Why do I feel like LA loves Intelligentsia more than its own hometown does? Intelligentsia anchors the hipster centrals of both east and west LA with the Sunset Junction and Abbot Kinney locations. Intelligentsia is the third wave coffee shop. It was also my introduction to the world of third wave coffee shops, the first time I realized a coffee shop could be (should be) more than just a nicely decorated Starbucks during Christmas.
Of course, as much as it has been integrated into LA’s coffee scene, Intelligentsia hails from Chicago. They’ve been around long before the word “hipster” even entered into our cultural vocabulary. Over the years, the brand has become pervasive, showing up on grocery store shelves and as the beans of choice at both stereotypical trendy cafes in LA and rather surprising no-frill diners in Chicago. But nothing quite beats people watching (and dog watching) while sitting in the tiled cafe courtyard in the heart of Silver Lake.
Regardless, Intelligentsia is the trusty choice for quality coffee across both cities, in addition to outposts in New York, Boston and Austin.
|Yelp||Chicago Locations | Los Angeles Locations|
|Hours||most are open at 6 or 7am, closing hours ary from 6pm to 10pm depending on location and day|
|Price||$$ – as you’d expect, ~$4-6 for drinks|
|Aesthetic||tbh varies across locations, kind of built to fit the vibe of each neighborhood, but all tasteful and trendy|
Go here for: coffee culture, to garner respect from coffee folk, etc
Order this: they do their espresso drinks well
Amount of time to spend: anywhere from a 5 minute stop by to a half day of leisurely coffee-drinking, chatting and “working”
When to come: whenever you need a quality cup of coffee
Other things to note: