It is no small feat for an independent bookstore to stay in business during the times when even giant chains have caved in. It is a downright marvel when a brand-new bookstore emerges and proceeds to forge upstream against the general trend of brick-and-mortar decline. One such miracle occurred in the midst of the Downtown Arts District in 2011 when The Last Bookstore opened its doors, dazzling eager bibliophiles and inquisitive passers-by with its spacious, beautifully laid-out interior packed full of new and used editions of every genre. With its affordable prices, friendly staff and a massive, continuously changing collection, the bookstore quickly claimed for itself a permanent place among the most popular destination of Downtown LA.
Located in the downtown Long Beach Harbor, Shoreline Village shopping center features some great shops and restaurants. From here you can also take boat tours of the Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors. Restaurants include The Yard House, Tequila Jack's, Tugboat Pete's and Parkers' Lighthouse. At sunset, an excursion along the Long Beach Harbor Marina is perfect and at night, both The Yard House and Tequila Jack's are hopping bars that serve several beers and tequilas.
Some of the funkiest folks in town do all of their gift and holiday shopping at Wacko, also known as Soap Plant. One of the most notorious and eclectic shops in Los Angeles, it's a sure bet that you'll find things that you never knew existed. From Sumo wrestler lunch boxes to patchouli soaps and kiss "Psycho Circus" dolls, expect the unexpected. It's the perfect place if you want to take home a little bit of Hollywood hipster heaven.
If you're looking for fresh and healthy produce, this is the market. It is held twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Saturday market comprises of about 30 vendors and farmers; all of their produce is either organically grown, or if not certified organic: at least pesticide-free. Parking is available on the nearby streets and also in several parking structures in the vicinity. Credit cards may be accepted, but it will vary by vendor.
The oldest open air market in the city, the Grand Central Market is located in the bustling downtown area of Los Angeles. This has been a one stop shopping destination for everyday wants since 1917. From fresh produce to fresh meats, perfumes to liquor and jewelry to grains, you will find all you need. This huge market even has several restaurants on-site and is known as a foodie's paradise. Come and experience the flavors and sights of this market; a favorite with locals!
Third Street Promenade is a dazzling shopping destination with clothing boutiques, bars, bookstores, restaurants, movie theaters and more! The upscale chains have begun dominating the street, but there are still many local boutiques and specialty stores. More than 80 retailers make this place a shoppers' haven. The gastronomy is also exceptional thanks to food stalls and restaurants that are dotted on the street. Make sure to visit during the weekly farmer's market for tasty fresh food. Located in downtown, the shopping district is a spectacular place for retail therapy.
This cigar shop has been in business since the 1940s. It started out selling only its own line of cigars which were simple but high in quality and flavor.These days, the owners sell 25-30 other brands in addition to their own line, which has evolved into a premium cigar over the decades. The owners sell their cigars in boxes with bands. Cigar lovers should definitely give the house brand a try as it is aromatic and delightful. Call for open hours.
This is the store to come to for information about Japan. It carries an enormous inventory of English language books about Japan, as well as books in the Japanese language. You can also find Japanese magazines, CDs, computer software and videos in Japanese with English subtitles.
The place is a paradise found for any hipsterette or eccentric fashionista. In short, the store carries some of the most striking and eye-catching t-shirts and tunics in town. But that's not all; there are denims, leggings, frocks and mounds of trendy accessories, all original and with a twist. Sourced directly from select Japanese artists and designers, Popkiller's assortment is unique, edgy and plain unruly in its rampant variety. Furthermore, it spans through mind-boggling miscellany, from fashion eyewear to post cards, stickers and magnets, to weird toys and puzzling gadgets. Grab a two hour parking spot on the street, or in a nearby cheap lot and dive in. You owe it to yourself to experience Popkiller first-hand.
DTLA Cheese, as its name suggests, sells a wide variety of cheese sourced from all over the globe, from Italy and France to the individual states of America. It is a charming shop nestled in Downtown Los Angeles. If you get intimidated by the sheer varieties and names of the cheese, its helpful staff will guide you through the bewildering maze. This shop is replete with Habenero Cheddar, Humboldt Fog and Hook's Cheddar among other kinds of cheese. It also serves as a restaurant and offers light snacks such as Ham and Cheese Melt, Brussel Sprouts Salad, Pork Loin and Salami Sandwich.
Belcampo Meat Co. has on sale organic, grass-fed meats meanwhile also doubling up as a burger joint. You can choose between their burgers, stews and sandwiches among other goodies and wash down the dishes with a glass of beer or wine. The Belcampo Burger prepared with caramelized onions, white cheddar, house sauce, lettuce and bread bar brioche bun as well as the Beef Tallow Fries are particularly delightful. If you find yourself impressed by the quality of the meat in the food served, certainly take a pound of ground beef home to delight other friends and family members too.