1814 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Chef Joseph Getskopf (formerly of Culver City’s Destroyer and Copenhagen’s Noma) opened this Echo Park restaurant-café hybrid late last year, adding yet another stylish caffeine pit stop to this gentrifying East Side neighborhood. Coffee beans come straight from San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, while the food is at once healthy and decadent (we’ll call it healthyish). Take the savory breakfast porridge, for instance, made of farro and mustard seeds and served with brown-butter-roasted broccoli and mushrooms. Or the addictive buttered yam lattes made with dairy-free oat milk. The space itself is so pleasant (high-ceilinged, flooded with natural light) that an entire afternoon seems to pass by in an instant when we’re here.
2110 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
We spend a lot of time at the original Love Yoga in Venice, so news of its East Side outpost was thrilling. Just like the Lincoln Boulevard space, co-yoga directors Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon have created a paradise that smells more like white sage and Diptyque candles than a sweaty yoga studio. While the studio interior has obvious appeal, the teaching is where Love Yoga really shines. The overall vibe is laid-back—no heat, no mirrors, and definitely no weights—with a meditation and Savasana built into every class. Clear direction and game-changing adjustments will make seventy-five minutes go by extraordinarily fast, though there’s nothing about this that’s easy: Expect to sweat (a lot) and to feel it the next day.
2100 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Every neighborhood needs a good local pizza joint and the latest offering from chef Zach Pollock of nearby Alimento is exactly that—Italian-American comfort food done well.
1549 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park
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.
1342 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park
While this Echo Park staple is considered a truck because it's technically located inside a truck, it only has one location: In the parking lot of an Echo Park Von's. It's best known as a late-night spot (it's always crowded on Friday and Saturday nights with people on their way home from bars), but locals come here for dinner, too. The al pastor and carne asada are both great—as is the horchata, if that's your thing—but the local order of choice is the suadero, which is like a brisket. Get a generous helping of the fresh salsa, which might be the best part of the entire operation.
1620 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
A new-ish kid on Echo Park’s Sunset Strip block, Honey Hi is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood. Owned and operated by two best friends (one of whom is a nutritionist), Honey Hi offers a menu full of the type of food you wish you ate more often: gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, GMO-free, and seriously satisfying. A small, pleasantly bright, but no-frills space, this little café is the perfect place to grab a late breakfast, lunch with a friend, or a smoothie to go. While everything we’ve tried has been excellent, a few highlights include the Moroccan bowl, the miso bowl, and the matcha moringa drink. Oh, and the chocolate chip cookies made with cassava flour, grass-fed butter, and Maldon salt are no joke, either.
House of Intuition
2237 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
This kooky shop is filled with the types of gems, crystals, candles, incense, and other knickknacks that make perfect metaphysical souvenirs to bring back from LA. If you have time, opt for one of the amazing readings or a treatment with one of the healers on staff, who offer modalities like Reiki, crystal healing, and shamanic energy medicine.
1608 1/2 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Dinette is a sidewalk eatery by Café Stella owner, Gareth Kantner. There's a walk-up window and tiny interior showcasing Dinette's pastry treats. Also on the (changing) menu: heartier options like smoked salmon toast, Kobe beef burger, ricotta frittata, skirt steak with chimichurri, and an all-day breakfast pizza. And of course, coffee. You can take your food to go, or find a spot at one of the small tables outside the café.
Echo Park Pedalboats
751 N. Echo Park Ave., Echo Park
Echo Park isn't as celebrated as LA's larger parks, like Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon, but with excellent views of Downtown's skyline and a well-tended walking trail, it's a local favorite (you'll recognize it from the park's tall fountains, which are visible as you leave Downtown on the 101). For a kid-friendly afternoon adventure, rent a four-person pedal boat for the afternoon.
2150 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Judging by the droves of locals who come out to newly opened Bar Bandini on a nightly basis, the dimly lit, refreshingly underdesigned spot met a very obvious need for a chill—but just romantic enough—neighborhood watering hole. The owners earned their stripes working in the food industry in both NYC and LA and wanted to focus on all-natural and organic wines, which they source almost exclusively in-state and serve on tap (the craft beer selection is also worth exploring). It's all supported by a menu of bar snacks (the Sicilian olives are bomb) and small plates of cured meats and local cheeses.
You may also like