The sprawling metropolitan city of Los Angeles is completely unique, its relaxed West Coast lifestyle offering so much diversity and so many things to do. To make the most of your time in LA, we always bunch our itinerary into neighbourhoods, so we’ve broken our city guide down too. Read on for our favourite Arts District hotspots, stores and eateries, and check out Downtown, West Hollywood, Arts District and our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide.
Venice Canals (above)
Arguably more beautiful than the more famous canal system in Venice, Italy, LA’s Venice Canal Historic District is a network of man-made canals built in 1905 by local legend Abbot Kinney. The four parallel canals, connected at each end, are an idyllic neighbourhood of picture-perfect homes and plush Californian greenery. On the National Register of Historic Places and undergoing extensive renovation work in recent decades, you could while away your whole afternoon walking around the beautiful neighbourhood, before ending up on the phone to a local realtor about available plots.
Venice Canal Historic District, Venice, CA 90292
It’s fair to say cold-press juice bars have taken over LA in the space of 12 months, but taking up residence in Venice pre-craze, Moon Juice is one of few in the business that’s actually worth your dime. Prepared fresh daily from mostly local ingredients, their cold-press juices and nut milk drinks – our favourite is the Date Shake – are the perfect detox treat or sunny refreshment. Moon Juice have beautiful stores in Venice and Silverlake, plus a stand at the Downtown Ace Hotel and a travelling “Moon Rover” truck.
507 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Tortoise General Store
On the must-visit Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Taku and Keiko Shinomoto had been selling Japanese goods at no. 1208 since 2003, but expanded in 2010 to become the Tortoise General Store. Now including a studio in the rear, Tortoise sell traditional craft and homeward items, plus a wealth of ceramics, pots and utensils for the kitchen, all Japan-related. Their cast-iron ornaments and recycled glassware make for perfect gifts too.
1208 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
A relaxed space with a great ambience at breakfast, lunch or dinner, Gjelina’s lauded New American cuisine takes in both small sharing plates, larger dishes and fantastic pizza. A bazaar of vegetable dishes mean Gjelina is perfect for vegetarians, and don’t leave without trying the Butterscoth Pot de Crème to finish.
1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
The Tasting Kitchen
As you might have guessed from the name, The Tasting Kitchen invites guests to dip in and out of its dishes and share a number of plates with friends. Though the menu includes an inciting range of charcuterie and cheeses, we’d recommend the hand-made pastas, with no two dishes too alike. The Tasting Kitchen are as equally well known for their cocktails, so if you’re on the tipple, don’t hold back with drinks at the table either.
1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
Another New York label that feels right at home on the West Coast, Kate Spade’s menswear line welcomes customers into their beach house-style store with a table tennis table and bicycle parking on the front lawn. Inside, the range is both utilitarian and stylish, from office essential shirts to casualwear and men’s accessories as the brand has comfortably filled out its collection after first launching with just one travel bag.
1136 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
The surf and skate brand’s flagship store, Insight in Venice is almost too hip, with art in the back and a mezzanine overlooking the shop floor. Whether you’ll be on a surf board or not, their tees, shorts and t-shirt shirts are perfect for the beach, and you won’t feel out of place if you walk in without a deck under your arm.
1501 Main Street, Venice, CA 90291