G & B Coffee, short for Glanville and Babinski Coffee, after founders Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, a pair of United States Barista Champions, opened in 2013. Located in the Grand Central Market, it brings top quality coffee right into the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The market, crammed full of food stalls, bars and several fruit and veg stalls, is worth a visit in its own right (I ate there twice), but for me, G & B Coffee is the highlight.
A large, standalone island counter at the top end of the market, you can sit where you like (or stand at the bar at the back) and one of the baristas will come to take your order. There are two choices on espresso and two more on filter, backed-up with a selection of signature drinks and a range of teas. If you are hungry, you have a wide range of food to choose from in the market, while G & B has waffles, granola and a range of cakes and pastries.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
G & B Coffee is part of a chain of five shops, the other four going under the name Go Get Em Tiger (I visited the Los Feliz branch during my previous one-day visit to LA in 2017). Together, the whole group is abbreviated to GGET.
Grand Central Market is a busy complex between 3rd and 4th streets that runs up (literally) from its south eastern entrance on Broadway to its north western entrance on Hill Street. G & B is at the Hill Street end, where five massive bays open onto the street, with G & B located just inside the second bay from the right, clearly visible from the street. Entering from Broadway, take the central of the three aisles and head for the large seating area at the back, where you’ll find G & B off to the left.
Consisting of a rectangular island counter, with a standing bar at the back (assuming that the front faces into the market) it’s about three times as wide as it is deep, running between two rectangular pillars which support the market’s roof, soaring high above you. 12 fixed bar stools run along the front of the counter, providing a great view of the three-group La Marzocco espresso machine, which is offset to the right on a stand-alone counter in the middle of the space.
The counter seating continues down the left with another five seats, or down the right, where there are just two, the counter cut short by the merchandising shelves, coffee equipment on top and bags of coffee down below. Finally, a chest-high standing bar runs the width of G & B at the back, anchored on a large, central glass display case for the cakes and pastries.
You can order anywhere: simply grab a seat or stand at the bar and a barista will come to take your order, providing you with a paper menu if you need more detail than the main menu hanging high above you. These days, GGET roasts all its own coffee, the Minor Monuments blend on espresso, where it’s joined by a weekly single-origin. The filter options also change roughly every week, give or take a few days.
I missed the one-and-one option on the paper menu, instead ordering the single-origin espresso, the Andino Espéscial from Colombia. This was served in a glass with a palette cleanser, a cold Chinese black tea, brewed in citrus barrels which I enjoyed almost as much as my coffee, a nicely-balanced shot with a touch of acidity.
I paired this with an equally good slice of a Danish caramel apple pie. This had an excellent pastry crust, contrasting with the sweet filling, bursting with chunks of apple.
|GRAND CENTRAL MARKET • 317 SOUTH BROADWAY C19 • LOS ANGELES • CA 90013 • USA|
|https://gget.com||+1 213 261 0622|
|Monday||07:00 – 19:00||Roaster||GGet (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 19:00||Seating||Counter|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 19:00||Food||Breakfast, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 20:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 20:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 20:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||07:00 – 19:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||13th April 2019|
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