Bourdain blew up my taco spot!
But who can blame him? Tacos Villa Corona is just one of the phenomenal eating places in Atwater Village, a trendy, walkable neighborhood in central Los Angeles that’s relatively unknown outside of the city. Located right across the 5 freeway from Silver Lake (named #1 in “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods” by Forbes), this easygoing area has none of the pretense of the “Hipster Headquarters of the World” – but with numerous independent retailers and oddball businesses, it’s just as interesting.
Hipsterdom has reached a tipping point in Silver Lake, an über hip area that has been covered to death in the media. The neighborhood’s rising price-point forcing out the lowly artist class that gave the area its character – gentrification as usual in America. But those starving artists, music producers, freelance writers and up-and-comers have to go somewhere, and one of those neighboring areas getting the goods is Atwater Village, the edgier little sister of Silver Lake. Home to young families, Latinos, Filipinos, students, industry interns and senior citizens, this flavorful area is more working class and authentic than too-cool-for-school Silver Lake.
Atwater Village is centered around Glendale Boulevard, an unconventional retail strip loaded with family-owned businesses, one-of-a-kind boutiques, ethnic restaurants and hubs for community activity, including studios for yoga, Pilates, dance, knitting and arts and crafts. Park your car and shop for handmade silver jewelry, sign up for an 80s dance class, have a discount psychic reading, buy your dog a tutu, size your casket, weave feathers into your hair and take your palate on a tour of France, Germany, Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, Italy and Vietnam.
Heading to Atwater Village? Check out these top spots:
- Proof Bakery – Best pastries in LA, frequented by celebrities
- Hugo’s Tacos – Burrito stand mobbed by musicians
- The Tavern – Newly opened craft beer bar and restaurant
- Heart Beat House – Wild variety of dance and exercise classes
- Serena Kojimoto Jewelry Design – Offbeat handmade silver designs
- Links N Hops – Newly opened gourmet and vegan sausage shop
- Bon Vivant Market & Cafe – Newly opened French deli and wine bar
- Atwater Village Farm – Newly opened natural foods store
- A Place to Create – Interesting arts and crafts classes for kids and adults
Along with all the newly opened retailers, parking rates have also recently been reduced in the area to encourage visitors, the Glendale-Hyperion bridge is soon to receive a facelift and the LA river is now open for kayakers – three more factors indicating the upswing of this smart little neighborhood.
Los Angeles is and always will be one of the world’s top travel destinations. Atwater Village is centrally located just 10 minutes from downtown, and this neighborhood will appeal to foodies, shoppers, craft beer enthusiasts, crafty types, city kids and active travelers that want to experience authentic urban neighborhoods.