The DTLA neighbourhood used to be mostly industrial, and sometimes a little sketchy, although the last few years have proved that this little pocket of Los Angeles is not to be dismissed. The area has transitioned into an undeniably cool and covetable destination for some of the most innovative and interesting food in the city, under-the-radar shopping, and generally good vibes. Keep reading for our favourite spots…
Located in the Arts District, Bestia offers some of the best Italian dishes in town. The saffron lobster crostino and maple ricotta fritters are a must-try. We particularly love the standout aesthetic that pays homage to sophisticated modern-day Italian spaces, which often integrate contemporary interiors into centuries-old structures.
The newest art museum on the LA scene just so happens to be one of the most interesting. Expect to find art installations from famous artists like Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons, yet the must-see is the ever popular Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama.
The Last Bookstore
Don’t know about you, but we think you can learn a lot about a neighbourhood by its bookstores, and this has to be the most interesting spot you’ll find in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Wander through a never ending maze of strange sci-fi novels or hand-me-down classics, situated within the boho-inspired repurposed bank building.
With a few different locations around Los Angeles, this super-sleek Arts District spot is perfect for fresh and healthy vegan eats while in this art-centric neighbourhood.
Grand Central Market
Grand Central Markets' impressive offering of street food stalls has been a downtown landmark since 1917. It brings together an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, occupying two old buildings at the bottom of Bunker Hill. Don’t miss the famed Eggslut sandwich, Thai favorite Sticky Rice, and French-born chef Christophe Happillon’s The Oyster Gourmet.
This rooftop bar offers a range of intriguing handcrafted cocktails and small bites to eat atop of the Freehand Hotel. The Miami-inspired hotel is ideal for a drink in a colorful and eccentric setting - sundowners, anyone?
Belcampo Meat Co.
Not only is Anya Fernald the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo Meat Co. – which has quickly become the go-to purveyor of humanely-raised, sustainable meat and poultry in California – but this #femalefounder is also a mom, cookbook author, and a master of the open flame. There are also locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, if you’re out that way.
Since the regeneration of the area in the 30s, the main plaza on Olvera Street has hosted a vibrant Mexican marketplace. Home to some of the city's oldest and most historic buildings - 26 to be exact - including the Avila Adobe, built in 1818, which is LA's oldest surviving residence. The area recreates a romantic, old-school LA vibe, and the narrow brick-lined market is shaded by tall trees, and its block-long space is filled with painted stalls, street vendors, cafes, restaurants, and gift shops.
Bodega is the hidden gem of ROW DTLA. Nestled between retailers and restaurants, you’ll find this underground destination for hard-to-find brands and sneakers. Originating in Boston and Tokyo, the LA iteration is bigger and better, with a bunch of new additions to the already impressive stocklist.