The Downtown Los Angeles Shopping Guide

From discount fashion to high-end goods to vintage finds, the shopping scene in Downtown Los Angeles has you covered.

The Last Bookstore Book Tunnel
The Last Bookstore  |  Photo:  Discover Los Angeles

From discount fashion to high-end goods to vintage finds, the shopping scene in Downtown Los Angeles has you covered. Downtown L.A. is home to some of the city's best buys, thanks to shopping meccas like the Fashion District and Jewelry District. But Downtown's status as a hip neighborhood on the rise has brought in a host of newer retailers, too.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Jewelry, Antique & Design Show, Facebook

Jewelry District

From the car, the Jewelry District looks much like the rest of Downtown L.A. with its collection of big buildings. Venture inside the California Jewelry Mart, Western Jewelry Mart or St. Vincent Jewelry Center and the bling will hit the corners of your eyes. There's a lot to see - you could spend hours checking out the stones and baubles inside St. Vincent Jewelry Center alone. If you're hungry, stop by St. Vincent Court, an alley behind the building that looks like a quaint village street filled with cafes.

The Last Bookstore Book Tunnel
The Last Bookstore  |  Photo: Discover Los Angeles

The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore has something for every reader's tastes. This large, multi-level temple to the written word includes new and vintage tomes, a section dedicated to comic books, and so much more. There's even a music section, in case you need a soundtrack for your reading time or just want to find something on vinyl. Head upstairs for photo ops in the artfully maintained Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore. In addition to the ample and eclectic stock, The Last Bookstore frequently hosts events, so visiting bookworms will want to keep tabs on the store's calendar for signings and talks that coincide with your trip.

Handmade dress at Nepal Handicrafts Studio | Instagram by @nepalhandicrafts

Nepal Handicrafts Studio

Tucked into 6th Street, Nepal Handicrafts Studio is filled with eye-catching fashion and home goods and even a few items to soothe your ears. There's a beautiful selection of felt bags in various sizes and shapes, ranging from colorful pieces to more darker, solid hues. Statement-making jewelry fills the display cases and artful home decor pops out of the corners of the shop. You'll also find a variety of singing bowls.

Olvera Street
Olvera Street  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Olvera Street

Located across from Union Station, Olvera Street is an old school, Mexican themed shopping and dining center. It was built in 1930 and conceived to look like an imagined Los Angeles of its small town past. Olvera Street was designed for tourists and is still one of L.A.'s most popular destinations, but it's also a local treasure. Vendors sell everything from candy to gorgeous leather bags. There's a lot of history inside Olvera Street, as some of the shops are family-run businesses with stories that go back several generations. Olvera Street isn't just for shopping - the food options range from sit-down dining to more casual spots and include local favorites like the taquito stand, Cielito Lindo. Olvera Street also hosts Day of the Dead and Virgen de Guadalupe celebrations, as well as the holiday favorite, the Blessing of the Animals.

Shopping in Santee Alley | Photo courtesy of L.A. Fashion District, Facebook
Shopping in Santee Alley | Photo courtesy of L.A. Fashion District, Facebook

Santee Alley - L.A. Fashion District

Spanning 100 blocks, the L.A. Fashion District is filled with surprises and fun to explore. If you want a taste of what the area has to offer - one that you could handle in an afternoon instead of days - then head to The Santee Alley. This marketplace fills two blocks with over 150 shops, but it's easily accessible with stores geared more towards average shoppers than those in the fashion business. You'll find small spaces filled with low-priced, on-trend goods for women and men, adults and kids. The clothing and accessories that line window displays and spill out onto the sidewalk are eye-catching, but you'll want to do some digging as you never know what you'll find. The Santee Alley is located between Santee Street and Maple Avenue, from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street.

Skingraft in Downtown L.A. | Photo courtesy of Skingraft, Facebook

Skingraft Los Angeles

L.A. brand Skingraft is beloved amongst pop stars and future-chic fashionistas for their daring designs - minimal with a bit of a post-apocalyptic vibe - and dark color palette. Anyone who has drooled over their clothes online can check out the latest collections in person at their Downtown L.A. showroom. You'll find all the leather jackets and stylish-yet-functional fashion that captured your attention on social media along with hip accessories and a smattering of scented products for the home.

Weird Beers | Instagram by @lizaaaluu

Weird Beers

Weird Beers is the place to go when you're stocking up on brews and snacks for your temporary digs in Downtown L.A. This small 7th Street shop is really easy to miss, so keep your eyes on the lookout for it. The selection goes beyond its name. You'll definitely find some "weird" beers, maybe even some nerdy ones like Ommegang's Game of Thrones line, but you'll also find strange meads, fun snacks and more fuel for your room party.