Cajeta, Mazapan, and Rompope Lattes: Ten Latino-Owned Coffeeshops to Attempt in L.A.


On a heat summer season day again in 2017 as I scrolled by means of the Discover function on Instagram, a picture of a concha ice cream sandwich caught my consideration.  I pressed on the picture hoping that the eatery was someplace in Los Angeles so I may go to it. Certainly, the mesmerizing deal with was from Horchatería Rio Luna, a Mexican American owned dessert and low store within the Southeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Paramount. I shared Horchateria’s profile with a buddy hoping that she would discover the espresso store as thrilling as I believed it was. Inside minutes, she replied asking if we may go to Horchatería that very same day. That night, we indulged in ice chilly creamy horchata Frappuccinos and we shared a scrumptious concha ice cream sandwich. 

Since that day in 2017, I started my seek for different Latino-owned and impressed espresso outlets in Southern California. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I cherished this quest a lot that I created a analysis undertaking for my PhD research primarily based on these espresso outlets. It was probably the most pleasant approach that I may think about finding out Latino entrepreneurship, millennial-influenced tradition, regional Latino identities, and neighborhood “third areas” or locations that had been neither dwelling nor work. Since I used to be interested in these distinctive espresso outlets, I believed others could be too.

I’ve spent the previous two years interviewing Latino espresso store house owners in Los Angeles and the broader Southern California area to study how and why they enter the espresso enterprise. What stands out from these interviews is the pleasure that these espresso store house owners have of their Latino identities—whether or not that be Mexican, Mexican American, Guatemalan American, Salvadoran American, or others—and their want to kind neighborhood areas the place they may innovatively infuse acquainted substances in espresso store drinks and treats.

By offering espresso choices that incorporate flavors like horchata, mazapan, cajeta, tamarindo, and chocolate Abuelita, these Latino espresso outlets present prospects, particularly Latinos, with a scrumptious and extra relatable various to main chain shops. On this approach, these 10 espresso outlets I spotlight right here brew a lot extra than simply espresso. They brew cultura in a approach that speaks to Los Angeles and for Los Angeles.

Whereas this checklist is much from complete, it ought to get you began in your journey to seek out your favourite Latino-owned espresso outlets in Los Angeles.   

Chismosa Café

 1905 W Badillo St, West Covina, CA 91790

Chismosa Café situated in West Covina is dwelling to the Taro-Chata, the Chai Gurl, and the East Los Chisme Drip. You may’t go mistaken with ordering their West Cochina Burrito loaded with braised pork in salsa verde, bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese, and crema. Pair it with their model of the Americano–a Mexican Americano (get it?). Chismosa proprietor Allen additionally has vegan choices just like the vegan Chorizo Burrito. While you go to, try the quirky L.A. décor just like the prayer candles emblazoned with the faces of Kobe Bryant and Selena. I’d advocate this place for weekend brunch and chisme the following time you might be within the space!

Café Santo

520 Whittier Blvd #D, Montebello, CA 90640 

In response to house owners Marlon and Pilar, Café Santo is a recent Oaxacan espresso store. The 2 collaborate with artisanal cooks and artists from Oaxaca and Los Angeles to make their scrumptious drinks. Yow will discover the normal espresso store menu of lattes, drips, cappuccinos in addition to Oaxacan chocolate drinks. The Chocolate Oaxaqueno conventional accommodates conventional Oaxacan Chocolate blended with almonds and cinnamon, and milk. The Semiamargo is product of cacao, cane sugar, cinnamon, and milk. If you happen to cease by for a cafecito at Cafe Santo in Montebello, you should definitely try the remainder of the BLVD Market companies together with Pez Cantina, Los Taquero Mucho, and the Hen Koop.

Espresso del Mundo

7414 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90044

Espresso del Mundo is a Black and Afro-Latino-owned and operated espresso store in South L.A. Proprietor Jonathan is proud to supply a 100% dairy-free menu. He sources espresso beans from El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia —simply to call a number of international locations. You may decide up bottled chilly brews like Caco Blanco Bottled Chilly Brew, Café De Olla Bottled Chilly Brew, or made-to-order drinks. I like to recommend the Caramelo product of pure caramel syrup and oat milk for a satisfying and not-too-sweet afternoon pick-me-up. Cease by Espresso del Mundo for excellent espresso and firm!

Guerilla Cafecito

704 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Within the temper for espresso and burritos? If sure, try Guerilla Cafecito within the Arts District. This coffeeshop is created by Brittney and her workforce at Guerrilla Tacos situated proper subsequent door. Attempt the GTLA burrito stuffed with steak, hash browns, cheese, avocado, and salsa with a sizzling espresso. If you need one thing candy, I like to recommend the horchata donut—it’s tender but wealthy and dense. The following time I am going, I’ll you should definitely strive their Tamarind Espresso Tonic. That’s proper, a Tamarind espresso tonic! Genius, proper? As you eat and drink, benefit from the stunning murals paying homage to East LA vogue and automobiles of the previous.


13307 S Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

401 E Foothill Blvd, Azusa, CA 91702

In case you are in search of made-to-order churros and café de olla on the Westside, go to Azucanela. You may select Abuelita chocolate, cajeta, or a raspberry dipping sauce on your heat churros. They’re heavenly! Proprietor Eduardo and his workforce supply café de olla or any of their Mexican-inspired drinks steaming sizzling or iced.  I like to recommend the Ranchero Avocado Toast with avocado, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and a fried egg. Azucanela’s Hawthorne location has a lovely yard patio with loads of seating to loosen up, meet up with associates, or work in your laptop computer. In addition they have a second location in Azusa you possibly can try. 

Confidential Espresso

137 W sixth St, Lengthy Seashore, CA 90802 

In case you are in Lengthy Seashore, try Confidential Espresso. It’s an oasis of espresso and pastries in busy downtown LB. Attempt their home specials just like the cajeta latte, Mazapan latte, or the Rompompe latte—sure, you learn that proper—Rompompe (Mexican eggnog).  My private favourite is the matcha horchata—I like each flavors a lot so think about them collectively! Clean. Proprietor Denise has a neighborhood library stuffed with books out there for purchasers to peruse and browse. Take a look at Confidential Espresso for excellent espresso and a soothing setting. 

Café Calle

3310 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Café Calle is situated on historic South Central Avenue. It lately opened this previous March and it has rapidly turn into the neighborhood’s place to go to for a cup of espresso. At Café Calle, you possibly can decide up an acai or pitaya bowl, a chile relleno burrito, and low drinks infused with flavors starting from honey lavender to café de olla. The store can also be dwelling to a lovely mural of a espresso farm in El Salvador—the place proprietor Diana’s household hails from and the place she sources her espresso beans. Cease by for a cafecito and keep for the enjoyable. Café Calle will host a “Arte, Cultura, y Poesia” occasion on July 9th from 6-9pm. Open mic sign-ups start at 6pm! They may also have native distributors on the occasion.

Cara Vana

 5629 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Cara Vana is a serene espresso store appropriate for breakfast or lunch in North Hollywood. While you go to, pair their scrumptious iced horchata latte or the tamarindo chilly brew with the frijoles avocado toast. Proprietor Adriana and her workforce supply a twist on in a single day oats– strive their matcha in a single day oats or their horchata in a single day oats. Their indoor area has loads of seating they usually have a small patio within the again. Cara Vana is a comfy place to hang around solo or with associates. Whether or not you reside within the Valley or not, Cara Vana has refreshing drinks and wholesome meals choices!

Picaresca Barra de Café

1300 S Soto St #9, Los Angeles, CA 90023

 In case you are within the Boyle Heights space, cease by Picaresca Barra de Café. I like to recommend the matcha de olla, a twist on the iced matcha with café de olla syrup. Attempt it with oatmilk for a creamy unforgettable drink. Picaresca house owners Elisa and Leo companion with native cooks like Metztli Taqueria, la. Novia, Brute Tenacity, and Miracle Bakery to supply scrumptious brunch gadgets. I attempted a Korean pulled pork crunch wrap made by Some Daze LA and devoured it earlier than I even pulled out of the parking zone. It was that good. After grabbing espresso and meals from Picaresca, store across the mini-mall. You’ll discover discounted home items, furnishings, vegetation, and garments whereas supporting Latino small enterprise house owners.

Horchatería Rio Luna

15950 Paramount Blvd, Paramount, CA 90723

231 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340 

Within the temper for café de olla frappe or maybe a strawberry paleta frappe? Horchateria is dwelling to the well-known ice cream concha sandwich. In addition they have scrumptious churros with accompanying dipping sauces that draw prospects from all corners of LA. Since re-locating their Paramount location to Paramount Boulevard in 2020, Horchateria house owners Ashley and David host artwork displays and neighborhood occasions of their area. In addition they have one of the best merchandise together with Selena and Dangerous Bunny automotive air fresheners, espresso mugs with hilarious sayings, and concha coin purses and pillows. Horchateria has a second location in San Fernando–only a mile away from the long-lasting San Fernando Swap Meet.

In case you are in search of extra suggestions, observe me on Instagram @Latinxcafecitos the place I share extra Latino-owned coffeeshops in Los Angeles, the OC, the 619, and in different cities after I journey.

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