Cafes are a great place to study, relax, and socialize with friends. I used to have a difficult time finding a location without loud music and crowded tables; however, after visiting many cafes and taking my friends’ opinions into consideration, I have developed a list of great cafes for all, whether it be cramming for an exam or going out with friends.
Balcony Coffee & Tea
Balcony Coffee & Tea is the cafe I visit most frequently. With an average rating of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Yelp, this cafe is known for the friendly baristas and its cozy atmosphere. With an abundance of outlets, free wifi, and quiet music, this cafe welcomes those wanting to work and study. If you want to socialize, there is also an outside area with plants and lights. A warning: the outside area can be noisy so stay indoors if you want to study. This place is also known for their delicious drinks, ranging from a variety of lattes and teas. A small selection of pastries, cakes, and small bites are also available. I personally recommend the matcha latte or their specialty, the “Brad Pitt”, which is a mixture of cold foam and hot coffee. Parking is free and right in front of the cafe, making it very convenient to come here often.
Republic of Pie
Known for their delicious pies, Republic of Pie is widely known among locals, with the cafe buzzing with customers. This cafe has an impressive 1,781 reviews on Yelp, averaging to a rating of 4 stars. There are all sorts of flavors, from banana cream to strawberry rhubarb. The pies, however, tend to be on the costly, exorbitant end, but are complemented well with a great assortment of lattes and other drinks. This cafe also has live music, which is great if you’re here to relax and hang out, but not if you’re trying to study. As you go further in, there is a small stage where a band performance may already be going on. They do have outdoor and indoor seating, but the cafe can still get quite crowded, so seats are limited. Parking is not as accessible, as this cafe is part of a row of other stores and restaurants.
Marie et Cie
Marie et Cie is a cafe imitating your grandmother’s cozy living room, with an average of 3.5 stars from 405 reviews on Yelp. It is not very far from the school, making it a nice place to walk to. Though it gets fairly busy on weekends around brunch time, there’s still always room to sit. Groups are also welcome here, as there are many seating options. A unique characteristic of this cafe is that there is a gift shop, with products ranging from pretty cards and last-minute gifts, as well as a selection of furniture. A modest collection of various couches and tables, customers are free to browse or buy them. As for its menu: their coffee has great reviews, and they also have a vegan menu for those with dietary restrictions. Service is also awesome, with friendly and approachable staff. There are both indoor and outdoor seating, but the smell of cigarettes might be a bit strong outside, as there is a designated smoking section. Parking is free.
Overall, all three locations have their own unique perks that appeal to many people. However, my personal pick has to be Balcony Coffee & Tea. Not only is it closer to where I live, but the customer service is always top notch and their well-made drinks are delicious. The other two cafes also have their good points, and I know many people who frequent them as they are a lot more convenient to go to when at North Hollywood High. I hope that you will visit and enjoy these cafes as much as I did.