Top 10 Things To See And Do In Northeast LA

© Rene Quezada
© Rene Quezada
Photo of Rene Quezada
9 February 2017

Tucked just east of the Interstate 5 and the 2 Freeway, the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Glassell Park, Mt. Washington, and Montecito Heights compose the region of Northeast Los Angeles (NELA). If you’re looking to escape the scores of tourists in Hollywood, explore some of the 10 best things to see and do in NELA.

Cafe de Leche

Cafe, American, $$$
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Cafe de Leche, York Boulevard
Cafe de Leche, York Boulevard | © Rene Quezada
Cafe de Leche serves coffee creations inspired by the rich Latino culture that permeates Highland Park. Their number one bestseller is the ‘Iced Horchata con Espresso’. Cafe de Leche also offers other unique Latin-inspired drinks like the Mate Latte, their ode to its namesake South American drink. Also on the menu is the Agave Latte, another great drink you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

Permanent Records

Head on down York Boulevard for one and a half blocks where you’ll find Permanent Records with a wonderful selection of new and used LPs from all genres. They have something for everyone, but what really makes Permanent special is that unlike most record stores in Los Angeles, they’re actually a record label as well. They fully stock their artists’ catalogs in store too. Permanent has an exciting artist lineup sure to please the adventurous listener. They even occasionally sell their artists’ LP’s in bundles giving you a major discount over buying each LP separately. Plus they often host live shows in the shop.

Permanent Records, 5116 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 739 6141


© Rene Quezada

Pop-Hop Books & Print

The ‘Wombleton’ of bookstores, this literary treasure features a catalog of carefully curated books, vintage and rare magazines, and handcrafted items. It’s unlike almost any bookstore you’ve been in before. Pop-Hop specializes in specially curated used books. Featuring vintage editions of classics like Jane Eyre, Pop-Hop also publishes author-created ‘zines, or fairly quick reads ranging a variety of topics and narratives. Always with some humor in the cover to draw the right crowd, ‘zines like ‘Cheer the Eff Up #5’ featuring the self-deprecating line ‘Three Dollars or Best Offer’ are quick to draw in readers. Pop-Hop ‘zines are a sensational variety of truly artistic freeform literary and visual art. Their vintage and used book selection is also a thing of beauty. With hardcover editions of classic novels as well as rare novels, Pop-Hop has something for everyone.

Pop-Hop Books & Print, 5002 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 259 2490

© Rene Quezada

© Rene Quezada

Moon Canyon Vistas

Entering the neighborhood of Mt. Washington and setting your GPS for Moon Canyon Park will take you on a breathtaking ride. The area is quite serene, and crossing the street toward the white cliff barrier on foot yields a close-up of the spectacular vistas. While there isn’t much car traffic in the area, always be aware of your surroundings when enjoying this breathtaking panoramic view of the city.

Moon Canyon Park, Los Angeles, CA, USA

© Rene Quezada

© Rene Quezada

Heritage Square Museum

Hidden away at the end of a quiet, out-of-the-way residential street is the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights. The museum holds a collection of historically important Victorian homes (most of which were built in other locations of Los Angeles) and a church, each with unique and interesting backstories. There is a variety of events throughout the year including a silent movie night in which a film is projected onto the big red train car in the middle of the property. Admission is very reasonable and the serenity of the place is a rare and welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.

Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer Street, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 225 2700

© Rene Quezada

© Rene Quezada

Verdugo Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Verdugo Bar is just one of those bars you love to tell people about. Located under some apartments on Verdugo Road in Glassell Park, Verdugo Bar is the NELA watering hole you do not want to miss. With a fantastic selection of craft beer and cocktails, Verdugo satisfies even the most discerning palates. What really stands out is their awesome patio section located outside. With picnic tables lined up end-to-end and soft lighting, this section provides a great communal vibe and is really the place to sit at Verdugo Bar.

Southwest Museum of the American Indian

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Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles
Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles | © Rene Quezada
Taking a drive to the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. Housing a world-renowned collection of Native American artifacts, relics, and works of historical value, the museum itself sits on an architectural landmark and was opened in 1914.

Monte 52

Deli, Market, Coffee, American
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From the Spanish word for grass/woodland, Monte 52 is a little deli/sandwich shop hidden away inside of La Tropicana Market. They blend traditional culinary staples like the Reuben, pulled pork sandwiches, and pulled pork tortas with organic cooking techniques and recipes. They even have organically raised carnitas. Monte 52 is also a deli, so chances are you can buy the same variety of meat used in your sandwich.

The Los Angeles Police Museum

The original Highland Park Police Station opened in April 1926. After 57 years, the Los Angeles Police Department relocated its NELA HQ, and Station No. 11 closed its doors in 1983. After only a year, the building was declared a cultural and historic monument by the city and now operates as the Los Angeles Police Museum on York Boulevard. The museum displays the history of LA’s Finest with exhibits including photographs, articles, important badges, squad cars, weapons, and even vehicles full of bullet holes. This is definitely not your average museum.

Los Angeles Police Society, 6045 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 344 9445

© Rene Quezada

© Rene Quezada

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