The City Guide to Los Angeles

Coffee, food, galleries, bars and so much more.

Presented by Footaction //City Guides

As the proclaimed entertainment capital of the world, the city of Los Angeles is constantly being depicted through global media outlets. That extensive coverage can also bring a lot of satire and criticism with it. Yes, a lot of the things people say about Los Angeles are true. In LA you can find the archetypal Angelenos that are portrayed consistently throughout the media; the attractive model that says “like” every other word; or the extra laid back skater who just wants to smoke and hang out all day. However, these people and the portrayal of Los Angeles in entertainment media is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discovering the vast urban sprawl of a landscape and the many varieties of its neighborhoods and inhabitants. If you come to LA to hit the typical sightseeing spots, prepare to be underwhelmed. Sure you can hit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and take a picture with a star on the sidewalk or hit the Santa Monica pier, but we suggest you go off the beaten path and discover some sites frequented by the locals within our HYPEBEAST community.

In an effort to capture as much of the aforementioned landscape and variety of locations the city has to offer, we’ve tapped a record number of contributors for our latest HYPEBEAST City Guide to LA. Our list of contributors is too long to address one by one, but Eddie Cruz (co-founder of Undefeated) should be a familiar name to all who frequent this site. We’ve also tapped our various friends throughout the music industry, custom motorcycle builder Yaniv Evans of Powerplant Motorcycles and Spanto of the popular streetwear label BornxRaised, just to name a few. Whether you’re a tourist in town or a native Angeleno ready to discover a new go-to spot, check out the guide below for some local favorites that the city has to offer.

The Springs is my second home. Its gorgeous, spacious work space in the arts district; delicious and healthy menu; and almond milk lattes keep me there for hours. I love the morning yoga and the teachers are friendly while being really good at what they do. In the evenings they’ll have a DJ or live jazz, and offer beers, wine sangria and other happy hour food treats. It’s my favorite place for a coffee in LA. – Kiran Gandhi

Best Coffee Shop

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Insomnia Cafe on Beverly. Been there since the ’90s. Classic. No Frills. Good place to hide.

Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

Daily Dose Cafe in DTLA is hands down my favorite place to get an iced almond latte, and it’s dog-friendly. They have the best ambiance – it’s situated in a rad, little alley with red bricks, ivy adorned walls and distressed wooden tables and benches – it evokes a hidden gem you’d stumble upon in Tokyo or Paris.

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

I don’t really drink too much coffee, but Document Coffee Bar is sick as f*ck. My boy Kyuho goes on competitions throughout the country battling 8-mile style Barista competitions and sh*t.

Andreea Magdalina of shesaid.so

Bricks and Scones in Larchmont. The coffee is decent and the place is very peaceful. Working there comes easy; it’s not your typical noisy coffee shop.

Brett Buren of Biz3

I’m going to get super future and name a shop that’s not even open yet. La Colombe is finally coming to Los Angeles at two locations in Beverly Hills and Silver Lake. Hands down the greatest coffee I’ve ever had and they’re making it to the West Coast. All of their roasts are incredible, especially their unique seasonal Workshop series. Their CEO Todd Charmichael is also a personal hero. He broke the world speed record for reaching the South Pole on foot and unassisted with a total travel time of 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes.

Azad Naficy of Mind of a Genius

Philz in Santa Monica. Outside of the fact that this is the first time I ever tried coffee (their Iced Mint Mojito is essentially a milkshake), it’s less than half a mile from both the beach and my house. My go-to drink here is a hot Silken Splendor, the house way.

Sean Gaynor and Marissa Vega of The Lyric LA

Paper or Plastik is our jam. The coffee is top notch, and the food is also incredibly delicious. We work out of there a little too often. Great natural lighting and plenty of outlets!

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Caffe Etc. Not only is their coffee superb, but the owners are there day in day out; as a business owner I really appreciate that. Simple black coffee please.

Spanto of BornxRaised

Rockenwagner Bakery on Washington. The pretzel croissants are on point.

Pizzaslime

Verve Coffee on Melrose (shout out Verve Boys Fai, Dave & Crew). It’s low-key and has great coffee and vibes.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Stories Books and Cafe. Ice coffee, avocado toast and hot skaters in the parking lot.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

The Oaks in Hollywood. We go there almost every Sunday before a ride. Hot chicks and the best breakfast burrito.

Kiran Gandhi

The Springs in the arts district. The Springs is my second home. Its gorgeous, spacious work space; delicious and healthy menu; and almond milk lattes keep me there for hours. I love the morning yoga and the teachers are friendly while being really good at what they do. In the evenings they’ll have a DJ or live jazz, and offer beers, wine sangria and other happy hour food treats. It’s my favorite place for a coffee in LA.

The Blind Barber

Best Grooming/Barber Shop

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Blind Barber. See my homie Leah Shields. She’s the absolute best.

Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

Everyone should go to Kevin at Ande LeCompte Salon for cuts — the Edward Scissorhands for the cool kids. For strictly the best dude cuts, I highly recommend my friend, Adam Desure. He runs like the speakeasy of fades for guys. And, for the illest colorist in town, definitely go see my girl Yvonne at Meche Salon, she is a genius!

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

Dante’s Barbershop is a staple for all Koreans growing up in Koreatown. He was like the crazy uncle that always talked sh*t to you. He called all of his customers “Cabron” and he had bootleg movies on VHS before the pirating industry really took off. He’d let you borrow some of them if he was cool with you, and he had a large catalog of porn mags and videos you can look at too.

Waraire Boswell

215 on Melrose, and ask for Shiz. It is extremely difficult to locate someone to trust with your head and the hairs that sit atop. Shiz is seasoned and works with official individuals.

Azad Naficy of Mind of a Genius

Lincoln Barbers on Pico. I’ve been going here since I was a freshman in high school and they still give the freshest fades/tapers. The shop is pretty small but the vibe is right — all of the barbers are solid and the wait is never longer than 20 minutes.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Svelte Men on the corner of Franklin and Gower. I always have to cancel last minute and they never fire me as a client! They also do a great straight razor shave.

Spanto of BornxRaised

My personal barber, Angel Hernandez, whom I’ve known since middle school is the finest in the city.

Pizzaslime

Frank’s Chop Shop on Melrose. This is the only shop to get a clean cut and a good conversation.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Red White and Blue. It’s a hole in the wall, one chair spot on Echo Park Blvd. $8 cuts by this little Mexican lady. Leave the inspiration print-outs at home, she knows what you’re looking for right when you walk in.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Frank’s Chop Shop. They always have a Powerplant bike on display, so I get to see one of my bikes while I get my hair cut. See Ronnie for the freshest cuts.

Kiran Gandhi

Etiquette Barbers for boys or The Well for girls, all in DTLA. I love the Well because it has incredible clothing, shoes, hats, and fashion accessories alongside its well-designed and open-feeling hair salon. I like when places intelligently merge fashion and beauty as for an artist, those choices are all connected.

Slow Culture. Nice to see the youth doing awesome sh*t. – Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Best Art Space

Waraire Boswell

Norton Simon in Pasadena, and Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Raised in Pasadena, the NS has always been a favorite. As one of the best museums in the world, the location and the landscaping only enhance this majestic location.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Paris Photo at Paramount Studios. What’s not to love about getting wasted with a bunch of strangers from all walks of life and exchanging thoughts on incredible photos???! Unfortunately, this annual photo show was canceled this year… people drank too much and forgot to buy, I guess.

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Slow Culture. Nice to see the youth doing awesome sh*t.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Known Gallery on Fairfax. They always host the best shows and parties. They really respect our kind of art and they are a big part of custom culture.

Kiran Gandhi

Think Tank Gallery in DTLA. This gallery has grown so much over the years, curating both art and music events which enables fans of both to mix and experience new talent. I love how there are different places to explore in the gallery, and love that they always have different types of events there each month. One of the founders, Jacob Patterson, is a young genius whom I admire greatly.

Best Shop for Back-to-School Gear

Located at 21540 Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, Footaction is the place to visit for all of your back-to-school gear. From the latest footwear releases, both casual and performance-based, to the trendiest streetwear drops, this premier sportswear shop has you covered.

Guisados in Echo Park. Incredible tacos for three dollars or less. Always get the horchata with cold brew too. – Brett Buren of Biz3

Best Cheap Eats

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Hoy-Ka Hollywood. Chicken Pad Thai Noodles. Add Steak.

Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

Monte 52 in Highland Park. It’s a deli and convenient store all wrapped into one. I love their breakfast burrito, chicken Caesar salad and juice bar.

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

I wouldn’t say cheap ‘cause that sounds like it’s like all dirty and sh*t, but there’s a really good food truck that just started called Pico House. They use whole grains to make these bowls that are like super fire flames with really fresh ingredients. The chefs there worked for Bestia and some crazy place in New York that probably yells at their chefs all the time.

Waraire Boswell

Real Food Daily in West Hollywood, and Pie & Burger in Pasadena. RFD are masterful at vegan dishes and the location offers a pleasurable relaxing ambiance. Pie & Burger in Pasadena is a fantastic local spot that time has not touched. The pancakes are stellar, the burgers and pies are equally magnetic. Did I mention you can pay with a check? Yes a check! Love this place.

Brett Buren of Biz3

Guisados in Echo Park. Incredible tacos for three dollars or less. Always get the horchata with cold brew too.

Azad Naficy of Mind of a Genius

Shophouse. The Asian Chipotle. At this point, I’ve mastered the art of getting double protein and double veggies without having to pay for it.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Paru’s Indian Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in East Hollywood. First you have to get buzzed in, then you’ll be greeted and sat by the owner. The place is warm and welcoming, really feels like you walked into someone’s home to enjoy a delicious Indian feast. I never order, I just let the owner bring me what’s best. They also serve authentic Indian wine and beer.

Spanto of BornxRaised

Posole from Garcia’s Market on weekends has been a favorite of mine for over 20 years. Every Saturday morning Mrs. Garcia gets up at 4 a.m. to make a fresh pot. Bless her heart.

Pizzaslime

El Chato. There really isn’t anything better than a solid taco truck at the end of a night.

Samantha Duenas

Yuko Kitchen on Wilshire. Yuko’s is a quaint bohemian Japanese bakery/cafe tucked away off of a busy street, sort of my neighborhood hidden gem. I go here frequently for a quick healthy bite, or a midday pick-me-up. Perfect for a casual catch up with a friend. The standouts are the spicy salmon crispy rice, the iced honey latte, the apple mint lemonade, and the marshmallow blondie.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Samosa house; so good you won’t know what hit yah!

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Potato Chips Deli. The best bread, hands down. Caprese or Meatball sandwiches are legit. If you like spicy, ask for a side of the cherry peppers.

The Spare Room in Hollywood is a favorite. They have a bowling alley and the best Moscow mule. – Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Best Place to Grab a Drink

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Soho House off Sunset (THE VIEW!!!!!).

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

Sake House. It’s deceivingly not Japanese owned. It’s my McLaren’s Pub. They’re one of the few places in Koreatown that plays hip-hop, and not that bullsh*t ‘unce-unce’ EDM sh*t that makes me feel like I’m getting chased by someone.

Brett Buren of Biz3

My favorite spot is Varnish — a “secret” prohibition-themed bar inside Cole’s in Downtown. I’m surprised more people don’t know about this place, you just walk into Cole’s and go straight towards the door in the back. It’s super dark and moody and they have live jazz Sunday through Tuesday after 9 p.m. Their whiskey menu is one of the best I’ve seen.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Jones Hollywood. Dark and moody. Great classic LA spot. Jameson on the rocks.

Pizzaslime

El Coyote. Bruh, the margaritas are straight GAS.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Hermosillo in Highland park, if we’re talking atmosphere. Shortstop, if we’re talking a couple drinks and no Dodgers game.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Winsome in Echo Park. Order The Tiki Novela or “it just doesn’t matter” if you’re into tequila. The Spare Room in Hollywood is another favorite. They have a bowling alley and the best Moscow mule. Powerplant is putting together a badass bowling league at the moment.

My mom and aunt used to take me to the James Irvine Japanese Garden in Little Tokyo when I was little. It wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered it. I now really appreciate the solitude it provides. It’s the proverbial chill pill — a great place to relax, practice being present, clear my brain and shut off my phone. – Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

Hidden Gems

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

Larchmont Village near the miracle mile feels like a whole different city. It’s a small neighborhood that has good food and mom-and-pop stores. You feel like you’re in like the ’80s.

Waraire Boswell

LA Arboretum. The place to see nature at work in many facets. Located in Arcadia, this place is magnificent for clearing the mind and/or a family outing.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream! Faloodah Rosewater… you’re welcome.

Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

My mom and aunt used to take me to the James Irvine Japanese Garden in Little Tokyo when I was little. It wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered it. I now really appreciate the solitude it provides. It’s the proverbial chill pill — a great place to relax, practice being present, clear my brain and shut off my phone.

Spanto of BornxRaised

Elephant Hill.

Pizzaslime

Slauson Super Mall. The best tees, gold and art in the city.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

When you exit the 5 at Glendale Boulevard head east and make that first u-turn. There’s that homeless man with a delicately crafted garden, raked rocks and all. Catch him painting birds most days and a genius coin toss station at the red light. Well played.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

It’s a secret. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. But, a pretty rad spot that’s not a secret is the Fairfax Flea Market every Sunday.

Gallant

I would say my favorite spot is Pickwick Bowl. It’s the spine of the suburban utopia that surrounds it.

Obviously we’re a bit bias, but The Lyric’s facade features a one-of-a-kind mural by world renowned artist Retna. We recommend “magic hour” for those bomb sunset snaps with the piece. – Sean Gaynor and Marissa Vega of The Lyric LA

Best Location for Street Photography

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

La Brea between First and Second on any Saturday afternoon. Nice mix of youth and OGs roaming around.

Grace Hwang of RAUDEVILLE

The Colorado Bridge in Pasadena is pretty tight in a tragic way. Historically known as a suicide spot, the bridge itself is beautifully designed with epic views of the city.

Andreea Magdalina of shesaid.so

This mural behind Wylie Wilson boutique in Venice. The painting depicts two women next to each other; they are wearing feminine lingerie and yet there is nothing sexual about them — it’s all about art. This resonates with me and shesaid.so a lot.

Sean Gaynor and Marissa Vega of The Lyric LA

Obviously we’re a bit bias, but The Lyric’s facade features a one-of-a-kind mural by world renowned artist Retna. We recommend “magic hour” for those bomb sunset snaps with the piece.

Spanto of BornxRaised

Venice boardwalk on a Sunday in July around dusk.

Pizzaslime

The Pink Wall at the Paul Smith Store.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Shortstop has a photo booth; those are usually fun. Should we kiss on the last frame? We’re crazy!

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Mulholland Drive during sunset. You get the best views of the valley on one side and Hollywood on the other.

Kiran Gandhi

In front of the angel wings next door to where I used to live, Art Share LA, in the arts district!

The Rooftop at Mama Shelter. I can get comfortable on a day bed watching an old movie on a projector while eating carrot hummus and drinking my wines. Oh yea, and the view ain’t too bad either! And, the servers are rad! – Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

Best Restaurant

Eddie Cruz of Undefeated

Mozza Pizzeria. The meatballs, garlic bread and everything else is on point.

Benjamin Chi of F.C. Dorsum

Bestia in DTLA. Their head chef, Horry, is like witchcraft science with that sh*t. Man of super principles, too. Treats all of his workers well. I heard he rejected Michael Jordan because someone had a reservation before him. I mean it’s Michael Jordan we’re talking about here. I would of let him cook the food himself.

Andreea Magdalina of shesaid.so

I recently experienced Monkey Town LA — this fine dining and video art experience in Chinatown. Highly recommend it but you have to hurry, it’s only running for another month.

Waraire Boswell

Giorgio Baldi. GB, nestled off PCH, is a gem; the size of a cottage living room, the ambiance is relaxed, and the crowd is always chill.

Brett Buren of Biz3

Terroni in DTLA, there’s one in Hollywood too but the vibe isn’t as cool. Awesome traditional Italian spot built in an old bank lobby. So traditional that they won’t let you order cheese on your seafood pasta. They also sell jars of their fantastic Calabrian peppers; I put those on everything at home.

Side note: there’s also a chill dive bar underneath Terroni, called Crane’s, that’s built inside an old bank vault.

Sean Gaynor and Marissa Vega of The Lyric LA

Baco Mercat Downtown is actual food heaven. An incredibly unique and diverse menu with full flavored dishes that most definitely live up to the hype. I recommend the sunchokes and the hamachi crudo.

Dion Dersarkissian of Pinky’s Iron Doors

The Rooftop at Mama Shelter. I can get comfortable on a day bed watching an old movie on a projector while eating carrot hummus and drinking my wines. Oh yea, and the view ain’t too bad either! And, the servers are rad!

Spanto of BornxRaised

Escuela on Beverly. Steven Arroyo serves a fine branzino taco.

Pizzaslime

Alma at The Standard Hotel on Sunset. The creativity in Ari Taymor’s dishes inspire us.

Grant Yansura of WKND Skateboards

Speranza. It looks like a Home Depot garden section from the outside but boy let me tell you, it don’t taste like it.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Motorcycles

Genghis Cohen is a Hollywood staple. I also love La Poubelle — it’s pretty romantic and they let you smoke outside. A perfect date spot.

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Photographer
Aaron Miller/HYPEBEAST, @jv.sls/HYPEBEAST
Los AngelesFootactionHYPEBEAST City GuideCity Guide

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