Gay Los Angeles: Silver Lake

Out & About Tours | Photo courtesy of Out & About

Los Angeles’ original gay enclave is the Silver Lake neighborhood, located northwest of Downtown L.A. Trendsetters have long mixed with a substantial Latino population, and today its rolling hills are lined with pillbox-sized homes, hip clubs and eateries, Salvadoran pupuserias and trendy, friendly bars.

Get started at Sunset Junction, where Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards meet Fountain Avenue, and the original location of Black Cat Tavern - a landmark in LGBT history (the signage of the Black Cat restaurant and bar stands as an homage to it, today). Enjoy brunch at Dusty’s, lunch or dinner at Café Stella, a sweet treat at Pazzo Gelato or a Cuban guava-cream cheese pastry from Café Tropical

Travel northbound and walk off that food coma in Griffith Park, the nation’s largest urban park. You can hike to the top of the world and take in spectacular views of the L.A. Basin and the stars above. If the shopping bug bites, browse Wacko for fun and funky gifts or Rough Trade for leather accessories. Peruse Wacko's adjacent La Luz de Jesus art gallery for alternative art.

At night, Akbar is a friendly lounge of low-key cool. Predominantly gay but straight-friendly, it features Moroccan-inspired décor, a jukebox filled with oldies-but-coolies and a separate dance floor. Local leather bars The Eagle LA and The Faultline host a fun—albeit raunchy—calendar of nightly events and popular weekend beer busts.