Travel

Silver Lake

Establishment neighborhood
Bar Stella
3932 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
There are many reasons to live on the Eastside, and easy access to Bar Stella is at the top of that list. This is (arguably) the best bar in the city. Sitting outside on a slow summer afternoon, sheltered by a canopy of bougainvillea, an Aperol spritz (easy on the Aperol, heavy on the spritz) on the table, is quickly becoming a quintessential LA activity. Inside, the scent of just-peeled citrus hits you hard, the white-jacketed mixologists are pros, almost-nonexistent lighting sets a seductive tone, and the walls are painted a pretty, mottled blush. Lounge on the low leather sofas drinking cocktails all afternoon. When evening hits, the volume turns up and the lights go even further down. The terrace outside—all wicker furniture and terra-cotta cushions—is straight off the French Riviera.
La Colombe
3900 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
LA has plenty of places that can keep caffeine cravings in check, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t psyched when Philly staple La Colombe finally made it west. It occupies what used to be Café Casbah at Sunset Junction, but the space has been completely reimagined. The café is bookended by two open-air areas: The back is sheltered and quiet for those looking to settle in for the long haul; the front overlooks the main drag and is filled with tree-trunk-like stools and tables perfect for people-watching. Breaking the LA trend of serving everything in some kind of ceramic, the coffee is served in porcelain cups and saucers. If you’re in a rush, the East Coast transplant has you covered: The fridge inside is packed with cold-press.
Botanica
1620 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
Botanica sits on a stretch of Silver Lake that feels like a real neighborhood (a rarity in LA). It’s both a restaurant and a market—pop in to re-up on local eggs, fruit, vegetables, and house-made specials like the Aleppo-Urfa butter and thick labneh. There are few prettier spots for a healthy breakfast of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, the freshest orange juice, and really good espresso. We go for the soft scramble (creamy soft-scrambled eggs with a side of lemony greens); the crunchy, garlicky bread; and the entire pastry case. (Bear in mind that portions are on the light side, so order with abandon.) Whether you're alone, with a friend, or coming with kids, the space is comfortable and inviting, with high ceilings and airy décor. Sit on the terrace out back and work your way through the biodynamic wine list (we’ve moved on to lunch now), and snack on one of the epic seasonal vegetable boards. The selection of wine and cookbooks is a godsend for last-minute gifts.
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