Max & Simone's Guide to LA

Wonderguide by

Simone Wojtaszek

Max & Simone's Guide to LA

Here are our favorite things to do and eat in the city we call home!

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Things to Do

There's no shortage of things to do in LA, so we've narrowed it down to our favorites for you.

Image - Spoke Bicycle Cafe
Spoke Bicycle Cafe
Simone:Here's our idea of a perfect morning: Start with a nitro cold brew oat milk latte from La Colombe in Frogtown, where they roast on-site. Then head over to Spoke Bicycle Cafe, rent a bike, and explore the LA River and Griffith Park trails. Finish with a breakfast sandwich at Just What I Kneaded, a vegan bakery nearby.
Image - The Broad
The Broad
Simone:Modern art museum that is a must-do if you've never been to LA before. It's also walking distance to Grand Central Market.
Image - Griffith Park
Griffith Park
Simone:This expansive park is only 5 minutes from Echo Park, and we take Curry hiking here often. Our favorite trail is the Three Peaks Trail, with views of the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other.
Image - Arts District
Arts District
Simone:This hip area used to be nothing but warehouses a couple years ago, and has since been transformed by artists and creators. There are interesting shops to peek into, and yummy restaurants to try. We especially love ARTBOOK bookshop. You can also easily walk to Little Tokyo nearby.
Image - Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake
Simone:Rent a swan boat from the boathouse, or take a leisurely stroll around the lake with stunning views of downtown.
Image - Hollywood Farmers’ Market
Hollywood Farmers’ Market
Simone:Sunday mornings 8am-1pm. This is the biggest and best farmer's market on the east side of town. Also a great spot for star-watching -- Simone met Aziz Ansari here last year!
Image - Wasteland
Simone:The best vintage clothing store in LA. The surrounding neighborhood has lots of streetwear stores you can only find in LA.
Image - Highland Park Bowl
Highland Park Bowl
Simone:This is the oldest bowling alley in California, and it still uses original bowling equipment and lanes! A great place to spend an afternoon if it's too hot to be outside.
Image - The Stronghold Climbing Gym
The Stronghold Climbing Gym
Simone:Rock climbing is a huge part of our love story, and while we don't get to climb as much as we'd like to anymore, we couldn't help but recommend this fantastic local gym. Even if you have no experience, they can give you a lesson and rent you shoes.
Image - Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Simone:Yes, we consider ice cream a "thing to do" -- a very important thing to do! Especially Jeni's; this is our favorite ice cream in LA. Their birthday cake flavor is next-level, and their Texas sheetcake is a chocolate lover's dream.
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Drinks, anyone?

If you’re jonesing for a drink while you’re in town, here are our top picks.

Image - Tilda
Simone:This natural wine bar is walking distance to our house and one of the main reasons we love our neighborhood. It's pricey but vibey, and a great place to sip a glass of wine with a book while people-watching.
Image - Sunset Beer Co
Sunset Beer Co
Simone:This taproom and bottle shop has the best selection and prices in town. Come here if you want to taste test some local brews, or bring a few back to your Air Bnb.
Image - Bar Flores
Bar Flores
Simone:This cocktail bar is hidden away on the second floor of the main strip in our neighborhood, and it has a lush back patio where we love to sip margaritas.
Image - Highland Park Brewery
Highland Park Brewery
Simone:This is our favorite brewery in LA. Pro tip: if there's no seating, get your beers to-go and enjoy them in the expansive park across the street.
Image - Wolf & Crane Bar
Wolf & Crane Bar
Simone:This minimal bar specializes in Japanese whiskey, and has the best of the best. It's in Little Tokyo, which is an area definitely worth checking out -- it feels like you're in a different country!

Lunch & Dinner Spots

You know how much we love to eat and explore new cultures together. Here's where we recommend having dinner or lunch while you're in town.

Image - Sonoratown
Simone:THE BEST TACOS IN LA! We've done the taco tour and can confidently say these are the BEST. They're no frills, but high quality ingredients. The owners drive to Mexico every week for the special flour in their tortillas!
Image - Dune
Simone:We order takeout from Dune at least twice per month. Their Mediterranean "hummus plates" come with hefty servings of salads, hummus, olives, pickles, your choice of meat (get the fried chicken!) and the BEST flatbread. The Dune in Atwater Village is also in a cute area where you can walk around, shop, and get an ice cream or juice after your meal.
Image - Wax Paper Frogtown
Wax Paper Frogtown
Simone:This tiny shop makes sandwiches that are not just lunches -- they're mind-blowing experiences. And the best part is each sandwich is named after an NPR host! Simone always gets the Ira Glass with turkey. Make sure you order ahead online as there is usually a 1-hour wait. While you wait for your sandwich, walk along the LA River Trail nearby, a hidden gem.
Image - Kismet
Simone:Simone's favorite place to eat is at Kismet and Kismet Rotisserie (2 spots right next to each other, the first more formal and the second a casual to-go option). They serve modern Middle Eastern food with an emphasis on vegetables that are in season. The crispy Persian rice will change your life.
Image - Konbi
Simone:This popular shop specializes in Japanese sandwiches on ultra-soft milk bread. Max loves the tonkatsu (fried pork) sandwich, and they have vegetarian (egg salad) and vegan (fried eggplant) options as well. Enjoy your sandwich in nearby Elysian Park. They also have the best chocolate croissant in LA on weekends only.
Image - Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market
Simone:A huge market hall with tons of food options including Mexican, Italian, fried chicken, seafood, ramen, Thai... you will definitely find something delicious to eat here. It's also walking distance to The Broad museum.

Breakfast & Coffee Spots

The first thing we think about when we wake up is coffee and breakfast. Here are our local faves.

Image - Stereoscope Coffee
Stereoscope Coffee
Simone:THIS IS THE BEST COFFEE IN THE U.S. Yeah, we said it. Seriously, this compares to the coffee we had in Tokyo and Paris, and is better than any other coffee we've had in the U.S. Meticulously crafted and full of flavor. You have to try it.
Image - Maury's
Simone:Maury's makes perfect Montreal-style bagels that aren't giant and doughy like New York-style bagels. They're crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and especially delicious with their house-made cream cheese and smoked salmon.
Image - Gemini Bakehouse
Gemini Bakehouse
Simone:This newly-opened, Covid-created bakery has become our favorite for their danishes topped with fresh fruit.
Image - HomeState
Simone:Amazing Tex Mex breakfast tacos with a cute outdoor seating area. Close to Go Get Em Tiger, an excellent local coffee shop.
Image - lady byrd cafe
lady byrd cafe
Simone:Your best bet for a cute, sit-down brunch spot. Every table gets their own greenhouse, so it feels like brunching in The Secret Garden. Be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends.
Image - Honey Hi
Honey Hi
Simone:This cafe is the reason we moved to Echo Park. Everything is delicious, healthy, and local. We recommend the breakfast bowl. Only open for breakfast and lunch. Seating is limited, so you can take your meal to-go and enjoy it at nearby Echo Park Lake.

Wonderguide map

  1. Spoke Bicycle Cafe
  2. The Broad
  3. Griffith Park
  4. Arts District
  5. Echo Park Lake
  6. Hollywood Farmers’ Market
  7. Wasteland
  8. Highland Park Bowl
  9. The Stronghold Climbing Gym
  10. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
  11. Tilda
  12. Sunset Beer Co
  13. Bar Flores
  14. Highland Park Brewery
  15. Wolf & Crane Bar
  16. Sonoratown
  17. Dune
  18. Wax Paper Frogtown
  19. Kismet
  20. Konbi
  21. Grand Central Market
  22. Stereoscope Coffee
  23. Maury's
  24. Gemini Bakehouse
  25. HomeState
  26. lady byrd cafe
  27. Honey Hi

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