From Stumptown to La La Land

I headed south to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon last July, where a yearlong job in education and the opportunity to get out and try something new awaited. My quiet life among the damp green transitioned quickly into one of sun, subways, and sixth graders…and coffee.

la skyline

A woman recently asked me what I do in LA when I’m not working…I told her I spend a lot of time in cafés. Can that be a hobby? I hope so. I’ve scoured the city for the best places to hunker down on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons, and I think I’ve been pretty successful. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Stories, Echo Park. Stories is a bookstore with a café in the back, and a darling patio area outside. They have good coffee and great pastries (which you can find at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market most Sundays), but the best part about Stories is the cozy ambiance and friendly people. And who doesn’t love to be surrounded by books while doing work? Totally inspiring.

2. Square One Dining, Hollywood. Square One is one my favorite places for breakfast in LA. They use fresh, local ingredients, serve bottomless cups of Intelligentsia coffee, and have one heck of an outdoor seating area.


Brioche french toast with banana-citrus caramel at Square One

3. Mornings Nights, Silverlake. This place has the best bagel sandwiches of all time, AND some of the nicest baristas (though I have generally been impressed with the friendliness of Angelinos). The inside is a bit small, but there is ample space out front to sip a latte and watch all the beautiful young people mosey down Sunset Blvd in their weekend best.

4. Café Los Feliz, Los Feliz. This place. This is the place you come to when you need a hearty breakfast and a smile. I came here with my parents when they visited for my birthday, and they were impressed with the down to earth owner (even before she gave us an assortment of sweets for the road) and the quaintness of this small café in the big city. Killer breakfast sandwiches and croissants to boot!


A lovely almond croissant at Café Los Feliz



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