Road trip: Five LA coffee shops remote workers will love

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis with a long, storied tradition of hosting screenwriters, novelists, graphic designers, and other artists in trendy Wi-Fi-equipped cafes. Although narrowing the thousands of coffee shops in the city’s sprawling footprint down to a top five is tough, these cafes and espresso bars represent the very best of what LA’s eclectic scene has to offer for the discerning freelancer or remote worker.

Deus Ex Machina

1001 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

Wanna stretch your legs in the middle of the day? Go ahead and test-drive one of the hand-built, high‑end motorcycles they build in house. Not into taking a spin? This shop’s retail area is filled to the brim with art, memorabilia, clothing, and music that celebrates California surf culture and easy riders.

Deus Ex Machina’s unique vibe, trendy Abbot-Kinney location, and tasty coffee make it a great place to work, particularly if you need some inspiration from your surroundings. That said, the shop has a lot of activity going on generally, so if you’re looking for some serious heads-down time, you might be better served elsewhere.

The shop is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rise-N-Grind

6501 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

It’s right there in the name: Rise-N-Grind is purpose-built for freelancers and remote workers. Located in the heart of Hollywood, this large coffee shop with its rows of powered tables and sparse modern design looks more like a co-working space than a coffee shop. Owner Robert Vinokur founded the shop after his extensive travels in Europe revealed to him that Los Angeles was missing “a place for people to meet and hang out without the loud music or the alcohol or anything like that.”

Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a coffee shop in Hollywood that has Rise-N-Grind’s combination of spaciousness, free outlets, and late-night hours. If you plan to get some remote work done near the Walk of Fame, there’s no better place to head than Rise-N-Grind.

The shop is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Dinosaur Coffee

4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029

Dinosaur Coffee’s vaulted, exposed ceilings and large windows let natural light flow in and give the shop an airy atmosphere that many people describe as Zen. Contributing to the Zen are the bevy of seats and power outlets, and the downtempo indie music typically played throughout the day. Baristas here serve up beans roasted by Four Barrel Coffee.

Fun fact: Dinosaur Coffee was opened by one of the co-creators of Cards Against Humanity—the smash “party game for horrible people”—a success story that was fueled by many coffee shop meetings back in the day. Stick around after a long day of work and you can participate in one of the signature game nights that beta test board games invented by local designers.

The shop is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Groundwork Coffee Co.

811 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Groundwork Coffee has been roasting organic coffee beans in Los Angeles since 1990 and now boasts 11 locations across the south land. You can find the local chain’s latest shop in the hip Arts District neighborhood adjacent to downtown Los Angeles. There are many places to grab coffee or a bite to eat in the downtown area, but few have the space for you to work.

With its exposed brick walls, modernist hardware, and contemporary art hung gallery-style by local artists, Groundwork Coffee fits in effortlessly in perhaps the hippest neighborhood in all of Los Angeles.

The shop is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

M Street Coffee

13251 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The Valley often gets a bad rep, what with its seemingly endless rows of strip malls, scorching summer heat, and swathes of teenagers. But hidden in the Valley are a vast array of overlooked gems, including M Street Coffee, a great shop in Sherman Oaks. Now just because it’s hidden from the rest of Los Angeles, doesn’t mean this joint isn’t well-trafficked. Locals consider M Street one of the best places to meet and get work done. Serving organic coffee roasted by the Valley’s own Supreme Bean Coffee Roasters and healthy, allergy-friendly eats, this place has everything a freelancer with discerning taste needs to get through the day.

The notable downside is that M Street limits its guests to two hours of Wi-Fi per day. But freelancers with offline work to complete and road warriors who never leave home without a Wi-Fi hotspot will feel right at home at this perennial Valley favorite.

The shop is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bonus: Starbucks

11707 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

OK, OK, hear me out: This Starbucks is special. The combination of its late-night hours and spacious layout make the Brentwood Starbucks a go-to spot for folks working out-of-office. Despite its proximity to UCLA, students aren’t the only ones using the wall outlets. Hollywood screenwriter Damon Lindelof is known to frequent this Starbucks in the late evening when he needs to hammer out a script. As a Los Angeles native, I’ve personally met folks at this Starbucks more than any other of the 100+ Starbucks in this city—so I mean, it must be doing something right. Right?

The shop is open seven days a week from 4:15 a.m. to 11 p.m.