favorite LA spots | designlovefest

i moved to los angeles in 2006. i lived downtown across from where i finished college, FIDM. i later moved to west hollywood, silver lake, the arts district, back to silver lake, and now glassell park. many people hate on los angeles for obvious reasons: traffic, crowded, pretentious, so spread out…but i love it here. it may take a little time, but if you open your eyes to ALL of the wonderful things about LA, you will fall in love. lately i have been spending more time at home, exploring my neighborhood, eating at small hole in the wall spots, admiring the vibrant pink sunsets, and remembering how grateful i am to live here in los angeles.

here’s a few things with history that i love to see & do here…

favorite LA spots | designlovefest
favorite LA spots | designlovefest

The Hollywood Farmers’ Market

we try to go on sunday mornings to the . sometimes sleeping in sounds better, but i’m always happy when we make it there for flowers, vegetables and herbs. there’s a really cool mushroom stand at the very end near the arclight. and my favorite greek stand is there with the best sauces and cheeses! (in the middle, on the end. they will give you tons of samples!)

it’s also entertaining to walk around the at the grove.

favorite LA spots | designlovefest

The Vista and The Los Feliz Theater

established in the 20’s and 30’s, two of the cutest movie theaters. is one big room with an egyptian decor and a whimsical vibe. the a few streets away is also adorable (and so much cheaper than the big theaters. especially the matinees!) we saw lady bird there last night after eating at a fave pasta spot, .

favorite LA spots | designlovefest

The Huntington Botanical Garden

in pasadena is one of the LA places that takes my stress away. flowers everywhere, bring a blanket, someone you love, and spend the afternoon. i also love the having lunch in the japanese garden there. a great spot to bring your mom or grandma when they visit. also check out (cheaper and also pretty)

Chinatown, Los Angeles

have you had the amazing chicken sandwich from !? (the line is too long on the weekends, go mid-week) and i really want to try the new spot,


Jitlada Thai

is a low key spot in a strip mall with delicious spicy authentic thai food. famous food critic, jonathan gold, put it on his go-to list. ps HAVE YOU SEEN his documentary “” about LA food?? it made me love LA more than i already do. so many strip mall places and taco trucks all over this town, i want to try them all.

have you been to a fun saturday activity.

Silver Lake Reservoir

i have so many great memories having picnics in the park there. wine and snacks, tons of blankets, my friend’s kids running around…simple fun times at sunset.

Clifton’s Republic

LOVE for a bar night! LA’s oldest surviving cafeteria style eatery. my favorite is the top floor which is a full on tiki bar with delicious cocktails, hawaiian dancers, and the coolest decor! a perfect place for a birthday.

Chateau Marmont Hotel

some of my best friends got married at the courthouse last year and stayed at the chateau marmont to celebrate. i got to tag along and take photos of them. loved having an afternoon drink on the patio. fancy and festive with an awesome old school hollywood vibe.

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

is one of justin’s new neighborhood places he likes to go. a highland park grocery store (originally opened 1897) that sells TONS of sodas. aisles of cool glass bottles to browse through.

Bridges + Tunnels

something that really makes me smile when i’m driving is all the beautiful bridges. from pasadena to the arts district, there is always amazing old bridges to look at. i also love the tunnels on the 110 north. AND the tiny shakespeare bridge hidden away in los feliz. such a charming sight.

Pershing Square Architecture

speaking of architecture! this 10 story purple bell tower with a pink ball in pershing square downtown is color perfection.

ps about LA architecture spots!

The Tam O’Shanter

is one of LA’s oldest restaurants. known for it’s prime rib and scottish flair. feels like you walk back in time when you enter. i like to get a drink and the deviled eggs here. a cute valentine’s day date too.


has a great french dip sandwich with fries. chill date spot. a cool speakeasy bar in the back. and a wine bar next door i’m obsessed with, .


has been in LA since the 60’s and it’s just great. my friend put it in her roundup a while back for her fave kid spots in LA.

what are some of your favorite things in los angeles? always looking for new places to explore. we also have a lot more ideas in this column…xx bri


Add your own

    Duyen says:

    I just moved to LA for about a year now. I really appreciate this list. Thank you for sharing <3 This city really is great!

    Elysian Park hiking trails for walks with your four-footed friend(s). Echo Park in general. There is more to LA than meets the eye and anyone who says it’s superficial is basically able only to see surface 🙂 …. I’ve been here 40 years. It continues to remind me everyday of its awesomeness. It’s the day before thanksgiving, and we have a 64 balmy, breezy morning. I mean, come on!

    Anja says:

    beautiful Pics,
    thanx for sharing
    and many greetings from germany !!!

    Stephanie says:

    No place like LA!


    Christina says:

    God I love LA.

    Have you been to La Pergoletta in Los Feliz? Literally my favorite pasta in ALL of LA. Handmade delciousness. It’s sort of secretly BYOB – bring your favorite wine and they’ll put it in a teapot for you and you can serve yourself “tea” all night.


    Andrew Lang says:

    Wait, you live in Glassell Park? A bunch of your Instagram posts are of a house in Echo Park / Forgotten Edge…

    bri says:

    our office is in echo park!

    Nice photos…hovering over your insta..your photos are cool!

    annie says:

    have you heard of mignon before? It’s also a VERY cute and french wine bar in downtown 🙂 You would love it. One of my fave places to go on a date. Also, maccheroni republic for amazing pasta of course. What else, what else… although i live in echo park, i love love going to venice around abbott kinney. just so cute that street. love your blog, thank you for all your posts and cool downloads. my friends constantly ask me where i get my desktop backgrounds and i always refer to your site xx

    Colleen says:

    I moved here a little less than two years ago after ten years in NYC. Never thought I could love a city as much NY but LA has totally won me over, from the wildly creative architecture to the design scene to the cool community of female entrepreneurs to all of the beautiful outdoor adventures right on our doorstep. I also love the sense of discovery here – LA is like a million little villages – you get the sense that you could be here forever and still have so much to discover. Anywho, here are my favorite spots…

    The pinata district for the obvious + the city’s best churros (we had them come make churros at our wedding a few weeks ago!).

    Honda-Ya Izakaya + puri kura photobooth + Max Karaoke at the mall in Little Tokyo.

    The summer outdoor Vietnamese night market near Santa Ana – it feels like being transported to southeast Asia.

    Chinatown Summer Nights = pure LA magic. Actually all of chinatown – it’s the perfect LA meeting of retro kitsch and new design cred.

    San Pedro Fish Market – mariachis, trays of fresh seafood on the dock, getting drunk on spring break style drinks and then taking the cheap whale watching cruises.

    A morning coffee + pie at Trails Cafe and a hike to the Observatory.

    El Compadre for flaming margaritas, Mexican food and live mariachi bands.

    The Dresden for Old Hollywood magic.

    bri says:

    a million x yes to trails coffee + pie! one of the best places in LA! such great ideas, colleen. thanks for sharing! Xx

    I like to get up early to go out and breathe fresh air. I feel that it is good for health and a good habit

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