The Health-Conscious Los Angeles Guide
It can be easy to scoff at LA’s devotion to sweat lodges, juice cleanses, and cryotherapy, but there’s something about living in a sunny metropolis that makes us want to look and feel our best—all the time. Luckily, the metropolis makes it easy. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and countless waves to surf, virtually every zip code in the city has an incredible farmer’s market (or two), restaurants that cater to every quirky dietary restriction, and more yoga and Pilates studios than you could possibly try in a year. Welcome to the world capital of wellness.
Belcampo Meat Co.1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | 424.744.8008
Anya Fernald is a bit of a badass: Not only is she a cofounder and the CEO of Belcampo Meat Co., which has quickly become the go-to purveyor of humanely raised, sustainable meats and poultry in California, but she’s also a mom, cookbook author, and a master of open-flame grilling. Go to her shops for whole-animal butchering (and the interesting, rare cuts of meat associated with it), seriously good hamburgers, and the best bone broth. There are also locations in West Hollywood and Downtown.
Brentwood Farmers Market741 S. Gretna Green Way, Brentwood
No matter if you're visiting and don't have a fridge to stock: Beyond the fruit and veggie stands, this neighborhood farmers' market offers all sorts of organic prepared foods, like gluten- and dairy-free treats from Coco Bakes, hummus from Mom's, and amazing fresh tamales. There's also a petting zoo for the kids.
Moon Juice507 Rose Ave., Venice | 310.399.2929
Situated in a storefront no larger than a walk-in closet, Moon Juice kind of feels like a New-Age pharmacy. You'll find tonics for every malady or desire (we love turmeric cup, with cayenne pepper, black pepper oil, and oil of oregano to help us through a cold). All this cold-pressed goodness doesn't come cheap (the green shake will set you back $14), but it's all delicious and effective. There is a second shop in Silver Lake.
Kippy’s245 Main St., #3D, Venice | 310.399.4871
Kippy's Ice Cream (previously located on Lincoln Boulevard, now on Main Street in Venice) is what vegan dreams are made of. The completely organic, coconut-based ice cream is made from fresh, locally sourced fruit and sweetened with raw honey. Our picks: Mojito, plain and simple, or Strawberry Coconut with the Chocolate Magic Shell topping—why not? After all, it's practically good for you.
Juice Served Here12186 Ventura Blvd., Studio City | 818.358.4460
In addition to being incredibly convenient for satiating juice cravings (there are locations sprouting up all over the city) this the perfect juice gateway drug for cleanse newbies: Beyond their most popular drink, Green Milk, which is like having dessert for dinner, the Charcoal Lemonade is delicious, despite the suspiciousness of drinking montmorillonite clay and activated charcoal (in contrast, the jalapeño-laced beet juice is tough to swallow). You can also add in extras to ease the process: We opted for the raw soup (a carrot-based gazpacho) and the coconut superfood bar (nice when you miss the sensation of chewing). Bonus points for the DO ME (FIRST, 02, 03, 04, 05, LAST) directions on the caps and the recent addition of lifestyle-y giftables at most outposts. There are additional locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena, Venice, Downtown, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.
Beaming131 S. Barrington Ave., Brentwood | 310.299.7538
Beaming is most famous as a smoothie shop (the Rockstar is a goop staff favorite), but its whole-food cleanses are extraordinarily powerful. There are one- and three-day options available, but customers can expand up to as much as a three-week cleanse for a full-on reboot. Each day includes one of the superfood smoothies, followed by cold-pressed juices, shots, and raw soups and salads. The bride-to-be program gives brides (along with their grooms, bridesmaids, mothers) a clean countdown to the big day. In addition the Brentwood location, there are outposts in Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
Kreation Kafe Montana1023 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | 310.458.4880
Kreation Juicebars are expanding rapidly, but the brand has just three locations of its sit-down restaurant (Abbot Kinney, West Hollywood, and the original, on Montana). Readily available through Postmates but equally in-and-out for a quick lunch meeting, Kreation earns a solid spot on the office lunch circuit with fresh salads, filling grilled kebabs, and all-day breakfast.
Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs7515 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood | 323.378.5691
Lifehouse makes custom tonics that are specialized to your specific ailment (fatigue, pain, congestion, etc.); there is even one for pregnancy. There are excellent meal-replacement smoothies that are perfect for breakfast, but it’s also nice to stop by on a Sunday afternoon and stock up for the week ahead.
Shuhari Matcha Café1522 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 424.238.8324
Before heading out for the rest of your day, grab a matcha at just-opened Shuhari, just down the street from the Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney. The matcha lattes are some of the best in town, and there’s also matcha, ginger, and black sesame ice cream if you’ve already been caffeinated for the day. Either is perfect for nursing during a stroll down to the beach.
Destroyer578 Hayden Ave.
Let Destroyer’s aggressive name be the first indication that this tiny new spot, located in Culver City’s design district, Hayden Tract, takes breakfast and lunch fare pretty seriously. White walls and factory windows lend the bright, sixteen-seat space a familiar minimalist feel, but the menu is full of inventive Scandinavian-style fare from chef Jordan Kahn. The surprisingly affordable (and frequently updated) menu has included everything from Icelandic rye bread with cultured butter and preserves to a waffle-cone-shaped beef tartare wrapped in a crispy parsnip. The daytime-only, weekday-only spot also serves pretty great coffee and tea.
Cookbook Market1549 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park | 213.250.1900
Cookbook Market, founded six years ago by two longtime Echo Park residents (who also happen to be married), is the serious home cook's culinary playground. The tiny, tightly edited space stocks plenty of daily provisions (farm-fresh dairy, organic meat and vegetables, homemade pasta, pickles, and salsas), alongside harder-to-find artisanal items (Anson Mills grains, obscure oils and vinegars, special spice blends). Aside from fresh produce and pantry items, you'll also find a host of flavorful prepared salads, sandwiches, and tempting baked treats by the counter. Order a cup of the espresso-based coffee and sip it surrounded by buckets of wildflowers on the benches outside. For those living farther east, a second Cookbook Market location has just opened in Highland Park.
This waitlist-only service has a loyal following, and it’s easy to see why: The menu is full of cleaned-up comfort foods, like vegan eggplant caponata made with basil pesto, broccolini, and pistachio parmesan, or Spanish chickpea paella. (Their desserts are amazing, too, with matcha chocolate collagen balls and paleo dark chocolate brownies with avocado frosting on the menu.) You can mix and match your proteins and sides, and arrange for portions to be big enough for two servings. Meals arrive in glass jars, which travel well, and they'll pick up for easy reuse. Delivery is available in central and West LA, as well as much of the Bay Area.
Sweet Laurel| 310.913.1829
As one of six siblings, Laurel Gallucci spent a fair share of her childhood in the kitchen baking. Brownies, cookies, you name it. But years later, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and suddenly sugar, dairy, and gluten—the foundations of baking—were out. She went back into the kitchen to experiment. Could a dairy-free almond-flour cake taste good and look beautiful? Very much yes. Today, her cakes—towering layers of coconut-lemon, vanilla, or chocolate sponge iced to perfection and decorated with fresh-cut flowers and fruit—are not only great to look at, but virtually every guest can eat them. Currently available for order and delivery only, Sweet Laurel is opening a bakery in Palisades Village this summer.
The Goods Mart3140 Sunset Blvd., Silverlake | 323.928.2404
Founder Rachel Krupa had an ambitious goal when she opened the Goods Mart in Silver Lake earlier this year: to create a convenience store unlike any other in the country. Think of it as the corner bodega for a new era, where prices are low (a cup of La Colombe coffee is a steal at $1.25), but the quality is high. Shelves are devoid of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners; pesticides; and hormones, and even the slushies (in partnership with Brooklyn’s Kelvin Slush Co.) are made with organic ingredients and served in paper—not plastic—cups. Even the tip jar is thoughtfully considered, as all donations go to local charities, and any food that’s approaching its sell-by date is donated to a nonprofit that helps the homeless on Skid Row.
Scout3707 W Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake | 323.451.9750
Scout is Sunset Junction’s newest tenant, a hole-in-the-wall, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot squeezed in between Kettle Black and Sawyer. For such a small—no, tiny—place, Scout covers a lot of ground: It’s a general store, a purveyor of cookbooks and fine ceramics, and a minuscule café all at once. Run in on your way home from work for fresh pasta and a jar of marinara sauce made right next door, plus one or two bottles of wine, a fried-chicken sandwich for the road, and maybe some coffee beans for a hostess gift. Los Angeles is shockingly short on convenience stores like this—much less one that’s executed well and decorated beautifully. The all-glass, cacti-framed exterior may draw you in, but it’s the floor-to-ceiling shelves and wafting scent of coffee inside that’ll keep you there.
The Hive606 Broadway, Santa Monica | 310.899.6298
You can learn everything you need to know about this place from the menu displayed when you walk in: There’s a section devoted entirely to avocado appetizers, another to a fairly extensive offering of bone broth elixirs, kombucha on tap, and adaptogens sprinkled throughout. The comfort food is of the mushroom panini variety—which, at the Hive, means not just sautéed portobello, but also reishi, cordyceps, and maitake with goat cheese, green onion, and white truffle oil (kale chips side optional). Order at the counter and take a seat indoors or outside, or grab and go if you’re looking for a quick post-workout smoothie.
Magpies Softserve2660 Griffith Park Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.486.7094
Few sweet treats are as satisfying on a hot LA afternoon than a crunchy waffle cone filled with frosty soft-serve ice cream. At Magpies in Silver Lake it can feel almost virtuous. That’s because Magpies has created one-of-a-kind vegan flavors like black rice horchata, chocolate taro, and orange yuzu creamsicle. The shop’s dairy-free fan base is so strong you’ll often find a line out the door, but trust us when we say it’s worth it—especially if you top your soft-serve with toasted maple coconut chips (also vegan).
Naturewell3824 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.664.5894
It’s easy to miss Naturewell on this busy stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake (you’ll probably need to plug it into the GPS if you’re unfamiliar with the neighborhood) but this blink-and-you’ll-miss it juice bar is worth finding for its phenomenal smoothies and acai bowls (the coconut-kale smoothie is legendary). It also doubles as a health-food market, with an entire wall of legumes, and it carries snacks like nutritional yeast, organic nuts, and kale chips.
Erewhon2800 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | 424.433.8111
From organic produce to the juice bar, prepared foods, wheat, gluten and dairy-free treats, a salad bar, sushi and so much more, this market is a wonderful place for groceries or to have a healthy lunch or dinner. Seating consists of tables outside, so go on a nice day if you’re eating in. There’s another location just off Abbot Kinney in Venice, plus outposts in West Hollywood and Calabasas.