I know I'll get hassled by my writer friends for giving away these secrets, but here my guide for best cafes to write in. Yes, it's become an exaggerated cliche, but writers working in cafes is a literary tradition that goes back centuries, and it's not going away any time soon. What makes these cafes perfect for screenwriters is the combination of good coffee, outlets, wifi, and most importantly - a strong community of other writers.
There's always something interesting going on at Bourgeois Pig in the Franklin Village. It's one of the trippiest cafes in the city with the groovy interior and the eccentric clientele - all of which can be good for breaking through the writer's block. However, they also have a study room if you really need to buckle down and get some work done. And if you need a quick break, there's a pool table. Though they serve sandwiches and salads, I stick to the lattes.
Even with the Grove dominating the area, Buzz Coffee has remained a neighborhood coffee shop that caters to screenwriters and locals. The Groundworks coffee is perfectly good, but if you want something with a little more flair, try the Chai Tea Latte. There's free wifi if you need it, as well as plenty of outlets for the laptop.
Insomnia is an acquired taste, but home to many screenwriters, novelists, and artists across town, and in my opinion the ultimate writer's cafe in L.A. Insomnia patrons have been coming here for years, and always return after being temporarily lured away. If you're a new writer in town, this is the place to meet other writers - I've made some life-long friendships here. Insomnia has been open for more than 25 years, in part because it's one of the few cafes in town to stay open after midnight. Their "NO CELLPHONE" policy is a godsend. I usually stick to the iced coffee (they serve LaMill coffee), but the cheesecakes are delicious if you need something sweet.
Stir Crazy is another old school cafe that's been open for nearly 20 years. This cozy cafe is popular with screenwriters as it's equipped with lighting fast wifi, plenty of outlets, and bottomless cups of coffee. Once you're wired on coffee, switch to a strawberry smoothie. At night, I like sitting on the patio.
Sabor y Cultura (Spanish for Flavor and Culture) is a Latin inspired coffee shop on Hollywood Boulevard between Thai Town and Little Armenia - and trust me, it lives up to its name. I can never resist the Mexican Mocha here, made with authentic Mexican chocolate and cinnamon. There are plenty of tables with plugs and free wifi. The coffee shop also hosts regular musicians, poets, readings, and open mic night.
Feel how you feel about the hipster baristas or the gentrification of Silverlake, Intelligentsia is serving some of the best coffee in L.A with their signature black cat blend - and probably the best cappuccino. This cafe is the beating pulse of Sunset Junction. One of the reasons I come here is because there's no wifi, so I can actually work instead of checking my email every 5 minutes. There's a great mix of writers, artists, and locals.
On most weekdays, you can find me holding court on the patio at Bricks and Scones with a good book and a hand-brewed coffee or a Hong Kong Milk Tea. This family owned cafe also serves sandwiches, soups, and of course, homemade scones (try the blueberry scone with a side of lemon curd). There is free wifi and plenty of tables and outlets. Bricks is a good place to work or meet a friend for conversations on cinema, sex, and the whole damn thing.
Maybe it's because of the ballet studio next door or the industrial chic decor, but I find a lot of inspiration working at Paper or Plastik. Unlike other cafes, they actually serve really delicious food - from breakfast to dinner. They don't allow laptops on the weekends because they encourage patrons to unplug and interact with each other - and many of the regulars do, so there's a strong writer's community here. The coffee is brewed by hand, but I usually stick the lattes here.
Formerly Psychobabble, Bru's owner completely renovated the space into a sleek and modern coffee shop. The Ritual Coffee from San Francisco rivals the best coffees all over town. There's a communal table if you're looking to mingle with the friendly locals, or a loft upstairs with tables where you can zone out on your laptop. They make a great cappuccino here, or for something different, try the coconut green tea.
Tucked away on hip Heliotrope Drive is this gem of a coffee shop popular with screenwriters, LACC students, cyclists, tattoo artists, and the gay leather crowd - quintessential L.A. They serve organic Latin American fair trade beans roasted locally - which makes for a damn fine cup of coffee. The cafe is clean and bright with wifi and outlets. There is a loft upstairs if you want a quiet work space. Art by local artists hangs on the walls.
Caffe Vita serves farm to roaster coffee, filling a void for deliciously complex coffee at the border of Silverlake and Los Feliz. This cool hip coffee shop is a writer's dream with its large tables, great music, and strong coffee. Caffe Vita is a great place to work on the laptop, read a book, or discuss the movie you've just seen across the street at the Vista Theater. Sit by the window and overlook Sunset Blvd. or take a table upstairs in the loft.