Missing Persons once famously sang "Nobody walks in LA," but that makes me think they never lived in Los Feliz. You can spend a day picking up tchotchkes and vintage wares on Vermont or Hollywood Boulevard. You can shop at five different grocery stores of your choice (plus a Sunday farmer's market). Use your MoviePass at not one, but two, vintage theaters. Witness movie stars get their weekend brunch on at Little Dom's on Hillhurst or hike up to Griffith Observatory to gaze at the literal stars. Finally, end the day with a late night diner dessert at House of Pies or Fred 62. All of this without ever having to waste your gas. These are just some of the many reasons why I've lived in this hood for the past six years (not having to drive being number one!)
While parking can be a pain when you do drive (not much different than anywhere else in the city), it's all worth it on nights when you stroll over to see Jeff Goldblum tickle those ivories with his jazz band at the Rockwell or listen to your favorite writer do a reading at Skylight Books. And if you're the True Crime-obsessed type, there's enough lore in the area to pique your interest for a lifetime — like the LaBianca house, one of the famous locations of the Manson murders, and the Los Feliz Murder Mansion, where a doctor brutally butchered his family and then killed himself in 1959. (My husband, who also lived in the neighborhood when we first met, suggested an excursion to said house as his pick-up line to me. Creepy or the perfect goth first date?) One thing's for certain, this is an LA neighborhood where you'll never get bored.
A Local's Guide to Los Feliz
Describe the neighborhood in three words: LA's Park Slope.
Median rents (studio, one bedroom, two bedroom): $1,420 / $1,768 / $2,423, according to RentCafe
Median house price: $1,574,759, according to Zillow
Walkability score: 78, according to Walk Score
Average commute/traffic report: 87% commute by car, according to Trulia
Best local bookstore: Skylight Books
Best place to get coffee: Go Get Em Tiger
Best bar for when you want to be around people: Good Luck Bar. Order a Potent Potion at this kitschy bar and play some tunes on the jukebox.
Best bar for when you want to be alone: Ye Rustic Inn. Don't forget to grab some wings.
Best free cultural thing to take part of: The free art gallery inside of Soap Plant / Wacko. Make sure to stop and see the art the next time you do some shopping.
Best avocado toast: Go Get Em Tiger (though you might want to get their Pan de Sal breakfast sandwich, a creative take on the Filipino bread roll, instead!)
Best street for finding a birthday gift: Vermont, though you can find pretty amazing gifts on Hillhurst and Hollywood Blvd. as well.
Something only locals know: Make sure to spend a night watching Marty and Elayne perform at The Dresden
Hidden gem: The cheeseburger at Yuca's. It's known as a taco spot, but their burger has the simplicity of a McDonald's cheeseburger—except way better.
Best spot for an Instagram: The Soap Plant / Wacko wall or the Leonardo DiCaprio mural across from Fred 62. Leo grew up in the hood and there's even a Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Room at the local library.
Overrated spot: Bru
Underrated spot: Rocco's Italian Market and Deli. Order an Il Rocco with everything and walk up to Barnsdall Park for an impromptu picnic.
Favorite outdoor lounge spot: Alcove
Best date spot: Covell
Best alone spot: Palermo Italian Restaurant. Grab a slice of pizza at this old-school spot and sit outside for people-watching.
Best place for a workout: Hiking at Griffith Park. It's free!
Best place to take an out-of-towner: Jeff Goldblum's jazz show on Wednesdays at the Rockwell. Make sure to snap a selfie with Jeff—he'll be down for it!
Best brunch: Homestate. The line can be long to get into this tiny spot, but these Austin-inspired breakfast tacos are a must. Don't forget the queso!
Worst place to find parking and easiest place to find parking: Vermont and Hillhurst are worst, side streets if you're lucky. Better to just Uber or walk.