Last count, there were approximately 1.5 billion excellent coffee shops to choose from in Los Angeles. They've all been pretty well-covered by the likes of Thrillist, LA Weekly, and whatever else the cool kids read these days.
There are, however, a handful of spots in LA + beyond worth visiting on a bicycle. Here are some of my favorites. Scroll all the way down for a handy-dandy Google Map.
Open Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30am-4pm
Chances are pretty good you've never heard of the sleepy mountain hollow of Cornell, CA. This small pocket of radness is located approximately thirty miles from the core of Los Angeles - making it a appropriate weekend escape.
Tom Runyon (yes, that Runyon) purchased the then-defunct Hank's General Store & Post Office back in the late 60's ... and officially opened the doors to Old Place Restaurant in 1970. Not much has changed in five decades - you come here to drink beer, eat steak and maybe a roasted potato. And maybe listen to some live bluegrass on the front porch. It's awesome.
A fine recent addition - locally roasted 10 Speed Coffee (out of Pedaler's Fork in Calabasas) supplies fresh beans to The Old Truck (exactly what it sounds like). Basically the best possible thing to swing by when you're out on a long bike ride. How beautiful is that thing, BTW?
I have an annual tradition that looks a little something like this: 1) Hitching a Friday afternoon Amtrak from Union Station with my bike, 2) Enjoying the ridiculously scenic tour up the coast, 3) Hopping off in downtown Santa Barbara for several beers at Figueroa Mountain Brewery, 5) Getting minimal sleep, and finally 6) Riding the coast back down to LA.
There's no more appropriate spot to commence step #6 than Handlebar. Owners Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson decided to settle in Santa Barbara (and open Handlebar) after riding in the Amgen Tour of California back in 2008. That's right - the owner/roasters are former competitive cyclists. Coffee here is delicious - last check about nine months ago, they were building out a new roasting space slash cafe somewhere up State Street. Who's got the latest on that?
This place has probably made more of an impact in my life than any other institution in Los Angeles. It started 4+ years ago when I showed up for their weekly Saturday 8AM mountain bike ride (weather permitting, this happens every single week). The "shop" is actually an old converted cabin up in the Santa Monica Mountains. Needless to say, they have access to world-class riding quite literally in their own backyard.
That first Saturday meet-up ride uncovered a whole world of trails I never knew existed. On top of that, the diverse group (all ages and skill levels) of folks that come every weekend quickly became good friends. And of course - there's the banana bread and coffee to follow each ride. It's quite honestly hard to beat ... now if only it would stop raining every Saturday (just kidding... please keep raining, we need it!).
#LARiverCampCoffee + #BallonaCreekCampCoffee
Make your Wednesday morning special by packing some coffee brewing gear + riding down to the end of Ballona Creek Bike Path (if you live west), or to Sunnynook River Park (if you live east). You'll quickly discover a world of coffee & cycling geekery so fierce you may need to sit down. But seriously ... it's worth the extra-early wake up call (they meet at 7 and generally pack up around 8am) for chattin' bikes and brewing.
I finally made it to my first one this past week and it was all happy happy, joy joy. Expect to see just about every coffee toy imaginable and some fancy rigs. And maybe (just maybe) some free samples of Latigo Coffee.
23504 Calabasas Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
What's there to say that hasn't already been said? Pedaler's Fork in Calabasas is a gorgeous amalgamation of great beer, freshly roasted coffee, high-quality bike stuff, and damn good food. This place is an absolute hub for cycling in the Santa Monica Mountains - and a key supplier of 10 Speed Coffee thorough the area (including two other spots listed previously).
If you're lucky enough to have flexibility in your mid-week schedule, check out the "Ride 'n Pint" (which goes down every Thursday night). You basically charge through the local mountains around sundown (headlamps a must), then return to the restaurant for one of many delightful craft brews. Great company, beautiful riding ... worth showing up to at least once.
Free Coffee Friday @ Mission Workshop
Make a full morning of it - show up first at Intelligentsia Silverlake for Golden Saddle's weekly #TGSCIFride (typically meet up time around 7am), ride for approximately two hours on mixed terrain, and finish at Mission Workshop for free coffee from Bicycle Coffee Co.
Does it get much more appropriate than that?
New to this whole Latigo thing? Not to worry: