The REAL Guide to LA Study Cafés

Madelyn Douglas Best of LA, Food, Free Time, Madelyn, Study, Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

If you are a yelp maniac like me, then you may have spent more than a few wasted hours looking at “top 10 study cafes near you” and many, many, many similarly titled pages. Sadly, the automated selection of popular LA cafes just isn’t sufficient for a college student seeking various criteria for a great study café (open until 2am? OUTLETS please? No crowds!!). Et voila! Here is my guide—the REAL one—to LA’s best study spots! And in case you were wondering, yes, I have been to all of these… my tea latte and breakfast burrito obsessions are unhealthy but fuel me through the toughest of times!

Study breakfast from back when I ate bacon!

Judging Criteria:

Hours – my favorite study café times are weekend mornings, or weekday LATE night (open 12am or later please!)

Outlets – if you are like me and have a horrible gamer PC (kidding I love my predator, yes that is the name of my laptop), you will definitely need open outlets available

Caffeine – the ideal café has a variety of both lightly caffeinated (a perpetual stream of matcha lattes is great for productivity) and emergency caffeine (esPrEsSo??) options

Snacks – sometimes the caffeine doesn’t need it and having a great comfort food option to console you through the pain of EE 301 is necessary (muffins, waffles, croissants, oh my!)

Location – free lyft range is ideal, $5 uber pool I’ll take, anything past that can get pricey but can sometimes be worth a once-in-a-while splurge for maximum productivity

Seating – do they have large table space? A secret study room? Couch seats with room for notebooks? … *shudder* … bar stools… with no table space (please no!)?

Our first place winner–Design Cafe Dabang!

#1: Design Café Dabang

Ringing in the first place prize, Café Dabang has the BEST breakfast burritos, a good variety of lattes, and massive ice blended drinks (my guilty pleasure). Most importantly, it ALWAYS has great desk space with open outlets. Though it closes earlier for weekday studying, this is undoubtedly LA’s best kept secret as far as weekend study spots go (and it’s fairly close to campus)!

Hours 2/5, Outlets 5/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 5/5, Location 4/5, Seating 5/5

#2: Nature’s Brew (free lyft friendly)

Nature’s Brew also may not have the best late-night hours but is a good option for in-between classes or weekends! An easy bike ride from campus during the week with reliable space and outlets, though it gets more crowded on the weekends. Ice blended anything or smoothies are a must try, also has great vegan/vegetarian options compared to most cafes! Last but not least: Breakfast. All. Day.

Hours 3/5, Outlets 4/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 5/5, Location 5/5, Seating 3/5

#3: Sharp Specialty Coffee

No, those are not hashtags on the to-go cups. Sharp coffee takes the third place prize with a great selection of lattes (even no-caffeine options), snacks, and reliable seating options. Not horribly far from campus, and open 8am-11pm most nights! Don’t leave without getting the chocolate banana bread.

Hours 4/5, Outlets 4/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 5/5, Location 3/5, Seating 4/5

#4: Awesome Coffee (late night choice)

Awesome Coffee is, well, awesome. Especially when it’s 10pm and you find yourself “doing homework” in bed… laying down… with drooping eyelids… and you GO TO A CAFÉ ASAP AND GET YOURSELF AN AMOUNT OF CAFFEINE AND WAFFLES SO EMBARASSING YOU MUST STAY THERE UNTIL CLOSING TIME, 2AM. Guilt fuels productivity. Get there on the earlier side to stake out a spot, and bring a friend. Sometimes the lighting and outlets are iffy, but Awesome Coffee is there when you need it.

Hours 5/5, Outlets 3/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 4/5, Location 3/5, Seating 3/5

#5: Alchemist Coffee Project

Another more crowded pick, but it makes the list because it has decent table seating and GREAT caffeine. Be careful with this one. Highly recommend anything with matcha and any baked goods. Get there soon after opening or soon before closing to get a seat.

Hours 4/5, Outlets 3/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 5/5, Location 3/5, Seating 3/5

#6: The Cow’s End Café (beach pick)

In the heart of Venice beach, you may be distracted from studying if you like people—and dog—watching. Great food and coffee with very reasonable prices, AND it has *drumroll please* … a secret upstairs study area that is always empty!!! Only downside is no AC and a 40 minute uber/metro heheh…

Hours 3/5, Outlets 5/5, Caffeine 5/5, Snacks 5/5, Location 1/5, Seating 4/5

Honorary Mention: Dulce

Great burritos, expensive lattes (good, but not sure yet if they’re $8 good), but sadly usually has too limited of seating for consistently good studying.

About the Author

Madelyn is a senior studying Electrical Engineering focusing in Computer Engineering. Click above to find out more!


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