4 Cafés to Explore in Long Beach, Calif.

Long Beach is a city within Los Angeles County known for its bustling art, music, and food & beverage scenes. Today, we explore some of our favorite Long Beach cafés.

BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

When outsiders think of Los Angeles, images of downtown L.A. skyscrapers or the Hollywood Walk of Fame tend to come to mind. But the City of Angels extends far beyond that, stretching across 4,000 miles with many lesser-known areas to explore. Long Beach, California, is one such corner of Los Angeles County. Located about 20 miles south of downtown L.A., the city is known for its waterfront views and colorful scene of art, music, food, and beverage. Today, we’re exploring four of our favorite Long Beach cafés: WOOD Coffee Co., Viento y Agua, Steelhead Coffee, and Rose Park Roasters.

The storefront of Wood Coffee Co. with funky swirled paint patterns on the building, and bubble letters of the brand name above the door. Inside big windows is counter seating with minimalist white stools.
WOOD Coffee Co. was founded by Nolan Wood. Photo courtesy of WOOD Coffee Co.

WOOD Coffee Co.

Queer-owned and plant-based café WOOD Coffee Co. is located in Long Beach’s Rose Park neighborhood, it was founded by Nolan Wood, who began his journey in the coffee world at the age of 17. The café was built with the intention of creating a space for Long Beach’s queer community, and they regularly host paint nights, co-working sessions, vegan food popups, and more.

A handmade mug with yellow floral debossing and a leaf design on top of the handle holds a a cinnamon-dusted hot drink.
A hot beverage at Viento y Agua, featuring pottery by Mi Amor Artesenal.
Photo courtesy of Viento y Agua.

Viento y Agua

Viento y Agua was established in 2003 and is located along Long Beach’s historic 4th Street. The café is known for hosting regular music shows, poetry nights, open mics, art shows, and more. Standout menu items include their Mexican mocha and chai.

Interior of Steelhead with black and white tile floors, a light blue countertop, vibrant green espresso machine and vintage light fixtures. Greenery is sprinkled throughout. In-set wood shelves hold coffee bags on a textured sea green wall behind the counter.
Steelhead boasts three locations in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Steelhead Coffee.

Steelhead Coffee

With three locations within Long Beach, Steelhead is known for its great selection of coffee beans, including offerings from Woodcat Coffee, Penny Coffee Roasters, and Be Bright Coffee. The café also often whips up seasonal specials, like sparkling hibiscus lemonade infused with house-made rose syrup, or a cherry mocha made with dark chocolate.

Rose Park Roasters

With three locations in Long Beach, Rose Park Roasters is known for its incredible coffee selection, such as Gesha Inmaculada from Colombia. The roastery is also known for its impressive selection of baked goods, like its orange thyme olive oil cake, or its carrot and caramelized fennel galettes.

Bags of Rose Park Mexico Veracruz beans are strapped on the back of a delivery bike.
Rose Park Roasters offers coffee bicycle deliveries throughout Long Beach. Photo courtesy of Rose Park Roasters.

Another notable feature? The café/roastery also delivers coffee orders via bicycle throughout Long Beach. “Bicycle delivery is free for our customers, and it’s a great way for us to connect with them in a more personal way,” the café shares.

Whether you’re a Los Angeles local or are planning to make a trip to the city, there are so many corners to explore, and these cafés are just a few of the coffee gems that Long Beach, and L.A. at large, have to offer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Joy Meneses (she/they) is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include foraging, cortados, vintage synths, and connecting with her Filipino roots through music, art, food, and beverage.

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