Los Angeles is brimming with creatives but Downtown L.A.'s Arts District has become one of the artsiest spots in the city of angels. Home to an urban artists' colony in the '70s, the neighborhood has in recent years re-emerged as a hub for all kinds of creatives, breweries, galleries, restaurants, retail shops, salons, and more.
Whether you frequent the Arts District or reserve a visit for when you're invited, this neighborhood guide might convince you to spend more time exploring it. Ahead, discover some of the best places to quench your thirst with craft beer, watch delicious ramen noodles get made, shop personalized perfume, and more in the Arts District.
Bars & Breweries
Angel City Brewery
Angel City Brewery has been brewing beer since 1997. Its Arts District outpost offers small-batch, old-world craft brewing in a welcoming and comfortable space. And feel free to show up hungry because there's a different food truck (or two) parked outside every night. The space also offers a handful of board games with a lively yet casual crowd on the weekends.
Angel City Brewery, 216 South Alameda St., L.A., 90012; (213) 537-5550
Arts District Brewing Co.
Should you ever be in the mood for a round of skeeball but don't feel like going back to Chuck E. Cheese, hit up Arts District Brewing Co. It's one of the most unique breweries around considering it offers house draft beers, cocktails, bar food, a photo booth, a dog-friendly patio, and – you guessed it – games like ping pong, cornhole, darts, and skee ball. Definitely the kind of place to feel like a kid again.
Arts District Brewing Co., 828 Traction Ave., L.A., 90013; (213) 519-5887
Perhaps one of the most relaxed joints on this list is Boomtown Brewery. There you'll be able to find old-world, unfiltered, gravity-fed, and full-flavored beers as they were before prohibition, all in a lively environment ideal for catching up, letting loose, or people-watching. The space also serves as a venue for local artists (some of whom even designed the furnishing and decorations in the taproom) and hosts gallery showings, benefits, block parties, bicycle rides, and more.
Boomtown Brewery, 700 Jackson St., L.A., 90012; (213) 617-8497
Housed in a building built in 1914, Bar Mateo is the relatively hidden, open-air bar at Zinc Cafe & Market. It features an outdoor patio and olive trees and is illuminated by heat lamps and twinkling string lights. The bar menu was curated by master mixologists Alex Day and David Kaplan of Proprietors LLC, so expect to be wowed and wondered. Despite all it has to offer, Bar Mateo isn't as pretentious as you might imagine. The laid-back atmosphere is a chill spot to enjoy a spring evening.
Bar Mateo, 580 Mateo St., L.A., 90013; 323-825-5381
Death and Co
New York City-based Death and Company opened a sultry subterranean bar in Arts District not too long ago. Since then, Death and Co's speakeasy-esque den has served Angelenos a solid drink and the right vibe when you don't want too much energy, but also don't want to feel like you're drinking at home. The company has been named Best American Cocktail Bar, Most Influential Bar in New York, and even earned an award for World's Best Cocktail Menu. What are you waiting for?
Death and Co, 818 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013
Restaurants & Cafes
Afuri Ramen + Dumpling LA
Tokyo-based Afuri brings authentic ramen and its famed yuzu-shio broth to the Arts District, along with housemade noodles made daily and its unique citrus-tinted chitan broth – something its CEO believes L.A. needs to understand the nuances of. Like Portland's and San Francisco's Afuri locations, L.A. has fully embraced all it has to offer. Be sure to check out the noodle-making room – you can't miss it.
Afuri Ramen + Dumpling LA, 688 Mateo St., L.A., 90021; (213) 221-7206
Serving fruit-covered, all-natural, extra-thick açaí and smoothie bowls, Amazebowls is the Arts District's go-to for vegan and healthy treats. If you're lucky, you'll be able to spot the Amazebowl Purple Truck that roams around L.A.
Amazebowls, 300 South Santa Fe Ave., L.A., 90013; (323) 610-2099
Bike Shed Motorcycle Club
After a two-year-long wait, the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club finally opened its L.A. location in early April. The historical 30,000-square-foot property is a multi-brand retail emporium that features a full restaurant, cafe, bar and lounge, a barbershop, tattoo studio, a 7,000-square-foot dedicated event space, and more. Yes, there's more.
Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, 1580 Industrial St., L.A., 90021; (207) 729-8114
Caboco, which, according to chef Victor Vasconcellos means "mixture between the people," has been touted as one of L.A.'s hottest new restaurants. It's L.A.'s first modern Brazilian restaurant and serves dishes that reflect national
Brazilian cuisine with a few elevated touches. Think dadinho de tapioca (cheesy tapioca fries with sweet chili sauce), mocofava (hearty northeastern stew), cashew fruit moqueca (seafood stew), grilled Amazonian fish, and sharp caipirinha cocktails.
Caboco, 1850 Industrial St., L.A., 90021; (213) 405-1434
LA Cha Cha Chá
LA Cha Cha Chá is a stylish and modern rooftop restaurant with a terrace and patio serving tacos, cocktails, and more. Add it to your list if you haven't already been – the views, vibes, and strong drinks are together a cure-all for Sunday slumps or Tuesday tiffs.
Cha Cha Chá, 812 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (213) 548-8487
A seasonally-driven restaurant located in the courtyard at Hauser & Wirth, Manuela is a casual space for southern-ish food and cocktails featuring SoCal-grown ingredients. Its bar program even serves classic cocktails using house-made bitters and tonics. Designed by L.A.-native Matt Winter and named after Manuela Wirth, the restaurant has been decorated by commissioned works from Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon, and Mark Bradford.
Manuela, 907 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (323) 849-0480
Zinc Cafe & Market
No Arts District round-up would be complete without this entry. Whether you're looking for a latte, cocktail, quick bite, breakfast burrito, or Thai salad, Zinc is the place to be. Established in the Arts District in 2014, it's one of the company's three spots (soon to be four). It features a sizable menu, outdoor patio, Bar Mateo, and a market food bar so you can grab a healthy bite when you don't have time to dine in. Definitely our go-to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a relaxed setting.
Zinc Cafe & Market, 580 Mateo St., L.A., 90013; (323) 825-5381
Galleries & Museums
Art Share L.A.
Art Share L.A. is a community hub with a mission to shape lives through art, education, and community action. The 28,000-square-foot space features residences, an art gallery, classrooms, ceramics studios, and a theater. And because Art Share centers around inclusivity, it offers workshops to families living in the inner-city and showcases up-and-coming and established artists.
Art Share L.A., 801 East 4th Pl., L.A., 90013; (213) 687-4278
Hauser & Wirth
The Hauser & Wirth gallery is a communal and event space that connects art and architecture. It's located in the former Globe Mills complex and features an onsite restaurant, a chicken coop, an open-air courtyard and garden, and the city's first Artbook store. A few years ago, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles was awarded the Chair's Award – Los Angeles Conservancy's highest honor that recognizes the importance of preserving historic landmarks that make L.A. unique. In 2021, Time Out L.A. named it the best gallery in L.A. So yeah, it's kind of a big deal.
Hauser & Wirth, 901 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (213) 943-1620
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Founded in 1984 as the Santa Monica Museum of Art and reestablished with a new identity and home in the Arts District in 2017, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICALA) showcases untold stories and emerging voices in contemporary art and culture. The museum features art that promotes discovery and confronts the way we experience the world.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1717 East 7th St., L.A., 90021; (213) 928-0833
Over the Influence
Over the Influence Los Angeles is a 6,000-square-foot, five-room contemporary art gallery housed in a bowstring truss warehouse from the 1930s, complete with cavernous rooms and high ceilings. Over the Influence, which was founded in Hong Kong in 2015, opened the Arts District location in 2018 in order to, among other aims, "create a dialogue between the U.S. and China," according to consulting curator Lauren Every-Wortman.
Over The Influence, 833 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (310) 921-5933
Apolis: Common Gallery
Apolis: Common Gallery is the flagship retail outlet for Apolis, a B Corporation-certified fashion and lifestyle brand. Apolis also hosts seasonal gatherings with artists, authors, musicians, socially conscious entrepreneurs, and more. The Arts District's Common Gallery carries out Apolis' aim of advocacy through industry by operating not just as a retail space, but also as a community hub for progress.
Apolis: Common Gallery, 806 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (855) 894-1559
Arts District Co-op
The Arts District Co-op is a trendy, industrial-chic retail space where contemporary and local artists sell their crafts. You can find everything from bikes to art to candles, and even vintage pieces. The communal environment fosters creativity and commerce, and offers local vendors their own blank stalls in an avant-garde market environment to do with as they please.
Arts District Co-op, 453 Colyton St., L.A., 90013; (213) 223-6717
The L.A.-based fashion brand sells clothing designed and styled for motherhood – that means washable, transitional, and nursing-friendly. Founded by designer and mother Morgan Hutchinson in 2020, Buru features ready-to-wear designers – both emerging and established – including The Great, Mara Hoffman, Rachel Comey, Ulla Johnson, and more. Plus, the brand's own private White Label WAS launched to offer mamas elevated yet affordable options of everyday wear.
Buru, East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (424) 316-2878
Fragrance house Le Labo needs no introduction because of its cult-like following. Like something out of the 1920s, the perfumery allows you to choose which scent you love before a perfumer hand-blends your bottle, prints a 23-character custom label on select creations, and engraves your initials on a Travel Tube case. You can also refill your 50ml, 100ml, or 500ml perfume bottles without having to go through the entire process over again. Pretty cool, right?
Le Labo, 744 East 3rd St., L.A., 90013; (323) 968-3817
At this 30-acre al fresco industrial mall, there's so much to do that you (read: we) could justify spending an entire day here. Where to start? Grab a coffee at Go Get Em Tiger or take a pottery class at Still Life Ceramics. Maybe book a bougie hair appointment at Nova Arts Salon, a pedi at Powder Beauty, or a facial at The Things We Do. You could also sweat it out at Coreology, snag statement jewelry at Dylan Lex, then refuel with juicy Japanese (and gluten-free) fried chicken at Pikunico. In addition to the more than 35 retailers, restaurants, wellness concepts, creative office spaces, and boutiques, there are rotating food trucks every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and cool brands popping up every month.
Row DTLA, 777 S. Alameda St., L.A. 90021; (213) 988-8890
Wittmore Arts District
Wittmore is a modern lifestyle shop that features simple, smartly edited clothing, accessories, and gifts. Its goal is to consistently showcase established, emerging, and niche brands while striving to maintain a culture-current sensibility, appeal to individuals of all generations, and push boundaries. For those of you closer to the coast, Wittmore also has a location in Malibu.
Wittmore Arts District, 300 South Santa Fe Ave., L.A., 90013; (213) 626-0780