Los Angeles — finally, one might say — has an awful lot of great coffee shops, and while your favorite place for a cup of joe is, like your favorite taco, an intensely personal choice, it would be well worth the mileage to seek out Handsome Coffee Roasters' beautiful flagship shop in the Arts District. There, you'll find pretty much everything you'd want in a coffee shop: simplicity, consistency, almost disarmingly friendly baristas. And great, often fantastic, coffee. The beans are roasted right there in the shop, in the room next to the bar area; if you're lucky, you can look through the glass and catch the Probat roaster in action. Otherwise, grab a 5-ounce coffee, chat (or not) with the person making your drink, find a seat at the bar or the communal table, maybe pull out a book, and enjoy one damn fine cup of java. 582 Mateo St., dwntwn. (213) 621-4194, handsomecoffee.com. —Tien Nguyen
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