This city guide feels the most impossible. I live in Los Angeles, and the city is so big and there is so much to see and do. I tried to keep it short and manageable, but the truth is this list is a smattering of what this town has to offer.
WHAT TO DO
- One of my favorite neighborhoods in LA is Larchmont Village, it is one city block of shops and restaurants. They have a Levain Bakery, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Chevalier’s Bookstore, and about a million coffee shops. You really can’t go wrong on that strip, but I personally love Clark Street Bakery for a chunk of monkey bread, and the sandwiches at Larchmont Wine and Cheese are not to be missed.
- The Broad is a fantastic art museum downtown and it is free. Just make sure you get your tickets in advance.
- I love eating my face off at Grand Central Market. I recognize this might be more of a where to eat suggestion, but for me eating is doing. You cannot go wrong with any of the stalls. I promise.
- LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is popular spot for the art lovers out there. It’s also where you can take your IG worthy photos of you and a bunch of lamp posts.
- Hike! This is the most LA thing you can do. You can go to Griffith Park and see the observatory, you can hike up to the Hollywood sign, or see some celebs while you hike Runyon Canyon. Hiking is also easily available to you on the west side, so check out a hike with views for days in Malibu or the Palissades. After your hike just make sure to grab a green juice and you’ll be a full fledged Angeleno in no time.
- Hit the beach. I personally like Santa Monica for beaches, but the whole coast is a beach so wherever you are you can lay out and enjoy the Pacific.
- If you’re a movie person check out the Academy Museum (right near LACMA if you want to cram it all in). There is a really good museum restaurant and cafe, Fanny’s, if you get hungry.
- Catch a show at The Hollywood Bowl. This isn’t my thing, but Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service will be at The Bowl the night before Live in The Stacks, just saying.
- Get a great view of the city at The Getty. The gardens are so nice, and would be a wonderful place to take in a book or two.
- Go bowling at Highland Park Bowl. It is a swanky bowling alley that was restored to all its vintage magic. Plus it is down the street from North Figueroa Bookshop.
WHAT TO EAT
Before I tell you where to eat, I highly suggest reservations anywhere you can get them in LA. You might think you can just walk in anywhere you want, but that is not the LA scene, so plan ahead (even day of) if you want to eat at a lot of these places. I use The Infatuation to help me find what to eat in town, and you should do the same since my list is just a few of my faves.
Near Dynasty Typewriter
- Cassell’s is one of those old school burger joints, and it is an LA institution. The burgers are bomb, the fries are salty goodness, and the milkshakes are bringing all the boys to the yard.
- Park’s BBQ has got you covered for your Korean BBQ needs.
- Here’s Looking at You is a super eclectic and delicious spot in Koreatown. The menu is unique and they deliver on every dish.
- Openaire is an Instagram worthy restaurant at the LINE Hotel. The burger is delish.
- Tokki is a tappas style Korean spot not far from the venue.
Other Food Spots
- If you know me you know Petty Cash is my go to restaurant when friends come to visit. Their margarita is my favorite in all of LA. Get the Cauliflower Nachos and the fish taco, but really you can’t go wrong.
- My absolute favorite thai food I’ve ever had (outside of Thailand) is at Night + Market. They have two locations (one in West Hollywood “Weho” and one in Silverlake) they food is so damn good.
- LA has great Mexican food, and I love Salazar for a super yummy Margarita and taco situation. The food is fresh and so good and the whole restaurant is basically outdoors.
- Miz LaLa is a fast casual Mediterranean spot. I don’t like hummus but I like their hummus. Huge portions. They have a few locations around the city.
- Workshop + Kitchen started in Palm Springs and they recently opened an outpost in LA. They offer fine dining without all the pomp and circumstance. The duck fat fries are very delish
- Guelaguetza is the go to spot for Oxacan food in LA, and it is owned by the author of my favorite cookbook of the year Bricia Lopez.
- If you make it to the west side please drive up the coast and get all the fried fish you can stomach from Malibu Seafood. Oh, and get clam chowder too. Yum.
- For my vegans out there Gracias Madre is a Mexican spot just for you with slurpalicious cocktails and delicious food.
- Wi Jammin’ for the bombest Carribbean food in LA.
- Alta Adams is California comfort food at its best. The menu mainly focuses on Southern foods, but also incorporates flavors that make up the LA food scene.
- Maccheroni Republic is no frills authentic Italian food in the heart of DTLA. So so so simple, so so so good.
- Barra Santos is giving a slice of Portugal in Los Angeles. Tapas, wines, great vibes.
- Lodge Bread Company is worth it for the massive cinimon rolls and the foccia, but everything is good!
- An oyster on the half-shell? Oh hell yes. Check out Found Oyster for the best in town.
- Pine & Crane is the spot for Taiwanese food and they’re open for lunch. Plus they have two locations.
- HiHo Cheeseburger is the best fast burger in LA, I promise. And the fries are so good. There are a few locations.
- There is so much good Ramen in LA. Like truly an abundance, and I am always trying new places especially on the west side and in Little Tokyo. My go to spots near me are Tonchin (get the shave ice) and Tatsu (get the fried rice).
- Courage Bagels is 100% worth the hype. I don’t want that to be true, but it is. The bagels are so good. Truly.
- Reparations Club *swoon*. You know they’ll be bringing a pop-up shop to the show. If you have time swing by their brick and mortar shop (tell them I say hi) because they vibes are impeccable. Black-owned bookshop at it’s best.
- The Salt Eaters is Black woman owned bookstore that stocks the books of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary authors. A paradise.
- Octavia’s Bookshelf is the newest Black woman owned bookshop in LA and they just upgraded their space to a bigger storefront. Go show them some love!
- Skylight Books is a cool little indie shop in Los Feliz. They often have great author events so be sure to check out their event calendar while in LA.
- You can get new, used, and rare books at DTLA’s The Last Bookstore. They are also known for their wild IG worthy book displays.
- Now Serving is an Asian owned bookstore that specializes in cookbooks and other food related books and items.
- North Figueroa Bookshop has curated a bookstore that is basically just The Stacks catalog. Every time I go in I see all my faves staring back at me!
- Sideshow Bookstore is a quirky little hidden gem with stacks and stacks of books everywhere. If you like used books with a side of chaos come here!
LA is home to 60+ indie bookstores so check out this roundup from the LA Times for even more places to read in this town.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a ton of hotels in Los Angeles, so I’ve given you one or two hotels in each of the major neighborhoods. I would suggest looking at what you want to do in LA and finding a hotel that is close to the most activities you’re interested in.
- The LINE Hotel is close to Dynasty Typewriter and is affordable (at least for LA standards).
- Another spot not far from the venue is the H Hotel in Koreatown. Clean sparse rooms give you exactly what you need but not a lot more, however the price can’t be beat!
- If Hollywood is more your speed the Roosevelt is a great hotel, it is giving old LA glamour with a ton of history. They have a great restaurant, bar, and a pool that is top notch.
- If you’d like to be in Hollywood but not completely in the mix, I love the Kimpton Everly Hotel Hollywood. It is a beautiful property with a killer cafe for morning drinks and eats. They also have a really nice relaxing rooftop pool.
- If you’re looking for a hotel in West Hollywood there is an EDITION there and it is a really nice. I mentioned it in my NYC guide too. It is also across the street from the West Hollywood Night + Market Thai spot I love.
- If you’re considering Downtown LA (DTLA) I would try The Freehand. It is really affordable, in the mix, and a nice hotel.
- Another DTLA option is Hotel PER LA. It is super luxe and the design is fun and funky. Their rooftop pool is beautiful.
Recommendations from The Stacks’ Community
These picks were sourced from The Stacks listeners, as their favorite spots in LA.
- Wi Spa is near Dynasty Typewriter and is open 24/7 for all your massage and cold pool needs.
- A handful of recommended Breweries
- Just What I Kneaded is an all vegan cafe and bakery.
- Lingua Franca for California Cuisine.
- If you want the hot sandwich ticket in LA check out Wax Paper.