ATWATER VILLAGE

Atwater Village, you say? Where exactly is Atwater Village? This charming neighborhood lies just between Glendale, Silver Lake and Griffith Park. It’s located in the Los Angeles River flood plain, and that proximity gave the area its name – “at water” (the “Village” part came later, in 1986). The neighborhood prospered through the 1920s and 1930s, with help from the nearby DWP substation and the construction of the Pacific Electric Railway – the bright red street cars could be seen running up and down Glendale Boulevard until the system was dismantled in favor of automobiles and highways.

Although Atwater Village has really expanded in the last five years or so, it’s still a quiet neighborhood, often referred to as the “Small Town Silver Lake.” There’s not a lot open late, but it was a perfect little spot for a full day of exploring in Northeast LA!

Stop 1: The Village Bakery and Cafe

The Village Bakery and Cafe is aptly named. It really is a neighborhood spot, with locals lined up out the door, chewing on free cookies while they wait to order breakfast scrambles, brioche french toast and the Vegan BLTA.

Don’t miss out on the baked goods – they’re incredible. You can get a handmade loaf of bread for $5, and we’re sure you’ll love a baked strawberry donut, a peanut butter brownie, or berry hand pie. Treat yo’self!

3119 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles

Stop 2: Kaldi Coffee

The vibe at Kaldi Coffee is friendly and completely unpretentious, unlike many a hip coffee shop on the east side. The baristas smile wide and welcome questions, and they play a foot-tapping rotation of 60s and 70s music. It can sometimes be tough to find a spot inside, but the sunny front patio is a delight. We ordered a perfect iced soy latte, but decided we’ll be coming back for the Pirate’s Chai (matcha tea with cinnamon and cardamon).

Bonus: free wi-fi and they roast their coffee beans on site.

3147 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Stop 3: Red Car River Park

The Red Car River Park is very small, more of an opening to the LA River than a full-blown park. There is a bike path and several spots to sit and gaze out at the river, where you can see just where the old red trolleys crossed from Silver Lake on the way to Glendale when they were in operation. The Red Car River Park also has an impressive mural and we ran into a group of people finishing some street art. A good place to soak in some LA history!

Corner of Ferncroft Road and Glendale Blvd

Stop 4: Atwater Village Farmers' Market

The Atwater Village Farmers’ Market runs in the center of the neighborhood every Sunday from 10am-2pm. The market sells all sorts of goodies, including artisan cheeses, farm fresh eggs, handcrafted jams and chutneys, and fresh juice. There’s a food court in the back, where you can find vegan mole at Rice & Beans and fish tacos at Pescadores de Ensenada. We were especially enamored with the bright baskets of handpicked berries – three baskets for $7!

Insider’s tip: the market is held in the parking lot of Wells Fargo bank, so it’s easy to get cash!

3250 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles.

Stop 5: Atwater Village Farm

If you don’t make it during farmers’ market hours, you can simply walk down a block to Atwater Village Farm. This small corner grocery offers fresh produce, loaves of paleo bread, vegan carrot cupcakes, fresh-squeezed juice in mason jars, and homemade spreads like vegan cilantro hummus and cumin & dry olive hummus. There’s also a small counter in back with sandwiches and salads.

3224 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Stop 6: Alias Books East

This is a wonderful place for used-books, especially those that are rare or out-of-print. The staff is very friendly and the prices are low. The collection at Alias Books East focuses on film and the arts, and is incredibly organized. Come on in, we’re sure you’ll find something you like!

3163 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Stop 7: Sweets for the Soul

It was late afternoon and our blood sugar levels were dropping. Thank goodness for Sweets for the Soul! The shop specializes in gourmet brownies, so we ordered two mini brownies: the Peanut Butter Shot and the Salted Caramel Shot. They were both rich and deliciously decadent. We also tried the homemade tootsie rolls (how could we not?! They were 25 cents each!), which were more chocolatey and less chewy than the ones you found in your Halloween basket. Divine!

3169 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Stop 8: 55 Degree Wine

This cute wine shop and tasting room is unassuming, sitting next to a Starbucks in a small lot. The upstairs is not unlike a mini Bevmo, but the real magic happens downstairs, where they do tastings everyday at 5pm. 55 Degree Wine specializes in flights, and they feature four flights of 3 tastings each week (ranging from $15-20). The cellar is adorable, and they serve cheeses, meats and thin crust pizzas as well.

3111 Glendale Blvd #2, Los Angeles

Stop 9: Baracoa Cuban Cafe

Our last stop was Baracoa Cuban Cafe, a small “mom and pop” restaurant that serves traditional Cuban food. We took it as a good sign that every single person in the ten table cafe was speaking in Spanish, and we ogled the Oxtail and Ropa Vieja as the dishes went by. The service was painfully slow, but our fried plantains, yucca and beef empanadas more than made up for it. A lovely slice of Havana right here in Los Angeles!

3175 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

The Details:

We took the Metro Bus 733 from Culver City to the Main/1st Street Station in Downtown LA. From there, we hopped on the 92 bus toward Burbank Station. Get off at Glendale/Glenhurst. Once you’re there, Atwater Village is easily walkable!

A map of our day looks something like this:

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