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  • Writer's pictureLotus Girl Travel

How to Spend the Perfect Afternoon in DTLA - The Last Bookstore and Boulon Coffee

Best places to visit in Los Angeles


For a fun afternoon in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), I paired together two of my favorite things: books and coffee - but both of these places put an interesting twist on the experience!


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Satisfy your caffeine cravings at Boulon Coffee. This bright coffee shop serves up classic espresso-based drinks, as well as some enticing specialty drinks, including: The Gold Digger (Dirty Turmeric), The Money Maker (Vanilla Rose Matcha), and my personal favorite, The Mean Girl (Iced Pink Chai). The server actually pours it tableside from a cocktail shaker into a beautiful cocktail glass.


Where the drinks don’t quit, neither do the eats. Boulon Coffee offers a savory selection of light breakfast fare from the classic Avocado Toast and the heavenly Burrata Toast to the nostalgic Hot Cheetos Bagel, packed with whipped cream cheese and a satisfying spicy crunch.


Get your caffeine on, fill up on tasty eats, and then take some selfies in the pink telephone booth, in front of the pink VW bug and pink neon lighting bolt sign while sipping your Mean Girl in this pink-themed coffee shop.


Boulon Coffee is located at 1789 W. Washington Boulevard. They are open from 7am - 2:30pm Monday through Friday and from 8am - 5pm on weekends. There is free street parking right next to their location (either in front or on the side street).


The Last Bookstore: A Haven for Bibliophiles

With coffee in hand, head over to The Last Bookstore (about a 5-10 minute drive from Boulon). When you step inside, you'll be greeted by towering bookshelves, whimsical book art installations, and the intoxicating scent of ink and paper. The sheer variety of books they offer is astounding, ranging from new releases to rare first editions, and everything in between.


Located in a beautifully restored bank building on the corner of 5th and Spring Street, The Last Bookstore is a haven for bookworms and literary enthusiasts and boasts itself as the largest seller of new, used and rare books in California. BUT, they put a spin on the traditional bookstore - when you walk in, the first thing you’ll notice is the sheer size of this place! It's a two-story open architecture with art installations made out of books or pages of books. The upstairs area, known as the Labyrinth Above the Bookstore, is a feast of wonders and is one of the most instagrammable places in DTLA. Besides the many photo ops and book-related art installations, you can also shop a few independently owned and run boutique stores and explore more intimate rooms and vaults.


They are open from 11am - 8pm. There is metered street parking if you can find it, if not, look for nearby flat-rate parking lots (most are around $10 - cash).


Literary Events and Community Engagement

Both The Last Bookstore and Boulon Coffee are more than just places to buy books or grab a cup of coffee. They foster a sense of community by hosting a range of literary events and workshops. Keep an eye out for author readings, book signings, and panel discussions at The Last Bookstore, where you can connect with fellow book lovers and expand your literary horizons. Boulon Coffee often hosts poetry slams, open mic nights, and writing workshops, offering a platform for local artists and writers to showcase their talents. These events provide a unique opportunity to engage with the local creative community and immerse yourself in the vibrant literary scene of DTLA.


Wrap-Up

I suggest grabbing coffee and a bite first and then head to the bookstore. This will leave you perfectly situated to explore the surrounding downtown area. You don't have to stop exploring after visiting these two unique places. You can take a leisurely stroll along the historic streets and admire the stunning architecture, including iconic landmarks like the Bradbury Building and the Los Angeles City Hall. Art lovers will relish a visit to the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), showcasing a remarkable collection of modern and contemporary artworks. You can even continue tasting the local food scene by venturing into the Grand Central Market, a bustling food hall offering a myriad of culinary delights.


Enjoy this literary and caffeinated adventure,


Dorothy




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