There’s always somewhere new to explore in Los Angeles, whether you’re a tourist or a native Angeleno. With dozens of regions comprised of relaxing beach cities, glitzy Hollywood streets and cozy Valley spots, you’ll never run out of new Los Angeles experiences. For a taste of Los Angeles as an insider, check out the guide below to hear about a few of our favorite hideouts.
Chango Coffee Shop
Located in the heart of Historic Echo Park, Chango Coffee Shop offers the perfect way to experience L.A. life like a local. Whether you prefer to enjoy your cup of coffee while browsing on your laptop or chatting with a friend, this popular hangout always attracts a hip crowd that’s great for people watching. After you finish your Sencha Green iced tea or homemade mint lemonade, you can meander around the block and explore galleries, clothing boutiques and a gourmet grocery store nearby.
For a hike that would make your five-year-old self high-five your current self, check out Bronson Cave. As one of Hollywood’s more popular filming locations, this man-made tunnel became famous as the entrance of the Batcave in the 1960s Batman TV series. To reach the Batcave, head to the top of Canyon Drive in Griffith Park and take the fire road on the right, which heads southeast out of the canyon. After a quarter mile, turn left toward the 100-ft tall rock wall. There, you’ll find the 50-foot long tunnel perfect for your next Instagram post. On the hike back, you can catch a great view of the Hollywood Sign (bonus: another Instagram post!). Fido is also welcome on a leash for the hike-slash-Instagram-photo-shoot.
Good Girl Dinette
This gem of a restaurant in Highland Park is a marriage between an old-school diner and an authentic Vietnamese restaurant. The owner and chef Diep Tran delights patrons with a second-generation twist on Vietnamese classics including pho, banh mi, and hand pies (if you’re in luck, it will be moon pie season). The chic and bohemian vibes of this little “dinette” further set it apart from the traditional diner experience found at Pho 79, a chain established as one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Southern California by Tran’s family.
As one of the largest independent bookstores in the world still standing, the Last Bookstore actually originated from a small downtown Los Angeles loft. Now, this 20,000 sq. ft. space in the Spring Arts Tower features 250,000 new and used books on two floors, tens of thousands of vinyl records and graphic novels, a gigantic mezzanine level that includes the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore (with a back room of 100,000 books for $1 each), and a collection of art gallery shops. For a visual feast and to support your local bookstore in this age of e-readers, head over to 5th & Spring.
Otherwise known as “The Hideout,” The Escondite is located on the border of Little Tokyo. This hideaway has an antique Western appeal and live music every night. On top of a stunning view of downtown L.A.’s skyscrapers, The Escondite’s burgers are always a delight. The Fat Albert features glazed doughnut buns with applewood smoked bacon, melted provolone cheese and sweet maple syrup. To make things even sweeter, The Escondite has its own parking lot, which as any Angeleno knows, is a big deal in this city.
For more hidden Los Angeles gems, head over to Discover Los Angeles, where you can explore itineraries to make the most of your Los Angeles experience and check out some of the top things to do by celebrities like Aziz Ansari and Magic Johnson. Watch the video below to see some other quintessential Los Angeles experiences including Gustavo Dudamel leading the L.A. Philharmonic and a vending machine dispensing a cupcake.
Don’t forget to tell us your unique #LAStory by submitting your favorite L.A. picture or video to Discover Los Angeles.