Pillow Talk: Between the Sheets of Silver Lake Pool and Inn, Los Angeles

Base yourself at the Silver Lake Pool and Inn to explore hipster Silver Lake, from the Reservoir to friendly cocktail dens
Base yourself at the Silver Lake Pool and Inn to explore hipster Silver Lake, from the Reservoir to friendly cocktail dens | © Timothy Swope / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Culture Trip Travel Team
9 September 2021

Buzz around this hipster ‘hood – a hive of cocktail bars and cool hangouts – using this Pali Society stay as your base.

London has Shoreditch, New York has Williamsburg, Los Angeles has Silver Lake. Once gritty, now hipster Silver Lake – a residential area near East Hollywood – is one of the city’s must-visits for its buzzing restaurants, trendy bars and cool boutiques. Hotel hangout the Silver Lake Pool & Inn – from the on-point Pali Society group – epitomizes all this California cool with its slick modern-day motel vibe, perfectly placed as a jumping-off point for exploring the scenester surrounds. Here’s how to get a stay right in Silver Lake…

Silver Lake Pool and Inn

Boutique Hotel
4.6/5 (111 Reviews)
Courtesy of Silver Lake Pool and Inn / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $202 per night
The centerpiece of the Silver Lake Pool & Inn is undoubtedly the pool: stripy parasols, stretch-out lounge chairs and plenty of strong sunshine will keep you pinned to the waterside most of the day. But the hotel has more going for it than that, with daily aperitivo hour (hello, spritz) and spacious bedrooms with terrazzo touches, plus – in premium suites – views of the iconic Hollywood sign. The on-site restaurant, Marco Polo, with its coastal Italian lilt, is a solid, trendy pick for cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper pasta) if you’re feeling too lazy to head out.
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Cafe, Market, Restaurant, Healthy, American, $$$
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A five-minute taxi ride east of the hotel, Botanica is the place to come for trendy LA plates: fig and ricotta tartine, confit Baja tuna, heirloom bean hummus. But while the food is first-rate (and pretty healthy for you), local hipsters flock for other reasons, too, including its airy pastel interiors and gluggable glasses of natural wine. Come in the morning (Wednesday to Sunday), and you can take advantage of the fine brewed coffee and flaky pastries, too.

Silver Lake Farmers’ Market

Market, Street Food
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Silver Lake may be hipster central, but there’s nothing more authentic than a good old fashioned farmers’ market, right? Well, let’s just say this iteration is true to its surroundings: you can expect artisan bread, small-batch cheeses and organic Californian veggies aplenty. Even if you’re not cooking (and there’s no need when staying at Silver Lake Pool & Inn), you can nibble street food on site, including crêpes and small-batch coffee. There are craft and clothing stalls for browsing, too.

Silver Lake Reservoir

Hiking Trail, Park
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Aerial view of Silver Lake Reservoir with downtown Los Angeles skyline in the distance
© Timothy Swope / Alamy Stock Photo
When it comes to the great outdoors, there’s no need to look past Silver Lake Reservoir – a giant glassy body of water, fringed with trees, less than a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Follow the locals and go for a brisk 2mi (3.5km) loop of its exterior – you’ll pass dog-walkers, joggers and strolling couples as you pound the pavement. Fancy extending the stroll a bit longer? Dart off into adjacent Silver Lake Meadows, a verdant three-acre (1.2ha) patch, where you can enjoy a quiet moment overlooking the water.

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  • The Friend

    Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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    Between its leafy tropical plants, pastel-hued interiors and graffiti murals (by artist pals of the owner, André Saraiva), the Friend feels peak Silver Lake – it’s so trendy it almost hurts. Come for the fairly priced cocktails, served up by bartenders in Breton shirts, and stay until 2am closing, chatting and making new friends. The Passion, made with mezcal, hibiscus liqueur, passion fruit and lemon, is a very-LA libation to wash down vegan tacos or cheese-smothered nachos.

    The Odells

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    It hardly gets much closer to the hotel: the Odells is just a four-minute walk away. That means you’ll only have a short distance to lug your haul – because there’s no doubt that you’ll be leaving this chic clothing boutique with a new outfit. From leathery sandals, the hue of Californian orange juice, to summery rompers and blouses, it all feels perky and fresh. More of a homewares person? Follow your nose to the scented candles…

    Lake Boutique

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    Silver Lake is stacked with must-visit boutiques peddling unique giftables, and Lake Boutique is one of them. You’ll want to snap up everything you see for your nearest and dearest: blue and white ceramic mugs, peony-scented candles and eucalyptus muscle soaks included. The designers tend to be boutique, and often local, so you know you’re getting something special. Take note: the elegant gold jewelry – delicate bracelets, sapphire studs – make a particularly good gift… for yourself.

    Harvard and Stone

    Bar, Coffee Shop, Pub Grub, American, $$$
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    When it’s time to party hard in Silver Lake, make for Harvard and Stone, a no-holds-barred, er, bar where your weekend sippers also come with a side of burlesque – performers cutting shapes on a catwalk. But there’s fun to be had on other nights of the week, too, with raucous live bands and super-strong cocktails part of the daily picture. It helps to have a sense of humor when you order your drink: try a Coward & Disgusting Human… also known as a vodka soda.
    These recommendations were updated on September 9, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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