Beginning at Ocean Avenue and running all the way through Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and into downtown L.A., Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles is one of the most well-known streets in town. It borders the Third Street Promenade on its southwestern edge, borders the hugely popular Douglas Park, known for playing fields, lawn bowling, reflecting pools, and natural landscaping. Eateries catering to every palate line the avenue, with a concentration of Mexican restaurants serving both new and old favorites. Numerous designer consignment shops dot the avenue as well, catering to fashionistas on a budget. The strip ends at the scenic Palisades Park, known for its inspiring sunset vistas. By Elizabeth Jenkins
Mexican food lovers flock to this northern outpost of El Cholo, a small chain of LA-area restaurants where the menu of albondigas soup, Sonoran enchiladas, and tostadas compuesta has hardly changed since 1923, and no one’s complaining. At FIG, located inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, seasonal fare from the downtown farmers market and its lengthy list of regional farms gets served with a Mediterranean slant. Don’t miss crave-inducing creations like slow-cooked octopus and milk-braised pork shoulder. Huckleberry Bakery & Café is the domain of James Beard–nominated pastry chef Zoe Nathan. Since opening the café on Wilshire Boulevard in 2009, she has inspired both a cookbook and a cult-like following willing to stand in line for an addictive assortment of maple-bacon biscuits, cinnamon sugar brioche, and vegetarian croque monsieur.
Johnnie-O is local fashion designer John O’Donnell’s take on what he fondly calls “West Coast Prep.” His signature motif—a man holding a surfboard—accents every polo shirt, pullover, and button-down in his eponymous line. For expert advice on running shoes, including gait analysis, stop by Top to Top, which has been trusted by sporty locals for more than 30 years.
On any given day, Douglas Park fills with kids on the playground, volleying tennis players, senior citizens on the lawn-bowling green, and nature lovers gazing at the reflecting pools. Wilshire Boulevard does not fall short on things to do in Los Angeles. Resident wildlife like ducks and turtles, as well as the plentiful picnic tables and benches, are a big draw for parkgoers, both young and old. SoulCycle has attracted a dedicated fan base, and plenty of classes at the downtown studio give visitors a chance to spin into high gear alongside throngs of fitness-addicted locals.
Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles is a brunch mecca on the weekends. Locals’ favorites include Snug Harbor, Bru’s Wiffle, and Wilshire Restaurant, to name a few. For some prime entertainment, head to The Gaslite, a classic dive bar that offers karaoke nightly starting at 8. Get there early: There’s often a line out the door as it gets later.