You’ve probably driven through Atwater without knowing it–heading to the Americana or maybe sitting in Los Feliz traffic on your way to Costco on a Sunday afternoon. Atwater is a small neighborhood with a lot of charm. It’s not quite as bustling and trendy as nearby Silver Lake but it’s a quiet respite from the crowds and the people are friendly too. From croissants to prime rib to good vibes, Atwater’s got it.
Here are some of my favorite places in Atwater Village:
1. Link N Hops
This gourmet sausage eatery popped up in 2012 when the LA craft beer movement was starting to heat up. The addition of a nearby bar that had 24 solid taps on a rotating list and delicious food was (and still is) a Godsend.
Locals Tip: Go for their regular or Late Night Happy Hours(check website for hours). They also have a location in Sunland-Tujunga.
2. Proof Bakery
This little bakery is an LA legend but they were hitting it out of the park when they first opened in 2010. Angelenos flipped over the croissants and classic French-style pastries. Until last year, Cognoscenti Coffee shared a corner of the shop, brewing coffee from a multitude of boutique roasters. Now, he’s outgrown the space and opened a roastery and cafes downtown. The menu is so varied on the pastry side that it verges on the point of being inconsistent, which makes it even more special when you can score that seasonal stone fruit galette.
Locals Tip: Go early for the best selection and prepare to wait in line. Sandwiches made fresh daily at 12pm for the lunch rush. Very little seating.
3. Jacknife Records & Tapes
Tucked to the right of Kaldi Coffee on the west side of Glendale Blvd, this Record & Tapes shop packs a punch—much like its name. Folded inside the skinny hallway of a store, are new & used records, some rare and many cheaper than a fresh-pressed juice. All types of media can potentially be found here—deal in one, deal in them all.
Locals Tip: Follow their IG @jackniferecordsandtapes for previews of new records and upcoming events
4. Out Of The Closet
I joke that I’ve been thrifting since birth! As the youngest child, my closet was full of hand-me-downs. That’s what makes me so fond of mixing up outfits with new and pre-loved items! From books to camera bags to Levi’s 501s, I always find something interesting in this store. Plus, it’s convenient to drop off donations here too—they have a designated parking spot in the back.
5. Sante D’Or Foundation
You’ve probably passed by Sante D’Or’s front windows and peeked inside at their impressive cat play room. They’re a not-for-profit animal shelter and have a wonderful group of volunteers taking care of the animals. They’re open every weekend from Friday through Sunday, noon to 5pm, so you can interact with the furry creatures and see which animal’s personality is the right match for you!
6. BigFoot Lodge
While there are many bars on Los Feliz Blvd, this is still my standby when I want to step out of the desert landscape of LA and escape into a wilderness log cabin. They have whiskey, they have beer, they have reasonably priced cocktails, and big booths. There’s karaoke, stand-up, and rock n’ roll nights too. Check out their IG to stay on top of it: @bigfootlodge
Happy Hour: Everyday from 5-9pm, Select $5 cocktails
Locals Tip: Grab some after-hours eats at El Flamin’ Taco at the Chevron station on your stumble home.
7. The Tam O’Shanter
It should come as no surprise that this historical restaurant is one of my favorites. While I first visited for their Prime Rib(the Toad In The Hole is another favorite), I found the bar to be more my style. Walk up to the food station and have a hearty lunch plate prepared, or come for happy hour and throw back some deviled eggs with a pint of ale. They’re currently under construction to reintroduce an outdoor patio with a nod to the al fresco dining Walt Disney and friends ate at in the 1940s.
Happy Hour: Weekdays, 4-7pm
8. Club Tee Gee
Rounding out my favorite neighborhood bars is a classic from the 40s, good ol’ Tee Gee. What you’ll get: comfy booths, a padded bar(with video poker!), and a jukebox that intermittently pours forth tunes while you catch up with your friends over canned beer and watery gin & tonics with slightly oxidized lime wedges.
9. Palette Food & Juice
There are times when we Angelenos partake in things like Whole 30 or being vegan for lent. Palette is great for those times or anytime you want/need to eat clean and delicious food with dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, or meat-free options. If you’re just visiting LA and reading this, yes, we’re all mad here. One of the most enjoyable and stress-free healthy eating options in LA, Palette consistently uses local and organic produce for an interesting vibrant mix of edibles. Peek at the menu here: http://palettefoodandjuice.com
10. Crystal Matrix
This local crystal and mineral shop has acted as a community healing and learning center long before millennials were sleeping with smoky quartz under their pillows. They specialize in metaphysical classes such as Crystal or Reiki Healing or Intuitive Readers(Tarot and Astrology, among others). Just walking into this place gives you “good vibes” as the kids say, from the moderately permeable scent of incense to the massive collection of shiny and sparkly rocks displayed neatly in glass displays.
Keep scrolling for more photos from my favorite LA neighborhood!