Hidden Gems in Studio City

The historic home of the stars, where you can drive by the Brady Bunch house, be part of a studio audience, and hike Fryman Canyon

Formerly known as Laurelwood, Studio City is located on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains. It was part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando, a Mexican land grant, and named after the area's studio lot, opened by Mack Sennett in 1927. That studio is now known as CBS Studio Center. As a community that was born out of the entertainment industry, Studio City is regarded as the "Jewel of the Valley," attracting actors, musicians, and writers and serving as a hub of the San Fernando Valley and a gateway to the Westside and Hollywood. Read on and discover hidden gems in Studio City that are worth checking out.

The Hulk Omelette at Aroma Coffee & Tea in Studio City
The Hulk Omelette at Aroma Coffee & Tea  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Aroma Cafe

Enjoy fresh pastries and hand-crafted coffees and teas in one of Aroma's beautiful garden patios, or in front of the fireplace inside the reading room. Their daytime-leaning menu is as extensive as it is delicious. They've got egg dishes, as well as burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and salads. But the best part is that it's all available all day and made with local ingredients.

Black Market Liquor Bar Studio City
Black Market Liquor Bar | Photo: Jakob Layman/Black Market Liquor Bar

Black Market Liquor Bar

With the recent influx of gastropubs across the city, it can be hard to differentiate one small plate menu from another. At Black Market Liquor Bar, however, you'll find fantastic food and drink that rivals any place in Los Angeles. Black Market is unmarked, an appropriately low key facade for its cavernous interior and cozy setting, where guests enjoy excellent dishes by former Top Chef competitor Antonia Lofaso and seasonal craft cocktails mixed by skilled bartenders. 

Hide & Seek Vintage Home Boutique Studio City
Hide & Seek Vintage Home Boutique, Studio City | Photo: Hide & Seek Vintage

Hide & Seek Vintage Home Boutique

With all the great vintage clothing stores in the San Fernando Valley, it's easy to forget that there's vintage for your home, too. Shopping at Hide & Seek Vintage Home Boutique is just another fabulous way to "reduce, reuse and recycle" as well as "reinvent, reuse and repurpose." Polish up your home’s interior look with great, long-lasting furniture finds that were built with quality way back when.

North Valleyheart Riverwalk
North Valleyheart Riverwalk | Photo: @leothebrindlefrenchie, Facebook

North Valleyheart Riverwalk

Experience the revitalization of the Los Angeles River by taking a stroll along this 1.9 mile stretch in Studio City, flanked by two small parks. Enter from the Laurelgrove Avenue Footbridge at the intersection with Valleyheart Drive, the latter of which runs parallel to the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley. You'll encounter treasures such as Great Toad Gate, Valleyway Greenway, Rattlesnake Wall, and Butterfly Garden. 

Oil Can Harry's LGBTQ
Oil Can Harry's | Photo: Oil Can Harry's

Oil Can Harry's

Oil Can Harry's pretty much has it all: country line dancing, disco music, karaoke, reasonably priced stiff drinks, Jello shots, and a friendly and easygoing vibe. This western-themed gem of a gay bar welcomes a loyal and diverse clientele. They offer dancing lessons on Thursdays and Fridays, and if you come early enough, there’s even a free buffet. What more could you ask for?

Fryman Canyon Hike Studio City
Fryman Canyon  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Rainforest Trail - Fryman Canyon Park

Fryman Canyon Park is located in the Eastern Santa Monica mountains. The Rainforest Trail is a one-mile, narrow footpath inside the park that’s a little harder to find. The trail leads to a gully covered by lush foliage - it's quite a sight in the late afternoon. The Rainforest Trail connects with another mile-long pathway, the Dearing Mountain Trail, which leads to the Nancy Hoover Pohl Outlook on Mulholland Drive. There's plenty of adventure and scenery along the way to satisfy your hunger for discovery.

River Rock Sportsmen Lodge Studio City
River Rock at Sportsmen's Lodge | Photo: River Rock at Sportsmen's Lodge, Facebook

River Rock - Sportsmen's Lodge

Besides staying in the newly renovated rooms, there are plenty of great reasons to visit the landmark Sportsmen's Lodge, none better than the River Rock lounge. Relax in the bar’s modern setting, starting with daily Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m., when you'll enjoy bar bites at $5 each to pair with discounted cocktails. Visit during brunch, and you'll enjoy bottomless Mimosas for only $12. Night owls will love the live performances during the week, and DJs on the weekend.