Photo by Daniel Caso
All throughout the great metropolis of Los Angeles, the coffee scene thrives within the often-intertwined youth and creative culture. Like the typical coffee shop patrons, college students often seek an environment of peace, studiousness, creativity and contemplation. Encouraged to look past Starbucks and Coffee Bean, which are tinged with a sour overfamiliarity that they try so hard to remove with sometimes kitschy hipsterisms, one can find serene, quality coffee experiences close to our home here at Pepperdine.
Malibu, CA 29169 Heathercliff Rd. 90265
Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. ; Saturday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Staffed by notably laid-back 20-somethings, Cafecito Organico offers a great cup of coffee with a languid, distinctly Malibu flair. The best part of this place is the location. It is probably the closest thing to campus that produces a custom experience. There’s always a satisfying selection of pastries there, and Lily’s and SunLife are within sight of the front door if one wants something more substantial. There is, however, no indoor seating so it’s best to plan a visit on a nice day and sit outside.
Cafe 212 Pier
212 Pier Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Open 24 Hours
Of all the coffee spots relatively close to Pepperdine, this is the best place to study for its 24-hour service, ample space, usually quiet ambiance and plentiful outlets. The food here is especially amazing. It has so much more than pastries, with many savory, meal-sized options. They also sport a collection of books for sale on one wall and never play overly loud Top 40 music that make for a difficult reading environment. It seems to have a healthy cult following of local Santa Monica minds and offers a nice break from campus.
702 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Monday – Saturday 6:30 am – 6:30 pm
Sunday 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
This is a great place to write or read, because there’s not a trace of Wi-Fi around, which makes it easier to focus on any creative or study processes. The baristas are really nice, and there is a cool selection of locally bottled juices. Food varies, with mostly the expected pastries and macaroons. The whole place is beautifully designed, and natural light streams throughout the shop. However, this place runs a little pricey, with a regular cup of coffee coming to 5 bucks. To complete a hip aesthetic they have a giant, giant grayscale picture-portrait of a man seemingly from 1900s Eastern Europe. The man is on their advertising material too, but nobody on staff seems to know who he is. His anonymous gaze frozen in time, nonetheless, puts a positive sort of pressure on the place to keep at work.
Monday – Sunday: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
1601 Montana Ave. (at Sunset), Santa Monica, CA 90403
This place is a force. They have locations all over Los Angeles and roast their beans in the area. wwEach table has a vase of freshly cut roses that scent one’s work station nicely. The sit-down experience is highly positive, and one could easily stay for hours. In contrast to the nearby Primo Passo, the interior is painted with dark and warm browns, creating an environment of dim isolation. With a great selection of equally quality foods, Groundwork is a reliable spot to get long-term projects done.
10 Speed Coffee
Monday – Sunday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
23504 Calabasas Rd. Calabasas, CA 91302
This place’s claim to fame is most certainly how cheap its coffee and delicious, huge pastries are. The staff is friendly and there’s stool seating, and a really adorable place out front. However, the music is positively blasted. Seems like an easy fix, but since it’s connected to a loud, popular, amazing restaurant, the music is just an inseparable part of the experience. A clear upside, though, is that if one gets hungry or feels like a drink, the restaurant and bar are right there. There’s also a bike repair shop in the same building. Perhaps we could call this place a niche business, since there are three interesting functions working under the same roof – but whatever we call it, they do food, coffee, drinks and bike repairs nicely.
Calabasas, CA 91302 2014
Monday – Saturday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Although filled with the hustle and bustle one would expect from a grocery-like market, one could easily study – but do bring headphones. The cafe inside Erewhon is delicious. There are stellar lunch options. The coffee is a bit pricey, but they don’t skimp on portions. This location is relatively close to campus, although through the canyon, but one could get grocery shopping done, too. Baristas here are extremely nice, and there is seating designated for coffee drinkers both at a bar and in tables around the front of the store. What makes this place stand out as an option is probably variety; anything one could want to eat is right there.
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