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Angels Flight Railway in Los Angeles

In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to downtown Los Angeles

Spend the day marveling at architectural gems, gallery-hopping and eating your way through downtown Los Angeles.

By Tanvi Chheda | August 3, 2023

Historic, creative and evolving, downtown Los Angeles, or DTLA, as it’s come to be known, has come a long way in recent years. The area has transformed into a bona fide hub for contemporary art, including The Broad museum and galleries such as Hauser & Wirth. Some of the city’s hottest restaurants are downtown, too, ranging from Italian fare at Bestia to Baar Baar’s refined Indian bites. Join a guided walking tour and admire art deco and Beaux Arts buildings. Come evening, grab cocktails at a rooftop bar or speakeasy.


Refined modern Indian cuisine, a lively food hall and fruit- and herb-infused cocktails can all be found in downtown Los Angeles. Grab a seat at:

- Grand Central Market, a city landmark and emporium dating back to 1917, where you can find aromatic coffee, ramen, tacos, freshly made pasta, local beers and more.

- Baar Baar, for inventive twists on Indian dishes such as avocado bhel made with black puffed rice, edamame hummus and radish, and dahi puri featuring yogurt mousse, tamarind and an inventive raspberry chaat masala.

- Apotheke, to nurse cocktails such as the Navigator, made with white rum, blackberry, beet and coconut milk. There’s absinthe, too, and the stylish interior lends just the right amount of glam. Grab a seat on the side patio to sip your favorite cocktail in the open air.


Art, architecture and music: Downtown LA has it all. Head to:

- The Broad museum, to fix your eyes on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” and Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog.” Don’t forget to snap that obligatory selfie in Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room.

- Pershing Square, the starting point for the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Historic Downtown Walking Tour, a two and half-hour stroll highlighting some of DTLA’s architectural beauties like the Bradbury Building and the Los Angeles Central Library’s stunning rotunda. The tour even includes a ride on the historic Angels’ Flight funicular.

- Frank Gehry’s curved steel Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to catch classical and contemporary favorites. The hall’s exterior and interior design are truly something to behold, and the acoustics inside are some of the most sophisticated in the world.


With wholesale markets dedicated to jewelry, fashion and flowers, much of LA’s commerce has its roots downtown. Browse:

- Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen at the ROW DTLA, a collective of boutiques and eateries that features beautifully detailed mens- and womenswear.

- The House of Woo, a longtime Arts District boutique that carries effortlessly chic dresses, gauze blouses, terry sweats and more — all made in downtown LA.

- The Last Bookstore, which offers thousands of new and used books, vintage records and a round window within a book wall that draws in all the likes on social media.

With fantastic cultural attractions, delicious food and one-of-a-kind boutiques to explore, downtown Los Angeles is a destination all its own.

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.