OK, sure, Seattle might be a world center for coffee roasting, but what about its neighbor 1,000 miles south? We’d argue that some of the Emerald City’s serious coffee prowess has trickled down I5, and landed in Santa Monica’s laid-back lap. While you’re in town, warm up or chill out at some of these favorite little local cafés. Here are our picks for some of the best Santa Monica coffee shops.

Santa Monica Coffee Shops

GoodBoyBob Coffee

If you look up GoodBoyBob on Google Maps, you’ll find it’s identified as a “secret coffee bar with food.”  We’ll help you out. Head to the intersection of 21st and Broadway, follow the vintage red “Tool” sign, and don’t stop walking ‘til you’ve arrived at an ivy-coated store-front. The floral-rich scent of freshly ground beans should be an indication that you’re in the right place.  If you’re kind of, sort of a snob, make sure to stop by on a Friday for a rare, manually brewed micro-lot coffee. GoodBoyBob Coffee: 2058 Broadway; 310-453-9244.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Boasting nearly 90,000 Instagram followers, and garnering accolades from publications like Food & Wine and Harper’s Bazaar, Sidecar might just offer the best doughnuts on the West Coast. Pair a perfectly tart and sweet huckleberry cake donut with a warm cup of their signature “Forty Winks” coffee. Roasted just for Sidecar by Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, it’s a bold and bright way to start your day. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee: 631 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-587-0022.

Philz Coffee

Philz may not be as trendy or as Instragram-able as Sidecar or GoodBoyBob, but it has that laid-back, local vibe you might be looking for. No lattes, no espresso, no frappes, Philz prides itself on working with each customer to grind, brew and pour them their perfect cup of straight up, stellar coffee. Philz Coffee: 525 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-451-9500.


Demitasse small-batch roasts their beans in-house, offers regular coffee cuppings and roasting classes, and won’t even judge you if you’d like to just have an affogato for breakfast. The shop itself is bright, airy, and the perfect place to get a pick-me-up after a long afternoon shopping around the Third Street Promenade. Demitasse: 1149 3rd St.; 424-322-0959.