philz coffee

3rd wave coffee with bay area grunge

Philz Coffee has humble roots in San Francisco, much like another popular coffee brand. But in many ways, Philz is like the antithesis of Blue Bottle. Whereas the latter is sleek, minimalist, one might even say, snobbish, Philz is approachable, friendly. The aesthetic varies from location to location (SF is notably more grungy while LA is more industrial chic and Chicago is well, just heavily branded to be honest).

For the uninitiated, Philz operates in a very specific way. First of all, they only have pourovers – no espresso drinks here. Second, you order with a barista at the bar, and then go to the cashier to pay. For the love of… coffee… please don’t try to order at the cashier line. It’s always easy to spot out the non-locals just by the level of chaos in the ordering line. Granted, it isn’t super intuitive if you’ve been to literally any other coffee shop before. But anyways, now you know. Pick your roast (light, medium, dark) or pick a specialty drink (can’t go wrong with their signature mint mojito iced coffee), and then specify your milk and sugar level. Then, head over to the register to let them know what you ordered, and maybe get a lil something from the pastry case too.

There’s a reason why Philz has garnered a cult following over the years. It’s unpretentious but maintains high standards. The coffee is solid. Most locations have plenty of seating and free wifi. Their coffee names are heartwarming. And the distinct aroma that hits you as soon as you walk in is a source of comfort for any Californian.

the details

Addresslocations in California, DC and Chicago listed here
Yelphttps://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=philz coffee
Hoursvaries by location, but most open bright and early at 6am and close between 4p and 6p
Price$$ – drinks are $4-6 depending on the size (with specialty drinks being a dollar more)
Aestheticvaries by location but generally sunny & friendly in different forms

good to know

Go here for: coffee runs – coffee to go, coffee for a crowd

Order this: mint mojito iced coffee (obligatory); Philtered Soul for something warm and unique; tesora for a solid basic choice

Amount of time to spend: generally can get in and out in 10-15 min for grabbing something to-go, some locations have more seating and space than others for hanging out for a bit.

When to come: whenever you need a coffee fix

Parking (LA): 

  • Santa Monica: parking is never fun by the promenade, but your best bet is still one of the public lots (the closest one is on 5th street… or you can try the library parking lot across the street, depending on the day).
  • Hollywood: if you’re just stopping to pick up, they validate parking in the structure behind the building for 20 minutes; if you’re going to stay longer, you should probably try to get a meter on Cole.
  • Pasadena: there’s parking lots behind Shopper’s Ln that are free for 90 minutes.
  • Glendale: plenty of public parking lots around, the closest is probably Marketplace Parking Structure behind the Home Goods, or you can park at the Americana (but not worth it on weekends).
  • DTLA: parking is not great in downtown, meters are hard to come by, but if you’re planning to stay a while, try the lot on 8th and Hope, which has a daily max of $12.
  • Studio City: a solid medium here, if you’re lucky you can grab a meter on Ventura, otherwise, try Ethel or Valleyheart.

Other things to note: 

  • To avoid a wait, you can also order via their app and go straight to the pick up area.
  • Most locations also serve food (ie: light breakfast fare, toasts, bowls), but the selections vary by region.
  • Many locations have free wifi, but again, depending on the amount of space some are better for work sessions than others.

Last visited: January 2022

Last updated: January 2022

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