Coffee shops don’t get enough credit in my opinion. I mean… they somehow manage to serve the needs of seemingly all life situations—especially for the 21st century college student! They are the place that serves up your absolute favorite, semi-high maintenance coffee concoction– your last-minute hang out location– the place you venture to when the library just isn’t cutting it– and of course the place where you and your best friend shamelessly eavesdrop and people watch on a cozy Sunday afternoon. So, whether you have some studying to do or a friend to catch up with, enjoy the 10 best coffee shops around USC!
This is a collaborative piece by: Noelle Thomas and Sarah Soutoul
1. Ground Zero
First on the list is nothing short of iconic in the eyes of a USC student. Ground Zero, or GZ, the student-run, super laid-back, performance café that sits right on campus is really the perfect go-to café for every student! Comfy couches and countless outlets make for a great study vibe, while the diverse drink selection and (amazing milkshakes…must try) late night shows make it the perfect on-campus hangout spot any night of the week!
Found at the heart of DTLA, on Spring Street, only 15 minutes from campus, Verve takes the cake for the most aesthetic place to type up that essay. Walking up, you’ll be greeted by hanging plants and warm lighting that just begs you to stop and admire before entering the ultra modern, café. With highly knowledgeable baristas and a mini fridge stocked with healthy eats, you’ll be set for a day of productivity. Bonus: Grab one of their super yummy, salad bowls or “wellness” shots, and you’ve got yourself the perfect #brainfood.
3. Nature’s Brew
Bringing in the health-lovers and earthy-vibe appreciators, Nature’s Brew is a hidden gem right off Hoover, 10 minutes walking-distance from campus. The unassuming front door opens to a spacious, lively, study-café with healthful eats and long study tables. With a funky, sometimes old-school playlist and tons of USC students, Nature’s Brew is equally perfect for a lunch date with a friend or an all-day, solo study sesh.
4. Coffee Colab
Another ultra-cool find in DTLA, Coffee Colab is a must for those quirky, vintage lovers who can admire unconventional uses of common items as much as the perfect cold brew coffee. Think tattoos, contrasting colors and lattes nothing short of an artistic masterpiece.
Impresso on Hope St in DTLA is a new, up-incoming juice-coffee-yummy food café that has to be mentioned! Boasting juice from Juice Served Here and flower boxes filled with trendy succulents, this café is perfect for a mid-day pick me up, whether it be a cold-pressed juice, an iced coffee or a gourmet pastry.
6. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Another trendy, must-visit coffee shop in the Arts District is Stumptown. This café is a part of a small chain that takes coffee seriously. This bustling coffee shop prides itself on the craft that is roasting coffee of different countries and varieties, with thorough descriptions of each coffee’s origins for the true coffee connoisseur. Come here for a coffee experience…
7. Ignatius Cafe
…or Ignatius house. This comes in first for the cutest, old school coffee shop with bonus points for being a five-minute walk from campus. This little café fools those unaware of its existence into thinking its just another house on a residential street. But, no! Ignatius is a house-turned coffee shop by the Korean Catholic Church asking only for donations of $3 a drink in exchange for a perfect, sanctuary like study environment in the middle of a crowded city. Walk in and be welcomed home…
8. Alchemist Coffee Project
This self-proclaimed “Specialty Artisan Coffee Shop” lives up to its name, 10 fold according to regulars of the café that sits on the outskirts of Korea Town. The vibe is that of a New Orleans hangout, with a study-friendly ambiance thanks to plenty of seating! If you are looking for a study spot a little different that LA’s typical modern, artsy café, The Alchemist is worth a visit.
9. Groundwork Coffee Co
Think old-school coffee shop vibes with modern layout and young crowd in DTLA. You may recognize the name, as their beans are quite popular around cafés around LA and rightly so! This is the perfect study spot, with lots of work space and a crowd worthy of people watching when you need a laptop break.
Last but not least, is the coffee nerd’s dream. With locations all over LA, the closest (…and prettiest in my opinion) one in Little Tokyo is the spot to order a fancy coffee drink and talk it up with a best friend in the bright, glow-y, bar-like café.
11. Blue Bottle Coffee
This coffee shop will not satisfy your studying expectations (no wifi) but it will surely satisfy your taste buds. This place is for all the coffee lovers out there who need their dose of caffeine everyday. The Blue Bottle brand started in Oakland and is now implanted in the Downtown Arts District. Check it out, you might not be able to leave and sacrifice your wifi addiction to your coffee addiction!
12. Daily Dose Cafe
This coffee shop represents the pure definition of artisanal. From their coffee to the place itself, everything is made with love and natural ingredients. They also offer a very unique menu with the most original dishes you’ll ever witness, just in case you want something to eat with your coffee!
13. The Classic Coffee
Fashionable and stylish are the two words I would use to describe this place. Like even the baristas show the real meaning of fashion with their bow ties attached to their shirts. The coffee shop is a warehouse with floor-to-ceiling windows enlightening the place, perfect for an afternoon of studying. One of their specialty drinks is called the “Fashionista” and consists of expresso, syrup and 2% of milk.
14. Cafe Dulce
Cafe Dulce is this very atypic coffee shop in the neighborhood of Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Specialities of the house include coffees and milk teas for drinks as well as green tea donuts for sweet treats.
15. G&B Coffee
Located in Grand Central Market, this is the perfect place to hang out with your friends and have some great talk. Among all their delicious specialities, we have cuban coffee and an almond macadamia latte you’’ll become addicted to. G&B Coffee and their trendy atmosphere will become your weekend hangout place to get your dose of caffeine!
What are your favorite coffee shops around USC? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: theifatuation.com and greenblender.com
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.