The feeling of wanting to sink further into the sheets and pretend like the world outside the bed doesn’t truly exist. That being under the covers will recharge us even if it is just for another 8 minutes before the alarm rings out again. Snooze? Not this time you have to get up. Fatigued and unenthusiastic, the only thing that makes the stumbles from the bedroom to the bathroom seem worthwhile to me is the thought of grabbing coffee on the drive to whatever destination the day requires.
That was the feeling not too long ago, but the thought of visiting Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana in Downtown Los Angeles was all I needed to throw off the sheets and make my way to the cafe and restaurant housed in Spring Arcade Building.
Arriving to the restaurant and stepping inside, the ease of falling in love with the interior was almost instant. Relaxing into Casa Cubana was effortless as the beautiful color scheme of white, gold, and soft greens and blues welcomed me in. The giant coffee roaster and unique pieces including a gold plated cash register were delightful to the eye. And the Cuban aesthetic that encapsulated the restaurant from family photographs to accent pieces along the walls made it feel like I was no longer in the chaos of Downtown Los Angeles. Instead I was in a little part of Cuba.
As I walked around and gazed at all the hard work that was put into this restaurant, I met with one of the co-owners who told me a bit about how it all started. Started over 140 years ago, the coffee company began with a few seeds planted in the mountains of southern Cuba. To hear the story of how the Gaviña family developed and grew the Don Francisco Coffee brand to the product it is today and to the restaurant that I was standing in was inspiring.
As the co-owners told me more about the family history and the roasting process, I got a couple of cups made for myself. Taking a step behind the counter I got to watch as my own drinks were carefully made with precision and slowly decorated. Standing adjacent to the espresso machine and seeing my own Cortadito ($3) and a Cafe Cubano ($2.5) being made was exciting. The warm and deep scent and aroma of each drink was compelling to the point that I had to have a taste of them. I waited a bit to let them cool down so I wouldn’t burn myself, and took the time to take a few photos. Once that was done, I didn’t stop myself from enjoying each cup. The smooth richness of the Cuban-style drinks were so perfect especially when considering how hard it was to get out of bed. From start to finish, the drinks alongside the gorgeous restaurant were completely worth getting out of bed to have. While my focus of this visit was on the drinks, the restaurant also has a beer and wine along with pastries, sandwiches, and much more.
- Nice location
- Friendly staff
- Delicious drinks
- Structure or street parking only