Cypress Park’s Antigua Coffee House, with its friendly, familiar vibe, vibrant decor and strong brew, is an easy place to love. Owner Yancey Quiñones treats every customer like he’s known them forever, setting a communal tone for the daily crowd of laptop-pounding and just-hanging patrons, which makes this cozy space so welcoming and without the attitude that ruins many a coffee house in Los Angeles. It’s one of Northeast L.A.’s sweetest spots.
But, it’s not just the atmosphere that lures me to Antigua, or even the Mayan Mocha Latte. It’s the Vegetarian Sandwich. Stacked sky-high with thick slices of cucumber, raw zucchini, tomato, onion and avocado, it’s almost too big to bite. I look past that slight inconvenience, though, because on top of all of those vegetables is a strip of green chile, which adds a cheeky Latino twist that sets it apart from the average veggie sandwich. The bread is a simple sliced whole wheat, generously spread with chipotle dressing, so it ends on a smoky, spicy note. Did I mention the provolone cheese?
If you like your sandwiches paired with a good cup of coffee, you won’t be disappointed. The coffee here is sourced from Quiñones’ family’s coffee plantation in Guatemala, which dates back to the late 1800s. The result is a particularly good iced Americano and perfect Cafe con Ché (coffee, steamed milk and cinnamon). If coffee isn’t your thing, the Xol Maya, an icy orange citrus drink blended with vanilla, is a neighborhood favorite.
Antigua Coffee House
3400 N Figueroa Street
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.