There is something about descending below-ground that conjures feelings of mystery and adventure - just ask Alice. In few places is this more true than the underground bar. Secret entrances, darkened staircases, being in the know are all part of the appeal.
There's no better place to enjoy this feeling than Downtown Los Angeles. Early 20th-century architectural gems have been revived right and left since the start of the 21st - and with them the basement bars, dance clubs and jazz lounges that once served the booming city’s movers and shakers. Bank vaults, a power plant and historic speakeasies are being redesigned for the thriving Downtown L.A. nightlife scene. Read on for Downtown L.A.’s finest in subterranean drinking, dining and dancing.
Boyle Heights has a long and rich history in Los Angeles. That history can be found across the neighborhood, from Mariachi Plaza to Evergreen Cemetery. The neighborhood is home to one of the city's early parks, an art studio that's tied to the Chicano Movement of the civil rights era, and the long tradition of street art in the neighborhood. Read on for some of the hidden gems within Boyle Heights.
In some respects, the Arts District in Downtown L.A. is one big hidden gem. Save for the relatively recent addition of One Santa Fe, there's not much here that screams "Shop here!" or "Eat here!" Restaurants and stores are tucked away in old buildings. Parties happen inside former warehouse spaces. Signage is often easy to miss when you're busy staring at massive murals or stenciled sidewalks. In general, the Arts District takes more time to explore than other L.A. neighborhoods and it's big enough where you might want to split it up into multiple trips. While you're here, keep on the lookout for these local treasures.
Atwater Village is small, but it's packed with hidden gems. The neighborhood is located right by the L.A. River and that alone will give outdoorsy types lots to explore. It's a neighborhood with a music history memorialized in the mural portrait of late Beastie Boy MCA and a future that's being forged inside nearby Swing House Studios. For being such a small neighborhood, Atwater Village's bar game is strong and includes spots where you can check out up-and-coming local talent too. Whether you're looking for an afternoon adventure or a dose of L.A. nightlife, Atwater Village has you covered.
In the past decade, Downtown Los Angeles has transformed into a hotbed of eating and drinking establishments catering to the area’s prolific workforce and visitors popping in on the Metro - many looking for those elusive time-sensitive deals. Read on for 20 Downtown L.A. hotspots, new and old, that promise great food and drink experiences that won't break the bank.