Head to Espresso Cielo for a chill vibe and European-styled coffee and tea. Cielo has partnered with nearby bakery Hotcakes Bakes, so you can have your choice of fresh pastries ranging from macarons to quiche. Try some of their “Best Iced Coffee!” or any of their espresso creations while studying for that final. At least you can cry into a delicious quiche while you’re there.
Funnel Mill is dedicated to rare coffees and tea – it’s in their name. Each cup of coffee is brewed one at a time using syphons. What’s notable about Funnel Mill, however, are their extensive list of teas, which number in the dozens. Additionally, the coffee served at Funnel Mill is from unique, single-estate places from around the world.
What makes it great for studying is the quiet atmosphere. They adhere to a strict no cellphone policy, so if you’re someone who gets easily distracted, you may want to head here for some peace and quiet. It does however close earlier than some of the other coffee shops on this list, so this may be better suited for morning people and early birds.
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Known for their Mexican sweets and pastries, La Monarca is a small chain bringing “The Sweet Flavor of Mexico” to California. Definitely check out the conchas if you drop by for a visit. The food is so scrumptious that you’ll want to stay for more! Which is great, because they have free Wi-Fi and good espresso as well. La Monarca Bakery is open very early at 5:30 am from Monday to Friday, if that’s something you’re into too.
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This roomy, industrial chic café is filled with lots of space and lots of natural light. Artisanal roasters brew your drink to order, and if you have trouble deciding, knowledgeable and friendly baristas can help you narrow down your choice to the perfect drink. Their unique lattes comes with lavender and maple ingredients, and almond milk is available for free. The pastry case is filled with offerings from the bakery Breadbar.
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Drop by Caffe 8 ½ for an authentic Italian espresso and a delicious caprese sandwich. In addition to European styled espresso drinks and Italian pastries, you can have a light lunch with a sandwich, salad, or even lasagna indoors or outdoors. Closes earlier at 3 pm, so plan accordingly!
This coffee shop roasts its own beans, brewing one small batch at a time to ensure the freshest coffee. Local sweets and pastries are delivered daily from Sugarbloom, and pressed juices are by Rejuice. If you like what you’re having, you can even buy some coffee grounds to take home with you.
Demitasse is known for its Lavender Hot Chocolate, but you may want to try any of their other drinks, such as the Pistachio Rose Latte. There is free Wi-Fi, but it’s protected by a code that expires after two hours. Don’t plan on recharging here either, as there aren’t many outlets available to customers. Best for old-school studying from physical textbooks and notes.
Although Groundwork Coffee Co. is a chain, the Santa Monica location has all the charm of a small boutique. It's actually quite small, so you may want to sit outdoors if you want to work here. The relaxed atmosphere goes well with their fan-favorite, signature brew, the “Bitches’ Brew,” as well as an Iced Vanilla Latte that’s perfect for cooling down on a hot day. They also offer breakfast, wraps, and salads, as well as snacks such as house-made edamame hummus.
UnUrban Coffee House has a funky, hipster-ish coffee house vibe. You can see for yourself when you walk through the doors – the walls are covered in eccentric décor and the chairs are mismatched. This bohemian community hangout offers a variety of hot and cold drinks, as well as bagels and sandwiches. There are open mic nights, so if you want something distraction-free, plan ahead and see if there’s anything scheduled there before you head on in for a study session.
Don’t want typical café food? Head to Novel Café and get some of their house made pizza while you work. There’s plenty of seating, and you can take your pick from a large selection of foods, including gluten free breakfast, juice blends, tacos, and fajitas. Don’t worry, they have coffee too.
This long-standing Santa Monica coffee shop got a major makeover recently, and it shows. It’s been renovated into a cute little coffee house that hosts art shows and poetry nights regularly. This retro café is known for its all day breakfast, but you may want to try their pasta, acai bowl, or Indian platter if you decide to go. Cozy seating indoors and out.
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Bergamot is a tidy little café that’s hidden away between several warehouses, and may be hard to spot at first glance. There are two large outdoor patios with plenty of seating and a huge parking lot, which you very well know is hard to come by. The lunch rush gets a little crowded because of the new office buildings in the neighborhood, but it’s generally a relaxed sort of atmosphere. Try the Lean Roast Beef and Avocado Sandwich with the Mint Lemonade.
Cozy, rustic, and comfortable – M Street Kitchen is the quintessential American brunch spot. Head on down for some American comfort food for breakfast, then head out to the pet-friendly bakery with a coffee in hand.