With all of the anticipation and excitement of returning to campus this upcoming fall, students are going to need their caffeine fix to make it through the lectures, discussions and study groups that may take a little more energy than showing up to a Zoom meeting five seconds before lecture. In-person classes resuming in the fall will bring so much joy, excitement and life back onto campus, so I thought I would share with you some of my favorite places to grab your choice of coffee shop beverage around the heart of Westwood!
- Upside Down
If you are a student on a budget looking for a good latte and cheery, upbeat baristas, then Upside Down is the place for you! Upside Down is a donation-based coffee shop, art gallery, and events space in Westwood Village that is owned and operated by Jews for Jesus, a non-profit organization. In summary, this means that there are no prices for any of the drinks, the prices are merely based on what you wish to pay. The typical donation for a cup of coffee or a latte is $3-6, and the coffee really is worth more than what you pay - it’s delicious! This place is a hidden gem. My friend recommended that I check it out my sophomore year and I was absolutely blown away by the concept of paying whatever you could at this non-profit based coffee shop. Their location is 10962 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 and their hours are Tuesday - Thursday: 9am-3pm and Friday - Monday they are closed. My favorite drink here is the rose latte with almond milk and a bit of honey. If that doesn't sound like your speed, I also love the golden snitch with a shot of espresso!
- Ministry of Coffee
This coffee shop is a cute and quaint Australian coffee shop that has locations in Los Angeles (including Westwood) and Australia! Ministry of Coﬀee, or MOC, was founded in 2014 by Jimmy Arslan. His passion was to build a third wave coﬀee oﬀering, focused on bringing the highly mature Australian coﬀee culture from Australia to America and Turkey, but always with Australian style and Turkish passion. This coffee shop really focuses on fresh and organic produce on their menu, as they offer a variety of healthy dishes from salads and sandwiches to smoothies and yogurt bowls. Their location is in Westwood at 1010 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90024 and their hours are Monday through Friday from 7am-5pm. When they are able to open up indoor seating, this is one of the prime spots in Westwood to study and catch up with friends, as the entire interior is Australian-themed with accents of coffee and world-travel accessories. My favorite dish to order from MOC is the salmon bagel, and my favorite coffee drink is either the long black with almond milk or the turmeric latte with oat milk!
- Espresso Profeta
Espresso Profeta, more commonly known as Profeta, is a great coffee shop, just a bit further from Ministry of Coffee. This one is known for a bit of a stronger kick of flavor and a very quaint outdoor patio for sitting and chatting. Profeta was established in 2006, and they state that they pride themselves on delivering the best espresso drinks by using the highest quality ingredients and training. They exclusively use Espresso Vivace beans from Seattle and have amazing baristas who are trained to pull double ristretto shots, extracting the fullest flavor for each coffee. Although this coffee shop is a bit more of a walk, you can taste the difference in the strength of coffee - so if you want a little extra caffeine boost, I would recommend it! Although this spot is a bit pricier, it makes up for the extra money in the cute outdoor patio space - but you have to make sure you get there early or at a time that they’re not busy, otherwise, it’s hard to find a spot! Their location is 1129 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, 90024 and they are open daily 8am-5pm Monday-Friday and 8am-2pm Saturday & Sunday. My favorite drink is an Americano with a shot of lavender and a bit of almond milk, and my friends have said the lattes are amazing as well.
- Espressoteric Coffee Co.
Espressoteric Coffee Co. is a nice little walk across Wilshire that has a pretty large amount of indoor seating, as well as a few tables outside, with lots of good options for coffee. I will say, this was one of the most pricey coffee shops that I went to on this list, but it is a nice walk from campus down into a new area, and it makes for a very nice study space off campus! Espressoteric was established to provide premium coffee and tea in a cozy, rustic-industrial space and I think they do just that! There is a lot of overhead lighting, a bar with stools, a couch and tables to do work. My friends and I went here on a nice weekday morning and we got a matcha latte with almond milk, a London Fog (which is like a tea latte with vanilla) and an Americano with almond milk. Their location is in Westwood at 1311 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 and their hours are all day 7am-5pm. My matcha latte was $7, which was a little steep to me, but I would recommend my friend’s Americano and the London Fog as well!
Junbi, as amazing as it is, may be considered to act more like a matcha or boba shop rather than a coffee shop, but they do serve really good coffee, and thus I thought I should add them as the final stop on my list. Their site states that they are a movement that draws on the strength of the earth, delivering energy and goodness through matcha to help you prepare daringly to push your limits and walk your own path. Truthfully, I only got into matcha very recently, but Junbi has been one of the best matcha's I have tried to date! I am really a fan of how fresh the flavors taste, as well as the ability to adjust sweetness, ice levels and the option for boba. The coffee drinks at Junbi are also worthy to note as they really take a new spin on coffee drinks! They have americanos and lattes that you are able to put your own twist on, as well as delicious teas. Their location is in Westwood at 10967 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, 90024 and they are open from noon to 8pm every day. My favorite drink at the moment is the matcha magic, which is layered beet, turmeric and matcha with a blend of organic coconut & organic soy milks, but the strawberry matcha is a close second!
I hope that I was able to provide you with a list of must-haves for your return to Westwood/campus in these upcoming months! These drinks and places will hopefully be able to keep you energy up and brighten your day! So whenever you return to campus next, you now know where to find the best coffee in Westwood.