Name: Colony Club
Before going to New York, I was giddy with excitement over the plethora of coffee shops the city holds. I mean seriously, I was a kid in a candy shop… Only this time my candy was coffee! While there are so many to try, I only had time to try three… and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Read on to learn about three shops you should add to your list.
Address: 702 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Hours: Monday-Saturday 6:30am-6:30pm, 6:30am-6pm on Sundays
Vibe: Light, bright and tons of white. This spot feels like a dream for anyone who needs creative energy. It’s the kind of spot that feels ridden with locals and creatives which is definitely inspiring.
Coffee & Food: While I’m not a huge fan of their mocha, they definitely know their coffee. It was a bit on the bitter side and not as silky as I like it but it doesn’t ‘mean they don’t know what they’re doing. I happen to be a big fan of their hot chocolate. They also have pressed juices which are fab and some assorted baked goods that I found to be fine but nothing incredible. To me, it’s more of a spot for atmosphere than food or drink.
Seating: This spot has a good number of seats. With a community table in the front and back and table seating along the side as well as out front, you’re sure to find a seat to hunker down.
Overall: Primo Passo is a very solid coffee spot. With good coffee, nice light and good energy, this spot is one you can’t pass up. It’s simple in the design and coffee but effective. While I wish they had wifi, I do like that they seem to foster the idea of disconnecting to reconnect with the people around you… how European of them! It also doesn’t hurt that it’s situated right on Montana, one of my favorite streets in Santa Monica.
Name: Télescope Café
Address: 5 Rue Villedo. 75001. Paris. France.
Closest Metro Stop: Pyramides
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30-5, Saturday 9:30-6:30, Sunday closed
Vibe: The first thought that comes to mind when I think of Télescope is that it’s a coffee shop for interaction. They don’t have any wifi which at first is annoying (for us American’s who always seek it out)… but upon further thought, I’m glad they don’t. It’s not the type of place you take your computer and work at. Instead, this is the place you go when you want to sit down with someone and talk. You know, the original intent of coffee shops was to connect over coffee! It feels like a local hangout spot and has a really nice interior that’s welcoming and warm.
Coffee & Food: A mocha wasn’t an option, so I went with a classic chocolat chaud for a rainy afternoon. While I probably should have tried their coffee since everyone seems to love it, I had to stick to my roots: chocolate. To me, it was pretty blah. It had a weird chalky taste to it… but I have to think their coffee is on point as while I was there they did this whole fancy tasting thing that seemed very nouveau which leads me to believe they know what they’re doing! As for the cookie, my friend ate most of it as it was hers but I had a bite or two and it also seemed pretty blah to me. But… remember, I think they excel at coffee here.
Seating: They have about seven two seater tables as well as a little bench outside. It’s definitely a small shop, but I think that contributes to the coziness and intimate vibe that it has. When we first walked in, there were no seats, but someone left right as we ordered which worked out well. While it might be difficult to find a spot depending on the hour you go, it’s nice to know that it’s because people are genuinely spending time together, not just working on their laptops in their own little world.
Overall: So, not gonna lie: this was my third time trying to come here. The first time I didn’t realize they were closed on Sundays. The second time I got there around 4:30 and the barista was nice enough to tell me that they close at 5, so if I wanted to be there for a while (which I did) then I should probably come back another time. Feeling a bit aggravated by my own mistakes, I still had a pull to come here. So many people love it so I wanted to see what all the hype is about. While it’s not one of my favorite shops, I think you can tell from reading this that I liked the vibe of it. It’s pretty different from other shops in that there’s no wifi, the space is bright and it’s pretty small. (Plus, I have to assume the coffee is pretty darn good!) If you’re looking to spend some nice quality time with someone in a feel good environment, this is your spot!