G & B Coffee

The G & B Coffee sign, hanging high above the rear of Los Angeles Central Market.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.

  • Los Angeles' Grand Central Maarket, seen approaching from the west along Hill Street.
  • This is the other approach, from Broadway on the other side of the market.
  • Inside its a modern-day bazaar, three long, narrow aisles, lined with stalls.
  • It's mostly food stalls, with the occasional  fruit and veg stall such as this one.
  • A rare, open view of the market taken from the top of the steps at the back.
  • And turning around, there's G & B Coffee to the left of the central aisle.
  • Alternativey, if you approach it from the more open Hill Street end, you can see...
  • ... G & B Coffee from outside, occupying the second of five bays from the right.
  • The view of G & B Coffee if you enter through the central aisle...
  • ... although you can walk straight up to it from the street, where you'll be at the back.
  • Finally, there's another open bay down the side as you approach along Hill Street...
  • ... which takes you straight to G & B Coffee as well. Check out those high ceilings!
  • G & B Coffee occupies a standalone island counter with seating along the front.
  • There are twelve of these fixed stools in all, with handy hooks under the counter top.
  • The seating continues around the left-hand side, where there are five more stools.
  • Two stools line the right-hand side, along with a retail section & a standing bar at the back.
  • The retail selection in more detail.
  • As well as the bags of coffee below, there is coffee kit on top.
  • There are some neat touches around the place, including this cartoon above the counter.
  • Meanwhile, I appreciated the flowers on the counter.
  • The menu hangs high above the counter at the back.
  • Beneath it, in the middle of the standing bar, is the cake display.
  • There was a seriously tempting selection on display during my visit.
  • I would have happily have had any (all) of these.
  • And there's pie too!
  • Okay, time to order. The menu is fairly concise...
  • ... but there's a more detailed paper menu if you need it.
  • It has tea on the back...
  • ... and inside a slightly expanded drinks/food menu.
  • Meanwhile, the current coffee choices are posted up on the pillars.
  • From my seat at the front of the counter, I had a good view of the espresso machine.
  • A rare moment of rest...
  • ... followed by all three group heads in action at once!
  • I love watching espresso extract.
  • This was mine, by the way...
  • ... a shot of the featured espresso, the Andino Espéscial from Colombia...
  • ... served in a glass with a palette cleanser on the side.
  • And finally, yes, I did succumb, and ordered a slice of pie.
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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.

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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