Los Angeles has been blowing up over the past two years, becoming home to The Broad Museum, Acne Studios, The Ace Hotel, Rodarte HQ, and Saint Laurent’s design studio —just to name a few. The street cred is real thanks to these tastemakers and the city has become a culture destination for the fashion and art conscious. Of course, we’ve been in love with LA all along, but we’re totally thrilled that more people are embracing the west coast lifestyle too.
With our FT friends and loyals making said travel plans in an attempt to escape winter, we decided to put our iPhones together and jot down the things we wouldn’t want you to miss. Big and small, here’s our guide to see, eat, date, and shop all over LA—because everywhere you go does have valet, but LA’s a big town, and you’ll need to know where to go first.
From cold-pressed kale to a beauty guru that might just change lives, it’s all been tested, by us and for you.
From Guest Contributor @marypeffer
Mary Peffer is an LA-based style + beauty writer and social media consultant. She’s currently weekend editor at Byrdie and a regular contributor to Refinery29 and the Today Show.
Beauty pit stops
8452 Melrose Place
Los Angeles, California 90069
Larchmont Beauty | Larchmont Village
This place isn’t fancy, not even really cute, but it is incredibly well-organized and they have every beauty product you will need in your life, like under one roof. Crisis averted.
Salon Benjamin | WeHo
A beautiful salon with a well-edited selection of beauty products. It’s all about the source here — products are carefully selected for having thoughtful ingredients and quality craftsmanship.
Violet Grey | West Hollywood
Tucked away on Melrose Place is the industry’s beauty edit in a brick + mortar. Every item sold in the store is top shelf, curated with the approval of the experts silently making Hollywood beautiful. You want to know your favorite celebrity’s beauty secret? It is most likely sold here.
Striiike | Beverly Hills
A one-stop salon for brow maintenance + hair styling + makeup application. The sister trio recently made over Gwyneth Paltrow in 15 minutes flat in a package they call “Lightning Striiike”. We suggest you enlist in the long game and follow Kristie Streicher’s strict brow plan. It will boost your dating average and your selfies. We swear.
Your Juice Fix
507 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
The Punch Bowl | Los Feliz
100% organic ingredients are guaranteed in Punch Bowl’s delicious selection of elixirs, smoothies, and juices. Situated in an area known for the sea of bars and glutes-full restaurants, this is a healthy haven that’ll bring your energy levels back up and taste great going down.
Moon Juice | Venice + Silverlake and a takeaway window at the Ace in DTLA
If we could live here, we would. The snacks are like little packets of fairy food and the “silver strawberry” is the vegan version of the freshest strawberry milkshake you’ll ever have. The staff is also the most knowledgeable we’ve found when it comes to extensive holistic remedies and pairing your diet with your lifestyle.
Beverly Hills Juice | Beverly Hills
This tiny space sells juice by the bottle. Try the big ten, or if you’re feeling brave, the apple triple ginger (it’s a toughie, but request a nut milk chaser to cut the zing). They also blend up smoothies on the spot, so if you’re into making a custom creation, you’ll love it.
Kreation | BH + Venice + Brentwood + El Segundo + Toluca Lake + Santa Monica + Manhattan Beach
Locations galore, including a 24 hour ATM dispensing goodness on-the-go in Beverly Hills and our favorite eatery on Abbot Kinney. Their shots now come in syringes and taste like a cross between gold and magic beauty potion. But the best thing about their cafe is that it accommodates even the strictest dietary needs, offering an extensive juice menu and (whoop!) foods you can chew.
Craving Culty Coffee
Go Get Em Tiger
230 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Verve Coffee Roasters | DTLA
The Santa Cruz staple recently opened an LA outpost downtown. The modern location is spacious with tons of outdoor seating for groups. You can satiate your kale addiction in the same stop too, because literally, Juice Served Here. Order their Coconut Charcoal Cream Party should you have a hangover. Your headache will vanish and your skin will glow.
Blue Bottle | Arts District in DTLA + Venice + Echo Park
Never have we ever found a cup ‘o joe that beat out the beloved Oakland brand, and we are thrilled it is finally available in Southern California. Strong stuff so it should put you well on your way to venture through LA all day. Note: They are by the book measurers here, if you view coffee more as an art form and less like a scientist this spot may not be for you.
Go Get Em Tiger | Larchmont Village
￼￼￼￼￼Their almond milk is crafted in-house and secretly includes 25% macadamia nuts—one of the most refreshing almond milk lattes in the city. Want breakfast? Order their granola + almond milk for something quick and satisfying. Don’t forget to visit their sister location G&B in DTLA.
Intelligentsia | Silverlake + Venice + Pasadena
Famed Chicago coffee house was transported to the busiest streets in LA. Many a power meeting is held here. Whether the outdoor crowd is rapping about meditation, current events, or a new script, you’ll go for the coffee and stay for the vibe.
Brunch, But Cool
8422 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Backyard Bowls | West Hollywood
A plant-based eatery with the dreamiest looking (and tasting) acai bowls of all time. Stop in for a snappy breakfast or lunch. You’ll feel great and healthful.
Dinette | Echo Park
Sister restaurant to Silver Lake’s Cafe Stella, this bus stop diner at a 99 cent store is eveything. Did we lose you? Flooded with Levi’s clad locals forming the world’s most attractive single-file line at the walk-up window they serve excellent breakfast pizza to splitty-splitty and an off-menu perfectly poached egg you can add to anything for $4, —heaven on the avocado toast.
Gjusta | Venice
It’s a bakery, sorta. As in, there’s a glass case filled with tempting baked goods that take up the majority of the front area in the restaurant. But, don’t let this trick you. You can also order a green juice, smoked fish, or a hearty sandwich —all of which are delicious. The outside seating area resembles the server’s makeshift break room on the set of Vanderpump Rules, but it’s somehow still charming. Long story short, you’ll love it here even if you’re a bit of a snob.
Sqirl | Silver Lake
A minimalist cafe with revolving daily breakfast and brunch options on the very edge of the earth, we mean Silver Lake. Expect lines wrapping around the block and a brunch that’s worth the wait. We really like the vegan Stella and Tumeric Tonic. Word is they are opening a separate takeaway spot next door so those lengthy lines may become less of a problem soon.
Fred’s at Barneys | Beverly Hills
The ideal spot to precede a girl’s day in Beverly Hills. Guaranteed goodness, offering fresh and local cuisine. You’ll feel like Audrey at Tiffany’s, spoiled.
Little Next Door | West Hollywood
A French brasserie with a well shaded outdoor dining space should you need a break from the sun and want to take a quick trip to Paris —without the rain of course..
Goldie’s | Beverly Hills
Think Sydney meets LA with a very rare bircher muesli menu appearance and options for any level of hunger. Oh and one of the best kale salads in the city. What more does one need?
Paramount Coffee Project | Fairfax
Aussie to the bone, PCP offers up Sydney staples like avocado toast and flat white coffee and executes them perfectly. Breakfast is served all day, the almond milk is housemade, and palm lined Fairfax completes the scene.
Griffith Park hiking trails | East side
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Take a stroll to the observatory to enjoy superior views of the Hollywood sign and then stop at The Trails Cafe –a snack shack tucked away in the trees with wholesome foods including, wait for it, vegan options.
Huntington Botanical Gardens | San Marino
You’ll be so happy if you wake up early to spend a day in nature. We’re talking a casual stroll here rather than a heavy duty hike. Choose from 15 gardens with 15,000 plant varieties. Call us romantics, but our favorite is the Shakespeare garden..
HVW8 Art + Design Gallery | West Hollywood
Pressed for time? The unassuming independent gallery space off of Melrose is the perfect locale to take in rotating works of art rooted in popular culture. HVW8 happens to be walkable to all of the shops and restaurants if the date goes well and you want to hit them up after, or you simply need some retail therapy on the fly.
Taschen Gallery | Beverly Hills
The previous home to David Bailey’s rock n’ roll photography exhibit, Taschen hosts a range of artists from coffee table classics to the current and controversial. Their schedule is accessible through their website with visuals, so you’ll know if the current show is the right fit for you.
Odys & Penelope | Hancock Park
Run by chef couple Karen and Quinn Hatfield —of Sycamore Kitchen fame— this dinner spot is cozy and inviting. It’s perfect for people that like a California-style menu i.e. grilled never fried. (How dare you?!)
Oh, and if you Ubered and like tequila, order the smoke stack.
Zuma Beach | Malibu
You can’t be in LA without stepping foot in the ocean, but nobody wants to hit up a crowded beach. Plan a day in white sand at a spacious location off the PCH. Follow it up with dinner at Nobu’s most stunning location overlooking the Pacific.
Going for Groceries
7660 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Larchmont Farmer’s Market | Hancock Park
Stroll through the outdoor farmer’s market with your GGET almond latte in one hand and your new fresh flowers in the other, — an ethereal daydream come true.
Erewhon Market | Beverly Hills
THE one-stop shop for all your health food needs and the most extensive juice bar in town. Share your desired area for improvement with the juice masters and watch them whip up concoctions that will heal your mind and spirit. Try the green goddess ice cream or the golden latte to experience serious insanity levels.
Santa Monica Co-op | Santa Monica
This is a no-frills grocery stop, but a great place to dive into for quality produce and a wide vegan selection of prepared meals in an area otherwise desolate of healthy options. Beeline to the back corner and discover their create-your-own juice bar.
Warming Hipster Homes
OK on 3rd
8303 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
OK | DTLA
Minimalist modern home materials and objects. OK has a straightforward offering of current interior styles.
Alchemy Works | DTLA
A gallery & gift shop for those who want their modern wares with a bit of wear and care.
Reform School | Silver Lake
Local, handmade, and creative gift and vintage shop. Do you need a single feather? A friendship bracelet? A throw rug? Or peasant dress? They have all of this and your future favorite version of each.
Mohawk General Store | Silver Lake + Pasadena
Divide and conquer, time for you and your guy to split up, at least to peruse the racks and tables adorned with minimalist and perfected luxury clothing, apothecary, textiles, and home goods. The men’s and women’s outposts are conveniently located next door to each other, but with private entrances so you can shop in peace.
Garde | Hollywood
A modern and natural gift shop brimming with stand alone objects, leather and canvas bags, pendant lighting, and geometric furnishings. All of which will have you checking the baggage weight limit at your airline provider.
A + R | Hollywood + Venice
If Muji and DWR had a pop culture baby, this would be it. Check out their office furniture and home decor to fit most home and travel needs.
LA Flower Market
754 Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Moon Canyon Design | Echo Park
A floral designer and styling studio located on the east side of LA. We agree with Martha Stewart, this is one of the top options in the country.
Rolling Greens | West Hollywood + Culver City
Shop vintage furnishings and linens in plush neutrals. Then mosey into their greenhouse and admire the plant life. Excellent gifting items and smaller home decor are also available.
Floral Art | Culver City
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Need to pick up an arrangement ASAP for your pickiest friend? Adored by editors, this shop can safely handle any VIP plant-related task and their delivery crew is the most professional we’ve seen.
LA Flower District | DTLA
The downtown district sells flowers and fronds in bulk and at wholesale prices. Arrive early in the morning for the best selection, the good stuff can vanish by 9 or 10. We love to stock up when we are crafting centerpieces for a dinner party.
Vegan we vouch for
608 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
The Springs | DTLA
A tranquil restaurant and wellness center. Get your yoga on, schedule a hydrotherapy cleanse, be productive in the co-working space, or just plan a power lunch.
Crossroads | Hollywood
Nom nom on Israeli-inspired upscale vegan dining among the film industry’s finest and some cool rock n’ roll photography.
Cafe Gratitude | Hollywood + Venice
Feel good eats with a side of affirmations. Perfect whether you’re on a cleanse or just like delicious things that don’t make you feel gross afterwards.
Elf Cafe | Echo Park
Majorly intimate vegetarian dining and a solid natural wine offering. There are only two tables outside, but it’s worth the people watching if you snag them.
Gracias Madre | West Hollywood
Call us predictable, but Madre’s mantra of local + organic + vegan had us hooked from the start. The fact that it’s delicious Mexican just made us fall harder.
Date night dining (aka what cleanse?)
8360 Melrose Ave #107, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Ink. | Beverly Grove
“Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio’s chill and modern restaurant serves fare that can be downright playful if not odd looking. Don’t be scared, service is exceptional and the menu is consistent —some, you never even knew you wanted.
Bestia | DTLA
Really frickin’ good multi-regional Italian. Warning! They don’t take kindly to substitutions, so check your dietary restrictions at the valet.
La Poubelle | Hollywood
Quality French spot loved by the locals. Count on the burger, crepes, and oysters to satiate your Parisian palate.
Sunset Tower Hotel | West Hollywood
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Inside the fashion industry’s go-to hotel is Tower Bar, an equally impressive stomping ground for editors, designers, and their muses. The food, drink, and service are just what you would expect. Never a bad night here.
The Garden at Soho House | West Hollywood
Membership is required. Once that’s tackled, we recommend dining in the glass enclosed terrace. The vibe is intimate, like you are sitting outside on your friend’s roof, surrounded by low hanging trees kissed with dim lighting. One of the most beautiful views of the cityscape —day or night.
Terroni | DTLA + West Hollywood
A traditional Italian standby. If you are looking to indulge in pasta and cheese Terroni will take you where you need to go.
Cripplingly good cocktails
624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Ysabel | West Hollywood
A cozy space on Fairfax with an indoor/outdoor appeal, amphitheater seating options, and fire pits. Need we say more?
Bar Amá | DTLA
Casual tequila cocktails and Tex-Mex for the low key kinda night that might just lead to late-night karaoke.
République | Hancock Park
Really really ridiculously good stiff drinks and a very ideal menu for sharing with big groups.
Bar Stella | Silver Lake
An intimate extension of Cafe Stella. It’s a Parisian date spot for winos, tasty cocktails and some light dancing. There’s also a very cute patio to snuggle on.
Roger Room | West Hollywood
This Hollywood bar’s unmarked entrance adds to the allure. Grab a table and spy on patrons mingling with rock legends and style editors.
Apps that double as personal assistants
￼￼Have you noticed Seamless isn’t exactly on fleek here? Don’t panic. Postmates’
team is on demand 24/7 to order, and deliver, from any restaurant, no matter how bad the traffic, or how complex your order. You can even get household products and other essentials from their general store.
Currently in beta, This. aims to cut back on clutter with a highly curated selection of entertainment, news, art, and journalism from around the web, all chosen by vetted influencers.
Mind Body Connect
Book some “me time” with the fitness app accessing the best in town. Whatever your workout, you’ll be able to find out about availability and secure reservations from your phone in about 3 seconds.
Hike Los Angeles
A straightforward list of the top hiking trails in LA. So crucial.
Your psychic for unpredictable weather. It will tell you, down to the minute, when the rare occasion of rain is expected to start, wane and end.
An LA guide wouldn’t be complete without tips on how to navigate the sometimes stopped traffic. Waze looks like the world’s ugliest video game, but works like a magician. Hands down the best driving routes available at anytime. Just keep your eyes on the road.
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