I recently read an article hand-selecting a favorite coffee shop in each of the 50 states. As a diehard Angeleno, I couldn’t wait to see if I had visited the coffee shop on the list. As someone who is obsessed with coffee and has even been on the Downtown Coffee Tour, I had this one in the bag.
All the photos had a great vibe and were alluring. There was plenty of cool signage, industrial ceilings, fancy coffee machines and hipsters at the helm. The list was in no discerning order as far as I could tell. I clicked through with admiration for all the awesome shops. It was as I started getting towards the end of the list that I realized that Los Angeles, CA was not on it. I clicked through the listings again for a double check and realized that there was a California listing for a place called “Blue Bottle” in San Francisco.
I know that California is one big state, however, truth be told, there really is a big difference between Northern and Southern California. Picking a location up top and leaving our sunny friends down below without a listing seemed unfair.
So for my Southern California friends, there is Caffe Luxxe. This cool shop was started by two best friends who quit their corporate jobs back in 2006 so that they could dedicate themselves to nothing but coffee. Turns out, they knew exactly what they were doing.
My favorite location is mere blocks from the beach on Montana Ave in Santa Monica. It is small with heavy European flair. The white walls and the high industrial ceilings are crisp and fresh. There are Italian coffee machines behind the counters and the artisan baristas have serious design skills.
Once you take a sip of your carefully curated roast, your mind will drift to a cobble stone street in Italy. The smokiness, the depth, the intense flavor will all come together in perfect harmony. Southern California, I think you just made the list.