I moved to Silver Lake over 10 years ago—a time even before Clare V clutch-carrying girls took photos of their Marais sandals on Intelligentsia’s iconic blue-and-white tile floor while waiting for their iced almond milk lattes—and while the neighborhood I’ve lived in longer than any other in my lifetime has certainly evolved and changed, I still have so many reasons to stay put. One of the most rewarding experiences is getting to show a visitor or recent transplant the lay of the land: the best places to grab a memorable breakfast, shop superior vintage, and enjoy an adult beverage on one of the pretties patios in town. I’ve gathered a mix of new and classic Silver Lake spots to do all of the above and more.
I’ve been enjoying the espresso con leche, pastries, and hermano sandwiches (scrambled egg, avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese, aioli, and mustard on pressed Cuban bread) from this mainstay for over a decade now. I never show up to a brunch potluck without an entire guava cheese pie from the Cuban bakery—even when someone’s skeptical, the flakey, creamy, fruity goodness wins them over every time.
2900 W Sunset Blvd
This is a very recent addition to the hood, but already the stylish (Millennial Pink and plants everywhere) spot seems to understand the locals’ cravings: fried rice with avocado, pickled onions, jalapeños, and a sunny egg, vegan toasted marshmallow and coconut milkshakes, and carnitas-topped burgers are just a few of the favorites here.
654 N Hoover St
(Pictured. Image courtesy of Eater LA)
Try as they might, the barrage of fancy taco joints (thankfully) haven’t managed to budge this Silver Lake staple. For me, it doesn’t get any better than the crispy shrimp tacos and a mixed seafood ceviche tostada. Grab a bottle of Mexican Coke and settle into one of the pink-cushioned benches at this outdoor spot to enjoy the authentic, affordable Mexican food while you take in some prime people watching on Sunset Boulevard.
3131 W Sunset Blvd
(Image: Jon Mackey)
Another newbie to the neighborhood, this teeny Israeli eatery—which was a diner in its former life—already has earned enough admirers to wrap around the corner of Sunset and Maltman on any given night. But I’m here to tell you it’s worth the wait in line for beautifully plated, surprisingly affordable Mediterranean dishes like lamb ragu over creamy tahini and pickled chard, charred potato with lemon, or whole wood-fired cauliflower schwarma. I’m also obsessed with sweet details like menus written on paper bags or water served in old wine bottles.
3536 Sunset Blvd
(Image Jakob Layman)
I’m told that this Parisian-inspired bar is a hotspot for singles to rub elbows (and potentially other parts) but personally, I’m just in it for the chic, bougainvillea-covered patio and expertly made cocktails. Lab coat clad bartenders take their craft seriously, whipping up concoctions that utilize the finest boozes and seasonal ingredients—but if you’re still not sure what to choose from the drink menu, tell them your poison and they’ll get you sorted.
3932 Sunset Blvd
This Pepto Bismol pink Mexican eatery is the perfect happy hour destination for indulging in copious margaritas and chips and salsa. Have enough of them and I’m willing to bet you’ll end up ordering a plate of enchiladas. Worth mentioning: the lively, colorful décor here is perfect for Instagramming—and let’s face it, that’s important.
1920 Hyperion Ave
(Pictured. Image: Elizabeth Daniels)
I stumbled into this super curated wine shop on a visit to Los Angeles long before moving here, and it’s still a go-to for neighborhoodies to get white, red, rose, and bubbly that’s beyond the standard selection. With organic, biodynamic, and unfiltered options always on hand you’re bound to find something to impress even the biggest wine connoisseurs. Even if you’re looking to spend under $20, the expert staff will send you home with the perfect bottle every time. And every Thursday the shop offers $15 flights, which always attracts an impressive crowd.
2395 Glendale Blvd A
(Image courtesy of Silver Lake Wine)
Stop in for an iced latte, and I can promise you’ll end up walking out with any number of high-end goodies found in this converted house. Tata Harper and Grown Alchemist beauty products, Falcon enamelware, and Petit Bateau baby clothes are among the gorgeous things to shop here, but that barely scratches the surface of a shop and cafe that’s packed to the gills with pretty little things.
2912 Rowena Ave
Besides offering its own line of earthy-minimalist clothing, this beautifully arranged boutique also features impeccable vintage finds, and indie label pieces, like The Palatines slides and Nude Label undies. Mixed Business also has a built-in coffee shop, so you can caffeinate while browsing straw bags, linen tops, and deadstock silk trousers.
1820 Hyperion Ave
(Pictured. Image: Georgia Hopkins)
The handbag designer’s flagship store was one of the first in the wave of upscale shops to invade Silver Lake—and it still holds up as one of the best. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that effortless French-girl style? Vivier’s simple but chic clutches, totes, shoulder bags, and accessories are perfectly Paris-meets-LA.
3339 Sunset Blvd
(Pictured. Image courtesy of Clare V)
I know, another “general store” that’s nothing like an actual general store—because, last time I checked, those didn’t typically stock Acne Studios denim or Robert Clergerie shoes. The minimalist style of this shop has undoubtedly influenced how Eastsiders dress, swapping traditional boho vibes for softly structured silhouettes and clean lines.
4011 Sunset Blvd
Sister store to the San Francisco shop of the same name, this humble vintage boutique always seems to have something that’s exactly what I never knew I always needed. Buttery soft leather gloves, a bracelet sleeved wool coat, and chunky turquoise rings are a few of my personal finds from here, but you can expect a seamless blend of used designer pieces and funky retro goodness.
4208 Santa Monica Blvd
(Image courtesy of Painted Bird)
Admittedly, the window display at this sweet little apothecary is what first pulled me in the door ten years ago: over-the-top girlie, vintage-inspired tableaus. Inside the shop doesn’t stray too far from that sensibility. Set up like most women’s dream vanity, the store offers cult favorite beauty products (Egyptian Magic, Smith’s Rosebud Salve) alongside new and natural ones (Eminence, Herbivore). They also offer spa services, including facials and waxing in the back room if you’re in need of a little sprucing up.
3820 Sunset Blvd
At this curated record shop, you’ll find the classics to kickstart your vinyl collection (you know, Miles Davis, The Smiths, Outkast) but you’ll probably also end up leaving with any number of local indie artists’ albums. And no music snobbery/judgment here: the staff is clearly into all types of music and is happy to help you find what you’re looking for—while gently encouraging you to try out something new, too.
3815 Sunset Blvd
(Pictured. Image: Mike Spitz)
ABOUT ASHLEY TIBBITS
Ashley Tibbits is an LA-based writer and content creator. She's contributed to outlets including Racked, The Zoe Report, Manrepeller, and Bust, but also recently launched her own site, Clever, which highlights brands, makers, and other creatives who have mindful, sustainable, and inspiring approaches.