The burgeoning Arts District is one of Los Angeles’ most talked-about neighborhoods. The District, east of Downtown, was originally a vineyard before emerging as the post-WWII industrial center for factories, shipping facilities and railroads. Many structures from this era have been preserved and rehabilitated into commercial and residential buildings. In amongst them are exciting food and drink locations. Our favourites are listed here.
Angel City renovated an 8,000-barrel brewery in Alpine Village before relocating to the Arts District in 2010. The indoor/outdoor bar space quickly became an Art District staple. Always armed with a great set of rotating drafts, the bar is accompanied by multiple cornhole sets, dart boards and classic board games including Uno and Connect Four. Outside, a series of alternating food trucks provides savory treats, or you can BYO food and have a picnic. Drink and think once a week during their killer Tacos & Trivia Tuesdays.
‘Maximum minimalist‘ architect Jacek Ostoya collaborated with friends to develop Resident, a music venue that evokes East Austin’s beer garden vibes. With legendary band booker Duncan Smith bringing in talented acts, like Sarah Neufeld (the violinist from Arcade Fire) and recently, the California theatrical lo-fi rock band Nobunny, moody muses are in top form. Drink craft beer, listen to unique music and enjoy a little bit of Texas hospitality.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly place with Jenga, pizza deliveries and take-home craft brew growlers, look no further than Mumford Brewing Co., situated between Little Tokyo and the Arts District. More intimate in size than neighboring breweries, this place is also the perfect date night spot. Or skip the going out altogether and call the bar to have some of your favorite craft beers delivered outside to your car.
Arts District Brewing Company has it all: a growing list of craft brews on draft (12 rotating beers from local breweries and the brewery’s own six styles), fantastic culinary options from Fritzi (try the Forbidden Rice dish – winter squash, smoked blue cheese and hazelnuts over a bed of black rice and quinoa) and a large outdoor seating area (pups welcome!). Originally a beloved electronics store called Crazy Gideon’s, this building is massive, minimalist and also features multiple dart boards, a huge collection of Skee Ball games and a large projector for local sports games. Hop by next door for Fritzi’s full menu, which features, among other things, wood-fired rotisserie-style chicken.
Pizzanista!’s commitment to quality is obvious. They use an expansive variety of fresh vegetables you won’t find at most pizza places. Although LA has a fantastic vegan pizza scene, there’s not a lot of places where you can also bring along your Meat Jesus-lovin’ friends for $2 slices. And, if you order take-out, you’ll receive one of their custom-designed delivery boxes, featuring The Clash puns and original Mike Gonzales designs.
This simple yet fantastic bakery sells hundreds of baguettes a day. Using only three ingredients, the entire process, from wild yeast to the final product in your hands, takes about 24 hours. So think about that when you’re standing in line for 15 minutes. You can also eat lunch here with a South American inspired ‘Almoço’, Balkan Borek or a Greek-inspired ‘Aegean’ quiche. Also, if that baguette tastes familiar, that’s because a ton of great Arts District restaurants use Bread Lounge’s signature breads.
A vegetarian/vegan-friendly huge, diverse menu featuring fresh, organic ingredients and culinary twists like coconut bacon and blackened jerk tempeh make Café Gratitude the quintessential California foodie destination. With a Detox Market and a healthy happy hour, this cafe lives up to their mission of making eating clean easy. Don’t miss the fresh-pressed juices, California wines or the Kombucha Arnold Palmer Spritzer.
Blue Bottle Coffee is like the aesthetic-driven East Bay coffee phenomenon, focused on freshness. This minimalist Arts District outpost is no different. Come in for a high-powered pour over and stay for the brewing classes and some of the ‘hella good’ cookies.
A neighborhood is only as good as their local go-to grocery store. If that’s true, then the Arts District really lucked out with Urban Radish, a grocer that does it all. Whether you need an event catered, want to see some live Wednesday night jazz, or just sample a variety of specialty cheeses, they’ve got you covered. Pro-tip: If you purchase booze from the market, you can drink it at this joint, sans corkage fee. Same rules apply for food.
Organic vegetables and cold-pressed juices might be the common diet in this neighborhood, but no meal is complete without a homemade pie. Pie Hole tries hard ‘to provide the greatest possible pie experience known to man’, and with pies flavors like Mexican Chocolate and Earl Grey, they’re well on their way to accomplishing that goal.