How To Explore LA: Downtown Los Angeles

January 23, 2019

How To Explore Downtown Los Angeles

Oh, how Downtown has changed since I've gotten to Los Angeles. In fact, I think it's the fastest evolving part of the city! 

The food is fabulous, tons of street art, it's walkable, and it has the metro. I'm lucky to live quite close because it really is a magical part of town. 

Below are some places to check out and things to do while in Downtown! 

Vegan Resturants

Cafe Gratitude - plant-based Los Angeles chain. Their downtown location is one of my favs. From their website "We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same."

Zinc - located in the Arts District, Zinc has an incredible indoor and outdoor space. It has an incredible peaceful vibe, which is much appreciated in busy DTLA. 

photo via Zinc Instagram


Wild Living Foods - organic, plant-based market and juice shop. The food here is YUM

Shojin - Vegan Japanese. Need I say more? I recommend reservations

Beelman's -Vegan Pub Food. Need I say more? Salivate here

photo via Beelman's Instagram

Wellness Spots

Tenzin Imports - Hippie heaven. Clothing, jewelry, crystals and more. Their store off Santee Alley (which is an experience itself) is HUGE and fabulous. Learn more here.

HotBox Infrared Sauna Studio - Sweat it OUT. From their website - "Developed in the 1970’s by Japanese health practitioners, infrared saunas were designed for those who want to look and feel their best. Infrared offers the same health benefits as traditional Finnish saunas, but provides a gentle and soothing experience."

photo via HotBox Sauna's Instagram

Row DTLA - 35 retail and restaurant spots. Also, host to Smorgasbord which I'll be mentioning later in the list :) 

Music/Entertainment Venues

Ace Hotel - boutique hotel chain and music venue that merges art and culture. Plus, the rooftop is EPIC. 

Two Bit Circus - a "micro-amusement park" that has vintage arcade games, escape rooms, VR, robots, and molecular mixology. 

photo via Two Bit Circus's Instagram

A+D Museum of Architecture and Design - From their website, "Through exhibits, symposia, multi-disciplinary projects, educational and community programming, A+D serves as a showcase for the work of important regional, national and international designers, providing a forum for contemporary issues in architecture, urbanism, and design that are helping to shape the city." 

Coffee Shops

Earth Bean Coffee - Organic - check! Fair Trade - check! These microroasters are coffee wizards

No Ghost Bears - Punk coffee. They would probably hate I used the word punk, but whatever. 

Verve Coffee Roasters - Coffee chain originally from Santa Cruz. Love their Melrose and DTLA locations!

photo via Verve Coffee Roaster's Instagram

Outdoor Activities  

Smorgasbord - A delicious outdoor market that happens every Sunday in the Arts District. All kinds of food vendors, shopping, and a beer garden. 

Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tours - Cruise DTLA on foot while soaking up the architecture, history, and classic downtown spots. 

James Irvine Japanese Garden - A hidden patch of zen! From their website - "Known as Seiryu-en or "Garden of the Clear Stream," the James Irvine Japanese Garden is a "hidden gem" of downtown Los Angeles and one of the most unique and elegant venues in the city.  It is open to the public, free of charge, all year round."

photo via JACCC Instagram

Grand Park - Grass in downtown! From marches to free concerts to flea markets, this park hosts it all. Check out the event calendar here!

LA Boulders - Technically not outdoor's but... you should check this place out anyways! Plus, they offer an Intro to Bouldering class.

photo via LA Boulder's Instagram

Fun Facts!

Downtown Los Angeles is home to LA's largest public market - Grand Central Market. Go hungry! And then grab a Michelada in the patio at La Cita after!


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