Echo Park Guide


My home in Los Angeles for the last five years (On and off during school on the East Coast) has been Echo Park. This neighborhood continues to change over the years (for better or for worse.) I share this guide to represent the classic EP I love. The historical, the dodger filled, the melting pot of different cultures. I cross my fingers big businesses don't start bulldozing the neighborhood. SO- my PICKS. Challenging to choose my list, and I skipped over MANY of the trendy newcomers. You've read about those places on Eater LA. SHOP SMALL + ENJOY x 

EAT.

Guisados Tacos- BEST TACOS. Seriously, I can't be swayed. Guisados has the best tacos in LA. Originally from Boyle Heights, this local brand is now expanding all across the city. SO THE HYPE IS REAL. Homemade corn tortillas, rich stewed meats and fried up veggies. Tip- Outdoor patio is BYO so grab some brews at Echo Park Beers and enjoy their skyline view. Warning line can be long. ORDER- Camerones, Bistek en Salsa Roja, Steak Picado and Armando Palmero.

Masa of Echo Park- Go big or go home, at this 'Mom & Pop' bakery. And that means Chicago-style deep dish pizza. But honestly, come HUNGRY because Masa deep dish will fill you up (because you won't stop eating). This down-to-earth dining experience is a nod to EP itself- emerging from historic roots, culturally diverse, and classic urban  ORDER- Deep Dish 'Douglas St.' Pizza (Fact, my fav pizza is named after the street I live on).

The Park- Fearing I am giving away too many of my secrets. This is restaurant is EP's little secret. HAPPY HOUR BOSS- adorable + unpretentious patio space. The menu constantly is changing seasonally but simply- its American cuisines with heavy ethnic influences. ORDER- The gyro with truffle fries and homemade burgers.

DRINK. 


El Compadre- One word flaming cadillac margaritas. This local stop is a fan favorite for Dodger fans. My boyfriend and I will go sit at the bar and watch football or baseball or basketball (YES, I can be a 'cool girl'). Their margarita mix is made in house, and they are STRONG. Family recipes, and traditional flavors, fantastic Mexican dinner. ORDER- Two margaritas (per person), chicken fajitas and complimentary chips + salsa.

The Short Stop- Rowdy nights. My all-time-go-to dive bar. Motown Mondays. Disco balls. Photo booth. I spent my twenty-first bday on their dance floor. Get in early to avoid cover fees, long lines, and obnoxious hipsters. ORDER- A beer, its that kind of bar.

Ostrich Farm- First date? Romantic night out? This intimate, midcentury inspired dining option is quite dreamy. It is one of the hottest brunch places in LA currently, but I enjoy grabbing cocktail or glasses of wine before a evening out with the BF. Go for the interiors too- the hunter green leather seats, the gold detailed fixtures, and marble bar tops. ORDER- Glass of sparkling rose Domaine Brazilier France or Carricante, Pietradolce, Sicily.  

The Echo- This concert + club space is a local hipster favorite. My night? Funky Sole. Outside plays funk, inside plays soul. Dancing under string lights, and a view of DTLA, its always a memorable night. ORDER- A gin & tonic. Be nice to your bartender.


COFFEE.

Stories Coffee- This was the first coffee shop I ever went to in LA- I had a meeting for my first theatre internship there- and love ever since. Half bookstore, half cafe. This is the spot to get work done, with many power outlets and solid wifi. You'll find a range of devoted writers and artist typing away on their laptops. And if you go to Blue Bottle Coffee, don't steal their wifi. ORDER- Dirty Chia tea latte + everything bagel.

Dinette- A late addition to Echo Park. Its our instagram spot of the neighborhood. THANKS GENTRIFICATION. BUT you should try their mini waffles or avocado toast. (Literally seen on every LA blogger's instagram). Go during the week, its less busy than the coveted hungover brunch hours. ORDER- almond milk latte + waffle.

Eightfold Coffee- Another newcomer to the neighborhood and a five minute walk from house. Clean minimalist style, local bake goods, and strong coffee. I plan all my coffee dates here, and love the friendly staff. 
THE OTHERS. 

Echo Park Lake- Built in 1890, this is one of the oldest parks in Los Angeles. It reopened in 2013, and has revitalized the center of Echo Park. I walk my dog once a week along its palm tree lined trail. Stunning year round, its the perfect place for a picnic + wine. (Fridays the EP farmer's market happens a block away so stop there first). The lake is iconic and if you have lived in LA longer than a year and never been... shame on you.

Elysian Park Trails- Hiking in LA can sometimes feel as busy as the Grove. Crowded and overrun, its not the natural experience I often am looking for. The Elysian Park trails are a convenient solution when I wanted to escape my urban environment.

Shout & About- The cutest little gift shop in town. My one stop shop for all occasions. This highly curated store embraces snail mail, supports local artist, and has the perfect neon sign. GO for holiday shopping.

The Cactus Store- Plants are on trend. Look at any decor platform. Plants are little friends to add to your home. The Cactus Store hooks you up with desert plants. Each individual cacti potted in terra cotta. This tiny store is a small jungle tucked on Echo Park Ave.

Myrtle- Looking for feminist gear? (Especially for the upcoming women's march?) Love this girl power store on Sunset Blvd. Myrtle is dedicated to support female designers as they curate their boutique. It is a female positive experience and on my list for shopping small + local. Also their look books are major fashion inspo.
Topshop Dress, Steven Madden Chelsea Boots, Quay Sunglasses (Similar here), Pure Cycle Crosby Bicycle, OPI We the Female Nail Polish

Photos by Riley Tsang. Wisconsin photographer 
@RileyTsang 








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