Start planning your stay. View hotels.
Trees, a pond and greenery in Kenneth Hahn Park in Los Angeles, California.

In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to Culver City

A central neighborhood in sprawling Los Angeles, Culver City has urban delights aplenty along with green spaces for when you’re ready to soak up the California sun.

By Tanvi Chheda | August 17, 2023

Home to several major film studios, Culver City earned its nickname, The Heart of Screenland, in the 1930s. While some of that movie magic remains, today’s Culver City also features walkable streets lined with must-see shops, cafes and restaurants.


From casual to Michelin-starred, Culver City boasts restaurants of all varieties — whether you’re craving an everything bagel, black truffle tagliatelle or an artful Japanese tasting menu. Try:

- Family-owned Pasta Sisters, which serves up authentic Italian recipes using quality California ingredients. The pasta is made fresh every morning and the restaurant has two patios for outdoor dining.

- All the bagels at Pop’s, which have just the right ratio of crispiness and chewiness. Gluten-free bagels (made with a blend of organic rice and millet flour) are available too.

- n/naka, from chef Niki Nakayama, which holds two Michelin stars. Nakayama spent three years traveling around Japan learning the country’s cuisine, including the art of kaiseki, a practice focused on balance and seasonality in food. The 13-course menu here is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the mouth.


Who knew movie studios, miles of hiking trails and artifacts from the Cold War could all be found in one LA neighborhood? Culver City for the win. Check out:

- The Sony Pictures Studio Tour, for a two-hour behind-the-scenes guided walking tour of famous sets and soundstages where numerous iconic movies and TV shows were (and continue to be) filmed. The historic studio is also home to the landmark 94-foot (28.6-meter) rainbow that soars above the production lot.

- Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, a green oasis in the middle of Culver City with seven miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, small lakes and sports fields.

- The Wende Museum, a research institute and museum with a 100,000-piece collection dedicated to the history and culture of the Cold War. Here, you’ll find sections of the Berlin Wall, spy equipment, East German art and children’s toys from the Eastern bloc countries, among other artifacts.


Discover edgy threads, ceramic vases, rare books and praline chocolate bars. Culver City has you covered, even if you’re just window shopping. Pop by:

- Midland Shop, a bright concept store featuring a well-curated collection of women’s clothing, jewelry, home goods and beauty products.

- Arcana: Books on the Arts, an art, architecture, design and photography emporium specializing in rare, out-of-print and new books. It’s the perfect spot to get lost in for hours while you browse the shelves, or stick around for one of their signing events.

- Milla Chocolates for gorgeous, gold leaf-adorned bonbons and geometric black sesame and hazelnut chocolate bars. Bonus: there’s a full-service coffee bar on-site as well.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Culver City, a neighborhood where you can hike in the morning, shop for rare books in the afternoon and sample sashimi at night, is something to write home about.

Formerly an assistant editor at Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles-based Tanvi Chheda has been freelancing for 15 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AFAR, Virtuoso Life, Four Seasons magazine, Qantas, Inspirato, Invited, Pasadena magazine and OLTRE and Ciao Bambino, among others. She writes mostly about lifestyle and travel, which often spills into arts & culture, food, design and more. With two young children, family travel is also a passion of hers. Given her South Asian heritage, she writes about India quite frequently as well (she was born in India and speaks three Indian languages). When not traveling or writing, she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time outdoors.