Creativity and inspiration need space (coffee + wifi also help).
I work from home most days but for a change of scenery, fresh air and a burst of productivity (as well as to let serendipity happen), I enjoy going for a walk or spending an afternoon at a neighborhood cafe. It’s always fun to discover new local cafes with wifi, so in the last few weeks I’ve made it a point to seek out new places.
If you’re looking for a cafe (with wifi) where you can meet up with a friend or get some work done while enjoying a coffee or tea, here’s my guide to favorite coffee shops in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Enjoy!
1. Metropolis Cafe, Santa Monica
MetroCafe Mission: use specialty coffee as an avenue to cultivate true community, exchange ideas, meet your neighbor, or just hang out.
This is one of my new favorite cafes in Santa Monica. The iced latte served here is delicious and the community vibe is truly one-of-a-kind. In addition to an open, spacious and modern indoor cafe area with lots of windows and sunlight, there’s also an outdoor garden with wifi. Great spot to bring four-legged friends (i.e. friendly dogs) while you caffeinate or work (or both).
In addition to a cafe, Metropolis is a multi-use space that houses a coworking space on the second floor during the week (Metro Co-Lab) and is turned into a church (Metro Church) on Sundays.
2. Love Coffee Bar, Santa Monica
“Suppose you wanted to design a home away from home. What would you put in? What would you leave out? What kind of seating would you have? (Soft? Hard? Low? High?) What kind of tables — big working slabs or intimate little two-tops?
These are just a few of the questions that went into the concept and design of Love Coffee Bar in Santa Monica. I’m into the design as much as the functionality of a product, so I appreciated learning a bit about the behind-the-scenes thoughts that went in to bringing Love Coffee Bar to life.
Fast forward to today – three top things to love about this cafe (in addition to the fabulous design) include: the amazing coffee (of course), strong & free wifi, and fairly easy parking. Re: parking, there’s 1-hour metered street parking close to the cafe or free residential parking a block or so away. Dog-friendly.
Website: Love Coffee Bar
3. Cafe Intelligentsia, Venice Beach
Cafe Intelligentsia is a go-to on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice. The wifi is fast, lattes are strong and the cafe is spacious with loft-like high ceilings and rooftop sunlights. This place is especially popular on the weekends.
Website: Cafe Intelligentsia
4. Zinque Cafe, Venice Beach
Another favorite. Zinque is a French cafe and wine bar located on the outskirts of Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. Here you’ll find delicious coffee, lattes and food and a spacious cafe with high loft-like ceilings inside and a covered outdoor patio outside. Wifi is fast. Parking in the neighborhood is fairly easy to find. There are no outlets so power-up before you arrive.
5. Santa Monica Library Cafe
Who knew the local library could serve as a great place to work and enjoy a latte or a bite to eat? Granted, the lattes here are not as tasty as specialty coffeehouses nearby, but the outdoor inner courtyard and fast wifi make up for it. Another bonus is that you can step inside the library to charge your laptop when the battery runs low. This is a great all-day space to get work done.
Website: Santa Monica Library Bookmark Cafe
6. Holy Grounds, Santa Monica
So thankful I recently discovered Holy Grounds! This coffee bar is a part of St. Monica’s Catholic Church in the center of a mostly residential area and provides a great space to work, study or meet up with a friend. The cafe has a lovely outdoor patio and serves organic coffee and tea from Urth Caffe. Free wifi. Bonus: St. Monica’s does a lot of wonderful work to help the community, locally and globally, so it’s good to know that supporting the cafe may also be supporting this important work.
Website: Holy Grounds
7. TOMS Cafe, Venice Beach
One of the best things about TOMS (other than their philanthropic mission) is its awesome cafe with backyard patio where you can enjoy your coffee or tea or snacks (all delicious), free wifi and the community vibe. No outlets here so power-up before arriving. Great place to hang out!
8. Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica
The lounge area of the Fairmont is a fabulous place to work. You have to pay for wifi for the day but considering it feels like you’re on a luxury staycation when you spend time here (other than the fact that yes, you’re still working), it’s well worth it. The service here is amazing (no surprise) and the coffee and items on the menu are excellent.
Website: Fairmont Miramar Lounge
9. Rose Cafe, Venice Beach
Rose Cafe is an iconic cafe and restaurant in the heart of Venice Beach. The food is absolutely delicious. There’s a spacious and beautiful indoor and outdoor area. Great spot for brunch with friends. Wifi is free.
Website: Rose Cafe
10. Bardonna, Santa Monica
Bardonna is one of the more spacious cafes on Montana Avenue, thanks to its outdoor patio, so it’s a good choice for groups especially on a sunny day. The wifi is pretty slow here though so I use my smartphone’s personal hotspot for wifi when working here. Of course, not having fast wifi also inspires me to not work on my laptop – which is a good thing from time to time. ; ) This is a perfect place to enjoy a matcha latte, read a book and enjoy the neighborhood vibe. The loose-leaf organic green tea here is among the best I’ve had.
Bardonna has great outdoor seating with umbrellas for shade and shared tables. There’s also a really nice inside area with floor-to-ceiling windows and a tall communal table that’s perfect for standing up while working or hanging out. Located in the heart of the residential area, this cafe is a great community meeting spot.
Other cafes with wifi in Santa Monica:
These cafes are on my list to check out!