LA Streets Where You Can Walk, Eat, & Shop

So you don’t have to spend all day in the car.
LA Streets Where You Can Walk, Eat, & Shop image

In case it hasn't been drummed into you enough, LA is a big city where we spend too much time in our cars and stare daggers at anyone daring to walk. Except, not really. Yes, this is a huge city, and yes, car is king, but there are still pockets where you can stroll around for an afternoon—you just have to know where to look. These are LA's best walking streets, iconic stretches where you can hang out for an entire afternoon, get your steps in, do some shopping, and eat great food along the way.


Melrose Ave. is where luxury shopping and neon-branded juul shops share a zip code in harmony. The street is lined with places selling 90’s vintage clothing and expensive sneakers, as well as America’s most iconic comedy theater. And you can walk around for hours without getting bored.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp



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You’re going to get a lot of steps in while strolling this one-mile shopping strip, and there’ll inevitably come a point where you need something fast and filling. At Ghost Sando, you can pick up a crunchy, meat-stacked sub. We particularly love the “Melrose” with ham, turkey, bacon, and creamy slaw.

Rifling through racks of ironic t-shirts at one store can be exhausting. So imagine how you’ll feel after 16 sunny blocks of that. Cool down at Happy Ice, a rainbow-adorned dessert shop that specializes in water ice (translation: Philadelphia’s name for Italian ice). There are eight different fruit-based flavors, but we like the Rainbow Rocket, which gets you all of them at once.

photo credit: Jakob Layman



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No day on Melrose would be complete without a show at The Groundlings, the iconic comedy club where Maya Rudolph, Will Farrell, and Jennifer Coolidge got their starts. For dinner beforehand, go to this casual Italian spot located directly next door. They crank out charred, bubbly-crusted Neapolitan pizza we consider to be among the best in the city. Pizza aside, the giant hunk of burrata with pine nuts is a must.


Venice’s most famous street is one of those tourist attractions that locals legitimately use. On it, you’ll find high-end boutiques, coffee shops selling $7 nitro cold brews, and people on electric scooters sniffing out brunch.

After 10+ years of operating, Gjelina is still one of the city’s best restaurants and our go-to when we want seasonal vegetables prepared in a million different ways. You’ll learn a lot about LA’s food scene after a meal here. Casual California cuisine, our city’s pizza renaissance, relentless kale salad clichés—they can all be traced back to this place. If you’d rather get something quick and casual than have a sit-down meal, go to GTA next door for a slice or a very good meatball sandwich served on a baguette.

This all-day Mexican spot is the perfect place to put down your shopping bags, rest your blistered feet, and order a quesadilla and a tequila cocktail at 2pm. Make no mistake, this isn't a chips and marg kind of spot. Atla makes Mexican classics with finesse, like shrimp tacos topped with buttery beans, cheese and potato flautas that shatter like glass, and juicy barbacoa that get scooped into warm handmade tortillas—all in a bright, airy room that's just as chic as the stores selling $400 sunglasses.

After shopping for fireplace matches that neither you nor anyone in Los Angeles needs, it’ll be time for a sugar intermission at Salt & Straw. The crowds at this Portland-based ice cream spot can reach Disneyland levels, but stay in line. Everything is incredible and the line moves quickly. Beyond the classics, we suggest getting weird with pear and blue cheese, strawberry honey balsamic with pops of black pepper, or one of the seasonal specials.


Olvera Street is part of the original pueblo of Los Angeles. Which means this city of 3.8 million people began in the area of this small street back in the late 1700s. Today, it’s a hub for Mexican-American culture, where you can see historic landmarks, shop, and eat juicy burritos in cantinas.

Olvera Street has plenty of forgettable tortilla chips and margs. But if you want to end an afternoon of trinket shopping with a really good, sit-down Mexican meal, head to Chiguacle. This cantina specializes in low-and-slow dishes from southern Mexico, like zingy cochinita pibil and Mayan-style lamb with nopales and smoky dried chilies.

This historic, ‘30s-era stand is famous for pan-fried taquitos covered in tangy avocado salsa. They’re the perfect snacks to eat on the sidewalk before getting back to ceramic bowl shopping, as well as a nearly century-old symbol of LA's Mexican American community (and just plain old delicious). Skip the refried beans and order the two taquito combo with a spinach and cheese tamale—double the carbs, double the salsa.

Philippe’s, another shining example of LA food history, is right down the street from Cielito Lindo. This place claims to be the birthplace of the French dip sandwich. Who knows if that’s true, but we're here to say their version is the best we’ve tried in the city. The Beef Double Dip gets two dunks in salty jus. Layer some spicy mustard on yours at the table.


Someone who lives in Silver Lake (or Brooklyn, frankly) might describe the neighborhood as the eighth wonder of the world. The truth is it’s a hilly neighborhood that smells like Aesop soap, especially if you walk around the shops of Sunset Junction. Consider this an epicenter of chic moms, spoiled children, and many great restaurants.

This neighborhood has plenty of coffee shops where people rock choppy mullets and work on scripts. Not only is Intelligentsia the most iconic one of the bunch, but they also make very good espresso. Come here to start your day in a sea of vaguely employed locals who woke up and put on designer denim just to show off their shiba inus.

While in LA, you should really be eating mariscos. And if you’re already planning on spending time in Silver Lake, prioritize Simón for a two-birds-one-stone kinda thing. The bright blue Mexican food truck sits in front of the Sunset Triangle Plaza and serves seafood tacos that wouldn't be out of place at a fine dining restaurant. So you can sit on a traffic barrier eating an octopus barbacoa taco topped with pineapple salsa. Welcome to paradise, baby.

Thanks to places like Night + Market, Thai food and biodynamic wine have become one of LA’s power couples. There are three locations across the city, but we like the one in Silver Lake for a casual dinner after an afternoon walking around the neighborhood. You’ll eat some of the best khao soi, panang curry, and party wings in the city while surrounded by bright blue walls, posters of Thai pop stars, and neon signs.


Thanks to Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills has maintained its reputation as a traffic-clogged vortex of Rolex shoppers. You should at least see the scene to decide if you love it or hate it.

Want to live the fantasy of a Rodeo Drive regular? Get dinner at Spago. Since opening in the early ‘80s, Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant has become a legendary piece of LA’s dining history. It’s still a staple for a big night out in Beverly Hills. You’ll eat spicy tuna cones, smoked salmon pizza, and weiner schnitzel in a space that looks like a rich movie star’s estate.

Before gluing your eyes to clothing you may or may not be able to afford, kick the day off at Nate 'n Al's. A meal at this Jewish deli will let you in on the most authentic version of this iconic city. In addition to being a neighborhood landmark, it’s where moguls, comedians, agents, and actors congregate in big leather booths for business meetings over blintzes and latkes. Prepare for a scene. What’s a day in Beverly Hills without seeing an 85-year-old in Juicy Couture sweats?

Nothing screams “Beverly Hills!” like sipping an Aperol spritz on a rooftop after shopping on Rodeo. That’s where Bar Funke comes in. It’s on top of the splashiest Italian restaurant on the Westside (and a short walk from the Beverly Hills sign), but you don’t have to bend over backwards to get a table. All of the seating is first come, first served. Yes, a martini will cost you $25. But we can’t think of a better place for a drink and some fluffy focaccia surrounded by people who almost surely employ multiple pool staff.

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