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Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

April 12, 2021
Los Angeles enjoys many monikers. Many people refer to it as the “City of Angels” because of its historic name. Most famously, the whole world knows of it as “Tinsel Town” thanks to Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world. It's because of these famous nicknames that LA has come to be known as this glamorous metropolis where everything is shiny and new. Certain areas are just like that here, but they don't make up the entirety of the city. The neighborhoods in Los Angeles are as diverse as its population. Some are suburban, like Los Feliz and Brentwood, some are urban, like West Hollywood and Downtown LA, and some are just downright unique, like Koreatown.

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood



Where to Stay in Los Angeles

In terms of the best places to stay in LA, it's up to your specific preferences. When moving to Los Angeles, one of the most important steps is to choose the area that best fits you. Raising a family with little kids? Consider settling down in Brentwood, Bel Air, Los Feliz, or Porter Ranch. Are you a single adult who wants to live life to the fullest, meet new friends, and have all sorts of exciting experiences? West Hollywood or Downtown LA might just be for you. 


Areas to Avoid in Los Angeles

Despite how beautiful and glamorous it is, LA's crime rates are unfortunately high. Certain areas like South LA, West Adams, and Compton are notorious for their high crime rates, specifically gang-affiliated deviance. Even popular districts like Koreatown, Chinatown, and Downtown LA get a bit sketchy after dark. And though it's a famous tourist spot, it's not worth spending a lot of time on Hollywood Boulevard. Once you've seen it, you don't have to go there again unless it's necessary. 


Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Firstly, let's start with one of the most famous areas, not just in Los Angeles, but in the entire state of California, Beverly Hills. Home to many of Hollywood's elite, it's undoubtedly the most glamorous place one could call home on the West Coast, even though it's technically not a neighborhood, per se. Beverly Hills is a city, but because it's so near LA and it's not that big, most people regard it as another district of the city. Huge mansions, luxury apartments, and stunning townhouses make up this iconic address, most of which are owned by some of the most famous and richest people in the world. 


Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Real Estate

As already mentioned, Beverly Hills is home to some of the most stunning real estate in the US. Think palatial mansions with multiple swimming pools. Entire estates with private sports fields, basketball courts, bowling alleys, home movie theaters, and more. As far as costs in Los Angeles are concerned, it'd typically cost around $6,458.35 to $9,382.24 per square meter to purchase property here. Properties in Beverly Hills, on the other hand, are higher than these figures. 


Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Restaurants

Beverly Hills is also where you'll find the best places to eat on the West Coast. From the finest Michelin-starred restaurants to hidden gems that more people ought to know about, any foodie without a budget will have a good time here. Check out Evan Funke's eponymous restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard, for example, to get your Italian food fix. The pizzas they make here are extraordinary! Crustacean on Bedford Drive, on the other hand, is all about Vietnamese food. They can take something as normal as crab and turn it into haute cuisine. And don't forget about the iconic Ima too, also on Santa Monica Boulevard. This is the best place to have some succulent sukiyaki and other Japanese delicacies. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Chinatown, Los Angeles

LA's Chinatown is a perfect example of a foreign culture thriving in an American city. Here, Chinese and other Asian cultures are on full display. Chinese restaurants serve up the most authentic Eastern dishes, stores sell all sorts of exotic delicacies, and the Taoist Thien Hau Temple adds a grandeur to the place unlike any other. Chinatown is an enchanting neighborhood in Los Angeles that's festive and bustling. It's a great place to explore, especially for foodies. 


Where to Eat in Chinatown, Los Angeles

Dim sum houses, BBQ spots, and noodle shops await foodies who want to go on a culinary journey throughout Asia in LA's Chinatown. True to its name, Chinese restaurants reign supreme in this neighborhood. Check out the famous Steep LA, for example, which is the go-to spot for Chinese tea. You'll even witness the very fascinating Kung Fu tea ceremony! Broadway Cuisine, on the other hand, serves up quite the Eastern feast! They have the best Pecking Duck in all of Chinatown. And for the ultimate classic, look no further than Zen Mei Bistro on Yale Street. It's one of the oldest Cantonese restaurants in the city.


Is Chinatown, Los Angeles Safe

Safety in LA's Chinatown leaves a lot to be desired. The crime rates here aren't the highest in the city, but they're also not the lowest. Since it's a major tourist spot, security is relatively tight here, but it still pays to be more careful at night. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Downtown Los Angeles

If you're more into the big city lifestyle, Downtown LA is your place! Tall skyscrapers and traffic-filled streets make up this urban neighborhood in Los Angeles. It's also where art flourishes in the city. Although Hollywood is technically an art capital, it's only focused on one specific type of art, namely filmmaking. Here in Downtown LA, modern art reigns supreme. Galleries display the works of the most prominent contemporary artists today. Boulevards and alleys are decorated with street art. And performance artists get their dues in places like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center.


Where is Downtown Los Angeles?

Downtown LA is near the center of the city. It's right by Hollywood and fairly near Anaheim, LAX Airport, and the Walk of Fame. 


What to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

You spend the entire day in Downtown LA and you won't be bored. A particular must-see is Walt Disney Concert Hall, famous for its twisted Frank Gehry-designed architecture. Another is The Broad Modern Art Museum. which houses the works of contemporary art legends such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and more. It's also known for its two Yayoi Kusama mirror rooms, an infinity-enthused space that never fails to grab attention on Instagram. If you have time, why not catch a show at the Music Center too? This is LA's version of Broadway. 


Is Downtown Los Angeles Safe?

Unfortunately, it's not. This isn't to say that Downtown LA is an extremely dangerous place, but it's undoubtedly not the safest. It's notorious for its high crime rates, but many people still consider living here because it's also a big business hub with lots of employment opportunities, coworking spaces, and more. Overall, Downtown LA is relatively safe during the day, but at night, it's a different story. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Echo Park, Los Angeles

In many ways, Los Angeles is a city for active people. With its wide-open spaces and pleasant climate, it's a great place to just put on your trainers and work out. Sure, there are many great gyms in LA, but there's also Echo Park, one of the best public parks in LA. It’s a four-hectare green space with a serene lake, grassy fields, tall trees, and more. Why work out in a stuffy gym when you can exercise outside with fresh air and sunshine? The area that surrounds the park is also called Echo Park, arguably the best place for fitness junkies and active adventurers to live in Los Angeles. 


Echo Park, Los Angeles Restaurants

It's worth noting that Echo Park isn't just about going outdoors and having fun at the park. The area has its fair share of notable restaurants too. If you're craving pizza, for example, look no further than Cosa Buona on Sunset Boulevard. What's great about their pies is that they're infused with foreign cuisines! Care for a healthy brunch? Look no further than Honey Hi, also on Sunset Boulevard. Their seasonal menu is always chock full of organic dishes and desserts, perfect for those leading an active lifestyle. And if you're more into seafood, you'll love The Lonely Oyster on Echo Park Avenue! From crab cakes to lobster rolls, this place serves up the most delectable flavors of the sea! 


Is Echo Park, Los Angeles Safe?

Yes, it is. Echo Park has some of the lowest crime rates in LA's metropolitan area. Hence, it's also among the best places to live in the city. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Koreatown, Los Angeles

Koreatown is a vibrant neighborhood in Los Angeles where eating and having a good time are the names of the game. Much like Chinatown, Koreatown embodies the East Asian culture in this major American city, especially when it comes to its cuisine. The place is filled to the brim with Korean BBQ restaurants, bubble tea shops, specialty grocery stores, and more. They're all interspersed with establishments where you can have lots of fun, such as karaoke joints, hidden speakeasies, cool clubs, lively clubs, and more. 


Where to Eat in Koreatown, Los Angeles

As already mentioned, Koreatown is a foodie paradise in Los Angeles. If you want to try the most authentic Korean food in town, this is where you'll want to go. Places like Soban, Park's BBQ, Dan Dung Sa, and the Surawon Tofu House ought to be on your radar if you consider yourself a bonafide foodie. Among these well-known places, Soban and Park's BBQ are the absolute must-try hotspots. Soban is famous for its authentic Korean cuisine, complete with the right vibe that takes you to Seoul. Park's BBQ, on the other hand, is one of the city's best BBQ places. Stuff your face with as much meat as you can here! 


Is Koreatown in LA Safe?

Unfortunately, Koreatown is far from the safest neighborhood in Los Angeles. The crime rates here are mostly moderate but it tends to go high at times. It's a great place to explore when you're with a group of people, especially if you want to eat out, but it's not suitable for walking around alone at night. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Downtowngal


Los Feliz, Los Angeles

Los Feliz is slowly but surely becoming quite the hot neighborhood in Los Angeles. A lot of cool establishments are popping up here, from laid-back cafes for the day to bustling bars for going out at night. It's the type of area where young adults can work and play in equal measure, allowing for a well-balanced life. Families can also live here as the area is largely suburban, with lots of quality housing and a peaceful community to boot. And since Los Feliz is a hillside enclave, it's one of the best places to find a cool LA home with a great view. What's not to love?


Los Feliz, Los Angeles Apartments

Though Los Feliz is more known for its big houses and lavish estates, there are still many apartments to go around here. They're just not in high-rise buildings. Instead, they're well-laid-out apartment complexes in peaceful areas. 


Los Feliz, Los Angeles Restaurants

Mirate on Vermont Avenue, Kismet on Hollywood Boulevard, and Little Dom's on Hillhurst Avenue are some of the best restaurants in Loz Feliz. Mirate is an exceptional Mexican place that serves authentic tacos and nachos paired with some spicy margaritas. Kismet is an awesome vegetarian place influenced by Mediterranean cuisine. And Little Dom's is an all-American diner that looks and feels straight out of the mid-20th century. Spaghetti with meatballs and pancakes are just some of what you can enjoy here. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Flickr.com/ Ken Lund


Silver Lake, Los Angeles

If you ever wonder why Los Angeles always draws in single young adults, it's because of places like Silver Lake. This area is where the hip and trendy people hang out, mostly within the urban cafes, swanky shops, vintage clothing stores, and more. It's the hipster haven of the city, complete with indie music venues and trendy bars for the young and young-at-heart. Located near some of the most popular tourist spots in the city, the neighborhood is perfect for when you just to have fun, meet new people, explore new ideas, get creative, and go on your own, unique path. 


Things to Do in Silver Lake, Los Angeles

You can eat, drink, and shop to your heart's content in Silver Lake. Though it's not known for its eateries, the district still has more than a handful that's worth checking out. At night, you'll want to go out and go bar-hopping, especially with the indie spots that Silver Lake is known for. And when just got your paycheck and have some money to spare, go to the quirky boutiques and cool vintage shops to find some of the kookiest and coolest fashions! 


Silver Lake, Los Angeles Restaurants

As already mentioned, Silver Lake has many great places to eat in Los Angeles. Its most famous is The Black Cat on Sunset Boulevard, a gastropub that has seen many famous patrons over the years. Also in the same area is Kenbey Sushi, headed by famed sushi chef Kenji Koyama. Apart from the famous Japanese delicacy, the place also serves many delectable vegan dishes. And speaking of only eating vegetables, the Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen on Santa Monica Boulevard is worth a try too. This is the best place to get your gluten-free fix with a lot of spice and flavor to it! 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Venice in Los Angeles, Ca

Throw whatever you may know about Venice, Los Angeles out the window. The place isn't always depicted accurately in TV shows and movies set in LA. The truth about this place is that it's a bohemian neighborhood with a fairly upscale commercial area and many peaceful residences. In a way, it's a whole host of vibes that you'd also find in other parts of the city. Though often portrayed as a gritty district, it's not so dangerous here. There are still parts of Venice where you can have a good time, bond with family, and more. 


Things to Do in Venice in Los Angeles

One of the best things to do in Venice is to go to Venice Beach. This is one of the most famous beaches in Los Angeles best known as “Muscle Beach,” a place where bodybuilders work out and tone their impressive physiques. You can exercise here, swim in the sea, and more. The area is also known for its many alfresco dining hotspots. It's one of the best places in LA to just eat under the sun and have a good time. 


Is Venice, Los Angeles Safe?

Despite how lively and colorful it is, Venice has some of the highest crime rates in Los Angeles. If you do end up here, it's best to remain in crowded areas and to stay aware of your surroundings.

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


West Hollywood, Los Angeles

If you were to ask which neighborhood is the liveliest and the most colorful in Los Angeles, most will probably answer West Hollywood. Not only is this area still part of the capital of show business, but it's also one of the biggest LGBTQ+ areas in the world. Queer pride here is overflowing, filled with coffee shops, drag bars, nightclubs, and more run and established for the community. If you want to celebrate Pride Month in LA, this is the best place for that. But also, the glamour of Hollywood still gleams over every once in a while! 


West Hollywood, Los Angeles Apartments

Many of the best luxury apartments in Los Angeles are in West Hollywood. Because the area is so popular with young adults, it makes sense that it has a strong real estate market. It's quite common for single adults or couples to find a place here, the former especially would share it with roommates. From spacious studio apartments to multi-bedroom homes, there's no doubt that it's fairly easy to find a nice place that's fairly affordable here. 


Is West Hollywood Safe?

It's a bit more complex than just yes or no. West Hollywood is generally safe during the day, but at night, it's a different story. In truth, the district has one of the highest crime rates in the city but that doesn't necessarily translate as a dangerous area. You'd do well to just not go out at night here.  

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Westwood, Los Angeles

As far as affluent neighborhoods in LA go, you can't go wrong with Westwood. A beautiful balance of an urban metropolis with a peaceful suburban vibe, you'll get the best of both worlds here. To keep you entertained, a flurry of fun activities and shopping havens await you and the entire family. They include the unique Hammer Museum, the famous Fox Theater, and the acclaimed Geffen Playhouse, to name a few. Plus, Westwood is where UCLA is located, so you know it's you'll get to find some trendy and hip places where students hang out. 


Is Westwood, Los Angeles Safe?

Yes, it is. Westwood has a low crime rate and is one of the safest areas in LA. 

Ultimate Los Angeles Guide by Neighborhood

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Discover the different neighborhoods in Los Angeles with this guide. It shares the basics of the central and most popular districts in the city. These are places you need to know about as far as LA is concerned. 


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