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South Bay Favorites: 5 Best Coffee Shops

After living in the South Bay my entire life, I have a lot of favorite local spots. Some secret, some not so secret. Some are just made for instagram and others are a little more “rustic” 🙂 I wanted to start sharing them for locals and visitors alike!
First up… COFFEE of course. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I go to at least one local coffee shop a week. I’m always on the hunt for the best iced vanilla latte (that’s the first thing I try at a new place. I call it the “vanilla latte test.” Gosh, I’m such a nerd sometimes!) Even though one of our main 2018 resolutions is to budget + save money, coffee dates are my main exception. There’s something so comforting about heading to a coffee shop first thing in the morning, even more so when the barista knows your name and order.
For the longest time I was a religious Coffee Bean drinker- I even worked there in high school! While I still stop by there from time to time, I now prefer to spend my $5 in coffee shops that are local to the South Bay.
LONG STORY SHORT. If you are ever in the South Bay, here are the 5 best coffee shops you have the try:
1. Two Guns Espresso- Manhattan Beach

I have been completely obsessed with Two Guns since they opened. If someone asks me where to go the best coffee in the South Bay, this is my answer. Its cute and was really the “first of its kind” as far as trendy coffee shops go in the South Bay. While literally everything is delicious, my go to drink is the Flat White (deliciousness straight from New Zealand) and for breakfast a “Stanwich.” The menu is simple and I promise you cannot go wrong here.

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A couple things to note: the outdoor seating is in a parking lot & there is always a line. BUT they have a “sister shop” called Suite6 next-door with art and local goodies so you won’t mind wasting a little time here.

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2. Java Man– Hermosa Beach

This coffee shop has been open as long as I’ve been alive and yet I just discovered it a couple years ago. Its one of those places you squeeze in to, hear the baristas predict 4/5 orders, and feel totally overwhelmed by a huge menu… in a great way. Java Man is fast-paced, loud, and bursting with local vibes. I’ve sat outside a couple times but the Hermosa pier is just a block away so I am normally taking my coffee to go! They have some really creative coffee drinks (for example, a “chocolate orange delight” that you really do have to try) plus giant pastries and a ton of food options. My drink of choice is a Mocha with whatever coffee cake is available

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3. Old Torrance Coffee & Tea– Old Torrance

Old Torrance is truly a hidden gem and I never would have found it if I didn’t live within walking distance. As part of our routine, Dylan and I walk here at least one morning a week. The owner Jenny has a chat with Dylan every time we walk in while I try to decide between my two favorites: iced vanilla latte or a Spanish coffee. This place really is as small town charming as it gets. Theres no gimmicks, just a warm homey feeling.

Fun fact: Old Torrance was designed at a 45º angle between Carson and Torrance Blvd. So if you’re thinking you’ve never seen/ heard of this spot, theres a good reason! The designer wanted it to be as private as possible and not just a path to cut between main streets. However that plan seemed to backfire a bit because its a little too quiet! 😉

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4. The Source Cafe– Hermosa Beach

On the other hand, Source is about as gimmicky as it gets. Their slogan is “the art of nourishment” and when you walk in the doors your greeted by fresh juices and gluten free pastries. But even if you’re not vegan, GF, whatever! you really do need to try this place because it is delicious. I always get an iced almond milk latte… served in a mason jar (ahem- trying to fit in) but I’ve also had and loved an iced chai and cappuccino. And the food is really, really good. The main downfall is that it is a little pricey, but you are paying for quality and a different kind of coffee shop experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the South Bay. Oh, and it is very instagrammable.

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5. Kirari West– Redondo Beach

It was reallllyyy hard to choose number 5 (more on that below); Kirari West is such a unique little spot that you would pass and never see. Thank goodness for yelp! It is an authentic Japanese + gluten free bakery located on PCH. Super bright and trendy design and a lot of food and drink options. In all honesty, I’ve only had two things from here because they are so good that I haven’t wanted to try anything else! An iced vanilla latte and Almond Butter Brioche. Let me say that again– Almond Butter Brioche… remember it, order it, love it.

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Catalina Coffee in Redondo would have been high on this list but it just recently closed. My heart is BROKEN. But hopefully those pieces will be put together by something a little less local but delicious enough to make the list: Philz. Its coming to El Segundo in the next couple months and I . cant. wait!

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