maru coffee

my actual favorite coffee shop in LA

Los Angeles has some coffee institutions that are practically tourist attractions. Maru is not one of them. If MUJI is my happy place, Maru is my minimalist coffee haven. Sure, you look around and realize everyone is an artsy hipster UX designer dressed in the same modern casual uniform. But then you look down and realize you fit right in. Here, you don’t have to deal with the chaos that is Alfred or Commissary or Go Get Em (even though they all have great coffee too). It’s the kind of place that attracts a certain clientele, and their clientele is people you won’t mind sharing a space with for a bit. Eavesdrop on some hyper-specific start up ideas. Ask to pet someone’s extremely well-behaved dog while they wait for their to go order. Try not to photobomb the Leica shoot happening next to you. 
Whether you’re a coffee snob or simply a café enthusiast, you’ll be pleased here: the baristas can tell you as much or as little as you want about the coffee. For aesthetes, the textured neutrals of wooden furniture, concrete floors and ceramic cups make for a photogenic background. For carb-lovers, they serve Sugarbloom pastries here so you can’t go wrong with anything in the case. So bring your favorite Moleskine, order an espresso tonic for here and pretend to work on a cool creative project for a little while.  

the details

AddressLos Feliz | 1936 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA
Arts District | 1019 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA
YelpLos Feliz
Arts District
HoursWeekdays 7-6 (7-5 in Arts District), Weekends 8-6
Price$$ – $4-5 for most coffees & teas, $3-5 for pastries
Aestheticminimal, muted neutrals, bright windows, earthy ceramics

good to know

Go here for: aesthetic caffeine with a friend (your friend can be your MacBook)

Order this: any of their seasonal signature drinks, including espresso tonic and a properly foamed iced capp

Amount of time to spend: generally pretty quick for takeaway orders, or stay an hour or two to get some work done or catch up with a friend

When to come: weekday mornings can attract a bit of a line (particularly in Los Feliz), but generally it never gets too crowded throughout the day

Parking: is easy in Arts District, tolerable in Los Feliz. Both locations are street parking only, so make sure to look at signs and check the time on your meter. In Los Feliz, try the residential streets if Hillhurst is full, but make sure to check for street cleaning times. There are also some paid lots off Vermont a block away.

Other things to note:

  • Free wifi, some outlets, but not the most comfortable seats (you’re sacrificing comfort for atmosphere) 
  • Arts District location is more spacious than the cozy Los Feliz location
  • If you buy coffee beans, you get a complimentary cup of coffee (but check to make sure this is still the case!)

Last visited: December 2019

Last updated: June 2019

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