I used to a be a one-stop coffee purveyor. Once I found my special little place and settled in with the regulars, that was it. But, as I began to get up earlier and earlier at times when my spot wasn't open, I found myself on the great coffee hunt. Coffee in West Hollywood or anywhere in LA for that matter is more than just a drink you have in the morning. It's a lifestyle. So this short list of top coffee places in West Hollywood is based on both flavor and other criteria like ambience, service and amenities. It's ordered from best first.
Lilly's Coffee Cart
Located in the heart of Laurel Canyon, in front of the Canyon Country Store, Lilly's is a well-known hub in the neighborhood. It attracts all sorts of characters from the vicinity and is home to some of the richest, tastiest coffee in town. Croissants and other pastries are also available. It is unfortunately sometimes closed on rainy days (since it's an outdoor thing). During the week you can park in the store lot. However, be warned that this irritates one of the owners on weekends (during which you should park on 'little' Laurel Canyon instead).
Open: daily, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
2108 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
(cross street: Kirkwood)
Formerly Abbot's Habit, this gem of a spot is primarily a wine bar. They serve delicious Groundworks coffee, and have a breakfast menu, and a nice choice of bagel varieties. Another plus: free parking in the back. It's so pleasant to sit in this clean and tastefully decorated place and have a rich coffee, read the paper or work on your laptop as there is free wi-fi.
Open: 8 a.m.-12 a.m. daily
7554 W. Sunset Blvd.
(between Sierra Bonita and Curson)
Jones Coffee Roasters
This second location of family-run Jones Coffee Roasters Pasadena is popular with West Hollywooders who are serious about their cups o' Joe. Located by the West Hollywood Public Library and the Pacific Design Center, Jones Coffee Roasters host coffee and musical events and of course they serve up delicious brews too like their popular almond milk pumpkin spice latté. If you have a We Ho library card you can also ride the free wifi while enjoying your coffee.
625 N. San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Once again, this is not purely a coffee joint. New-ish to the neighborhood, Fresh Bites is actually a health-conscious restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They just happen to have extremely tasty organic coffee as well. If you wanted to sit here and linger you probably could but the vibe is more like a lunch room or casual dinner spot. It's very friendly and clean. It's located on the ground floor of a 'coming to LA to become famous' dorm style apartment building but it's a super-great coffee (and smoothie) spot. You can park in the structure on Hayworth for free with validation.
Open: daily, 7 a.m.-12 a.m.
7950 W. Sunset Blvd.
(between Hayworth and Laurel)
This place is going for a full service European cafe sensibility--think cafe in Rome. So it naturally has things like gelato and crepes on a giant menu that lords over its central bar. In that same vein, it has the kind of rich, flavorful coffee you'd expect from a European cafe. I'm personally not fond of sitting in here with my coffee and reading or working (as they play loud late '80s style music), but I have seen others camped out with laptops in the morning taking advantage of the free wi-fi. Free parking with validation in the lot on Alta Loma.
Open: Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-12 a.m.
8590 Sunset. Blvd
(between Alta Loma and Sunset Plaza)
As far as chain coffee places go, Peet's is one of the better ones. The coffee's good and the service is friendly. This location isn't the most charming one. If you sit outside, for instance, you feel like you're having coffee on a highway, and the front of the building looks laborious and utilitarian. But there is free parking with validation right next to Peet's, and they open bright and early.
Open: Mon.-Fri., 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
8833 W. Sunset Blvd.
(cross street: Larrabee)
Some people are worshipers in the cult of 'the Bean.' I'm generally not one of them. The coffee is not as weak and tasteless as Starbucks' but it's not great. However, I discovered this particular Coffee Bean branch when I was on my 'early to rise' kick and appreciated that it was open at 6 a.m. and had free (albeit limited, space-wise) parking. The DGA Coffee Bean down the street, apart from being a poseur scene, has limited one-hour parking (and when you go over the limit it's highway robbery). Unfortunately, the Horn Dr. Bean doesn't appear to have free wi-fi yet (as does the DGA Bean).
8789 Sunset Blvd.
(cross street: Horn Dr.)