Things to do in Los Angeles: Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District

We reveal the best things to do in Los Angeles' Downtown Arts District. Here's where to eat. drink, shop and play in LA's new favorite neighborhood.

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  • Photograph: Courtesy Guerilla Atelier

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Guerilla Atelier

  • Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Apolis Common Gallery

  • Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Design League

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Downtown Design League

     

  • Photograph: Courtesy Urban Radish

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Urban Radish

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Mango jalepeño sausage at Wurstküche

  • Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: the Daily Dose

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: The Original at Umami Burger

  • Photograph: Becky Reams

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Spaghetti rustica at Bestia

  • Photograph: Becky Reams

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Crostata al cioccolato e caramello salato at Bestia

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Little Bear

  • Photograph: Courtesy Villains Tavern

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Villains Tavern

     

  • Photo: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Produce Project at Handsome Coffee Roasters

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Latté at Stumptown Coffee Roasters

  • Photograph: Ben McCambridge

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Art Share LA

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: The French Slip at Angel City Brewery

Photograph: Courtesy Guerilla Atelier

Neighborhood guide to Downtown Arts District: Guerilla Atelier



Shop | Eat & Drink | Play


First of all, let it be known that the Arts District is a place you're gonna want to bring your camera. Laden with street art, brick walls, bridges and mostly empty streets, the landscape of the neighborhood makes for the perfect photo shoot. Wander for ten minutes in any given direction and you're bound to end up photo bombing someone's ad campaign or Instagram. It's a photogenic place, people. Take advantage. Beyond the photo ops, playtime in the Arts District involves precisely what you hoped it would—art, theater, yoga, guns and booze. Begin your amusement at nonprofit community arts hub, Art Share LA, where (schedule providing) you can check out an exhibition, take an art class, or inquire about availability on the building's second floor, which houses subsidized live/work lofts for artists. Not far down the street you'll find the Archway Studio/Theater. Drop in on a Sunday morning yoga workshop before catching a performance from the eclectic theater company, which is known to showcase everything from Shakespeare to performance art. With the largest selection of guns in the city, the LA Gun Club is worth checking out (preferably, before you engage in any imbibing) for both veterans and rookies. (If you don't own your own firearms, the club requires that you shoot in parties of two or more.) Not so into projectiles? You can at least get yourself a sweet souvenir—the gun club is stocked with a ton of awesome merch from the nearby American Apparel Warehouse. So, even if you didn't handle any pistols, you can still leave with a cool racerback or bullet shell pendant.

When the day nears its end and you're itching for a drink, the Arts District doesn't disappoint. Spend the evening on the outdoor patio at Villains Tavern, where you can sip draft beer out of mason jars, while taking in a steady stream of live blues, rock and bluegrass. For fans of the grape, casual wine bar and retail shop Pour Haus is a charming option. You can taste from a selection of flights or buy a reasonably priced bottle as you nibble on small plates. They've also got a shelf of board games that guests are free to play at any time, which significantly ups the quirk factor. On the district's Western border sits Angel City Brewery, an expansive beer hall with industrial decor, good for a casual brewski/pretzel or a behind-the-scenes tour of the brewery itself. This neighborhood staple attracts beer lovers in large groups, food truck followers and graffiti fans. Finally, for those who like their dance parties dark and kitschy will enjoy the off-color atmosphere and pumped up music to be found in the One-Eyed Gypsy. Decor out of a haunted Arabian harem matched with strong drinks, live music and quirky activities (including free skee ball and a photo booth) guarantee anything but a boring night at this re-appropriated warehouse lounge.

  1. Shop
  2. Eat & Drink
  3. Play

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