16 coffee & tea places near Metro Rail

In my previous post, we covered my love of transit-oriented desserts. Now we look at the other cornerstone of my food pyramid, coffee and tea. I’m not going to talk about beans and sourcing and roasting and all that — it’s very interesting, but not my focus. I just drink a lot of coffee and tea. And I know what I like.

I didn’t include Starbucks or Coffee Bean because well, they’re pretty much everywhere. And I skipped Intelligentsia on purpose because I just don’t like it that much (Fight me if you feel otherwise). So here’s the list of 16 transit-accessible places, recommended by me, where you can get your cold brew, hot brew or espresso fix.

Hwa Sun Ji Tea & Coffee

Why I like it: A traditional tea house in Koreatown! It’s cute, it’s quiet and they also serve traditional Korean tea snacks. They have a good tea selection, and okay, they also serve desserts (bingsoo!). Don’t go here if you’re in a hurry though, this is a place for taking your time and relaxing.

How to get there: Take the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western Station or Metro Bus 20 to Wilshire/Wilton.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Document Coffee Bar

Why I like it: They put maple syrup in their coffee, and it’s pretty darn good coffee. The space is industrial chic, which I like. And best of all if you show your TAP card you get 10 percent off your drink. (Good, because maple syrup isn’t cheap.)

How to get there: Take the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western Station or Metro Bus 20 to Wilshire/Saint Andrews.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Haus by Coffee Hunter

Why I like it: The Dutch cold brew is a winner! They also have a long list of coffees from various origins just to make life hard for those who have difficulty deciding things. The space is nice, but the seating isn’t as comfy as it could be. The benches are kind of an awkward height in relation to the tables. But hey, that’s why to-go was invented.

How to get there: Take the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western Station or Metro Bus 20 to Wilshire/Serrano.

Yelp: 3.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Barista Society


Why I like it: I really, really, really, like the mocha. The Casanova Latte is also good, especially if you like condensed milk. And your TAP card gets you 10% off your drink.

How to get there: It’s in the East Portal at Union Station — just steps from the Patsouras Transit Plaza — and also well served by the Red, Purple and Gold lines and multiple buses.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Philz Coffee


Why I like it: I thought the iced mint mojito coffee would not live up to the hype and I was wrong. I’m sure their other coffees are just as good, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try a different drink yet. It will happen one day, just not today. I’m not a huge fan of their ordering process — it’s kind of confusing to me — but it’s a small price to pay for iced mint mojito coffeeeeeeeeeee.

How to get there: The DTLA location is walkable from 7th Street/Metro Center, or take Metro Bus 66 to 8th/Grand. The Santa Monica location can be reached via the Expo Line Downtown Santa Monica STation, the Big Blue Bus or Metro Rapid 704 to Santa Monica/4th.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Copa Vida

copa vida

Why I like it: To be honest, I don’t like their coffee that much. It’s average (to me). But quite a few of my colleagues have strong feelings about it, so I consider this a shoutout to their tastes. One colleague likes to perform a facewash with the chorizo egg hash on a frequent basis.

How to get there: It’s walkable from the Gold Line Del Mar Station, or take Metro Bus 256 to Raymond/Green.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)



Home Brewed Bar

home brewed

Why I like it: I like this place because they like me. I mean, staff is just really friendly. I am also a fan of the pistachio latte, chocolate peanut butter latte and the cold brew.

How to get there: Take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Bird Pick Tea and Herb

bird pick

Why I like it: One of my default places to visit if I’m craving tea I don’t have in my own overflowing tea cupboard. The fusion tea drinks are good because they don’t leave a weird residue in my mouth. (You know what I mean, that sticky taste from artificial syrups and drink mixes.) I’m particularly fond of the Tropical Sunrise, and the shop also has lots of beautiful tea accessories perfect for gifting the tea lover in your life (or for gifting yourself).

How to get there: Take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station or Metro Bus 180 to Colorado/De Lacey.

Yelp: 4.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


G&B Coffee


Why I like it: A confession: since their prices went up I’ve been frequenting it less because a person has to draw the line somewhere. But as an occasional treat, I still visit for the fizzy hoppy tea and almond macadamia cappuccino. And if you want to spend the next four hours doing the jitter-bug, try the G&B shake. Accept my challenge. Join me at my level. 😉

How to get there: Take the Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station and exit towards 4th Street. G&B anchors one end of Grand Central Market.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Valerie Confections

Why I like it: All right, this place is more about their pastries than coffee or tea, but they squeak in because all of their sweets pair perfectly with coffee and tea. So if you’re getting a tasty treat, might as well get a freshly brewed cup of coffee from them as well. (And if you’re into savory treats, get the chive and goat cheese scone. Seriously.)

How to get there: For the DTLA location, take the Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station and exit towards 4th or Hill. For Silver Lake location, take Metro Bus 14/37 to Beverly/Commonwealth. For Echo Park location, take DASH Pico-Union/Echo Park to Echo Park/Lucretia.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)



Why I like it: They have weird special drinks that are pretty good. I’m partial to anything with black sesame and they offer toasted marshmallows with their sipping chocolate. Plus, look how fancy the cold brew is.

How to get there: Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, or take the DASH A, Metro Bus 30 or 40 to 1st/San Pedro.  There are also locations on Wilshire Boulevard and in Santa Monica, both accessible via Metro Bus 20.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Chado Tea Room

Why I like it: One of the tea rooms I really enjoy going to. They have an extensive selection of teas — the milk oolong is fantastic and I’m pretty sure there’s no milk in it, yet it tastes like milky tea??? And their tea sandwiches are good.

How to get there: For the DTLA location, take the Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, or take the DASH A, Metro Bus 30 or 40 to 1st/San Pedro. For the Pasadena location, take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station or Foothill Transit Bus 187 to Raymond/Union. For the Hollywood location, take the Red Line, Metro Bus 212 or 217 to Hollywood/Highland Station.

Yelp: 3.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Blue Bottle Coffee

blue bottle

Why I like it: I have only had their cold brew but I like it!

How to get there: For the DTLA Arts District location, take Metro Bus 18 to 6th/Mateo. For the DTLA location near Grand Central Market, take the Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station or Rapid 745 to Broadway/3rd. For the Echo Park location, take Metro Rapid 704 to Sunset/Echo Park.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Caffe Vita 

Why I like it: If you’re looking for a place to caffeinate, have I got the cafe for you: Silver Lake’s hottest coffee bar is Caffe Vita. As Stefon might say, it’s got just everything. Coffee, milk foam, non-dairy milk alternatives. The coffee is so good you’ll feel all warm and roasted inside after drinking — just like how they roast their own beans. And Caffe Vita doesn’t have much of a food menu, which tells you how serious they are about their coffee.

How to get there: Take the DASH Los Feliz or Metro Bus 2/302 to Sunset/Virgil.

Yelp: 3.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)



Why I like it: The other super hip spot in Silver Lake. They have créme brùlée cappuccino and if you hate it then we can’t be friends. I also enjoy their teas. It’s not exactly what I go there for, but it’s nice to have the option. (And DO get the maple espresso donut.)

How to get there: Take Metro Bus 201 to Silver Lake/Effie.

Yelp: 3.5 out of 5 stars (reviews)


Taza Coffee

Why I like it: Can’t go wrong with the regular latte. This Arcadia spot also has plenty of tea drinks, although coffee is what they’re known for (and rightfully so). On the edibles side…I have not tried their kimchi spam croissant, my friend says they are worth it, so I guess the question is, do you trust my friends?

How to get there: Take Metro Bus 78/79/378 or Foothill Transit Bus 187 to Huntington/Santa Anita. Taza is also a very short walk from the Gold Line Arcadia Station at 1st and Santa Clara.

Yelp: 4 out of 5 stars (reviews)


All photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by me. For more food misadventures, follow me on Twitter / Instagram

10 replies

  1. Steve, I’m surprised you didn’t include Buster’s Coffee House. It’s caddy-corner from the South Pasadena (old Mission) station.

  2. The Demitasse location in Santa Monica is actually right by the 720 bus route, just north of Wilshire on 3rd St. They’ve got the same iced coffee drippers in the window. There are a few other great coffee places in SM, but they’re all next to Big Blue rather than Metro bus stops.

    • Hi Pat,

      Recommend away! Big Blue Bus counts as transit-oriented coffee, and besides pretty soon the Expo Line may get you there too, right? 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  3. I’ll give a quick bump to Morning & Night Cafe on Sunset and Griffith. Worth the trot from Santa Monica and Vermont or Sunset and Vermont, however equidistant stations that give you a few bus options as SM Blvd and Sunset become just Sunset. It was recently blocked off and has green circles painted on the ground. (Fear The Walking Dead Premier feature).

    Beware, you can sit there all day and just shoot the breeze. Its the closest thing to being at the beach without being at the beach. Silver Lake is not my favorite place to visit, but Morning & Night Cafe is well cultured and laid back. I’d say it reminds me of Europe (Amsterdam in particular)…. I mean a nice all american coffee shop….woops 😉

    The Coffee is great, staff nice, snacks good, and you’ll hear some good tunes and stories.

    Exit Vermont & Sunset OR Vermont and Santa Monica, Take Sunset Bus East or Santa Monica bus east, and jump off at Maltman.

    My favorite about this location, you can see buses in both directions reasonably when you want to depart.

    • No. Copa Vida is in Pasadena. The last one is in Arcadia.

      If you would like to suggest other places, please comment!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Missed that one. Will stick to the Dunkin Drive-Through on Whittier Blvd. Can do without pretentious “European-style” coffee shops 🙂