Digital nomads, bloggers, and writers, these are the best California coffee shops to work and caffeinate! Chosen by coffee expert and LA native Melina of blog Coffee & Fernweh.

As a blogger and coffee addict, I’m always on the hunt for coffee shops that have a great work environment for those days that I want to work someplace other than at home. For me, when I check out a new coffee shop I’m looking for the following:

  • Great vibes in the shop?
  • Is the music too loud?
  • Is it too noisy?
  • Is there a lot going in the shop?
  • Do they have wifi? (not a deal breaker for me if they don’t)
  • And most importantly, how is the coffee!?

Without further ado this is my list of the best California coffee shops to work whilst you caffeinate.

Dripp

One of my favorite California coffee shops. They have two locations, Fullerton and Chino Hills, I’ve been to both numerous times. They each have their pros and cons but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. The Chino Hills location has two levels and an outside patio where the Fullerton location is one level and has an outside patio. Both locations have plenty of seating options, the decor is trendy/hipster/industrial at both, the atmosphere is pleasant, the music isn’t too loud, the baristas are friendly and they have amazing coffee plus a great pastry selection. The only con I can think of is they can get incredibly busy, especially the Fullerton location because it is close to Fullerton College.

What to get: Submarine Shake or an Iced Mocha

Why I love it: The Submarine Shake is a delicious combination of premium coffee ice cream blended together with cold brew. The Iced Mocha is a great combination of strong espresso balanced beautifully with a mocha that isn’t too sweet or too bitter.

Wifi? Yes

Corner Place 

Is a small up-and-coming coffee/boba shop located on Historic Whittier Blvd. Even though this isn’t a large location I enjoy coming here for that reason. CP has a good amount of seating: they have a couch, a variety of tables, plus a few seats at the bar. The atmosphere is mellow, with jazz softly playing in the background. Brianna is the sweetest friendliest barista, I love chatting with her when I come here. I find this is a great space to work or catch up with friends.

What to get: I’ve tried most of their coffee menu and I haven’t had a bad drink. My go-to drinks are an Iced Mocha, Iced Spanish Latte and an Iced White Mocha.

Why I love it: None of the drinks are overly sweet, they are all perfectly hand crafted, the espresso is their own house blend and it is well balanced and strong.

Wifi? Yes

La Monarca 

Has various locations throughout Southern California (12 in total) I’ve visited the Whittier location numerous times, it’s a large location with plenty of seating. The decor is simple with some succulents hanging on the wall and a decorative orange wall with exposed brick. The menu focuses of Mexican flavors and they have a wide variety of pan dulce and other delicious pastries. All of their products are made with all-natural fresh ingredients, without using lard, frying or artificial preservatives. The baristas are friendly and helpful if like me, you can’t decide on a drink.

What to get: Blended Café Guaymas and a few pastries (don’t judge)

Why I love it: The Café Guaymas is a wonderful mix of espresso, chocolate and coconut blended together. The pan dulce and other pastries are delicious and cheap so you can afford to buy a few.

Wifi? Yes

Intelligentsia 

Is my favorite Chicago based coffee shop with locations across the US including three in California. The Pasadena location is the only one I have visited, so far. This location is long and narrow with plenty of seating. The decor is trendy/hipster with exposed brick and trendy lighting. On my visit, I was in Pasadena for other reasons so I didn’t spend a lot of time here but I can see spending an afternoon here working away. The only con I can see with this location is it’s in Old Town Pasadena. So it’s a busy location but if you can get a seat in the back away from everything you should be able to get some work done.

What to get: Iced Mocha

Why I love it: The espresso is strong, well balanced and pulled properly. The mocha has the perfect amount of sweetness to it. If you know me, you know I can’t stand coffee that tastes like sugar and not coffee.

Wifi? Yes

Blue Bottle 

Is a coffee shop based in Oakland, CA. They now have locations across the US, Tokyo and Kyoto. Blue Bottle has thirteen locations in LA to choose from. I’ve been to The Bradbury location, which is attached to the Historic Bradbury building. This location is quite spacious and is one giant open room. It is airy and minimalist in design. The main focus here is the floor to ceiling bookshelves. This location is the very first of Blue Bottle’s to have a library, you can buy the books on the shelves or just borrow a book to read while you enjoy some amazing coffee. The only downside is none of Blue Bottle’s shops have wifi but don’t let that stop you from working here.

What to get: NOLA Float

Why I love it: The NOLA iced coffee is special by itself, it’s iced coffee infused with bold chicory root flavor. Add rich, creamy vanilla ice cream and you have a winner!

Wifi? No

Enchanted Coffee Bar 

Is located in a small shopping center on Beach Blvd., in La Mirada. The shop has plenty of seating, inside and out, the cute retro striped tables are my favorite to sit at. Enchanted proudly serves some of my Portland favorites: Heart Roasters, Copa Vida and Forty-Ninth Parallel. The atmosphere is pretty mellow and laid back here, you often find a few people with headphones in working away on their laptops. The only downside to this coffee shop is the aforementioned shopping center, the main building is a gym so parking can be hard to come by. Don’t let that scare you off though! The coffee at Enchanted is well worth fighting a gym-rat for a parking spot.

What to get: This is a tough call for me, The Kyoto Style Cold Brew is a favorite, as well as the mocha (shocking, I know) and the Alchemy Shake.

Why I love it: The Kyoto Style CB is made in a Kyoto Tower which is a slow drip system and it makes the best cold brew I’ve ever had. The Alchemy Shake is creamy vanilla ice cream with a double shot of espresso, and crushed coffee beans all blend together beautifully to make one delicious shake.

Wifi? Yes

The Dirty Penguin

Is another Chino Hills favorite of mine. They serve Stumptown Coffee and on the weekend they serve brunch. The shop is very hip and trendy with plenty of seating. The decor is simple, done in mostly pink and white. The staff is friendly and the shop has a great vibe to it. I can’t remember if I could hear any music playing, which is a good thing because if there was, it wasn’t too loud, which makes for a great work environment.

What to get: A Mocha-hot or iced

Why I love it: The mocha can be made with white or dark chocolate, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can mix them and ask for a penguin. I opted for the dark chocolate, it was the best mocha I’ve had to date! The milk was creamy, velvety and steamed to perfection. The dark mocha wasn’t bitter like other dark mochas I’ve had, it mixed well with that Stumptown espresso and perfect milk.

Wifi? Yes

Copa Vida 

Is a fantastic coffee company that is certified in Coffee Farming, Milling, and Roasting. They also have award winning baristas working in their stores. They have 6 locations in California, with 2 of them in SoCal and 4 in San Diego. I went to the Pasadena location while I was in Old Town Pasadena. This location is 2 rooms, the main room where you order and a side room that has additional seating. The decor is casual/hipster with cement floors, exposed brick and loads of natural light. When I was here, they were incredibly busy but if you get here early enough you can score a great table to work the day away.

What to get: I went out of my comfort zone here and got a Cortado

Why I love it: Strong espresso and equal parts steamed milk, this drink will wake you up and give you the caffeine boost you need to get some work done.

Wifi? Yes M-F, no wifi on Sat and Sun 9am-3pm

There you have it! The best California coffee shops to work and caffeinate! Have you been to any of these coffee shops? Will you visit now that you know about them? Let me know in the comments or email me at coffeefernweh@gmail.com.

Melina is a Luxury Backpack regular contributor and blogger at Coffee & Fernweh, where she writes about her caffeine fuelled adventures!

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