The Trails Cafe
Some experiences, no matter how cliche, are home to the Los Angeles experience. One of those key experiences is hiking to the Hollywood sign, which I happened to do this past weekend. After one of those beautiful LA days, I had to have a post-hike espresso and lunch. Luckily, I've been to a great place a couple times in Griffith Park that is the Trails Cafe. Located a little ways up on the drive to the Griffith Observatory, this cafe is easy to walk or drive past, elevated and hidden behind greenery off the road. The wooden shack may not look like much but has much to offer. It's even worth the wait if there is a long line (which there was), but I wouldn't come here in a hurry (but who goes hiking in a hurry anyways?). Their menu is full of deep dish pies, quiches, honey lavender shortbread cookies, savory and sweet scones with crazy flavors, sandwiches--grilled cheese, avocado, or pb&j, vegan crap that Los Angelenes like, and most importantly, Stumptown coffee. Before Stumptown really hit Los Angeles a couple years ago, this was one of my favorite places to find it at. It is hard to beat the scenery of Griffith Park for a simply good espresso spot. The one drawback? Their lack of real espresso cups. They serve their delectable Hairbender espresso in paper cups. I may sound like quite the espresso brat and you may even think that I've gone too far-- but alas, I am a stickler for real cups when it comes to espresso. Paper cups tend to change the temperature and taste of espresso where you get a papery taste along with your Stumptown. Other than that, I absolutely adore this place.
Recommend: Go hiking and then reward yourself here! Try any of their food! Aside from their espresso, I love the unique Honey Lavender Shortbread cookies and their Avocado Sandwich.
Note: Closed Mondays, so don't hike on Mondays. Also, parking is usually not an issue in this area but the wait can get pretty long and the line can move pretty slowly. Great place for people with dogs!
Vibe: Outdoorsy, Hiking-friendly, Family
Espresso Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Hours: Tues-Sun 8am-5pm; CLOSED MONDAY
Address: 2333 Fern Dell Dr Los Angeles, CA 90068