Bean Town | Sierra Madre

Probably my first love among coffee shops in LA was Bean Town, on Baldwin in Sierra Madre. Featured in the 2005 Will Ferrell movie, Kicking and Screaming, this iconic little place has almost everything you’d expect in a great hang out spot. Unfortunitely, it doesn’t break any molds when it comes to the actual coffee.

First, I recommend avoiding the espresso drinks all together. My few cappuccino’s (including this morning’s) are an ungodly blend of burnt milk sour espresso, leaving me with an all-around gross after taste. Coffee is slightly better, but only if you get it super fresh. And since there are 5 revolving air pots, you better ask which is freshest. Even then you will sometimes be disappointed.

Food is nothing to get excited either. I’ve had great scones, really bad cupcakes, decent sandwiches, and not so great croissants (again this mornings). It’s hard to go wrong with the ice cream though.

So why does Bean Town make locales inhabit it so frequently (even refusing to transfer loyalty to startups like Steamers that closed last year)? Maybe it’s the exposed brick walls, old rickety tables, deep and soft couches, or free wifi. The extra mountain-view outdoor seats might help too.

That dubious word “ambiance” would score high, I assume, for the constant masses flocking here. I visit surrounded by carpenters, politicians, school kids, soccer moms (and dads, Will Ferrell), and even weekly crochet clubs. For me, I find myself here at least a few times a month – sometimes more.

I guess just sometimes, over quality coffee and food, we value the party.


Sierra Madre, CA

Bean Town
45 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA
(626) 355-1596 ?

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