FAIRFAX DISTRICT

Fairfax Village is the kind of place where worlds collide: Orthodox men in traditional black and white share space with punk-rock teens on their way to shop Melrose. It’s kosher butchers and skateboarding shops. Flea-markets and upscale boutiques. It’s everything Los Angeles.

Fairfax has always been a center for the Jewish community, but it’s also the neighborhood of the famed Original Farmer’s Market, The Grove outdoor shopping center, CBS Studio and Pan-Pacific Park. It’s at the epicenter of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hancock Park, making it very central for a number of Angelenos.

We also felt like the neighborhood would be the perfect spot for our holiday edition – with The Grove, outdoor markets, whimsical boutiques and high-end stores, there really is something for everyone on your list. And the dazzling displays of Christmas and Hanukkah decorations (red and green! blue and silver!) everywhere really puts us in the spirit of things.

The famed Melrose Trading Post flea-market is one of our favorite Sunday morning activities in Los Angeles, and we love exploring both the old and established of the neighborhood, as well as the fresh and exciting new places popping up all around. So catch a sitcom taping, pick up a warm loaf of challah, or whip out your credit card on Melrose – there’s an eclectic blend of everything in Fairfax.

Stop 1: Shaky Alibi

We make stops at Shaky Alibi on the regular, just for their soy pistachio latte. Unfortunately, it’s “not in season” at the moment, but we happily sipped on a pumpkin spiced latte instead and looked over their waffle menu. There’s a choice of sweet or savory, but we couldn’t pass up “The Elvis:” a waffle topped with peanut butter, crumbled bacon, bananas and drizzled with honey. If you’re drooling reading that sentence, just imagine EATING it. Elvis had the right idea, guys. Peanut butter and bacon together is genius. End. Of. Story.
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(7401 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 2: Erewhon

Okay, after all of that gluttony, we thought it best to make our next stop Erewhon.

Erewhon Natural Foods Market claims that “if it’s here it’s good for you” and this store is like Whole Foods on steroids (if steroids were GMO-free and organic). We saddled up to the tonic bar – where you can order $20 ice cream – and scoured the menu of pressed juices, smoothies and tonic shots. We decided on the Coconut Dream smoothie (almond milk, coconut water and meat, kale, dates, cinnamon) and a fresh juice with cayenne. Then we wandered the giant aisle of coconut oil. Feeling fit already!

(7660 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 3: Pan Pacific Park

The sun had shyly appeared from behind a layer of clouds, so we walked across the street to Pan-Pacific Park, known as “the best place to work out in LA.” This 28-acre park is directly across the street from Erewhon (and The Grove!) and features a slew of facilities: a paved running path, an outdoor pool, soccer and baseball fields, and barbecues. We strolled through the park, watching groups play ultimate Frisbee and kids involved in pick-up games. LA might not have the park culture of New York City, but this is pretty darn close.

(7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 4: Melrose Trading Post

Melrose Trading Post is one of the sole reasons we visit Fairfax District: an open-air market every Sunday at Fairfax High School, featuring antiques, furniture, vintage clothing, art, and just about anything else you can think of (80s dresses! Books made into clocks! Vintage record crates! Indian rugs!) It’s a treasure trove of goodies, and prices are incredibly reasonable. One of the best places to find holiday gifts.

(7850 Melrose Ave – on the grounds of Fairfax High School)

Stop 5: Fala Bar

Fala Bar is a new kid on the block, but it seems to be fitting in just fine (bragging that “everything is kosher except for our hours”). This tiny falafel bar is organic, vegan and gluten-free, but much more importantly – it’s DELICIOUS. We grabbed the Spicy Falafel Plate (with purple and white cabbage salad, hummus, tahini, warm pita) and the Baba Plate (baba ghanoush, Israeli salad and quinoa tabouli) as well as sweet potato fries. The pita was perfectly fluffy, and the tahini was a crowd-favorite. This is quickly becoming our regular lunch spot.

(7751 1/2 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles)

Stop 6: Pygmy Hippo

If for some crazy reason you weren’t able to find a perfectly unique holiday gift at Melrose Trading Post, Pygmy Hippo Shoppe has got you covered. This itsy-bitsy but adorable shop has quirky items like you wouldn’t believe – fast food jewelry, “tam-pins” shaped like tampons, homemade Hanukkah cards with “Dr Dre-idel” on the front. Nobody can argue this place isn’t one-of-a-kind.

(306 N Stanley Avenue, Los Angeles)

The Details:

Driving and parking in this part of town is tough – we walked the majority of our day, as Fairfax Village is pretty small and easy to get around on foot (if you follow the entire route of our day, it’s just over 2 miles). There is a lot of car traffic though, so be careful if you bike.

A map of our day looks like this:

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