Many of LA's most famous — and infamous — residents have assistants to run their errands, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of celebrities doing their own shopping - spotting them is as much a spectator sport as looking for the courtside stars at a Lakers game. And thanks to your smartphone's built-in cameras, you can be a paparazzo without the disguise or attitude. Be sure to peruse the latest fashion mags and gossip columns - stars can be fickle about their favorite haunts, especially if they've been "exposed" - bring plastic and be ready to spend big, otherwise you may suffer the embarrassment of getting 86’ed and creating more of a scene than the celeb you’re trying to track.
The Golden Triangle won’t exactly attract bargain hunters, but with Rodeo Drive at its epicenter, it has been known to lure credit-card holders like Lisa Rinna, Hayden Panettiere and Kristin Chenoweth. Meanwhile, Sprinkles Cupcakes on Little Santa Monica Boulevard is a big hit with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jimmy Kimmel. Don't miss a photo op with the bright yellow exotic cars parked in front of House of Bijan, aka "the Most Expensive Shop in the World."
Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gigi Hadid, Addison Rae and Nicky Hilton have all been spotted wearing alice + olivia. Stacey Bendet's LA flagship is located at Melrose and La Cienega - after shopping, head upstairs to the chic rooftop lounge at E.P. & L.P. where Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift have partied, along with a slew of Aussie stars like Ruby Rose and Cody Simpson. A few blocks east is the 40,000 square-foot RH West Hollywood - spanning three levels of home furnishings in a gallery setting, showbiz royalty like Lena Headey browse artistic installations fit for a Lannister.
Robertson Boulevard is well-known for celebrity sightings and the paparazzi that stake out The Ivy during daytime hours. High-end stores like Kitson, Chanel and Intermix are all celeb faves. Paul Rudd, Serena Williams, Sharon Stone, Kathy Griffin, Ben Stiller, Paris Hilton, Lauren Conrad, Katherine Heigl, Jessica Alba and of course, the Kardashian/Jenner clan are just a few of the stars that have strolled these few blocks.
Two of LA's best independent bookstores are located on the famed Sunset Strip and boast star-studded clientele. Opened in 1975, Book Soup has hosted numerous celebrity book signings and counts legendary musicians like Joni Mitchell and the late David Bowie among its fans. Next door, Mystery Pier Books specializes in rare books and first editions - the Who's Who of satisfied customers includes Natalie Portman, Guillermo del Toro, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and two James Bonds: Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan.
West 3rd Street
West 3rd Street is a more down-to-earth district than Beverly Hills or Melrose Avenue, but it’s a no-less-stylish place to spot notables who are shopping on the down-low. A favorite of Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore, Polkadots & Moonbeams opened in 1982 and is actually two stores in one - a Modern Store and a Vintage Store a few doors down. The Grove attracts more than its fair share of tourists, but that doesn’t mean stars like Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Reese Witherspoon don’t browse the shops and enjoy the dancing fountains once in a while. Located a few minutes away at Beverly and W. 3rd, the massive Beverly Center is also popular with the jet set.
Silver Lake has been a creative mecca for generations, and celebs continue to call the hip neighborhood home. You might spot Rachel McAdams, Chris Pine or Christina Ricci strolling Sunset Junction, a retail hub that includes boho chic at Mohawk General Store; and The Odells Shop, which offers an eponymous clothing line, accessories and apothecary.
San Fernando Valley
In the San Fernando Valley, Ventura Boulevard is packed with boutiques and shops full of unique clothes and one-of-a-kind treasures - Studio City and Sherman Oaks are great places to start. The Valley also has some of L.A.’s largest and most inviting shopping malls, including Westfield Topanga & The Village in Canoga Park, Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks and the Sherman Oaks Galleria.
Younger stars may shop further east in West Hollywood and Silver Lake, but local celebs with families in tow like Christian Bale are often at the landmark Brentwood Country Mart, which opened in 1948 and offers everything from Toy Crazy to goop and Capitol x Irene Neuwirth, a collaboration between Laura Vinroot Poole's North Carolina boutique and a shop-in-shop by the jewelry designer that's a favorite of Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence, and more.
The world-famous Santa Monica Pier and nearby Santa Monica Place attract throngs of tourists from all over the world, but local celebs are more likely to be shopping about a mile north on Montana Avenue, where Robert Downey, Jr., Meg Ryan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the galaxy of stars that live in the area.
If you want to find the highest stars-per-capita rate, take a coastal drive up Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. Located about a quarter-mile from each other, Malibu Country Mart and Malibu Colony Plaza are safe bets to see A-list locals like Leonardo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston and Cindy Crawford.
Don’t let the down-home atmosphere fool you, this quiet coastal community has always attracted a steady stream of the rich and famous. Explore the shops along pedestrian-friendly Swarthmore Avenue, Rick Caruso's Palisades Village, or even the Gelson’s market on Sunset Boulevard, and you might spot Honorary Mayor Eugene Levy, LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo; Bradley Cooper, and longtime resident (and former Honorary Mayor) Anthony Hopkins.