Neighborhood Guide: Atwater Village

Bookended by Glendale and Los Feliz on the banks of the L.A. River, Atwater Village feels like a small town in a big city.

Bookended by Glendale and Los Feliz on the banks of the L.A. River, Atwater Village feels like a small town in a big city. It’s a place where you’re as likely to find backyard orchards as you are discerning indie businesses. No wonder people priced out of Silver Lake and Echo Park have been moving in. With plans in the offing to make the historic Glendale-Hyperion Bridge more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, it will be even easier to drop in and explore.

theessentials_masa_tVillage Tavern
The happy hour cocktails and $5 plates of mini tacos are a steal. Across the street Bon Vivant offers the opportunity to sip wine in a relaxed atmosphere. » Village Tavern: 3216 Glendale Blvd., 323-644-0605. Bon Vivant: 3155 Glendale Blvd., 323-284-8013.

theessentials_masa_tSew L.A.
The Silver Lake transplant carries miles of yarns and fabrics with unexpected patterns. Learn how to make your own clothing during a class, or use one of the eight sewing machines available by the hour. » 3153 Glendale Blvd., 323-665-7097.

theessentials_masa_tHeartbeat House
The Best of L.A.-winning studio has an array of hip-shaking fitness classes you won’t find elsewhere. Between Samba Passion, Bollywood Dance Workout, Yoga Booty Ballet, and other dancercise hybrids, you have your pick of funky workout routines—and cultures. » 3141 Glendale Blvd., 323-669-2821.

theessentials_masa_tLink N Hops
Will it be a classic kielbasa or a duck sausage with figs and brandy? There are 30 link varieties on the menu, along with two-dozen draft beers. After catching a game on the big screen, go next door to 55 Degree Wine for a little bottle shock. » 3111 Glendale Blvd., 323-426-9049.

theessentials_masa_tIndividual Medley
Farmhand chic is a runway trend. Stock up on Brixton straw hats and Rogue Territory dark denim jeans. Or grab a couple of scented soy candles to spruce up your urban barn. » 3176 Glendale Blvd., 323-665-5344.

theessentials_masa_tThe Racket Doctor
While you browse for shoes, ball hoppers, or other gear, the in-house pros can restring your racket or replace the grip. The 44-year-old shop carries squash, table tennis, and badminton supplies, too. » 3214 Glendale Blvd., 323-663-6601.

theessentials_masa_tJacknife Records & Tapes
The ’80s are alive and kicking at the narrow music store that’s dominated by thousands of cassette tapes. Don’t neglect to check out the shelf after shelf of vinyl, brimming with ’70s soul and indie rock. » 3149 Glendale Blvd., 323-661-4533.

theessentials_masa_tAlias Books East
This Eastside branch of the Sawtelle fixture is a clean, well-lighted place for lovers of lit. The front window nook is filled with children’s books, and the couch in the back invites lingering. » 3163 Glendale Blvd., 323-661-9000.

theessentials_masa_tProof Bakery
It’s hard to know which is the bigger draw: the flaky gougères and delicate meringue cookies by Na Young Ma or the espressos Yeekai Lim is pulling at the café’s Cognoscenti Coffee counter. » 3156 Glendale Blvd., 323-664-8633.

If your progeny have moved beyond construction paper, they can step it up here, learning to make everything from feathered masks to mandalas. Workshops are small and age appropriate, and adults can participate. » 3137 Glendale Blvd., 323-828-3993.



theessentials_masa_tSide Trip

You’re less than a mile from Forest Lawn Memorial Park and its museum, which has hosted exhibitions on tiki art, Legos, and motorcycles.

theessentials_masa_tFresh Fare

The Sunday morning farmers’ market starts at 10 a.m., with plenty of appetizing vendors like Bigmista’s Barbecue.

theessentials_masa_tHidden Gem

Periodically Greg Thomas, owner of Trystero Coffee, throws open the doors of his garage at 2974 Glendale Boulevard and turns it into an ad hoc café.

 Why We Love it There


theessentials_masa_tLourdes Rivas
Owner, Pampered Birds

I had been managing nightclubs when my uncle told me he knew a gentleman who was thinking of selling his pet store. That was 20 years ago. There were only a few other retail businesses on this stretch. It was very sleepy. During winter, I would sometimes lock my door at night because no one was on the block. The changes started about ten years ago; you would notice people on the street. I love how eclectic this area is. You can have retirees who have been here 50 years and a family that just moved here with their kids. Even though it’s not sleepy anymore, it’s still personable. I’m lucky I have a fabulous, old-school landlord who has treated us fairly. A lot of the old businesses are here only because we have good landlords. 3183 Glendale Blvd., 323-662-7807.


Photographs 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, & 10 by Lauren Devon