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When you hear of someone’s trip to Los Angeles, most likely Venice Beach and Disney or Universal Studios is one of the first things you’ll hear about. But for a truly unique Los Angeles itinerary, you’ll want to head over to the east side towards Downtown, Hollywood, Silver Lake and Highland Park.
These trendy and diverse neighborhoods have something totally different going on than the sunny coastline of Los Angeles. Delicious food and cool local spots run by female-entrepreneurs all make for some of the best things to do in LA.
Here are a bunch of tips on accommodations, restaurants, activities and more that can easily fill your Los Angeles itinerary with women owned businesses.
Note: This post on a unique Los Angeles itinerary was created in partnership with Discover LA in honor of Women’s History Month to highlight female run businesses of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Itinerary: Where to Stay
If you love gorgeous design and oh so comfortable beds, then the new Hoxton Hotel, which opened up in Downtown LA in October 2019, is a great hotel for you.
It has great amenities like an awesome clothes steamer that you’ll want to take home and a light breakfast included for free.
Pro Tips:  Don’t skip out on the Hoxton’s restaurant, Sibling Rival. The food is amazing.  Unless you get a larger room like a suite, this hotel is best for 2-3 nights (if you need ample closet space or a desk to work at).
Other Accommodation options:
- Mid range: Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood
- High end for business: Sheraton Downtown LA
- Airbnbs in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Itinerary: Where to Eat
While you’re staying at the Hoxton, you must eat at its restaurant, Sibling Rival. Nope, it’s not just out of convenient although that’s definitely a bonus. The restaurant just does an amazing job at making every dish to perfection so eating here is a must.
For dinner, try the gem lettuce salad, market citrus salad, brussel sprouts and wood roasted bone marrow.
The Grand Central Market is a fun food market full of female owned eateries such as:
- ?Sari Sari Store, filipino food (D-14) pictured
- Belcampo, a butcher (F-9)
- ?Fat & Flour, a bakery (E-3)
- ?Kismet Falafel, a sandwich and salad shop (B-10)
- ?DTLA Cheese, cheese and eatery (A-7)
- ?Sarita’s Pupuseria, Salvadorian dishes
Come here with a friend or two so you can food hop around a bunch of places.
With James Beard Award winning female chef Suzanne Goin, there’s nothing you can’t go wrong with here at this Californian-French small plates restaurant.
My lunch faves included the fried chicken, cheese platter and charred chicories, taleggio, pine nuts & grapes focacia.
DAMA is a trendy restaurant and bar with tropical deco design in the heart of DTLA. Female chef Antonia Lofaso’s menu is full of fresh and flavorful Latin-inspired bites.
Definitely get the oysters, gambas, which have a bit of an addicting kick, bread with tomatoes and garlic, zucchini flowers, bone marrow, corn and churros, and don’t forget about the cocktails. Out of all the restaurants we ate at, these had the best cocktails!
First made popular in Williamsburg, New York, you can now find Smorgasburg in DTLA. It’s arguably the best food market in Los Angeles because of the large variety of food.
Female-owned vendors include but are not limited to:
- “The Tamale Shoppe: created by mother-daughter team Patricia Mendoza Lugo and Irene Martinez the two bring their decades old family recipes
- Brothcarey: sisters Allison and Janice So serve all-natural, slow simmered bone broth that are gluten-free, 100% paleo-friendly, and truly nutrient-dense
- Junbi: translated to “preparation” in Japanese, four best friends create energy and goodness through matcha” (Discover LA)
From the minimal decor to robust flavors, Kismet is a crowd pleaser. Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, chef-owners of Kismet, serve up a variety of delicious dishes such as the persian crispy rice (must-order), fried cauliflower and broccolini salad-y dish.
At this neighborhood spot, Jewel will and can satisfy both meat lovers’ and vegan palates with Chef Jasmine Shimoda’s plant-forward dishes.
For something sweet, check out the corn pancakes. For everyone’s all-time favorite, go with the burrito or avocado toast, and to be pleasantly surprised with how much a plant-based food can taste like calamari, opt for the coconut meat tacos.
Note: This spot is good to go to if Vinovore is on your list because they’re just a minute a part from each other!
For something a little different and heavier than LA’s normal New American cuisine, check out Otono in Highland Park. Female Chef Montano highlights the flavors of Spain in her modern Spanish dishes.
Out of everything we tried, the octopus and tuna tartare were the best!
Note: This spot is good to go to if Highland Park vintage shopping since it’s in that neighborhood.
Los Angeles Itinerary: What to Do
Want to bring home a DIY project that’s actually beautiful and fun to make? Try something different by going to one of Maker’s Mess’ many classes such as Beeswax Candle Making, which I did and LOVED, Watercolor Portraits, Kombucha 101 and so much more.
Vinovore is a wine shop with a community vibe in Silver Lake. All the wines and goods sold at this shop are by female winemakers and crafts makers.
Go for the wine but stay for the adorable golden retriever who wants to be everyone’s best friend.
Don’t believe in getting life-changing advice from a pack of cards? You will after you get a tarot card reading at Bar Franca. Post up in this local female-owned and operated bar with a cocktail in one hand and your future in the other.
Heidi Merrick brought local Los Angeles fashion in the downtown area where only national and international names first existed. Her designs are born and bred entirely within the heart of DTLA and the shop to go to if you’re looking for feminine yet functional aka comfortable clothing.
To learn about the history of women in Downtown Los Angeles, check out the “Women Who Shaped DTLA” walking tour on Wednesday, March 11th & 18th from 3-5pm.
Highland Park, a hipster, family-friendly neighborhood of Los Angeles, is full of fun vintage shops like Honeywood Vintage. But if you’re not into shopping, then you can bar and food hop along the two trendy roads in Highland Park: Figueroa Street and York Blvd.
Everyone goes to LACMA to take picture outside at the Urban Lights installation, but did you know that inside they frequently feature female and minority artists? This models the diversity of the Los Angeles community.
As of March 2020, three installations you might enjoy are:
- Luchita Hurtado: I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn
- Do Ho Suh: 348 West 22nd Street especially if you’re from NYC because the apartment the artist shows is his New York one!
- Metropolis II
Did you even visit this health-conscious city if you didn’t include yoga in your Los Angeles itinerary? Whether you want to experience the culture of yoga in LA or simply keep up with your routine, check out a yoga class at one of One Down Dog’s three locations.
Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Get Around
The easiest way to get around LA is to get an Uber. With this method, you won’t have to deal with parking or driving in traffic. By opting for Uber Pool, you can save a couple of dollars too. Sign up for Uber here and $5 off your first ride.
Renting a car is a great idea if you want more freedom. There are plenty of car rental companies to choose from, especially at the airport, but just be mindful of parking and driving in traffic.
Ubers at the airport require you to walk a couple of terminals to the specified Uber section. Call Wilshire Limousine Service to have a car ready for you at your terminal if you don’t want to deal with walking over to the Uber area.
Los Angeles has both public busses and an underground subway to get around. Use Google Maps to pull up public transportation directions.
Los Angeles Itinerary: What to Pack
Aside from your usual electronics and clothing, there are a couple of must-have items for Los Angeles:
- If you’re going in the winter months, it might not seem that cold at night, but because it gets so hot during the day, the nighttime will feel much colder with the temperature difference.
- Whether you’re going on a hike in Griffith Park, run on Venice Beach or simply strolling around Silver Lake, sneakers are a must to be comfortable.
- For an eco-friendly city full of fun shopping options, bring a foldable, reusable bag. It’s one of my must-haves for traveling in general.
Thanks for making it all the way down to the end of the post. I’d love to connect. Come say hi to me my Instagram @sarchetrit, especially if you found any part of this post to be helpful.
Till then, thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!