NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH LA'S ART DISTRICT

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Just south of Little Tokyo and Olvera Street, downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District is beginning to blossom. This industrial neighborhood, mostly full of warehouses and architecturally-savvy bridges, is now a downtown destination with its growing list of restaurants and shopping spots. 

 

By Sara Suskin

 


BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE CO. 

Originally from the Bay Area, this minimalistic coffee shop has set up a roastery in the heart of downtown. Their lattes are much more than just a caffeine fix—try the New Orleans iced coffee for a sweet and creamy treat. If you’re feeling super indulgent, go for any one of their pastries or a fresh made liège waffle. 

580 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA


ZINC CAFE & MARKETPLACE 

This bright and airy space features a vegetarian menu, but carnivores will barely miss the meat. There’s a nice balance of California healthy mixed with heartier fare, fulfilling anyone’s cravings. Try the avocado toast for breakfast: chunky, lemony smashed avocado atop a radish salad and sprinkled with chives and dill, all on top of (generously) buttered toast. Dogs are allowed on the patio, which is why we suggest opting for outdoor seating.

300 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA


ALCHEMY WORKS

Not only serving as a retail space, this store doubles as a gallery, allowing you to shop for jewelry, clothing (for men and women) and art all in one. Most of the pieces are handcrafted and designed by local artists. We especially love the Parabellum x Alchemy Works leather tray ($350), a limited edition of five.

826 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA


CAFE GRATITUDE 

A fresh and creative take on vegan, gluten-free and raw food, Café Gratitude makes you re-think veggies and grains. Order the “Extraordinary” house BLT for a surprising (and delightful) twist in the form of coconut bacon. The house salad “Fulfilled” is perfectly titled with a fulfilling mix of avocado, beets, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts and (the most delicious) teriyaki almonds over mixed greens. Dessert is just as satisfying: our pick is the aptly-named Irresistible coconut cream pie.

300 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA


THE SPRINGS LA 

This space is designed to make you feel good inside and out: A one-stop-shop boasting a wellness center, yoga classes, juice bar, vegan restaurant and wine bar. The Springs offer a vast array of classes ranging from gentler Slow Flow to a fusion of Yoga Dance, not to mention acupuncture and various massage techniques. Don’t forget to refuel with a smoothie (try the Blue Moon with blueberries, banana, coconut water, hemp milk and honey) plus a salad, and you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated.

 608 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA


PIEHOLE 

Everyone’s favorite dessert gets the gourmet update with luxurious flavors like Earl Grey and Bacon Buttermilk Coffee. Be warned, these are not your mama’s pies—most patrons have the popular Mexican Chocolate on their tables, but the unassuming and savory Veggie Curry is a stand-out, not to be ignored.

714 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, CA


HAMMER & SPEAR 

With many vintage and artisan-crafted pieces, the furniture at Hammer & Spear is nostalgic, but not dated. From dark leather couches to old-fashioned bar ware, you’ll be able to give your home an old-fashioned makeover. Check out the wooden measuring cups and spoons for great gifts or the Oliver & Co. perfume for a little personal treat. 

255 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA