Sometimes called “the Williamsburg of the West,” Silver Lake is famously a hipster haven. While you won’t find major museums or celebrity spotting tours in this Eastside burb, you will encounter fantastic eateries, indie clothing boutiques, legendary music venues, and a whole lot of art school cool. Silver Lake is known for being one of the most walkable ‘hoods in LA, with most of the hotspots clustered around Sunset Boulevard. However, finding affordable parking before you start your walking tour can be a chore, so we recommend reserving a spot at the Intelligentsia lot (on Sanborn and Sunset) with the Pavemint iOS app!
Secret Headquarters is the true connoisseur’s comic shop. It’s a place where you can buy the latest from Marvel, discover new indie comics, attend gallery openings and signings, and gab with other rad nerds. Despite its name, this boutique is quite famous: in 2008, The Guardian newspaper named it one of the 10 best bookstores… like, IN THE WORLD. The Guardian not only noted Secret Headquarters’ excellent selection but also their “reputation for being one of the neatest, friendliest comic stores anywhere.” Yay!
Silver Lake Farmers Market
The Silver Lake Farmers Market hosted Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings in the Sunset Triangle, just east of Sunset Junction—is as great for people-watching as it is for picking up produce. We recommend getting a cup of fresh-squeezed OJ and a crêpe or tamale to fuel you as you peruse veggies, fresh flowers, records, and vintage threads amongst the hippest Eastsiders. Besides locally produced goodies and street fashion, the market’s also a great spot for a dose of quaint neighborliness–one of the few things hard to come by in this big city.
If you’re looking to splurge on an upscale dining experience, Cliff’s Edge is a Silver Lake mainstay that’s sure to charm. The seasonal New American menu, cooked up by Vartan Abgaryan, is full of phenomenal tasting, elegantly plated dishes. The cocktail and wine lists are thoughtful and reasonably priced, but the real star of the show is the sprawling patio. Anchored by a giant oak sprouting through the center of the deck and bound in by light-strung treetops, this outdoor space transports you from Sunset Boulevard to an enchanting fairy wonderland. Wanna get in on the fun without going broke? Come by on dollar oyster night, Thursdays between 6 and 7 p.m., for dirt-cheap fresh eats and celebratory vibes.
Shows at the Silverlake Lounge or Satellite
Since the Nineties, Silver Lake has been an incubator for alternative and indie rock bands. Their dive bars and intimate venues have been a springboard for world-famous acts like Silversun Pickups (who got their name from Silversun Liquor on Sunset), Haim and The Foo Fighters. They may be grungy and dark, but the Satellite and Silver Lake Lounge are bonafide institutions, so you can’t go wrong with either. Both tend to host free shows on Mondays. Why not stop in and see if you like what you hear? You just might be listening to a future festival headliner.
C’mon, you knew you weren’t going to make it through a list about one of the hippest neighborhoods in LA without us mentioning a coffee shop. This one’s a local fave, boasting a pet-friendly patio, strong wifi, and home-roasted coffee. Plus, you rarely see the long lines common at nearby, touristy Intelligentsia. Come try the Espresso Clandestino and a Happy Cow Kitchen vegan cookie and chiiiiiiill.
With this list, you’re equipped to have a killer day in one of LA’s most unique communities. Get out there! Go join a band, eat elaborate toast, replace your current wardrobe with an exquisitely curated collection of vintage kimonos! Whatever you get into, you’re sure to have a rad time in this ultra-cool enclave.