Silver Lake Specialty
3337 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Now six locations strong and growing quickly, Alfred is quickly taking over LA's coffee scene, making it a definite favorite for screenwriters and freelancers during the week. We like the Melrose Place location best, which shares its space with an adorably tiny Compartes shop in the back. If you’re feeling indulgent, ask for their famous off-menu Alfred cone—a macchiato served in a chocolate covered ice cream cone that tastes just as good as it sounds. They also have kombucha on tap. There are also locations in Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Studio City and on Melrose Avenue.
4334 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Dinosaur distinguishes itself from a bounty of good coffee in the neighborhood with its design-minded space. Designed by MASS Architects, everything about it is well-considered, from the Scandinavian stools to the fin-shaped sculpture above the counter, which also displays the menu. The attention to detail also spills over into their coffee, which is fully up to Silver Lake hipster standards.
3922 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Intelligentsia is really the quintessential hipster LA coffee shop—and we get why. Tables and bar seats are usually available at all their well-designed locations, there's a smattering of great baked goods, as well as some home goods for sale. At both the Venice and Silver Lake locations, the outlets are as abundant as the man-buns. There's also an outpost in Pasadena.
Knuckle and Claw (Closed)
3112 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Knuckle & Claw is known for insanely fresh and expertly seasoned lobster rolls (their recipes, here), though the Knuckle Sandwich is just as good. They start with dense sourdough, pile it high with fresh lobster, and smother the whole thing in melted cheddar cheese.
3900 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
LA has plenty of places that can keep caffeine cravings in check, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t psyched when Philly staple La Colombe finally made it west. It occupies what used to be Café Casbah at Sunset Junction, but the space has been completely reimagined. The café is bookended by two open-air areas—the back is sheltered and quiet for those looking to settle in for the long haul. The front overlooks the main drag and is filled with tree-trunk-like stools and tables perfect for people-watching. Breaking the LA trend of serving everything in some kind of ceramic, the coffee is served in porcelain cups and saucers. If you’re in a rush, the East Coast transplant has you covered: The fridge inside is packed with cold-press.
1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
It's fitting that LAMILL is set up on Silver Lake Boulevard a.k.a the epicenter of L.A.'s freelance culture. Grab a table in the dining room, which with its leather banquette, artsy wallpaper, and glitzy chandeliers, looks like it belongs to a fancy restaurant rather than a coffee shop. There's a full menu of toasts, soups, and salads as well as an oft-replenished fresh pastry case. Baked goods and décor aside, the quality of the coffee (roasted on-site) comes first. Stop by their tiny gift shop next door if in need of a last-minute hostess gift.
Lark Cake Shop
3337 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Berry shortcake, chocolate mocha, and of course, red velvet cake all beckon from the case here. The specialty is birthday cakes, though the cupcakes are pretty irresistible (and portable, too). They also offer vegan options. There's also a location in Pasadena.
2660 Griffith Park Blvd., Silver Lake
Few sweet treats are as satisfying on a hot LA afternoon than a crunchy waffle cone filled with frosty soft-serve ice cream. At Magpies in Silver Lake it can feel almost virtuous. That’s because Magpies has created one-of-a-kind vegan flavors like black rice horchata, chocolate taro, and orange yuzu creamsicle. The shop’s dairy-free fan base is so strong you’ll often find a line out the door, but trust us when we say it’s worth it—especially if you top your soft-serve with toasted maple coconut chips (also vegan).
2839 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Situated in a storefront and marketplace on Silver Lake's bustling Sunset Blvd., Moon Juice kind of feels like a new-age pharmacy. There, you'll find tonics for every malady or desire (we swear the turmeric cup, with cayenne pepper, black pepper oil, and oil of oregano will kick any cold). All this cold-pressed goodness doesn't come cheap (the green shake will set you back $14), but it's all delicious and effective. The original shop is in Venice.
3707 W Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake
Scout is Sunset Junction’s newest tenant, a hole-in-the-wall, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot squeezed in between Kettle Black and Sawyer. For such a small—no, tiny—place, Scout covers a lot of ground: It’s a general store, a purveyor of cookbooks and fine ceramics, and a minuscule café all at once. Run in on your way home from work for fresh pasta and a jar of marinara sauce made right next door, plus one or two bottles of wine, a fried-chicken sandwich for the road, and maybe some coffee beans for a hostess gift. Los Angeles is shockingly short on convenience stores like this—much less one that’s executed well and decorated beautifully. The all-glass, cacti-framed exterior may draw you in, but it’s the floor-to-ceiling shelves and wafting scent of coffee inside that’ll keep you there.
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