Cuban-style cafes, wow-factor boutiques and a historic tavern that played a part in the LGBTQ movement line up on this prime stretch of LA’s hipster ‘hood.Less
This low-rise, upscale hotel sits on a corner just south of Sunset Junction, within strolling distance of all the area’s highlights. There’s something of the desert Palm Springs motel about it, albeit with understated styling and first-rate features. On its upper level, the swimming terrace is a prime spot to soak up some Cali sunshine while perusing the pool menu. Bright, restful rooms come with luxe linens, Nespresso machines and smart TVs; better rooms add view of the Hollywood sign.
Set right on the junction where Sunset meets Santa Monica Boulevard, this trendy clothes-and-more designer store is a great place to start your trip along the boulevard. Together with an expert eye for men’s and women’s fashions from dozens of designers, this elegantly laid-out boutique has a supremely browsable collection of fragrances, beauty products and quality, sometimes quirky, homeware.
It was protests here at the Black Cat Tavern in 1967 that helped launch the LGBTQ civil rights movement in the city, and it has since been declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Photos of the demonstrations are displayed on the walls, above handsome leather booths and below elegant brass chandeliers. The menu is mostly old-school American – burgers, house-made pastas, fried chicken – and cocktails mix up classic with cutting-edge twists.
This Taiwanese restaurant describes itself as fast-casual, which equates to first-come, first-serve seating and simple small-plate dining, quickly whipped up from fresh ingredients. The menu is mostly comprised of Taiwanese staples like noodle soups, shrimp wonton and – the always popular – pan-fried pork buns. There are solid vegetarian and vegan options, too, plus loose-leaf teas sourced from Taiwan and a rotating list of craft beers, wines and sake. The result? A honeypot for local hipsters.
American restaurants don’t come more classic than Millie’s – a Silver Lake mainstay since 1926. Pick a counter-front swivel chair or curbside table and choose from a long breakfast- and brunch-oriented menu – there’s a dozen iterations of eggs benedict alone. They’re committed to cooking the old-fashioned way, too, with real butter, nothing processed and everything made from scratch. It’s unpretentious, morning-after comfort food at its best and there are plenty of vegan options, too.
It wasn’t long after their 2017 opening on Melrose that Golden Age was soon counting a long list of LA celebs among its regular customers (Lily-Rose Depp is a big fan). This, their second store, boasts a similarly impressive range of expertly curated vintage pieces, mostly from the 1920-50s golden age of Hollywood (hence the name). They also offer a collection from their own fashion brand, with their chic-yet-comfortable footwear lines garnering particular attention.
Some stores just have that wow factor, and Candid Home is one. Owner Ashley has a background in residential interior design and it shows in her wonderfully eclectic yet cohesive collection of colorful homeware. Browse one-of-a-kind retro objets, from ’60s lighting to ’80s ottomans, together with an abundance of contemporary pieces, fashion accessories and handmade candles. You’ll go for a gift and come out with a little something for yourself.
Another fab restaurant with a few miles on the odometer, Café Tropical has been serving Silver Lake since 1975. This distinctly Havana-tinged coffee shop specializes in freshly baked traditional Cuban-style pastries, cakes and pies. Their breakfast sandwiches are the stuff of legend around these parts, while their coffee is single origin, organic and custom-roasted to the café’s specification (read: strong).
Stay within striking distance of Sunset Boulevard while keeping costs down at The Steady. Just west of Silver Lake, it’s a hip and breezy hostel brimming with upbeat West Coast vibes. Choose from sunny mixed and female-only dorms, or treat yourself to a private room – all bathrooms are shared. Wake up to a free breakfast before setting out to explore the neighborhood. Return to hang with other guests in the cozy lounge, before whipping up dinner in the shared kitchen.