Travel

Los Angeles Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Psychic Wines
2825 Bellevue Ave., Silver Lake
COVID-19 update: Open for curbside pickup and delivery. As much as we miss Saturday strolls around the incredibly serene, beautifully merchandised Psychic Wines, we’re over-the-moon that it delivers. Owner Quinn Kimsey-White applies a deeply personal approach to his store’s offering, sourcing each bottle from tiny vineyards helmed by creative, low-intervention winemakers. An order from Psychic Wines is the perfect opportunity to go rogue and try something completely new. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.
Stumptown Coffee
120 E 8th St., Downtown
There was once a time you could get Stumptown only in Portland, Oregon. Thank goodness things have changed. We keep the bold roast on tap at goop HQ and happily visit the shops when we're in the Pacific Northwest, New York, New Orleans, and downtown Los Angeles. Stumptown’s latest location, in the fashion district along bustling Los Angeles Street, offers a good amount of seating for the smallish space. We like to come here for downtown meetings or lazy Sunday pour-overs.
Hey Hey
1555 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
We love our almond milk lattes as much as the next person, but when we’re looking for a break—and not for coffee—Hey Hey is where we go for milk teas and boba. And the experience is more like one you’d have at a cocktail bar: The drinks are handcrafted by a barista who layers chewy tapioca balls with loose-leaf tea and other ingredients that are all made in-house, like almond pudding and sea salt cream. The space, which is meant to be like a modern tea room, is more like a lounge for locals, often serving drinks late into the evening.
Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea
1256 W. 7th St., Downtown
A brilliant idea for the coffee lover: serve multisourced coffees, kombuchas, and teas at one place. That's what Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea, the coffee shop in the recently redone Mayfair Hotel, does. Come here and you can get a Blue Bottle latte and your friend can get a Stumptown pour-over. The same goes for its bagged teas and coffee beans. We suggest trying something from the elixir menu, like the Flower Power Milk Tea: bright-blue Thai butterfly pea tea blended with matcha, jasmine syrup, and coconut milk. Slightly sweet, it's perfect paired with the vegan breakfast sandwich and enjoyed in one of the comfy chairs next to all the leafy plants.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery
236 North Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont
You want cake—one that happens to be gluten-free. Not a frostingless, bready, lavender-flavored mound with a sprig of rosemary on top. A real cake, with scalloped frosting in two flavors, and Happy Birthday piped on the top in cursive. You also want it to be wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, egg-free, vegan…oh, and make it kosher. Head directly to Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Larchmont Village or Santa Monica (or order online—you’ll have to self-frost, but good living comes at a cost) for cakes in all sizes, plus doughnuts, soft-serve, cookies, crumbly delights, brownies, and whatever else they’ve figured out how to make without the aforementioned ingredients since this writing. Erin McKenna and team are do-gooders in cute uniforms (the cute uniforms are number two of the bakery’s two core rules), making the city a better place for the dietarily restricted.
Le Café de la Plage
29169 Heathercliff Rd., Malibu
COVID-19 Update: Open for takeout. You would think that Malibu would be overflowing with ice cream. But quality scoops are few and far between once Santa Monica is in your rearview mirror. Enter Le Café de la Plage. The owners swapped the perfumed fields of Provence for the Point Dume bluffs and their dairy (and nondairy) scoops are out of this world. Lychee, rose, fresh fig, pineapple and basil…you name it. Creamy delights aside, if you stop in for breakfast (they’re open from 8 a.m.) the bread and pastries are fresh out of the Gjusta oven—all the tastiness minus the insane line. COVID-19 Disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.
Stories
1716 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Stories is Echo Park’s much-loved local bookstore, but what most people don’t realize is that behind all the books is a tiny café (and a good one, at that). We love escaping here for the quiet—the stacks and stacks of haphazardly arranged tomes soak up all the street noise. The tables are filled with other studious folks tapping away on computers or reading through screenplays, so there’s not much chatter. You can sit here for hours munching through the pastry selection without being disturbed.
Kae Sung Market
1010 S. St. Andrews Pl., Koreatown
The tendency to romanticize the food cooked by our grandmothers runs through every culture, and Korean culture is no exception. At Kae Sung Market, an actual grandmother, Sook Jae Cho, spends her days brining and fermenting the vegetables that make up her kimchi, famous among in-the-know neighborhood locals. Cho has been living in LA. for over forty years and started selling her homemade kimchi as a side business in the ’80s. (The mart is named for her North Korean hometown, Kae Sung.) This side hustle has turned into a full-day market, and on any given day there are up to ten kinds of kimchi on offer, including kosher and vegan-friendly varieties. The signage is entirely in Korean, so look out for the yellow storefront on the corner of St. Andrew’s Place and West Olympic, or just ask a bystander—chances are anyone you ask in the area will know how to get there.