The pandemic has thrown a wrench in the plans of Angelenos who depend on their morning coffee and public workspaces. Just as L.A. County stores, salons, and restaurants carefully started reopening, worldwide demonstrations in response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others have raised awareness and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a result, many people are inspired to support more Black- and minority-owned businesses that were hit hard by the coronavirus. Luckily, the City of Angels has plenty of mom-and-pop spots — if you're on the hunt for new local places to try, we encourage you to grab your cup of joe and lunch from these Black-owned coffee shops in L.A.
Bloom and Plume
Bloom and Plume is a Black-family owned business that uplifts the community through the South African philosophy of "ubuntu," which means "'I am because you are' and it embraces the idea that humans cannot exist in isolation," according to the café. Adjacent to his floral studio, artist and co-owner Maurice Harris created a space for coffee lovers to enjoy some art and tasty treats.
Bloom and Plume, 1638 West Temple St., L.A., 90026; (213) 908-5808
Coffee Del Mundo
This Afro-Latino-owned coffee company is on a mission to help people rediscover coffee the way it was meant to be enjoyed, with natural fresh ingredients. You can order Coffee Del Mundo's products online and even sign up for a coffee subscription.
Coffee Del Mundo, 7414 South Vermont Ave, L.A., 90044; (323) 455-0285
Coffee by Kofi
Located in the lobby of Downtown creative hub and fashion showroom building The Reef, Coffee by Kofi offers a gourmet cafe experience for visitors. Doubling as a coffee shop and art space, this spot now has delivery and takeout options.
Coffee by Kofi, The Reef, 1933 South Broadway, Lobby, L.A., 90007; (213) 949-7632
Landscape designer Sean Knibb (who has created spaces for The Line hotel and many others) created the Venice concept space Flowerboy Project to serve espressos, cappuccinos, candles, decor, flowers, home decor, and more all in one shop.
Flowerboy Project, 824 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, 90291; (310) 452-3900
Rihanna, Big Boy, and many more celebs have been spotted at famed coffee shop and gallery space Harun Coffee in Leimert Park. It specializes in coffee from Ethiopia and Tanzania and serves up smoothies, vegan donuts, and avocado toast, too.
Harun Coffee, 4336 Degnan Blvd., L.A., 90008; (323) 815-9944
Insecure star, writer, and producer Issa Rae partnered with co-owners Ajay Relan and Yonnie Hagos to build their new Inglewood coffee shop location. Originally opened in View Park, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen offers a cool workspace with great coffee and food, such as acai bowls, buffalo cauliflower bowls, toasts, short rib grilled cheese, and more. An Eagle Rock outpost is coming soon, too.
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, 4427 West Slauson Ave., L.A., (323) 815-9833; 170 North La Brea Ave., Inglewood, (323) 743-8100
Hot and Cool Cafe
Anthony Jolly transformed his bicycle-driven coffee cart into the Leimert Park coffeehouse Hot and Cool Cafe. This spot serves fresh, exotic ground coffee and specializes in vegan and vegetarian food — think dairy-free mac and cheese, the chickpea-powered Bombay Bowl, meatless sliders, and more. Soon, H&C will offer a coffee and muffin subscription box.
Hot and Cool Cafe, 4331 Degnan Blvd., L.A., 90008; (323) 903-6449
Little Amsterdam Coffee
Little Amsterdam is changing the way coffee is made by infusing CBD with its signature drinks. This Mid-City shop offers a bold fusion of coffee and creativity and serves tuna and turkey melts, chili, PB&J sandwiches, "LAmonade," and more fare.
Little Amsterdam Coffee, 1412 S Redondo Blvd., L.A., 90019; (323) 452-9124
Lou, The French On The Block
Chef Laurent "Lou" and his wife Karima opened Lou, The French On The Block as a way to bring their French culture and tradition to L.A. Since 2016, this Burbank spot has been serving Parisian pastries, sandwiches, and gourmet coffees.
Lou, The French On The Block, 4007 West Riverside Dr., Burbank, 91505; (747) 241-8205
Potterheads, this one's for you! Owned by mother-and-daughter duo Shawn and Eviana Farrar, Nimbus Coffee is L.A.'s first Harry Potter-inspired coffee shop. With wands, cappuccinos, and more cool concoctions, java-loving fantasy fans will want to give this place a visit.
Nimbus Coffee, 1115 South Hope St., L.A., 90015; (213) 441-7309
Obet and Dels
This Thai Town shop is one of our favorite new spots to grab some coffee. Due to the pandemic, Obet and Dels is offering pick-up and delivery options for their coffee, tea, and matcha.
Obet and Dels, 5233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 90027; (213) 770-0133
Patria Coffee Roasters
Compton-based couple Deanna and Geoffrey Martinez have been roasting coffee from their local shop Patria Coffee since 2018. This shared space is the perfect spot for soaking up culture and conversation over an Ibarra Mexican mocha, iced lavender hibiscus tea, oat milk frapp, and many other delicious drinks.
Patria Coffee Roasters, 108 Alameda St., Compton, 90221; (323) 513-4865
Silverback Coffee of Rwanda
Jack Karuletwa opened Silverback Coffee of Rwanda with the mission of giving back to the Rwandan community. Proceeds from Karuletwa's coffee bar benefits organizations that build schools in Rwanda and improves the living conditions of the native endangered Silverback gorilla.
Silverback Coffee of Rwanda, 2301 East 7th St #B224, L.A., 90023; (323) 685-5927
Sip and Sonder
Local lawyers-turned-business partners Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas founded the coffeehouse and creative studio Sip & Sonder in 2017 in the heart of Inglewood. This shop offers coffee, tea, and pastries and space for entrepreneurs and creatives, like the rapper D-Smoke.
Sip & Sonder, 108 South Market St., Inglewood, 90301
South L.A. Cafe
Thanks to an Instagram shout-out from singer Ariana Grande, South LA Cafe has enjoyed a (hopefully enduring) influx of customers. Founded by married duo Celia and Joe Ward-Wallace, the family-owned shop is on a mission to build the community through coffee, culture, and connection by offering a healthy and affordable menu of coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, soups, and frozen yogurt as well as space for book readings, workshops, music, and other gatherings.
South LA Cafe, 1700 Browning Blvd., L.A., 90062; (213) 260-0633
Wife-and-husband team Rachel and Ron Sazon created Undergrind Cafe for locals to grab some food, a cup of coffee, and hang out with some new friends. Located in Beverlywood, the shop specializes in flavored lattes including, vanilla, chocolate, and more.
Undergrind Cafe, 2713 South Robertson Blvd., L.A., 90034; (310) 730-6392
Located in Echo Park, Black female-owned coffee shop VanillaBlack serves Cafecito Organico coffee and is known for making a balloon letter-powered statement with its windows. Customers love its signature Layla Latte (espresso with lavender and vanilla) and vegan food options, like blueberry muffins and other pastries. [Update: Per Yelp reviewers, as of October 2020 the shop is temporarily closed.]
Vanilla Black, 1825 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 90026
Main photo: Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen