photo by Festoon LA
Gatherings
2019's Hottest New Openings Across California
We’ve gathered intel from far and wide, using the best of our TVR abilities to discover 43 of California's hottest new venues, hotels, restaurants and cafés that have opened from last spring till now, and some that...
photo by Festoon LA
We’ve gathered intel from far and wide, using the best of our TVR abilities to discover 43 of California's hottest new venues, hotels, restaurants and cafés that have opened from last spring till now, and some that are soon to swing their doors open too. You might find hotels in your own neighborhood you had no idea existed. You might even find a few places you’ve been busting at the seams to host an event with. There's a wedding and event venue in a redwood forest. There's a new hotel glampsite in Yosemite. There's plenty of new restaurants embracing color and even more cafés that look more like your dream kitchen than a coffee spot. 

No matter the size of your gathering – from tea for two to a farm for five hundred – there's something on this list in California to fit your next event, big or small. 

See 2019's Hottest New Openings Across the Globe →
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Looking for the new new spots in California to toss confetti, teach a workshop, plan a pop-up or say I-do? These hot new venues from San Diego to San Francisco are pulling out all the stops to ensure that you have a spectacular celebration with your favorite people.
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Double R Ranch

Photo by Jen Philips
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Tucked away in the heart of Napa’s wine country, this private estate in Calistoga spills across acres of olive trees, old oaks and beautiful scenery. In the heart of it all sits a contemporary white party barn and a cute little farmhouse with a pool. Good for: a California wine country wedding, exclusive events of up to 250 guests, corporate and social gatherings, fundraisers.
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Island Farm

Photo by Melissa Ergo
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The incredibly talented team behind Paula Le Duc Fine Catering & Events hosts weddings and events at this oasis of towering redwood groves in San Gregorio. The private property is home to a century-old log cabin, a Bavarian-style barn, a large pond, 80 acres of redwood forest and plenty of cattle too. Lest we forget to mention, Corte Madera Creek also runs through the property, adding even more of a storybook feel to this already dream-like place. Good for: weddings surrounded by forestry.
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The Madrones & The Brambles
Anderson Valley, California

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This Anderson Valley private estate can accommodate up to 39 overnight guests and host events of up to 200 in a camp-style event space. To that effect, one could easily add some glamping tents to the mix to host additional overnight guests. Good for: weddings, social events, retreats, family gatherings.
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The Penny

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An industrial space with gorgeous red brick walls, The Penny has an open layout and opens onto a courtyard that makes it feel bright and airy. Good for: workshops, rehearsal dinners, photo shoots, parties, reunions, basically any kind of celebration where a mix of indoor and outdoor space is a bonus.
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Festoon LA

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Owned by the ladies behind 100 Layer Cake and designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel, this LA studio and venue is ideal for photo shoots, workshops, cocktail parties of up to 70 guests, or sit-down dinner parties with as many as 40 guests. A rental of the space includes gorgeous blush and plush design details, use of the kitchen, a couple of big tables and 20 chairs for your guests. Also good for: cooking classes, bridal showers or baby showers, surprise parties, birthdays.
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The Harper
Costa Mesa, California

Photo by Adam Szafranski for The Venue Report
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Is there anything better than finding a venue that’s already put all the hard work into finding perfect furnishings that make the space shine like gold? We think not. A wedding at The Harper includes fabulous, brassy lighting, good lookin’ furniture for up to 250 guests, security, a bathroom attendant, and a great art collection adorning the walls. Good for: weddings here are the best of the best, but it’s also a great spot for any big dinner gathering, lively celebration, or industry event. Get the full story here →
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Ebell of Santa Ana
Santa Ana, California

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With its classic Spanish revival style, neat courtyard and bright, light-filled interiors, Ebell of Santa Ana is a welcome addition to the list of Orange County event options. Good for: weddings with indoor and outdoor flow, formal dinner parties, holiday events, lectures, performances, board meetings, networking events, workshops, pop-up events.
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BLOC Venue

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If your wedding or event inspiration board features minimalist looks, you need to know about Roseville’s new BLOC venue. With white brick walls, matte concrete floors, modern circular chandeliers, and black-framed windows and doors, it’s easy to embrace the minimalist style and plan an event here that stuns. Good for: weddings, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate events or award shows, holiday parties, or any other type of gathering for up to 300 guests. Best of all, there are no noise restrictions, so you can bring along a whole band for the gig.
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POP Studio
San Diego, California

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A floral studio for Plenty of Petals by day and a party spot by night, POP Studio in San Diego offers a bright, clean and minimalist space for a small gathering or perfectly naturally-lit photo shoot. Good for: workshops and photo shoots are primo in this darling space, and intimate occasions like bridal showers or dinner parties work well too. If you’re a traveling florist looking for a space to work out of, this spot is ground-level and comes with a walk-in cooler so you can rent it out for all your assembly needs.
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CHAPEL
San Diego, California

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Arched windows line the interior of this spacious, high-ceilinged chapel. The non-denominational space is classic SoCal style both inside and out. Good for: wedding ceremonies of up to 300 guests. Awesome location with ample parking and convenient for guests staying in downtown SD.
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Hangar 21 South
Fullerton, California

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You can arrive at this California venue via helicopter and walk straight into your party. Hangar 21 South is located on a runway in Fullerton and has that open, airy feel of a space that’s actually a hangar. Good for: weddings with a very grand entrance, dinner parties with Jay’s Catering doing all the hard work, corporate off-sites, holiday parties.
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Casita Hollywood

Photo by Brandon Kidd
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Looking for a late-night Hollywood party spot and don’t want to change venues in the middle of your wedding reception? Check out Casita, where you can party as late as 2am on the weekends. What’s more, the space has both indoor and outdoor access with a bright, modern interior and a patio, garden courtyard and fountain outside. Good for: wedding ceremonies that seat up to 250 guests (or 350 if you scrap the dancefloor), cocktail parties for up to 550 guests, charity events, welcome receptions or rehearsal dinners, workshops or seminars, corporate events.
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The Guild Hotel
San Diego, California

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Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, just a few blocks from the San Diego Harbor, The Guild Hotel is scheduled to open later this year. Inside, you’ll find a rad event space with towering ceilings, whitewashed brick walls, pale wood floorboards and tons of natural light. Good for: corporate gatherings that don’t feel stuffy, a downtown wedding reception, holiday parties, anniversary shindigs, bridal or baby showers.
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Boulder Grove Ranch

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Prime desert territory, just near the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, is home for this Yucca Valley ranch. There’s a private valley of boulders, a modern barn and two small homes on the property. Good for: weekend getaways, bachelor/ette parties, weekend-long weddings, dinner parties, retreats, family reunions, celebrating milestones, yoga and reconnecting with friends. Some event planning and design services are available through the property and quite a few furniture rental options too.
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Fallen Oaks Estate

Photo by Kay Mitchell
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Fallen Oaks Estate sits just outside the city limits of Paso Robles, surrounded by gently rolling hills and vineyards on all sides. Weddings and events here take over the carriage house and grassy lawn, with accommodations available for a few guests. Good for: weddings, private parties, birthdays, photo or film shoots, dance parties under the oaks.
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Rolling Greens Nursery
Los Angeles, California

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Rolling Greens Nursery sprawls over an entire city block of LA’s Arts District. There’s a ton of retail space for the nursery, but there are also gardens, decks, a tented pavilion, and private rooms inside the showrooms that can be rented out. Good for: weddings under an existing tent for up to 250 guests, ceremonies in the greenhouse, garden bridal or baby showers, photo and film shoots, pop-up events, outdoor cocktail parties, corporate events, holiday parties.
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Looking for California's new new spots to host a retreat, getaway with a group or frolic on a friendcation? These hot new hotel openings are pulling out all the stops to ensure that you have a spectacular getaway with your favorite people.
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Hotel Joaquin
Laguna Beach, California

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A stand-out of the Laguna Beach scene, this waterfront boutique hotel offers its guests curated experiences, endless adventures, a big pool deck for lounging in the sun, and a relaxing stay. Good for groups: poolside cocktails with friends, bridal or baby showers in the courtyard, weddings that take over the resort, or restful retreats with a handful of friends or colleagues are just a few of the possibilities. Read the full story here →
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Palihotel Culver City
Culver City, California

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Reflective of LA’s cinematic roots, the new Palihotel in Culver City feels imaginative, playful and totally in touch with its building’s history as a 1920’s boarding house. Good for groups: the French inspired restaurant, Simonette, has a private courtyard that makes an easy space to get together with friends. Read the full story here →
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AutoCamp Yosemite
Mariposa, California

Photo by Thomas J Story
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Customized Airstreams, modern cabins, cozy glamping tents and accessible cabins are all on offer at this Yosemite AutoCamp. There’s also a pond, heated pool and a daily shuttle service that’ll take you right to the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Good for groups: book a base camp site and you can bring along four of your nearest and dearest to share a large tent and Airstream site with your own deck and firepit. We’d love to see an outdoor dinner party on the grounds!
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1 Hotel West Hollywood
West Hollywood, California

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If it’s anything like its eco-friendly sister hotel in Brooklyn, 1 Hotel West Hollywood is sure to be a stunner. Set to open in early May at the corner of La Cienega and Sunset Boulevard, the 285-room hotel includes a couple of incredible penthouse suites, a pool deck overlooking the city and a stylish rooftop cocktail lounge. Good for groups: With three ballrooms, a rooftop bar, a large outdoor garden space and a screening room, gathering options abound for groups of up to 820 guests. For something smaller, like a girls’ getaway or staycation, check out the connecting suites with living rooms and balconies.
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The Mayfair Hotel
Los Angeles, California

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Reopened in July 2018, The Mayfair underwent a top-to-bottom renovation including a newly curated art collection found throughout the hotel. As part of the property’s makeover, the hotel features new dining and drinking options complete with onsite restaurant, Eve. The hotel is also filled with nooks, crannies and secret rooms including a custom podcast studio and communal writer’s room. Good for groups: Inspired by the spirited past of Hollywood, every aspect of the hotel is designed for groups from the moody lounge corners perfect for a weekend Martini with friends to the glamorous rooms prime for downtown sleepovers.
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Hotel Emblem San Francisco
San Francisco, California

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Newcomer to Union Square, SF’s 96-room Hotel Emblem is stylized to pay tribute to the Beat Generation. Think eclectic rooms, a writer’s alcove in the lobby, weekly poetry slams and so on. Great for groups: there’s a meeting room that’s great as a group work space, there’s a den that lends well to cocktail parties or book tours, and there’s a lounge space that makes an easy place for a casual hang or break-out session.
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Soho Warehouse
Los Angeles, California

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Soho House has a new hotspot almost ready to debut (spring 2019), only this time it’s a century-old warehouse. Set in LA’s Arts District, the Soho Warehouse will be home to 48 Pinterest-worthy suites, three restaurants, six bars, an events space, a rooftop pool, and an incredible art collection. Good for groups: lots of rumors about an event space, but we haven’t seen it yet. Fingers crossed it’ll be one for the books!
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Virgin Hotels San Francisco
San Francisco, California

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Turns out, Virgin isn’t just an airline, it’s also a hotelier. The Downtown San Francisco spot offers lounge-like sleeping quarters with city views and various indoor and outdoor hangout spaces. Good for groups: group hotel bookings are made easy peasy, there’s a rooftop bar that’s great for casual drinks and nosh, a terrace lounge that’ll work well for a business chat that doesn’t feel stuffy, a posh commons club that feels like it should be members-only yet makes a great setting for seated meals and cocktail parties, and a meeting hall known as the manor that can be modified to suit groups from 16 to 126 guests.
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Looking for the new new spots to host a dinner party, bottomless brunch or night out on the town with your culinary crew? California's hot new restaurant openings are pulling out all the stops to ensure that you have a spectacular gathering with your favorite people.
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Che Fico
San Francisco, California

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An Italian Taverna with a big focus on the California seasons, Che Fico serves pizzas, pastas and many other plates inspired by its locale. The chef’s progression option is a great way to do group dining and taste a bit of everything. Group Dining: There’s a private dining room that suits up to 16 guests so long as you book in advance. Rolling deeper than that? A full buyout may be your best bet.  Get the full story here →
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Jeune et Jolie
Carlsbad, California

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French-inspired cooking collides with a perfectly pretty Parisian setting at this Carlsbad spot. Complete with a raw bar and a solid list of low-intervention wines, sparkling, pét-nats, ciders and French spirits, it’s easy to while away a few hours at this spot. Group Dining: There are 90 total seats here spread throughout the indoor space and outdoor patio, making a buyout ideal for a larger party crew. If you’re dining with a smaller set, there are plenty of large tables and booth seats inside. The patio would be easy to take over, claiming either side of the entrance, with a small group too. Get the full story here →
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Birdsong
San Francisco, California

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There’s a real PNW influence felt throughout the restaurant and the menu at San Francisco’s Birdsong. Tasting menus are the staple here, with an option to go full-scope with 14-16 courses or pare down to five courses if you book on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Group Dining: The Starling room is great for private group dining with 6-10 guests and a five-course tasting menu. For groups of 11-20, the Merlin space is roomier and has a lounge zone. Whole restaurant buyouts can also be booked, suitable for up to 50 guests.
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Openaire

Photo by Chase Daniel
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Set in the heart of LA’s Koreatown, Openaire offers poolside greenhouse dining with shareable plates by two-star Michelin Chef Josiah Citrin. Group Dining: The indoor/outdoor space has round tables that are great for groups of four, while larger parties can be accommodated in the banquette seats or at a communal table.
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Bar Caló
Los Angeles, California

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Open nightly, this neighborhood mezcal and cocktail bar in Echo Park is a favorite for its beautiful rose-colored setting and delicious drinks. Chips, dips and shared plates are also on the menu, making it easy to hang here for hours. Group Dining: Planning something fabulous with a group of 15-20? A semi-private lounge space is all yours if you plan in advance. Exclusive bookings of the space are also available. Get the full story here →
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Noosh
San Francisco, California

Photo by Audrey Ma
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With the opening of Noosh at the start of 2019, Pacific Heights got a new Eastern Mediterranean dining spot. The Santorini-inspired restaurant space seats a total of 120 guests in a mix of lounge areas, cafe tables and sidewalk seating. It’s a casual setup, with orders taken by any server on an iPad and a no-reservations policy. Group Dining: Because Noosh is a no-reservations space, dining with a group here is best done casually without much ado. The house-made halloumi is a must-try item on the menu. Get the full story here →
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The Bear & Monarch
San Francisco, California

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Hearty, rustic and approachable food lines the menus at The Bear & Monarch in SF. As for the decor, expect honey leather banquettes and plush blue velvet seats set around big, comfortable tables in a glowy, golden space. Group Dining: There’s a private dining space here that seats up to 30 guests.
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Somni
Los Angeles, California

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A 10-seat chef’s counter at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Somni brings guests an experience that isn’t your everyday chef-guest interaction. Instead, diners can expect constantly evolving menus and conversation with the makers. Group Dining: Tickets go on sale on the first Monday of every month at 10am. If you’re planning to use this spot as a group outing, we’d recommend scooping up all 10 tickets at once. Get the full story here →
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Enrique Olvera’s Arts District Restaurant
Los Angeles, California

Photo by Cosme NYC
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Set to arrive in LA’s Arts District this summer is chef Enrique Olvera’s 15th restaurant. We’re anticipating a menu of light, veggie and seafood centric Mexican eats with slight Korean and Japanese influences, and a space that’s equally bright, modern and stacked with plants. Group Dining: We’ll have to check back in when the space opens, but we know the restaurant will have about 160 seats, so it’s likely a contender for a buyout if you’re planning something big.
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Chateau Hanare
Los Angeles, California

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You’ll walk through the gardens of Chateau Marmont to get to this hidden Japanese restaurant. Cocktails include such offerings as the Mukashi with Akashi ume whisky, ginger syrup, shiso leaf and whisky vanilla soaked cherry, while the chef’s tasting menus are a great way to experience a similarly dynamic flavor palate. Group Dining: The outdoor courtyard is the prettiest and largest spot for private dining, but there are indoor options for more intimate groups too.
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Angler
San Francisco, California

Photo by Bonjwing Lee
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This 116-seat restaurant by celebrated SF chef Joshua Skenes (Saison) looks right out onto the Bay and it’s easy to feel that land-sea connection play out in the menus. Open since September 2018, Angler’s a semifinalist for a James Beard award nomination as Best New Restaurant. Group Dining: The Game Room offers a private dining space with its own bar and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the Bay. It’s a great option for corporate parties and off-site events.
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Looking for the new new spots to have a cup of joe, meet up with an old friend or sip tea with your longtime besties? These hot new café openings across California are pulling out all the stops to ensure that you have a spectacular gathering with your favorite people.
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La Bande
San Francisco, California

Photo by La Bande
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San Francisco’s popular Proper Hotel, designed by Kelly Wearstler, is home base for this café and market. The menu offerings are simple but delicious with foamy cappuccinos, craft beers, light bites, craft cocktails and boutique wines. The café opens up to a patio and the entire space can be privately reserved for events of up to 40 guests. It’s perfect for something like a meet-and-greet, cocktail party, book signing, product launch or creative networking event.
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Fox & Kit
San Rafael, California

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Planning a meetup with your parent friends? Head to this San Rafael café that has a playground with childcare that you can pay for by the hour. Fox & Kit also doubles as a great place for kid parties!
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Paramount Coffee Project
Los Angeles, California

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Australian coffee and sausage rolls collide with cold brew and stuffed biscuits at this LA coffee shop that’s best enjoyed with friends who like to indulge a little. Paramount Coffee Project is Aussie-born but fits very well into the LA scene with its practically perfect interiors and laid-back attitude.
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Food Mechanic
Sebastopol, California

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A go-to for healthy food to-go, Food Mechanic in Sebastopol offers a menu that’s always gluten-free with vegan and vegetarian options. They even make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that can be bought by the event load. Plus, the shop is light and airy with a communal table so it’s easy to enjoy a meal here shared with others.
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Shreebs Coffee
Los Angeles, California

Photo by Natasha Lee
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What started as a backyard coffee shop has now turned into a brick-and-mortar neighborhood shop in Echo Park. Shreebs Coffee is the place you go to for a good coffee and a good hangout with friends. This team is happy to cater events and we bet a floral pop-up shop here would be a hit.​ Read the full story here →
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Café Ana
Santa Barbara, California

Photo by Leela Cyd
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Downtown Santa Barbara’s Café Ana is an all-day coffee shop and eatery that does breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. The space is very clean-lined and modern, with just the right amount of California sun shining in. Hot tip: if you’re planning on brunching here on the weekend, you can reserve a table online for up to six guests.
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Manresa Bread
Campbell, California

Photo by Stephanie McKinnie
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Though the Campbell location is the third Manresa Bread to open, this one is a whole new ordeal with all-day menus and seating for up to 35 guests. The menu is big on sandwiches, breakfast toasts with delicious toppings like ‘nduja, ricotta and honey, and dinner options -- like country pâté -- that pair well with crusty breads. The space is bright yet cozy, a place that would likely be a good pop-up shop location.

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