The mecca of Silver Lake’s Sunday morning stylewatching scene and the Steampunk latte, this expansive den of mirrors and patios is one part glamorous, one part futuristic-boho. Prepare to practice patience; the pristine brews tend to take their precious time and whatever you do, make sure someone at your table orders the arugula eggs benedict.
1636 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Secret Silver Lake Staircases
First made famous in 1932 by Laurel and Hardy’s Music Box, in which the befuddled pair attempts to heave a piano up the stairs that lead from a Silver Lake cul-de-sac to the street above, namely, Sunset, the stairways of East LA are like a network of secret gardens laced throughout the city. In the ‘30s, they served as portals to the many light rail and tram stations that made LA a transportation-model dream. Today, the stairs are populated mostly by vegan joggers and artistic dogwalkers. Stumbling upon a set is always a boon, on any given day.
Occidental Boulevard between Berkeley and Scott Place, Los Angeles, CA 90026 *And scattered throughout Silver Lake and Echo Park
Tiny, tiny and always packed. The Piña Colada alone is enough to warrant a line down Sunset Boulevard, but the kitsch factor of this little hut takes its lure to a whole new level. Family-run since 1961, Tiki Ti proudly claims 92 tropical drinks on its menu, from the Blood and Sand all the way to the rum-heavy Ooga Booga. Somehow, smoking is permitted inside. And the snack bowls tend to run out fast, so we suggest going early, for instance, at sunset.
4427 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Ask the most erudite foodie you know–for instance, an art critic academic who divides his time between both coasts–where he eats in Silver Lake and he will undoubtedly reply that he doesn’t waste his time with a meal anywhere other than at Speranza. Half indoors, half outdoors, this intimate garden space provides blankets for chilly nights, no shortage of smart wines, and heaping bowls of pasta that taste heavenly homecooked.
2547 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Linens Shop at Casbah Café
Locals swarm to this French-Moroccan spot, bedecked in bougainvillea and stocked with tins of rare European olive oil, for the mint teas and croissants. A narrow flight of stairs at the back of the café leads to a tiny yellow room carefully arranged with saris from India, museum-worthy gypsy embroidered tablecloths, and insanely soft Moroccan pillowcases.
3900 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Barnsdall Art Park
A hilly enclave all of its own, this 11-acre compound is home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, as well as a theater, gallery and set of workshops in which locals learn to fire ceramics in kilns, pen the pages of new novels and embark on oil-painted still lifes. During sunny months, the gallery hosts Friday night wine tastings and outdoor movies on the lawn, which affords incredible views of the surrounding neighborhoods, from downtown to Santa Monica and beyond.
4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027