The Coffee Diaries: House Roots – Granada Hills, CA

Most of the coffee shops that I love are on the Westside of Los Angeles – Groundwork, Alfred’s, and Philz. 15 to 20 miles away, a taxing drive down the 405. While my neighborhood has plenty of Starbucks and Coffee Beans, I didn’t think there’d be any coffee shops around the corner that would excite, inspire, and calm me in the same way.

And then, I discovered House Roots Coffee, just a few miles away. I did not even need to leave the San Fernando Valley.

I first visited House Roots just hours before the New Year. My boyfriend and I sat in the corner on a wooden bench, cupping warm lattes in our hands, savoring those final moments of 2016. We enjoyed a murmured conversation in between sips, our drinks introducing deep, flavorful notes to our taste buds.

The shop was small and simple with bare walls except for the menu, crafted out of wooden panels. It had all of the essentials, nothing superfluous.

House Roots Coffee Sweet Latte
House Roots Coffee – Iced Sweet Latte
The baristas seemed to know everyone who walked through the door, greeting them like old friends. While many coffee shops have transformed into workspaces—laptops out, earbuds in—this cozy space served as a meeting place, a home base, a community center.

Before I drafted this blog post, I checked out their website, and I was blown away by their mission statement. Here’s the opening line:

“Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, we are a group of community members deeply passionate about people, coffee and the place we call home, our roots.”

They donate a portion of their profits to community programs, relief efforts, and overseas projects. Plus, they host live musical performances and art shows.

“House Roots Coffee is dedicated to these three core values: coffee, cause, and community.”

I’ve since returned, and I know I’ll be back soon. House Roots’ culture is unique and refreshing – not to mention, their coffee tastes incredible. If you ever find yourself in the Valley with a caffeine craving, stop by and join the community.

The Coffee Diaries: Highlight Coffee

I love natural lighting—that happy, pure, bright glow.

The sun radiated through the large windows of Highlight Coffee, located on the corner of Broadway and South Glendale Avenue. Once I stepped inside, I was struck by the brightness, magnified by crisp white paint and pale wood furniture. I felt awake, and I hadn’t even taken a sip of their coffee yet.

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I’ve been to my fair share of (non-Starbucks) coffee shops, and I’ve gotten accustomed to pretentious baristas who high key judge me for not knowing what a Gibraltar is. As I approached the counter, I braced myself. But the baristas, nonchalant in their tone and movements, welcomed me with kind smiles.

A shop can have the cutest, most Instagram-worthy aesthetic, but if the baristas give me unwarranted attitude, that’s what I’ll remember most. These guys (whom I captured in latte-making action below) are integral to Highlight’s relaxed atmosphere.

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Creamy, fluffy, and topped with a darling floral design—that hint of espresso was just what I needed to jumpstart the day.

Coffeeshops always have a way of lifting my spirits. During chaotic and disheartening times like these, I cherish each and every thing that gives me joy. Like sipping a little cup of caffeine on a Saturday afternoon.

I’m grateful for these moments of peace and privilege, of simple happiness.

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The Coffee Diaries document my “coffeeventures” around Los Angeles and beyond. If you have any recommendations, please comment below!