Whether you’re a local or visiting, East Los Angeles has a LOT to offer. From Hollywood to Highland Park, Downtown to Los Feliz & so much in between, East LA is filled with some of the best restaurants, shops, spas, & hikes that LA has to offer. Below are the spots you absolutely must visit in East LA.
WHERE TO EAT:
Woon: If I’m being totally honest this might be my new favorite restaurant in all of LA. Let’s start with the most important reason: the noodles. Give me good Chinese noodles & I am a very, very happy human. Woon has some of the best noodles I’ve ever had aka you must order them when you go! Not to mention, the restaurant was started by a son & his mom who is the absolute sweetest ever. She wasn’t sure she could run a restaurant as she’s a home cook but with her son’s encouragement, that I’m forever grateful for, she did it & man oh man is it good.
Kitchen Mouse: Located in Highland Park, this vegan spot could fool anyone into becoming a vegan. You’d honestly never believe the entire menu is vegan as all the food tastes out of this world. The one word that mainly comes to mind when describing Kitchen Mouse is fresh. Every single bite is incredibly fresh, delicious & unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. It’s the reason Kitchen Mouse is my go-to brunch spot in East LA. I highly recommend the brown rice cakes, yogurt bowl & buffalo bowl.
All Time: With it’s standard east side laid back vibes, All Time is a place you can hang at from lunch to dinner. Everything on the menu is delicious & they have a giant patio to enjoy the best of LA year round. The cheesy eggs on toast are simply perfect & the good ass salad is, well, really good.
Jewel: Breakfast burritos are on nearly every single menu in LA. Yet there are few places that actually do a breakfast burrito right. Jewel does is oh so right. This plant based hotspot is loved by vegans & carnivores alike. Aside from the breakfast burrito, I personally love their forbidden rice bowl & Jewel box however I’ve heard their pizzas are also next level. Needless to say, you really can’t go wrong when ordering at Jewel.
Yoga-Urt: Ok y’all already know I loooove fro-yo but this spot is truly something else. Made fresh daily in their store, Yoga-Urt’s froyo is super creamy, tastes delicious & actaully has health benefits to it. While all their flavors are vegan & dairy-free, their froyo also has added probiotics. If you love chocolate like I do you MUST try their chocolate flavor.
Majordomo: Located in downtown LA (which, yes, is on the Eastside), this is another one of my absolute favorite restaurants in all of LA. I feel like saying it’s a restaurant from David Chang is enough to convince you to go, right? While the menu changes occasionally, my current favorites are the marinated mushrooms, tomatoes, macaroni & chickpea, & tapioca lo mein.
Kismet: This was the first Eastside restaurant I ever tried & it made a GREAT first impression. You must get the bread & butter, spiced carrots with chickpeas, fried cauliflower, & persian crispy rice (I seriously dream of this dish).
Zinc Cafe: A lot of people in LA work from home. Ask any of them & working from home can get real boring real fast. That’s why Zinc has become my go-to work & snack spot. The food is incredible, the atmosphere is a dream (I’m talking two giant outdoor seating areas that feel like you’re in a garden), the staff is lovely & they have an entire section of the restaurant dedicated to drinks, snacks, wine (important for long work days) & more goodies. You’re never bored at Zinc & you certainly won’t go hungry. Their menu is massive & truly everything on the menu is delicious. Some highlights at Zinc are: their mac & cheese, tri colore salad, healthy bowl & acorn squash pizza.
Cosa Buona: If you’re looking for great, authentic pizza this is your spot. Perfect for just drinks too, Cosa Buona is an easy week or weekend spot to checkout. While you have to get some pizzas when you’re here, you really can’t go wrong with any other items on their menu – in addition to the pizza of course.
Best Girl: If you want a spot where the atmosphere is just as good as the food then Best Girl is where you need to go. Best Girl is leading the charge, in our opinion, in the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles. It’s a great spot for both groups & solo dining with a chic outdoor patio & stylish indoor interior. Obviously though the most important part is the food which Best Girl knocks out of the park. If there is one item you absolutely need to get it’s the chickpea salad which honestly might be the best salad we’ve ever had. You know it’s incredible because usually we suggest you order a carb focused dish but seriously this salad is the showstopper. Of course we couldn’t eat out without getting some pastas too & Best Girl’s are phenomenal. The potato gnocchi & cacio e pepe are our picks but we have a feeling you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Other spots I’m eager to try in East LA include: Botanica, Lark Cake Shop, Dinosaur Coffee, Night + Market, & Dune.
WHERE TO UNWIND:
Cheeks & Co.: If you’re looking for a facial that will yield results but not break the bank, this is your place. The staff is wildly knowledgable & allows you to relax while really doing some work on your skin. If you join as a member, you’ll get discounted rates off monthly facials – the timeframe they recommend you get a facial. The Gua Sha Glow facial uses a custom-shaped Jade Stone massage to drain & naturally contour your face. You’ll likely fall asleep during this relaxing treatment but be woken up & blown away with how quickly you see results. Not to mention, this spots is seriously an IG heaven.
Huntington Library & Gardens: While I’m still unsure if there are actual libraries on-site here, I can confirm they have the most beautiful & relaxing gardens I’ve ever seen. With a variety of sections dedicated to different plants & environments, this spot is essentially a zoo of trees & flowers. My favorites were the desert & rose gardens but it was all absolutely beautiful!
WHERE TO WORKOUT:
Griffith Park & Observatory: With an average of 70 degrees year-round & incredible free hikes, you really don’t have an excuse not to workout in LA. The Griffith Park hike is one of my absolute favorites. With a variety of trails you can see everything from the Observatory to the Hollywood Sign (up close & personal!), mini waterfalls & 180 views of Los Angeles.
Love Yoga: Love Yoga is one of my favorite yoga spots to really unwind. While their classes can definitely be a workout, the main focus is relaxation & at the risk of sounding too LA woo-woo, to really align with yourself. They also have a spot on the westside if you’re over there!
WHERE TO SHOP:
Cookbook Market: Basically any foodies dream shop, Cookbook Market is your go-to for homemade pastas, hard to find items, fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, & so much more. It’s perfectly curated for everything you’ll want & need to have a great meal.
The Cactus Store: This shop is exactly what it sounds like, a ton of awesome cactus plants & that’s it. It’s super fun just to explore or to shop for your home.
Rose Bowl Flea Market: If you happen to be in LA for a second Sunday of any month, you should for sure checkout the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Not only is it an iconic location to visit but you’ll find some of the best vintage furniture, clothing & more there. If you’re willing to get up early & buy an earlybird ticket, I highly recommend doing so as you’ll get to see all the best pieces before they sell!
The Goods Mart: This shop is literally snack HEAVEN. They have the best of the best when it comes to snack, drink & food brands – all of which have the prettiest packaging ever. It’s essentially what you want your pantry to always look like. Make sure to checkout their freezer section for food from Kitchen Mouse too!
Mohawk General Store: This store embodies east LA to a tee: Hipster vibes with a mix of high end designers. They have mens & women’s clothing, kitchen goodies, cards, beauty products & so much more.
Midland: This is the type of store you could get lost in for hours (& spend a teensy too much on things you probably didn’t need but will totally add value). They have clothing, books, jewelry, candles, home goods, hats, shoes – the list goes on & on.
Other spots I’m eager to try in East LA include: Shout & About & Broome St. General Store.
WHERE TO EXPLORE:
Other spots I’m eager to try in East LA include: Echo Park Pedal Boats.
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