Gnarwhal Coffee Co. - Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica

The Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica 2023

Grab your mugs and sun hats, folks, because we’re embarking on a caffeinated journey through Santa Monica coffee shops! If there’s one thing JL Surjan knows (apart from bourbon and BBQ, of course), it’s great coffee. And, in the eclectic city of Santa Monica CA, where the Pacific Ocean kisses the Santa Monica pier and palm trees line Main st, coffee isn’t just a beverage; it’s a culture, an art form, and for some, a religion, a better way to star your day!

But why should you care about the best coffee shops in Santa Monica? Well, aside from getting a killer caffeine fix, these coffee shops are the heartbeats of the community. They’re where ideas are brewed, friendships are stirred, and where, occasionally, one might find themselves lost in the deep end of a coffee mug, contemplating the waves and the wonders of life.

So, whether you’re a local looking to discover a new spot, a tourist hoping to sip on the best the city has to offer, or just someone who appreciates the finer, roasted things in life, this guide’s for you. Ready to discover the best coffee shop in Santa Monica? Let’s dive in, bean first! ☕️🌴🌊

What is The Best Coffee Shop in Santa Monica?

While all the spots on our list are worth a visit, these three hold a special place in my caffeine-soaked heart.
Here are three best coffee shops in Santa Monica who standouts from our Santa Monica treasure trove:

Gnarwhal Coffee Co.Urth Caffe Santa MonicaDogtown Coffee
Gnarwhal Coffee Co. is all about crafting magical brews that will leave you wide-eyed and buzzing with delight. They roast their beans with utmost care and serve up some seriously creative concoctions. Trust me, you won’t find coffee like this anywhere else in Santa Monica.This place is like the OG of the coffee scene in Santa Monica. It’s been around for ages, and there’s a good reason for that—it’s just that good! Their commitment to organic, sustainable, and ethically-sourced coffee is impressive. Plus, their outdoor patio is perfect for soaking up that Cali sunshine while sipping on your cup of joe.Woof! Don’t let the name fool you; this place is the real deal! Dogtown Coffee is a laid-back joint with a killer beachy vibe. They take their coffee seriously, and you’ll find some seriously awesome espresso-based drinks here. If you’re into that chill surf culture, this is the spot to be.
Gnarwhal Coffee Co. - Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monicaurth cafe, best coffee shops in santa monicaDogtown Coffee, best coffee shops in santa monica

Now go on, explore these coffee gems, and let your taste buds go on an epic caffeinated adventure!

Gnarwhal Coffee Co.

With a name inspired by the mythical sea creature, expect brews that are nothing short of legendary. Best best cold brew in town and specialty drinks paired with sweet treats and free wifi makes this nice coffee shop on of the best in downtown Santa Monica.

Gnarwhal Coffee Co. - Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica

Primo Passo Coffee Co

Great spot Offering both classic favorites and innovative brews, Primo Passo is not just a place to grab espresso drinks, and that is a good thing, Its coffee menu boasts matcha lattes, drip coffee, specialty espresso, cold brew coffee served over ice, and many more amazing coffee drinks served all around but best of all friendly staff! It is an upscale coffee shop that serves great coffee, among locals favorite coffee shops in Santa Monica.

Primo Passo Coffee Co - Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica
Credits to primopassocoffeeco

10 Speed Coffee

Bike enthusiasts, rejoice! This spot merges two passions – cycling and coffee. Serving up handcrafted brews that are as smooth as a bike ride down the coast, this is a must-visit for any coffee lover. With a little bit of a hipster vibe, a positive atmosphere, great service, indoor seating, and the best almond croissants, 10 speed coffee is one of Southern California’s best place to get your espresso drinks.

10 speed coffee Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica
Credits to 10speedcoffee

Lo/Cal Coffee and Market

With a vibe as chilled as their iced lattes, Lo/Cal is a hub for those who appreciate both quality coffee and a relaxed environment. Their market section? A treasure trove of local goodies! This is the perfect place for friendly baristas and a wide selection of unique drinks, nitro coffee, cold brews, and excellent coffee all around. Lo/Cal, A hidden gem with high wood vaulted ceilings, a welcoming atmosphere, and exposed brick rocking the California State Flag close to everything in Santa Monica California.

lo/cal coffee and market  est Coffee Shops in Santa Monica
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goodboybob coffee roasters

With a name that’s as quirky as their brews, this spot is a hipster’s paradise. Expect innovative coffee creations that push the boundaries.

goodboybob best coffee shops in Sta Monica
Credits to goodboybobcoffee

Dogtown Coffee

Paying homage to Santa Monica’s iconic skateboarding culture, this joint serves coffee with a side of history. Their mochas? Totally tubular! And so is their salty dog iced coffee.

Dogtown Coffee, best coffee shops in santa monica


For the true coffee connoisseur, Demitasse offers artisanal brews in a chic, modern setting. Their coffee art is Instagram-worthy, to say the least.

Cafe demitasse best coffee shops in santa monica
Credits to cafe_demitasse

Love Coffee Bar

It’s not just a name; it’s a vibe. With cozy interiors and coffee that’s brewed with love, you’re in for a treat. Love coffee bar awaits you with sweet treats and good coffee.

Love Coffee bar. best coffee shops in santa monica

Primo Passo Coffee Co

Twice on the list because it’s just that good! Primo Passo offers an upscale coffee experience with beans sourced from the finest estates. Coffee roasted to perfection and specialty drinks is what you can be sure to find here.

Primo passo Co. best coffee shops in santa monica
Credits to primopassocoffeeco

Urth Caffe Santa Monica

Organic, sustainable, and utterly delicious. From their Spanish lattes to their matcha creations, Urth is not just a great place to get coffee and tea, Its an institution in the coffee world.

urth cafe, best coffee shops in santa monica
Credits to urthcaffe

Bluestone Lane Santa Monica Coffee Shop

Hailing from Down Under, this Australian-inspired coffee shop offers brews that are as sunny as the beaches of Santa Monica California.

Bluestone Lane best coffee shops in santa monica
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Groundwork Coffee Co.

Rooted in sustainability, if you love coffee and the environment, this is your go to spot, It boasts organic brews that are as good for the planet as they are for your palate making groundwork coffee one of the best coffee shops in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Groundwork Coffee Co. best coffee shops in santa monica
Credits to groundworkcoffee

Caffe Luxxe

It is known for its high-quality coffee and a relaxing atmosphere. Caffe Luxxe focuses on providing a premium coffee experience, a modern coffee shop, often sourcing and roasting their own coffee beans. Caffe Luxxe aims to provide a nice place, cozy, and comfortable environment for customers to enjoy their coffee and perhaps some light snacks or pastries.

Caffe Luxxe: Best coffee shops in santa monnica

Go Get Em Tiger

Go Get Em Tiger is a popular coffee shop located in Santa Monica, known for its high-quality coffee and inviting atmosphere. The shop offers a range of specialty coffee drinks made from carefully sourced beans that are expertly roasted and brewed making it one of the best coffee shops in Santa Monica. The menu often includes various espresso-based beverages, pour-over options, and creative coffee concoctions.

Go Get Em Tiger Best coffee shops in santa monica

Cafe Bolivar

Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica is a haven for food and coffee aficionados. Their made-to-order sandwiches and arepas use the freshest ingredients with a keen eye on dietary preferences. Hard to beat a nice spot with super friendly baristas, and a tasty cup of coffee and tea with a latin flair. Don’t miss their daily soup specials. The cafe collaborates with local and national roasters for the best coffee beans, offering a diverse range of coffees to satisfy every palate.

Cafe Bolivar Best coffee shops in santa monica

Bluey’s Santa Monica

Nestled in the heart of Santa Monica, Bluey’s emerges as a top-tier coffee shop that has captivated the taste buds and hearts of locals and visitors alike. With a commitment to excellence woven into every aspect, from the meticulously sourced beans to the enchanting coastal-inspired décor, Bluey’s Santa Monica offers more than just a caffeine fix – it’s a journey into the world of exceptional coffee. The fusion of artisanal brewing techniques and a warm, welcoming atmosphere creates a haven for coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs to explore a diverse range of meticulously crafted brews.

Bluey's Santa Monica Best coffee shops in santa monica

What are Coffee Shops in Santa Monica Like?

Ah, Santa Monica coffee shops. An experience as invigorating as a double shot of espresso on a Monday morning! Let’s dive into this, shall we? Here’s the brew-down:

  • 1. Beach Vibes and Breezy Ambiance:
    Many coffee shops in Santa Monica boast stunning ocean views or at least a beachy ambiance. Whether it’s the sea breeze wafting in as you sip your latte or the laid-back surf decor, there’s a constant reminder that you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Pacific.
  • 2. Eclectic Mix:
    From tiny indie coffee nooks to upscale chains and everything in between, Santa Monica caters to all. Looking for a hipster spot with latte art that’s practically a Picasso? You got it. Craving that reliable chain where the baristas might (finally) spell your name right? It’s here too.
  • 3. Artistic Flair:
    Many coffee shops double up as art galleries or performance spaces. It’s not uncommon to find local artwork adorning the walls or to stumble upon an open-mic night with budding poets and musicians pouring out their souls (sometimes more intense than your espresso).
  • 4. Health-Conscious Options:
    This being LA County, expect almond, oat, soy, macadamia, and every imaginable dairy alternative for your coffee. Organic? Fair Trade? Vegan pastries? It’s almost more unusual not to find these options.
  • 5. Tech and Business-Friendly:
    Given its proximity to tech hubs and start-up neighborhoods, many coffee shops are equipped to handle the laptop crowd. Think free Wi-Fi, plenty of charging outlets, and communal tables for those impromptu brainstorming sessions.
  • 6. Outdoor Seating:
    Given the lovely Santa Monica weather, many places offer outdoor seating options. Perfect for people-watching, catching some rays, or just enjoying the fresh air with your brew.
  • 7. Pricey, but Worth It:
    It’s Santa Monica, after all. Prices can be a tad higher than you’d find inland, but for the quality, ambiance, and overall experience, it’s usually worth every penny.
  • 8. Community and Culture:
    Santa Monica’s coffee scene isn’t just about caffeine. It’s about community. Many locals have their favorite spots where baristas know them by name (and order). These places become little hubs of culture, conversation, and connection.

To sum it up? Santa Monica coffee shops are like the perfect blend: a little laid-back beach vibe, a dash of LA glam, a sprinkle of health consciousness, all brewed together for a taste that’s uniquely delightful. Cheers to that! 🌊☕️🌞

Why Do I Need to Know the Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica?

1. Signature Brews:
You think you’ve tried every type of coffee? Think again. This place has concoctions that’ll blow your caffeine-craving mind. They might have stuff like “Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew” or “Bourbon Vanilla Macchiato” that you won’t find just anywhere.

2. Ambiance Galore:
There’s something about sipping coffee amidst the vibe of Santa Monica – the ocean breeze, laid-back atmosphere, and that touch of luxury. This shop encapsulates all of that, making it more than just a coffee stop, but an experience.

3. Networking Paradise:
Santa Monica isn’t just about the beach; it’s a bustling hub of entrepreneurs, techies, artists, and writers. This coffee shop? It’s where they hang out. Rubbing shoulders with these folks could lead to your next big opportunity. Or, at the very least, an enlightening conversation.

4. Gourmet Food Pairings:
BBQ and coffee, you say? This ain’t your average muffin and latte combo. Expect to indulge in some gourmet bites that complement your brew just perfectly. Your taste buds will thank you!

5. Sustainability:
In an era where being eco-conscious is not just cool but crucial, this coffee shop steps up. Whether it’s their commitment to sourcing ethical beans or their zero-waste policies, knowing about and supporting such places makes a difference.

6. Coffee Workshops:
Ever wondered how to brew the perfect cup at home? Or what the difference between a light and dark roast really is? Many top-notch coffee shops in Santa Monica offer workshops and tasting sessions. It’s like wine tasting, but for coffee!

7. Leisurely Luxury:
As someone who appreciates the finer things in life, you’ll recognize the luxurious touches that set this place apart – whether it’s the plush leather seating, artisanal cups, or the exclusive beans sourced from remote parts of the world.

So, do you need any more reasons? Venture out, explore, and let this Santa Monica gem elevate your coffee game to levels you didn’t even know existed. Remember, life’s too short for bad coffee. 🥃☕️

Wrapping Up

Well, caffeinated comrades, our whirlwind tour of Santa Monica’s coffee havens is coming to a close. And oh, what a journey it’s been! From the aromatic wafts of freshly roasted beans to that first, exquisite sip that touches the soul, it’s been an expedition worthy of any coffee connoisseur.

It’s not every day that you stumble upon a city where coffee shops are more than just places to get your caffeine fix. In Santa Monica, they’re windows into the community’s soul, each telling a unique story. Whether it’s a bohemian haunt frequented by poets and dreamers, a ritzy café where the city’s movers and shakers negotiate deals, or that cozy nook where relationships blossom over shared mugs, Santa Monica’s coffee scene is as rich and diverse as its population.

I’ve savored espressos that tasted like liquid gold and lattes smoother than a jazz tune on a lazy Sunday morning. But more than the beverages, it’s the memories, the conversations, and the moments of quiet reflection, with the Pacific as the backdrop, that’ll stay with me.

So, whether you’re exploring Santa Monica for the first time or rediscovering it through a fresh lens, I hope this guide helps you find not just a great cup of joe, but also moments of connection, inspiration, and sheer joy. Because that, my friends, is the real magic of Santa Monica’s coffee shops.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where should I get my coffee fix in Santa Monica?
A: Hit up Funnel Mill Rare Coffee. They’re the champs of Santa Monica coffee. You won’t regret it!

Q: What’s the vibe like at Espresso Cielo?
A: Ah, Espresso Cielo is top notch! Brushed metal accents, exposed brick, and cozy nooks galore.

Q: Is there a coffee shop with outdoor seating?
A: You betcha! Love Coffee Bar has fantastic outdoor seating. Great for people-watching.

Q: Got a favorite coffee menu item?
A: Oh, man! The Salty Dog Iced Coffee is the stuff of legends. If you haven’t tried it, you ain’t lived.

Q: What’s the deal with Funnel Mill Rare Coffee?
A: Funnel Mill Rare Coffee is like the Ferrari of Santa Monica coffee shops. Exclusive blends and a super chill atmosphere.

Q: I’m craving some craft beer, any suggestions?
A: You can find craft beer at a few Santa Monica coffee shops. It’s a great option if you’re tired of the bean juice.

Q: Anything near Santa Monica Pier?
A: Yep! Head to Third Street Promenade. Tons of coffee shops close to Santa Monica Pier.

Q: Breakfast burritos and coffee?
A: Find your way to a coffee bar that offers a full breakfast menu. Breakfast burritos and coffee make for a great thing in the morning.

Q: I need my oat milk fix. Where to?
A: Most Santa Monica coffee shops are keeping up with the oat milk trend. Just ask!

Q: What’s this I hear about honey lavender lattes?
A: Honey lavender is like the new black in the coffee world. Espresso Cielo nails it every time.

Q: I’m tired of small shops. Where’s a large space?
A: For a large space, your best Los Angeles option is probably in Culver City, just a hop and skip away.

Q: What’s with all the Third Street Promenade buzz?
A: It’s the heart of Santa Monica coffee culture. If you’re in Southern California, you can’t miss it.

Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Absolutely! Dog-friendly spots are becoming more common.

Q: Tell me about the perfect balance of coffee and atmosphere.
A: That’d be Gary Chau’s coffee bar. You get a great balance of quality coffee and a chill vibe.

Q: Should I order ahead in Santa Monica?
A: If you don’t want to wait long, use an app and order ahead. It’s a great choice for a quick pick-me-up.

Q: Any coffee bars with large windows?
A: Yeah! Large windows are all the rage for those Insta pics. Colorful Chesterfields included.

Q: Is indoor seating a thing?
A: Yep! Indoor seating is available in most places, complete with exposed brick and brushed metal accents.

Q: What about Z Boys?
A: Z Boys? They’re more about skating than sipping, but their spirit lives on in the street promenade coffee shops.

Q: How does Santa Monica coffee compare to the rest of Los Angeles?
A: Santa Monica coffee is a great option among Los Angeles coffee scenes. If you’re in the area, it’s the place to get caffeinated.

Disclosure: Our blog contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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