food and drink

If You’re In L.A., These Are The Latino Coffee Shops That Give You Life

Maggie C. / Yelp

If you’re in L.A., you’ve definitely had an iced coffee or espresso shot from the green-crowned siren that is the ‘Bucks. It’s EVERYWHERE. But there’s so much more out there, including Latino coffee houses that are taking some of your favorite drinks and giving them a flavors that’ll remind you of home.

Tierra Mia: An horchata latte will give you life.

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Latino coffee chain Tierra Mia currently boasts 10 shops around the Los Angeles and Bay area; and when you get a look at the menu you can see why. Heavily influenced by Mexican culture, Tierra Mia began offering drinks like horchata lattes and mocha Mexicanos when founder Ulysses Romero opened the original location in 2008.

Come for the coffee at Porto’s Bakery and Cafe. Stay for the desserts.

This Cuban-style bakery and cafe is a must-stop shop if you are in Southern California. The lines are looooong on weekdays AND weekends. People make it a field trip to drink their cortaditos while their eyes glaze over the seemingly endless display of pastries, potato balls and fancy cakes. Porto’s recently claimed the top spot on Yelp’s best places to eat from around the country.

It might be a sin to have just one cup at Primera Taza.

CREDIT: @as_bbq / Instagram

Everyone knows Colombia produces some of the best coffee beans in the world. But the co-owners of this East L.A. coffee house want to show off the aromatic and delicious coffee beans Mexico has to offer. One of the most well-known varieties at this shop is a coffee bean grown in the Mexican state of Guerrero that has hints of blueberry. A daily dose of coffee and fruits? We’re in!

Café Calacas’ Gansito Frappe is the food hero we all need.

CREDIT: @cafecalacasdtsa / Instagram

The treat of your childhood mixed with one of your current coffee obsession?!  Hell yes! Cafe Calacas isn’t actually in Los Angeles – it’s in Orange County – but it’s worth a trip to Santa Ana so the whole #squad can try frappe options like Gansito, rompope and Abuelita chocolate. 

Holy Grounds Coffee will make you feel #blessed.

This East L.A. cafe with an artsy vibe provides a peaceful oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The cozy, homey vibe is capped off with options like just-like-mama’s cafe de olla and the tried-and-true Latino coffee shop favorite, horchata latte.

Antigua Coffee House will be your lifeline if you’re a fan of Guatemalan coffee.

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Yancy Quinones, the owner of Antigua Coffee House, knows what he is doing when it comes to sourcing beans from Guatemala – his family has been growing coffee in the Central American country for 150 years. You can try a hot Mayan Mocha, or if you prefer your coffee iced, order a Xolmaya (vanilla and orange citrus blended with ice.)

A latte sweetened with cajeta sounds amazing, right? You can find it at Café Bolivar.

CREDIT: @cafe_bolivar / Instagram

Café Bolívar is introducing Santa Monica to the tastes of South America with its Venezuelan style of arepas alongside coffee roasters from across the country and Mexico. Some of the cafe’s signature drinks include Café Tacuba (latte sweetened with cajeta) and Mocha Oaxaqueño.

Without agave, there’s no tequila. At Café de Leche, you can get a taste of agave in a latte.

Café de Leche in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is mixing and brewing common coffee roasts with uncommon Mexican pairings, and we’re not complaining about it. The Iced Almond Agave Latte is a coffee take that is piquing our interest.

Get in la Zona with these beans.

Zona Rosa Caffe in Pasadena puts the chill in Chilango coffee. The calavera-decorated coffee house gets its name from one of the D.F.’s most popular neighborhoods, so you know most def they were going to place classics like Mexican hot chocolate on the menu.

Are you planning on letting your coffee drip, drip, drip from Starbucks or are you looking to try some of the Latino coffee houses mentioned above? Tell us in the comments below!

11 Central American Foods That Might Take Over Your Love For Tacos

food and drink

11 Central American Foods That Might Take Over Your Love For Tacos

Credit: Flavors Of Belize / YouTube

Mexican tacos and tostilocos get so much glory when it comes to Latin food, but these dishes from the rest of LatAm pack an equally drool-worthy punch…

1. Baleadas


Think of this Honduran dish as the cool, mysterious cousin of the quesadilla. A thick flour tortilla doesn’t play when it’s stuffed with refried beans and crema and it’s finished off with a healthy dose of cheese. #winning

Looking for a breakfast version of this dish?

Credit: @cocobaleadasmiami / Instagram

Ask for a special baleada, which has scrambled eggs added into the mix.

2. Pupusas

These are not diet friendly, but when has that ever stopped us? This masa de maiz dish is made using a cornmeal dough stuffed with combinations of either cheese, loroco (a vine flower bud), refried beans and pork. Don’t forget the cold salsa and curtido that make the warm pupusa taste soooo refreshing.

3. Empanadas de Platano

Salvadoran empanadas de platano are like little pillows of heaven sprinkled with hada madrina fairy dust (aka azúcar) on top. Sweet plantains are mashed up, filled with milk custard and then deep fried…basically what dreams are made of.

4. Tostones con Queso

What do you need to know about tostones? Deep. Fried. Queso. ‘Nuff said.

5. Belizean Black Fruit Cake

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This is not your basic fruit cake. Belizean fruit cake takes it up a notch with rón. You heard that right – it’s sweet and you won’t have to deal with dry cake drama.

6. Guatemalan Tamales

Bigger is better in Guatemala – the tamales wrapped in banana leaves and are two to three times larger than a traditional Mexican tamal.  ?

7. Refresco de Ensalada

Credit: LaCocinadeLupita / YouTube

Damn, El Salvador. Back at it again with the delicious cuisine! This drinkable fruit salad quenches your thirst after eating pupusas. The chopped apples, oranges, pineapples and mangos makes it kind of like a tropical vacation served in a glass.

8. Casado


A casado meal is winning at life. This dish from Costa Rica has everything you need to make your body happy: protein, veggies, carbs all on a plate that will make you go ?.

9. Pipa Fria

Forget boxed coconut water, this is the legit way to drink a coco. In Costa Rica, pipas are sold on beaches and with some swift handling of a machete from the vendor, a straw is all you need to enjoy this refreshing drink. Bonus: add rum or tequila for the best cocktail of your life. Bottoms up!

10. Fried Yojoa Fish

Need a dish to get you through Lent? Make baby Jesus happy by eating some deep fried and salted Yojoa fish. Tajaditas (deep fried and sliced plantains), pickled red cabbage and pickled onions usually cozy up as side dishes to this type of fish dish.

11. Sancocho

Especially popular with natives around carnaval time, sancocho is a stew made with chicken, yams, yucca, cilantro and onion. Food for the soul.

Which Central American dish do you like the most? Share this story with your friends and tell them which plato is the one you can’t live without!

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