If you’re planning on visiting Los Angeles you can’t go wrong with heading downtown. With so many great options to explore, however, it can seem overwhelming. Which is why I’m sharing some of my favorite DTLA hot spots to make planning your itinerary a breeze.

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

On my first visit to Los Angeles, I asked Loews Hollywood Hotel‘s Executive Chef Mark Ching for recommendations on the best places to eat. His response? Grand Central Market. This open-air market is hard to describe to newcomers but once you’ve experienced it you’ll never forget your time there. With over 30 vendors to choose from, even the pickiest eaters are bound to find something to their liking. I’m always game for a burger from Belcampo Meat Co. or some local ice cream from McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, but I also always like to try something new. Next on my GCM to-do list is PBJ.LA for their re-imagined takes on classic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway

A new addition to my DTLA adventures is Angels Flight, a 117-year-old cable car that was recently refurbished and opened back up to the public. Located right across the street from Grand Central Market, this ride takes you on a short trip up to Bunker Hill. At $1.00 a ride, it won’t break the bank and it’s quite fun to watch, with a bright orange paint job which makes it pop in photos. Fun Fact: Angels Flight originally opened in 1901 and is the world’s shortest railway.

Perch LA


Ready for a cocktail? I am! Ask any local where to grab a drink while downtown and they’ll tell you Perch is the place. Take a short stroll only a block or so from Grand Central Market and you’ll find a rather unassuming building with a plaque bearing the name “Perch.” Head inside and grab an elevator to the 15th floor, where you’ll arrive at a modern take on a French lounge. Plan your day so that you’ll find yourself there around 4PM Monday–Friday for their Apertif Hour and ask for the “coup de coeur” (their drink of the day). Or, peruse the cocktail menu for something that catches your eye, like the “My Fair Lady.” Perch has a relaxed environment with a ton of character, but the real reason to visit is for the views from the rooftop patio. Ride the elevator one more floor up and you’ll be greeted with an incredible view of the city and a fun, upbeat vibe.

Little Damage Charcoal Ice Cream

Little Damage

I’m not going to deny that I have a massive sweet tooth. So when I first caught a glimpse of the unique offerings at Little Damage it was immediately added to my “must try” list. Granted, they would have had me at soft-serve ice cream but they’ve taken it to a whole new level with charcoal-activated flavors. Both ice cream and cone come in a stunning shade of black that’s sure to catch the eye of everyone who walks by. What I found most interesting was that they only offer a few rotating flavors — their signature black ice cream’s flavor changes each month, and is joined by the blue “unicorn tears”, and a vegan option. Pick your favorite colorful toppings and you’ve got an A++ Instagram photo on your hands… but don’t take too long or your pretty black ice cream will melt all over your clothes. (Guilty!)

See you in DTLA?

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