A Walking Tour of Westwood

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA
Gerhard Marcks - “Maja” (1941) at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden | Photo: Hammer Museum

Located on the Westside of Los Angeles, Westwood is a commercial and residential neighborhood that’s bordered by Beverly Hills to the east and Century City on the southeast. Westwood was initially developed in 1919 by Arthur Letts, the founder of the Broadway and Bullock's department stores. Developed in 1929 by Janss Investment Company, Westwood Village is a shopping and commercial district in the heart of Westwood, home to cultural attractions like the Hammer Museum and Geffen Playhouse. The campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is just north of Westwood Village. Read on for a walking tour of some of the can't-miss spots in Westwood.

NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.

Santa Fe Scramble | Photo courtesy of Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe, Facebook

Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe

Start your tour with a breakfast bite and a coffee at Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe, a family restaurant that started out as a soda counter in the 1950s. Go with an omelette, scramble or short stack and fuel up for the rest of the day - it's all delicious. Wood paneled walls and semi-circular booths with natural, calming hues give a warm neighborhood vibe. You're among family when you dine at Mary & Robbs.

Marilyn Monroe’s crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary
Marilyn Monroe’s crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary | Photo: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park

After breakfast, visit this quaint little 2.5-acre cemetery, which opens for visiting hours at 8 a.m. The quiet oasis is the final resting place of legendary actors and artists such as Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Truman Capote, Donna Reed, Jack Lemmon, Bob Crane, Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, Don Knotts, Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, Burt Lancaster and Frank Zappa. Enter from the west side of the park off Glendon, onto the small circular road and into the cemetery.

Hammer Museum 1

Hammer Museum

Next, head to the Hammer Museum, founded in 1990 and offering free admission for everyone to appreciate a renowned contemporary art collection of more than 50,000 works. The Hammer is one of three public arts units of the School of Arts and Architecture at UCLA, which manages and operates the museum. The Hammer is acclaimed for the diverse range of artists whose works are on display. Overlooked or unknown artists are brought to the forefront, along with rotating exhibits, lectures and readings, and other special events.

Chicken Milanese at Lulu in the Hammer Museum
Chicken Milanese at Lulu | Photo: @carylchinn, Instagram


There are numerous lunch and dinner options in Westwood Village, including the ever-popular Lamonica's NY Pizza, In-N-Out Burger and KazuNori Hand Roll Bar. Opened at the Hammer Museum in November 2021, Lulu reunites two culinary legends: Alice Waters, the world-renowned chef/owner of Chez Panisse, pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, and longtime food activist; and David Tanis, the executive chef at Chez Panisse for 25 years, cookbook author, and writer of the New York Times monthly Food column, City Kitchen.

Lulu is currently open for lunch and dinner with a daily changing three-course market menu and a la carte options. A recent market menu featured antipasto, choice of Chicken Milanese or Mexican Chicken Soup, and Lemon Tart or Chocolate Pavé for dessert. A la carte offerings include focaccia sandwiches like Mozzarella and Arugula with Casella’s Prosciutto and a vegetarian Eggplant Banh Mi.

Adobada and Carne Asada tacos at Tacos 1986 in Westwood
Adobada and Carne Asada tacos at Tacos 1986 in Westwood | Instagram: @hungryinla

Tacos 1986 - Westwood Village

Queue up with hungry UCLA students and local office workers at Tacos 1986 and order delicious Tijuana-style street tacos, quesadillas, mulitas, and vampiros. Favorite tacos include the Adobada, Mushroom, and the off-menu Carne Asada Perrón with crispy cheese, onions, guac, salsa and a sprinkling of beans.

Ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese | Photo courtesy of Varin Tsai, Flickr

Diddy Riese

Finish your lunch with a classic Westwood Village treat that’s easy on the wallet. Open since 1983, Diddy Riese offers cookies, ice cream, or both in their famous ice cream sandwich. The line can sometimes be daunting but it always moves fast and is certainly worth it, with prices like $4.75 for a "Diddy Dozen" cookies and $2.50 for a delicious Dreyer’s ice cream sandwich. The dough is never frozen and always made from scratch, but unfortunately there are no vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free options.

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA
Photo: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

Walk off that ice cream sandwich with a stroll through the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, located on UCLA’s South Campus. The garden was started in 1929, and thanks to contributions from many botanical resources over the years, it now contains over 3,500 species and varieties of plants. Take a self-guided audio tour at your leisure.

"African-Print Fashion Now!" exhibit at the Fowler Museum
"African-Print Fashion Now!" | Photo: Fowler Museum

Fowler Museum at UCLA

After the botanical garden, visit the Fowler Museum in the North Campus. The Fowler was established in 1963 in the basement of Haines Hall with the goal of collecting non-Western art and artifacts on campus. The Fowler focuses on global arts and cultures, emphasizing past and present cultural and political works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. The museum is free to the public and open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA
Gerhard Marcks - “Maja” (1941) at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden | Photo: Hammer Museum

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

Walk further into UCLA's North Campus and explore the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, which features over 70 modern and contemporary sculptures in one of the most distinguished outdoor installations in the country. Dedicated in 1967 by UCLA’s third chancellor, Franklin D. Murphy, the sculpture garden spans five acres and includes pieces by Henry Moore, David Smith, Deborah Butterfield and Hans Arp.


Broxton Brewery

By now you've worked up a thirst, so stop by Broxton Brewery & Public House in the historic Janns Dome Building. Opened by Artisanal Brewers Collective - the team behind LA craft beer destinations Mohawk Bend and Tony's Darts Away - the Broxton features a veg-friendly menu of bites like the famed Buffalo Cauliflower to go with your pint.

STK Steakhouse

For dinner, head to the W Hotel Los Angeles- West Beverly Hills off Hilgard, where STK Steakhouse serves up high-end steak and seafood in a sleek, modern setting. Curated by the Linz Heritage Angus program, STK's USDA beef is sourced primarily from farms in Iowa and Nebraska. A la carte cuts start with Small (6-8oz): Filet, Wagyu Flatiron, and Spinalis. Medium cuts (10-18oz) include NY Strip, Dry-Aged Delmonico, and Cowgirl Ribeye. Go all in with a Dry-Aged Large: 28oz Porterhouse or 34oz Tomahawk. Surf & Turf pairs a 6oz Filet with Lobster Tail or Grilled Prawns. Customize your steak with a classic sauce like Au Poivre, Béarnaise and Red Wine. Level up with Wagyu Umami Butter or the luxurious King Crab Oscar. Sides include a Mac & Cheese Trio (Traditional, Bacon, Lobster) and favorites like Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, and Confit Mushrooms.

iPic Theaters Westwood

iPic Theaters Westwood

For evening entertainment, watching a movie is always a good option. Not just any old flick, but a new release in a state-of-the-art theatre will all the modern accoutrements you could ask for - and then some. Step into the iPic Theaters Westwood, where you'll sink into leather recliners and be treated to blankets, pillows, and in-seat service at the touch of an iPad. All you have to do is kick back and enjoy the movie.

Geffen Playhouse

Optional: Geffen Playhouse

Founded by Gil Cates in 1955 and named for entertainment mogul David Geffen, the intimate Geffen Playhouse consistently produces quality, original works that continue to make ripples throughout the theatre world in Los Angeles and beyond.

Royce Hall

Optional: Royce Hall

Royce Hall is one of UCLA’s four original buildings and is the university’s flagship landmark and defining image. Designed in the Lombard Romanesque style, Royce Hall was completed in 1929 and features a 6,600-pipe E.M Skinner pipe organ.

Now the home of the Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), Royce Hall has welcomed legendary performers like George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Twyla Tharp, Frank Zappa, Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Philip Glass Ensemble and Meredith Monk.