From chic shops to farm-fresh eateries, spend a day exploring the unassuming and quaint town of Atwater Village.
Nestled between trendy Los Feliz and the suburbia of Glendale, Atwater Village has long been known as a sleepy working-class neighborhood of small bungalows and single-family stuccos. In the past 10 years though, a number of quirky and chic restaurants, shops and galleries have moved in. Somehow though, the east Valley enclave has managed to retain its small-town vibe and charm.
For a casual brunch there is no place better than the warm and inviting Village Bakery and Cafe. Owner Barbara Monderine has created a farm-fresh menu featuring delicious pastries, egg dishes and simple, hearty sandwiches. The mouthwatering “Thanksgiving on a bun” is a must-try. Afterwards head to nearby North Atwater Park and Riverwalk, where you can enjoy a scenic stroll along the LA River, past some of the city’s last remaining horse-boarding facilities.
On Glendale Blvd., you will find a plethora of small, locally owned shops like Common, owned by two sisters. It offers a carefully curated selection of casual, fashion-forward women’s clothing and jewelry at remarkably affordable prices. The lifestyle boutique Tree Haus sells everything from paintings by local artists to unique toys to handmade clothes. For families, there is The Great Escape Club, an open play space, which includes a special area for parents to kick back.
Glendale Blvd. is also the hub of Atwater’s vibrant dining scene, which boasts the popular pan-Italian-inspired All’Acqua, where Chef Don Dickman can be found “throwing his dough” as he makes one of the establishment’s famed wood-fired pizzas. A stone’s throw away is Canele, a farmers market-sourced eatery where diners enjoy hearty Mediterranean fare in a delightful bohemian bistro setting. To eat like a local, meet up at Bon Vivant, the undisputed neighborhood Cheers. This cozy, bustling hub features a full bar, upscale vegan desserts and a menu offering a large variety of healthy (and not so healthy) options.
For eating on the run, grab a taco from the window at Tacos Villa Corona. It’ll be the best two-buck taco you’ve ever tasted. Or if you are there on a Sunday, graze among the food vendors (and get your grocery shopping done) at the farmers market set up at 3250 Glendale Blvd.
For a trip down memory lane, you can’t beat the local time capsule Tam O’Shanter. Opened in 1922, this Scottish-themed meat and potatoes eatery was a favorite of Walt Disney. And for a place to park all day, there is the popular Golden Road Brewing. This family-friendly brewery (which was recently purchased by Budweiser) features ample outdoor seating, an enticing bar menu and a play space for the kiddies. But why would you want to stay in one spot all day when there is so much in Atwater Village to enjoy and explore?
Paying it forward.