Why Atwater Village Is an L.A. Neighborhood with a Vibe All Its Own

It’s like a small town within a really big town
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Across the L.A. River from Griffith Park, Atwater Village is as fast-paced as the waterway’s summertime current. Encircled by Silver Lake, Glendale, Glassell Park, and Los Feliz, the enclave has a major thoroughfare that invites window-shopping. Here are some recs for the next time you’re in the ‘hood.


Three local business owners offer some tips…

Rheena Mae of Mae Mae Jewelry

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“We’re alchemists. We transform gold into feelings and sell it as jewelry. I grew up around here. I love Bon Vivant Market & Cafe. You can get a charcuterie board or a macaron or an amazing cocktail. I’m obsessed with Wanderlust Creamery. They’ve got flavors from around the world. All’Acqua has date-night vibes with fancy pizzas and short ribs, while Treehaus has quirky giftable items and Atwater T-shirts.”

Patrick Paeper of Alias Books 

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“We’re a little scholarly, with a lot of classic literature, counterculture, and art books. At Kaldi Coffee, they don’t mind you sitting around working. Proof Bakery has higher-end coffee and terrific baked goods. Grain stocks furnishings from well-known designers from the 1940s on up, and they’ve got great taste. Pampered Birds has a big mural on the facade and parrots in the window. Viet Noodle Bar is a great Vietnamese restaurant. I just love the chicken and jicama meatballs.”

Cynthia Su of Thank You for Coming

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“We do brunch service on the weekends and have an artist-in-residence program. We’ve had photo shows and musical performances. Tacos Villa Corona is awesome. They prep for 16 hours to make a six-hour service happen. Dune is Mediterranean deliciousness with falafel and shawarma and a really good blood orange salad. Individual Medley is a boutique with clothing from local designers. The neighborhood is changing. We’re getting luxury condos.”


Things to know before you go…

Heartbeat House

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With classes ranging from Afro-funk to Bollywood, the exercise studio scours the world for ways to make you move.

Echo Theater

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Playwrights, directors, and actors can learn their crafts at the theater, housed at the ATX Crossing arts complex.

Crystal Matrix

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The mystic arts of numerology and astrology live on at the store, where a packed class schedule includes instruction in tarot and hedgewitchery.

Dave’s Accordion School

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Besides repairing squeeze-boxes for the likes of Danny Elfman, the school offers lessons on the bellows along with violin, mandolin, and guitar.


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