The Coffee (and donuts) of Venice Beach/Santa Monica, California

My heart is in SoCal (I was born and raised there). I spent a quick two days in Santa Monica, California recently and wanted to share some great coffee spots I visited. And yes, I went to four coffee shops (and one donut place that technically had coffee) in two days. Disclaimer: I didn’t take great photos so these are pulled from my Instagram story. 

Espresso Cielo

3101 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Espresso Cielo in Venice Beach

This is the first place I went in Venice for a morning cappuccino and it was perfect. Just a few blocks away from the beach, I took it to go and strolled along the sand and waves. Cute atmosphere and a friendly barista. We even met a couple puppers inside. I love how dog friendly California is!

Dogtown Coffee

2003 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Dogtown Coffee in Santa Monica

My two go-to orders at a coffee shop is either cold brew (black) or a cappuccino. But I was so intrigued by Dogtown’s signature Salty Dog Caramel Ice Coffee (cold brew sweetened with caramel and topped with sea salt infused foam). It was pretty good – the foam was interesting. I don’t think I’d get the same drink again, but it was fun to try and great for someone who likes sweetener in their coffee. I loved this place and bought a bag of whole beans to take home.

Bulletproof Coffee

3110 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Bulletproof coffee is a brand known for creating coffee with added grass-fed butter and oil to boost energy. This is their first standalone shop. It was right next to our Airbnb, so I had to stop by for an afternoon pick me up. I ordered the cold brew because I wasn’t brave enough to try the butter coffee. I’m still not sold on this idea but I know people that love it.

Modern Times Brewery (actually in Los Angeles)

832 South Olive St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Vegan Cortado at Modern Times Brewery in Los Angeles

Yes, in California they have breweries that also make amazing coffee. I didn’t try any of their beer, but the selection sounded amazing. I ordered a chile relleno burrito from their all-vegan brunch menu and a cortado with a delicious vegan milk (hemp or oat maybe? Can’t remember) in an adorable cup. Yum! This place was super cool, I’d love to come back and try some beer.

DK’s Donuts & Bakery

1614 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404

This place is the best thing that ever happened to me. OK, not really. But after a night out, we ordered a Lyft to the one food place still open. Little did I know, it was this magical bakery of the most amazing donuts. They have fun flavors like ube, maple bacon and cookie dough; and even a giant donut you may have seen on Facebook. Honestly, you can skip all that and get the Original O-Nut. Seriously. Do it. It’s basically a croissant donut hybrid which I didn’t know is a thing. But it’s a great thing. DK’s O-Nut is covered in magical glaze. I could eat 100. Oh and they had coffee, too, but the donut shop kind.

I love visiting local coffee shops when I travel! What places did I miss in Santa Monica? Or what other cities have amazing coffee spots? Let me know in the comments below!

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