Tierra Mia Coffee | Echo Park

Tierra Mia (1)

Tierra Mia Coffee is probably one of the few coffeeshops in the city of Los Angeles that offers an authentic Latin American coffee experience from bean to brew. Unique in its approach to coffee craftsmanship, the Tierra Mia Coffee menu includes single brewed coffee, creative espresso based specialty drinks, and pastries baked fresh at their L.A. bakery. What’s best is that all of its menu items are inspired by traditional Latin flavors, reflecting the colorful cultures of Latin America and its diverse people. Must try items include their Horchata Latte and Tres Leches Muffin which not only tastes like the real thing but also adds a twist to the orinigal. 

Worthy of boasting, Tierra Mia Coffee sources its beans from choice micro-lot coffee farms throughout Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and others, purchasing green beans above fair trade market price and roasting them in house to capture the highest quality in freshness. Tierra Mia Coffee has locations throughout the county including in Long Beach, Huntington Park, Echo Park and Highland Park, not to mention a few locations in San Francisco. Learn more about this Latin American inspired coffee spot at tierramiacoffee.com

The Must | Downtown LA


Adjacent to downtown’s historic Indian Alley is one of our favorite happy hour spots in all of Los Angeles, the edgy wine bar restaurant known as The Must. Opened in 2008 by a pair of downtown enthusiasts, The Must has received raving reviews from the likes of Bon Appetite magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Eight years later, The Must continues to be a local favorite in downtown’s historic bank district.

While staying true to its downtown roots, The Must provides just the right amount of edge that you’d expect from a wine bar on trendy Winston Street. Facing a number of murals and art installations highlighting the special heritage of Indian Alley, The Must’s outdoor and indoor patio offers a true glimpse at downtown’s art scene. It’s interior deserves just the same amount of praise, decked in navy wood paneling and concrete pillars with accents of gold by means of industrial looking light fixtures.

Aside from a noteworthy food menu– which includes a brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selection– The Must also offers the best in beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. As a perfect ode to The Must and its very edgy L.A. atmosphere, try their Black Sangria ($7) which is a flavorful tarty spinoff of the classic Spanish beverage. Garnished with blueberries and blackberries, the red wine and ruby port mix is as refreshing as you’d expect.

What’s more, The Must is committed to sourcing only the best of local, organic and farm fresh produce for its kitchen. Happy hour runs between 4-7 PM, Tuesday through Friday and 3-7 PM on Saturday and Sunday–a perfect spot to hit before you get your night started in downtown L.A.

Four Cafe | Eagle Rock

By now, most people have heard the hype surrounding the northeastern LA neighborhood of Eagle Rock. If you have ever journeyed north pass the precinct lines of downtown LA, you may have stumbled upon this tucked away LA hub dubbed 2014’s Best Neighborhood in America. While basking in its new found popularity, Eagle Rock has more than just its title to be proud of. Coincidentally Eagle Rock is also home to some of the best small business eateries in the city, including our favorite Four Cafe.

For those that don’t know the area, Colorado Blvd. runs through the small town neighborhood and is literally the food highway of Eagle Rock. Visitors will find other The Squirrel Co. favorites, among the mix, Four Cafe. With a seasonal menu that’s always evolving, guests can be sure to get nothing but the freshest ingredients. Choose from an array of homemade organic items including salads, soups, small bites, sandwiches, sides, and desserts. Our favorite? The made-to-order Veggie burger decked with cheddar cheese, remoulade, red onion jam, arugula on a brioche bun, of course.

Bustling with locals during all hours of the day, Four Cafe has grown to be one of the best eateries on the block. Pay them a visit at their 2122 E. Colorado Blvd. location in Eagle Rock or visit their website for look.

Indiana Colony | Pasadena


Whatever you’re looking for, chances are they got it. An original concept for this otherwise big business boulevard of shops and restaurants, Indiana Colony in Old Town Pasadena offers a little bit of everything as a small business mall of sorts.

Part ice cream shop, part coffee shop, part pie shop, part tea and spices shop, part juice shop, and part flower shop, Indiana Colony brings small businesses together and offers a one-stop shop for Old Town enthusiasts. Former home of The Squirrel Co. favorite Linus Bikes (check out our write-up), the food and retail community is now comprised of six separate and unique shops; they include Cool Haus, Pressed Juicery, Pie Hole, Intelligensia, World Flavors and Gilly Flowers.

Check out this unique space at its 59 E. Colorado Blvd. location in Pasadena or visit them online.

EggSlut | Grand Central Market


While food options are more than plenty at LA’s Grand Central Market in downtown, we’ve got the dish on the local favorite that’s dominated the food scene in this historic marketplace. Move over bacon, EggSlut is the new ruler of the kitchen.

Taking up stall D-1 at LA’s Grand Central Market, this popular food stand is located in the heart of the newly renovated Broadway district of downtown Los Angeles, between Broadway and Grand. While the name EggSlut could be hard to swallow for some, it’s impressive menu is everything but. Inspired by the bold flavors of an American breakfast favorite, EggSlut uses unique ingredients to elevate the flavor of the often overlooked fried egg.

Short and simple, the menu is comprised of six items including the “Bacon, Eggs and Cheese” and “Gaucho” sandwich; the latter includes top grade seared wagyu tri-tip steak, chimichurri, pickled red onions, shaved manchego cheese, fresh arugula and a medium egg on brioche buns. With items reasonably priced and outstanding flavors worth the 40 minute wait, Eggslut is a stop you have to make when exploring historic Downtown Los Angeles.

For a glimpse of the full EggSlut menu, visit their website or trek down to Grand Central Market. EggSlut is located at 317 S. Broadway in Downtown LA and is opened daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Punch Bar | Pasadena


From the creative mind behind Corazon de Miel and Whim Kitchen, Robin Chopra, and new comer Darwin Manahan, comes Old Town Pasadena’s latest addition, Punch Bar.

Offering a menu like no other, Punch Bar co-owners Chopra and Manahan take patrons on a unique drinking experience right from the start. The sophomore bar is located in Old Town’s west end on the corner of Colorado and Pasadena Avenue; marked with a red door and requiring a ring of a door bell, the entrance to the speakeasy is an experience within its itself.

Once inside, expect a warm greeting by the bar staff as they seat you and spell out the night’s specialty drinks. Crafted by hand, down to the decorative sculptured ice cubes, Chopra and Manahan create hand-thrown punch cocktails that are both bold and unique in flavor.

Patrons are invited to enjoy hand-made specialty cocktails, punch bowl servings (4 to choose from), or even classic drinks if you’re feeling less adventurous. While traditional favors and ingredients, like cucumber, orange, and lemon, are used to create these selections, Punch Bar and its’ innovative mixologists also include some unique spices and garnishes.

What’s more, the preparation of each drink is where the true experience lies. Chopra and Manahan make sure to give a bit of background of each ingredient included in each creation. Including traditions and insight into the culture associated with the flavors, spices, and practices, this incredible duo truly make drinks that inspire the imagination and take mixology to a new level.

REVISION: Punch Bar will relocate to a new location in 2015. 

Copa Vida | Pasadena


Brewing up a storm on the corner of Green Street and Raymond Avenue in Old Town Pasadena, Copa Vida is more than just another “local” coffee shop. Occupying a space just feet from the Del Mar Station and Memorial Park, Copa Vida has lived up to it’s name as a true breath of fresh air and is one espresso bar to look out for.

Offering only the highest in quality espresso drinks and teas, Copa Vida brings it back to the basics with a menu that reflects it’s motto– coffee, tea, food, and life. No artificial syrups or elaborate specialty drinks here. Just pure, simple, quality coffee.

What’s more, the freshman coffee shop is the closest thing to authentic italian roast that we’ve seen in Los Angeles. Venture away from those sugary icy slush drinks and get your day started with a fresh pressed shot of espresso served with a crisp glass of sparkling water. Or enjoy a cup of loose leaf tea steeped to order, of course.

Craving a bite? Copa Vida also offers an exceptional food menu that includes Chef Erick Lee’s flavor heavy sandwiches and salads with only the freshest of seasonal ingredients. A personal The Squirrel Co. favorite is the Roasted Veggie Sandwich featuring roasted bell peppers, mushroom, eggplant, zucchini, ricotta cheese and arugula.

Committed to serving espresso that is both equitable and sustainable for all (from coffee farmers to roasters to baristas), Copa Vida is a company we back full-heartedly. Visit Copa Vida at it’s Old Town location (70 S. Raymond Ave.) or check the Copa Vida website..