Exploring DTLA by Bike: 10 OF MY FAV SPOTS TO GO TO!
I partnered with Brooklyn Bicycle Co. to share some of my favourite places to go in Downtown Los Angeles. My dad taught me to ride a bike when I was just 3 years old and I have been in love with it ever since. I’ve ridden bikes to get around in Japan, Thailand, India, Bali, France, England, New York, DC, and now here in LA. Not only is it an extremely environmentally friendly way to get around your local area, its also a great way to really SEE a city. Not to mention it can be a good little workout too!
I love living in Downtown Los Angeles. When I first moved to LA, I was debating between two areas of LA. First, living on the west side, in either Santa Monica or Venice beach area so I could enjoy the seaside. Or living downtown because, after having lived in New York, London, and Paris, my love for a city landscape and lifestyle runs deep! I eventually settled on downtown for one key reason: TRAFFIC! Leaving Santa Monica or Venice anytime between 3:30pm – 7:30pm will ultimately take you an extra hour more to get to what ever event or dinner reservation you have lined up!
Brooklyn Bike Co
Ok let me introduce you to Brooklyn Bicycle Co! If you haven’t heard of them, they are – as you can guess- based in Brooklyn and create some beautifully designed bikes to help you explore and fall in love with your neighbourhood! They really shine when it comes to customer service and quality. Another notable thing about them is they provide FREE SHIPPING AND ASSEMBLY! That’s a huge money saver.
I first came across them when I was scrolling through Instagram and immediately fell in love with both the style and feel of their brand. It felt authentic and cool and every bike had such beautiful detailing in the design. I found my PERFECT bike using their search tool on the website. It makes it easy for you to sift through designs, sizes, and colours so you can find your absolute fav! They also help find the nearest bike shop to you for assembly. It’s a pretty seamless process from start to finish!
My bike arrived and was assembled at the Just Ride LA bike shop down the road from me. I brought the basket and rack I had ordered for my bike and they put them on for me also. It was SO EASY. They did a great job too! My bike is beautifullll. I actually get so many compliments on it when I ride around DTLA! I bought a few additional accessories from the shop such as a phone holder, a lock, a bell, and a helmet. For more information on purchasing and delivery locations, visit their site at BrooklynBicycleCo.com!
MY TOP TEN SPOTS FOR A WEEKEND IN DTLA
Now to get to all my fav’s! Downtown has plenty of bike lanes and bike racks so its easy to get around by bike and find a place to lock up. This list is compiled of the places I loveeee to visit most weekends when I’m at home relaxing in LA. From my fav coffee spot to my fav rooftop, all of these places have an amazing vibe and are a must see when you’re next in DTLA!
1. ROOFTOPS: FREEHAND PERCH & ACE HOTEL
The Freehand hotel rooftop bar is called the Broken Shaker. It has such a fun Caribbean vibe with cute cocktails (I get the Neon Nights) and a playlist featuring a nice mix of reggae and top charts. I love their chips and guac, egg rolls, or grain bowl if I am feeling healthy!
The Perch Restaurant rooftop is going to be your fav place for brunch with a view! Their brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm, with live music from 12pm to 3pm. They’ve got all the brunch menu classics like french toast, avocado toast (very LA), and a variety of eggs benedict options! I would try to make a reservation if you can as they get pretty busy!
The Ace Hotel is one of my favourite rooftops for a nice chill evening with friends. It feels pretty cozy up there. They have beautifully carved wooden tables, a tasty selection of small bites perfect to share, and heaters for when it gets a little chilly. I once spent 3 hours with a friend just talking about life over hot toddies!
2. COCKTAILS: PRANK, SEVEN GRAND, or LIBRARY BAR
All the rooftop bars I mentioned are also great for cocktails, but additionally, I love to pop by Prank Bar for drinks with friends when we want to be a little more low key or loud! Haha this place gets a great after work or game day crowd. I always get a margarita and the buffalo cauliflower wings!
Seven Grand is such a beautiful space! One of my favourite spots to go to in Downtown LA when I want to get a little dolled up. It’s a whiskey bar with one of the largest selections of Whiskey in LA. Additionally, they’ve got a really nice variety of hand crafted cocktails and live music most nights after 10pm.
The Library Bar feels like a speak easy honestly! The lighting is dim, the space is cozy, and the food and drinks are delicious. I usually like to go here for happy hour with my girls! Check their site to see if they have anything going on as sometimes they have a special Dj set or theme night. On Sundays they currently screen silent films which I think is pretty cool. See downtown LA has it all!
3. FASHION DISTRICT
This is where you go to buy cheap halloween costumes, search whole sale for your online boutique, or source materials for your next fashion line! NYC has one also on 7th ave between like 30th street and 40th street. I love walking through here because one, I am working on a project and have been sourcing things from the shops here, and two its just full of life and hustle and bustle. Its a short bike ride from my apartment so I usually rude through either on my way to my dentist (yup my dental office is also downtown!) or on my way to the flower market if I take the long rout. This isn’t necessarily a MUST SEE but it is unique to DTLA and will surely give you some creative motivation. And like I said, if nothing else they have some great cheap costume options!
4. VERVE CAFE
This is hands down one of my favourite coffee spots in DTLA. There’s actually quite a few good ones to choose from but both the coffee and the vibe here are wonderful. I love the dirty chai latte with oat milk (dirty chai means it has a shot of espresso FYI) and the vegan powdered blueberry donut. The ambiance is great for catching up with friends or zoning out and focusing on your work.
5. VEGAN: BEELMAN’S, AU LAC LA, DONUT FRIEND
So I am not fully vegan/ plant based, I’m actually pescatarian. But when I am home in LA I try to eat a plant based a majority of the time! Here are my fav spots in DTLA for really good vegan food!
Beelman’s is my go-to vegan burger spot. They have a cute patio, great frosé, and the best impossible burgers you’ve ever had! I always get mine with a side of tater tots and siracha. I love their food so much I even order it on Uber Eats when I just want to catch up on my fav Netflix shows and shnackkkk.
Au Lac is a little pricy but every item on the menu is amazing. The crispy shitake mushroom dish is so good I dream about it. Like seriously! Wow…. I wish I could make it at home. The venue feels upscale and the service is wonderful. I highly recommend this spot for all my friends whether you’re plant based or not!
If you love donuts you will LOVE Donut Friend. They honestly don’t even taste “vegan”. I say that lightly because I know how good vegan food is but I have also heard the complaints and I can guarantee you will have NO complaints from this spot! I actually walked in Donut Friend not knowing it was vegan and just kind of hoping it would have a vegan option but to my delights, the entire menu was plant based!
6. FLOWER MARKET
I love having flowers in my apartment! The flower market is open from 6am to 2pm everyday except Sundays. They have a beautiful selection of flowers and small plants to choose from. I love to get a few for my place and even sometimes as gifts for friends!
7. THE LAST BOOK STORE
Wow a downtown legend. The last bookstore is one of DTLA’s prized possessions. They often hold book signings, panels, readings, and other events in the space for the community. They have a TON of books to choose from and a really unique, inviting environment. I have a kindle that I use for a lot of my travel reading but I love to venture into The Last Book Store for inspiration and to find something new to read.
8. L.A. LIVE/ STAPLES CENTER
I love that LA Live is down the road from me. I can literally walk there in about 10 minutes. I go for concerts, games, and conferences! They have a lounge inside called Hyde Lounge and its my favourite place to watch a game or concert because you have a full service bar and restaurant with a perfect view of the stage!
9. WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
Downtown LA has a mixture of architecture. Almost everyday I feel like a new luxury apartment building has popped up. Recently even Soho house took advantage of the diverse real-estate down here and opened up Soho Warehouse. They revamped an old warehouse building to include a pool, restaurants, a gym, three floors of hotel rooms, etc. But easily one of my favourite buildings here is the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It looks so majestic and captivating. You can just stop by for a look or you can buy tickets to a show! They have performances ranging from classical, jazz, and more.
10. SMORGASBORG LA
Smorgasborg LA is food heaven. Every Sunday from 10am-4pm food vendors and food trucks get together at the Row DTLA for Smorgaborg and they have something for EVERYONE. It’s the perfect foodie thing to add to your Sunday Funday itinerary.