Most of my friends think I spend way too much money on coffee. And as my craving for good coffee has grown, I’ve come to covet the offerings of small roasters such as San Francisco’s Blue Bottle. Chicago’s Intelligentsia is another high-quality roaster, and it recently opened an outpost in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. The shop has a welcoming patio and, judging from the line I waited in, it already has a lot of fans; the conversation happening among the Chowhounds includes comments like: “Yes, Intelligentsia was worth the wait” and “the name is the only bit of pretension I found at Intelligentsia Coffee, and it’s the only thing I’d dream of changing–except also the location, putting it, say, two feet from my apartment.” I was taken by the rich, full-flavored macchiato and also enjoyed a taste of my friends’ Americano (a name I usually reserve for the cocktail, not the coffee). And though I’ll hit up the original location the next time I’m in Chicago, there’s an added bonus to this spot: The Cheese Store of Silverlake is just next door, making for a trip worthy of food-dork utopia!

3922 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

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