melrose Station: Best speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase

If you’ve ever looked at your bookcase on a Friday afternoon — and wished the shelves were lined with booze instead of books — I’ve got a bar for you. Melrose Station, a newish speakeasy in the Fairfax area, is a craft cocktail bar and tapas restaurant hidden behind a bookcase. To get there, you’ll first need to go to Glass Hookah Lounge, where a host will let you in the velvet rope, escort you to the back of the smoky room, then pull open a bookcase and tell you to go through the door at 11 o’clock. That door opens up to Melrose Station, a classy train station-themed place with a glittery bar, telephone booths, and a handful of tables. It’s not a huge space, so I’m guessing the place gets loud and crowded late night, but when I met friends here for happy hour at 7:30 pm, it made for a great place to chat and catch up. The craft cocktails are gorgeous — the garnishes include whole red chiles, berry medleys speared with toothpicks and dusted with powdered sugar, and pretty blue flames. But I focused on the food! My favorite dish was the New Zealand lamb […]