Silver Lake, Echo Park and even Downtown L.A. are now deemed as yesterday’s hotbeds of emerging neighborhoods in Los Angeles by the city’s trendsetters. With a wave of new eateries and boutique stores, Highland Park is ‘haute’, specifically York Blvd. Recently, we took a stroll down York Blvd in Highland Park Los Angeles to find out if it really is L.A.’s new too-cool-for-school street as CN Traveler touted.
And indeed, after a sunny Saturday afternoon, exploring York Boulevard, we concur with CN Traveler. It’s gritty meets groovy, yet, retains the feel of an authentic neighborhood. For example, you’ll find an auto parts store next to a trendy home furnishings shop and locals are a diverse mix of cultures, ages and economic status. (Notice how happy the elderly woman is, enjoying the street performer’s music in photo below? Just a small vignette of the neighborly vibe).
Here are our favorite fifteen finds:
SWEETS & SIPS
The Highland Cafe – Get your caffeine fix with a shot of Handsome Coffee espresso.
Donut Friend – Pair your good looking cup of java with a dapper doughnut. Whimsical flavors include PB&J, vegan bacon chocolate, sriracha and basil strawberry or customize your own.
New York Snow Ice Shavery – This New York staple has now gone bi-coastal, giving Angelenos a taste of the dairy-free Taiwanese-style shaved ice. It’s served with unique toppings such as mochi or black tea jello. Scoops – This is the third outpost in L.A. of the churned-daily, artisinal ice cream shop. Skip plain-Jane vanilla and get crazy with a scoop of maple cheesecake Oreo, Guinness coffee or black sesame. Check their twitter account for the daily flavor offerings.
Highland Park Billiards – As the last true billiards bar in L.A., with 17 tables to choose from, it’s an ideal spot to begin or end the night on York Boulevard in Los Angeles at this neighborhood institution.
Sonny’s Hideaway – The only craft cocktail on York Boulevard, it holds its own in L.A.’s inventive drink scene both the use of premium spirits and creative ingredients (rhubarb, housemade vinegars, etc). A dinner menu, with a mix of American and California cuisine (think burgers to bacon brussel sprouts) is also available.
Huarache Azteca – One of the best places in L.A. to find Mexico City antojitos (street food). Most known for the huarache, fried cornmeal topped with beans, steak (or cabeza, meat from a cow’s head), lettuce, cheese and cream.
Maximiliano – A casual Italian trattoria with classic eats like spaghetti and meatballs in a lively, modern space.
Schodorfs Luncheonette – Between the donuts, shaved ice and ice cream, a stop here for some substance is a good idea. This lunch-only spot serves up fresh salads and gourmand sandwiches.
Honeywood Vintage – As one of the newer boutiques on York Blvd., opened last fall, Honeywood features both vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces designed by owner Vanessa Dingwell. Although it’s primarily dedicated to whimsical women’s wear – such as Victorian jewelry, GoldDust maxi-dresses and Mexican folk-art ponchos – a ‘dude’s corner’ abides. Curated by musician and co-owner Charlie Overbey (in photo above), eclectic pieces include vintage cowboy boots and rare, collectible rock band t-shirts.
Pop-Hop – This indie book store has a super convivial vibe, plus it’s also a print studio where you can learn how to screen print or book bind. Urchin – A vintage shop ideal for 60s, 70s and 80s clothes. We squealed when we spotted a pair of neon green vintage jellies! Shopclass – In search for a vintage poster or the a mid-century desk for your office? Shopclass is chock full of random kitschy (including vintage issues of nudist magazines, photo above), home furnishing finds.
Platform – A groovy shop stocked with a ever-changing selection of jewelry, art and furniture by local artists and craftsmen.
Galco’s Old World Grocery – This shop is a ‘sweet’ walk down memory lane. Craving candy or soda you drank as a kid (or for that matter, your grandpa had in his day)? There’s a good chance Galco’s carries it.
And there’s more – a visual tour if you’re tired of reading:
Did we miss your favorite spot on York? Do tell in the comments below.
All photos © Voyage Vixens.