In October, having just moved home from London my boyfriend and I packed up our bags and went travelling across California for a month! Starting in Los Angeles, we travelled to Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Fransisco, Yosemite National Park and finally finished our trip in San Diego. What a month, what a trip! We experienced so much culture in four weeks and saw some incredible sights, ate some delicious food and made the most amazing memories. Most people told us to hire a car, but I would recommend travelling by coach or train so you can take in every second of the view along the way.
CAFES & RESTAURANTS
1608 1/2 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Dinette is a tiny hole in the wall cafe with outdoor seating located in the upcoming, creative area of Los Angeles, Echo Park. A simple idea, you go to the window and place your order from the equally small menu and are called to the window when your food is ready. It was quick, simple and perfect, I loved the fuss free concept. I got to laze in a deck chair on the side walk enjoying my delicious waffle and syrup whilst enjoying the Californian sunshine! Quick, homemade and delicious, how fast food should be.
THE HART & HUNTER
7950 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
The Hart and The Hunter cafe is located inside the PaliHotel, with a gorgeous outdoor patio that wraps around the hotel, offering great views of the surrounding neighbourhood. A very relaxed atmosphere and comfortable cushioned seating make it the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday Brunch - particularly if you have a hangover! The food is typically Southern American, comfort food and you are encouraged to go bottomless (with your champagne!) Not to be missed are the butter biscuits served with condiments. For example, pimento cheese or a peach jam. In flavour and texture they were similar to a scone but smaller and lighter - just utterly delicious. To lighten up my plate, I opted for the avocado, pickled red onion served with herbs and a beetroot and hazelnut salad.
720 N Virgil Ave 4, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Being an avid fan of the Youtube channel Munchies, a documentary which explores various different restaurants and their chefs across the world, I was very excited to try Jessica Koslow's, Sqirl. We qued for quite some time as the line of people wrapped around the block. Finally when seated, we ordered the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl, which came recommended on the show, and oh was it worth the wait! The bowl was made up of Kokuho rose brown rice, sorrel pesto which is nut free, preserved meyer lemon, lacto-fermented hot sauce and finished with watermelon radish, French sheep feta, a poached egg and a side of avocado! Sounds like an unlikely combination, I hear you, but it tasted incredible. With a list of unusual dishes and some seasonal classics, the cafe can get quite hectic as it is only small in size, I recommend getting in early morning to avoid the rush. Vegan and veggie friendly, there is also plenty of gluten free options too!
624 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 9003
The stunning Republique, built in 1928 by Charlie Chaplin, remains light, airy and feels almost church like in its presence and grandeur. The seating is communal, which I love. The space feels really welcoming and social. Retro tiling and a large bar and courtyard area are what gives the space a modern finese. The food served is of French origins and is typically hearty and flavoursome. The Sakshuka and salted breakfast potatoes are seriously something special and be sure to grab a homemade cake or pastry for later on your way out from the generous selection at the counter!
JON & VINNY'S
412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Where do I start with this fairfax Ave find? Unassuming from the outside but when you step inside, the entire interior is clad in pale wood with pink neon signs to guide you to the bathrooms. Offering a cool, modern take on an American diner, it was something special. Stopping by for breakfast, I ordered the pancakes whilst we chatted to a fellow English Northerner who was seated next to us. A few American girls to our left then joined our conversation with our server then coming over to chat while we all exchanged stories and reccomendations. This is Jon & Vinny's! The atmosphere is social and welcoming. The staff and the customers want to chat and engage with each other. It feels fun and like you never want to leave. The food being ridiculously good also helps too The American pancakes were the best I have ever tasted. They were soft and fluffy, topped with berries and syrup. Our experience was so enjoyable and the food so good, that we came back the following evening for dinner having a full Italian feast. The best spaghetti, the best Italian flavours, finished off with a homemade Nutella Donut. One of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, hands down!
1299 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
So this happened! A larger than life, classic American plate of breakfast food. We ate at Plow frequently during our stay in San Francisco, as the food was just too damn good and always guaranteed to see us right through until late evening. Described as farm-to-table American comfort food, it definitely delivered on freshness and a feeling of fullness when leaving! The highlight of every visit for me, was the rosemary and sea salt skin-on breakfast potatoes. I have tried endlessly to recreate them at home to no avail. Plow is an absolute must when visiting California.
OTHER CAFES & RESTAURANTS TO VISIT IN LOS ANGELES
MILO & OLIVE
OTHER CAFES & RESTAURANTS TO VISIT IN SAN DIEGO
WOW WOW WAFFLES
CRAFT & COMMERCE
OTHER CAFES & RESTAURANTS TO VISIT IN SAN FRANCISCO
8000 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048
I am always lusting after clothes from the Reformation website, so I was beyond excited to visit one of their stores. Not only is the clothing endorsed by your favourite super cool, instagram it girl, it is also one of the few major brands showing the adverse effects of climate change. Created in 2009, Reformation manufacture the majority of their range in Los Angeles. Their website features videos of their in house seamstress' at work and they support using only sustainable methods and materials at a fraction of the environmental impact of conventional fashion. Their mission is to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable and eco friendly - Join the Reformation!
THE APARTMENT BY THE LINE
8463 Melrose Place, 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90069
The Line is unlike any other shopping experience, in that it is both modern and personal. The Apartment aims to bring together carefully chosen fashion, home, and beauty items and place them in the context of how you would usually see them. The clothes as you’ll see them before you wear them, hanging up in the bedroom, the magazines are where their place would be in your own living room. Everything has a place in the context of your own home and it is truly a unique space to shop and browse.
CREATURES OF COMFORT
7971 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046,
The ultimate destination for anyone wanting to dress like an L.A local. Inside you’ll find an array of cool minimalist brands, such as L.A based designer Clare Vivier and All For the Mountain with their amazing jewellery. Creatures of Comfort's own clothing line however is what shines here. The in house range is filled with every must-have basic from loose fitted t-shirts to smart cropped trousers in every shade. Creatures of Comfort are nailing the laid back, modern Cali girl style.
3458a 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Stumbling upon this boutique in The Mission district, we met Basil and his beautiful parrot, Pearl. The store was playing jazz music and Basil was emailing designers from Liverpool about his latest creations, telling us that a lot of his creatives live and work in the North West of England. Bags, pouches, clutch and luggage tags are all handmade on-site using natural leather and can be customised to suit your needs. The elongated gold and silver metallic totes in particular were gorgeous.
NEEDLES & PENS
1173 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110,
Needles & Pens is a beautiful store in San Francisco hot spot, The Mission District. Packed inside is zines, homeware and jewellery with the space also operating as an art gallery. Opened in 2003, Needles & Pens aims to provide an affordable place where like minded people from the community can display and sell their own home-made goods. My favourites were the ceramic mugs and matching bowls on display in this photograph. I also picked up the Californian made, soy candles which were spiced pumpkin scented. They smell so Christmassy!
2900 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
In the heart of The Northeast Mission neighbourhood, is Heath Ceramics and their showroom. Famed for their architectural tiling in a distinctive glaze. the showroom has it all on display in every colour and size. The showroom also operates as a tiling factory, offering tours to see how the famous Heath tiles are made. Not only that, A Chef's Kitchen area features the range of Heath cookbooks alongside a reading corner which offers magazines, snacks and stationery. The best addition here is the Tartine Manufactory, a creative culinary research, production, and gathering space, from Tartine Bakery co-owners. A multi-use space for all purposes, Heath is wonderful.
3801 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
Pigment was created by husband and wife and feels like stepping in to an Urban Outfitters Home catalogue. The difference being, everything at Pigment is made by independent, local artists. Pigment is great for unique gifts, flora, furniture and homeware with true Cali feel to it.
OTHER STORES TO VISIT IN LOS ANGELES
ACORN EAGLE ROCK
OTHER STORES TO VISIT IN SAN DIEGO
OTHER STORES TO VISIT IN SAN FRANCISCO
THE GENERAL STORE
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
THE BROAD MUSEUM
221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
HIKE TO THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
MISSION DOLORES PARK
Dolores St & 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133
JAPANESE TEA GARDEN
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94102
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA