Historic Filipinotown (aka "HiFi") is located on the cusp of Echo Park and Silver Lake, just west of Downtown LA. A flourishing corridor of eats, drinks, and ample street parking, the cultural heritage is strong here. TimeOut recently dubbed HiFi one of the "50 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World," acknowledging the thoughtful mix of old and new. The result has been an exciting feast and a blossoming community, one that is the very definition of the word - “a feeling of fellowship with others.” Here’s our list of must try spots in this familial neighborhood.
NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.
Historic Filipinotown Eastern Gateway
Start your visit with LA's newest AAPI cultural landmark, the Historic Filipinotown Eastern Gateway, which was installed in April 2022. Formally known as "Talang Gabay: Our Guiding Star," the gateway stands 30 feet high and spans 82 feet across Beverly Boulevard. The gateway was designed by Celestino Geronimo Jr. and Eliseo Art Silva, who also painted the mural at nearby Unidad Park.
The artists incorporated Filipino cultural symbols into the gateway, including a parol (a star-shaped lantern displayed at Christmas), gumamela flower (hibiscus, a tribute to frontline workers), and the Sarimanok, a mythical bird that symbolizes good fortune.
The Park’s Finest
This barbecue joint, opened in 2009 by the Confordia family, is where traditional bbq meets Filipino flavors. A sweet rice cake called bibingka inspires Park’s cornbread; whereas tri-tip, pulled pork, and short rib are accented with house sauces—one vinegar-based and the other swirls pineapple, soy, and cane sugar. Or go for Mama Leah’s Coconut Beef, a stew matched perfectly with sticky rice and Lilikoi ale. The Worker Wednesday Plate is a weekly special that features coconut beef, hot link medley, pulled pork, candy-coated chicken, veggie medley, cornbread bibingka, and rice.
Bloom & Plume
Neighboring a floral shop, Bloom & Plume Coffee is like stepping into a vibrant bouquet where the aroma is filled with fresh juice, salads, espresso, and good vibes. Brothers Moses and Maurice Harris, longtime HiFi residents, created a shop they envisioned as a comforting, eclectic place to hang out, sip lattes, and nosh on scrumptious waffles.
After bonding over a game of ping pong, owners Bin Chen and Andrew Chau became quick friends and eventually entrepreneurs known as Boba Guys. Expanding to HiFi in 2019, the boba shop brews fresh teas, sources milk from nearing Strauss Family Creamery, and crafts housemade syrups to sweeten (to your liking!) each drink. The menu comprises regular, seasonal, and build-your-own offerings all finished with Grade A boba balls or other toppings including almond jelly, egg cream, and more.
The marquee promises “ice cold beer,” and Crawfords delivers. This bar, which also offers piping hot fried chicken, stocks a generous selection of high-brow and low-brow suds. On the back shelf, a collection of Dodgers bobble heads and other sports memorabilia join the line of available brews served with a constant hum of local banter.
Longtime pastry chef Naomi Shim brings daily-baked goods to Doubting Thomas, where seasonality informs cheery confections, like yellow nectarine galettes in the summer and egg nog cheesecake in the winter. Don't miss the signature Thomas Breakfast - two sunny eggs, applewood smoked bacon, grilled tomato, biscuit and jam. Baristas pull perfectly-executed espresso drinks and other caffeinated concoctions, while guests mingle in natural light rushing in from floor-to-ceiling windows. Enter by walking past a patch of fresh herbs, the first sign of an endearing café experience.
HiFi native Justin Foronda created a fast-casual spot inspired by his upbringing, the neighborhood, and the eclectic mingling of Los Angeles cultures. Here, you’ll nod to throwback tunes while scanning the menu of classic Filipino dishes. Choose from vegan or beefy options served in bowls, either enjoyed in or as takeaway. Adobo is made with chicken or mushroom; and La’ing, customarily served with shredded meat, can be ordered with a hearty serving of cauliflower. Come to eat, stay for the hip-hop beats.
porridge + puffs
In his 2014 review of Porridge + Puffs, LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold described Minh Phan's then-popup "as dazzling in its complexity as anything coming out of the most famous kitchens in town." After an extended hiatus, Phan reopened Porridge + Puffs in March 2023, much to the delight of longtime fans.
Chef Eleanor Hurrt (previously at Cassia and Tasting Kitchen) is at the helm, serving up favorites like the Poultry & Mushroom Porridge - mirepoix rice congee topped with sweet soy braised chicken, turkey, mushrooms, crispy shallots, pickled celery, seasonal flora and a shiso hibiscus pickled soft boiled egg.
The beloved brown butter mochi with miso caramel is also back, as well as a pantry with to-go jars of porridge, bottled shrubs and more. Current hours are Friday-Sunday from 10am to 2pm.
Atlanta native Mike Capoferri transformed an old after-hours jazz club into Thunderbolt, a cocktail lounge…or simply, just a great place to hang. A poised list of drinks and impressive array of Madeira puts a nice tingle to your day, while bar bites and entrees - created by Chef Johneric Concordia of the adjacent Park’s Finest - keep you wanting more. Thunderbolt overlooks the 101 freeway, giving a soothing perspective to an otherwise teeth-grinding strip of road.
Woon (“bowl” in English) is a family-run restaurant reflecting the Chinese comfort food of owner Keegan Fong’s childhood. “Mama” Fong helms the Woon kitchen, where she cooks Shanghainese and Cantonese recipes, all served in shareable bowls. The menu is concise, so one can attempt to try everything in one sitting—whether it's beef or veggie chewy noodles, fried rice, bao, or salads—or keep coming back for more. Sit on the breezy patio or inside while eavesdropping on the hiss of the woks.