In LA, the best trips are sometimes the ones taken right into a new neighborhood. Exploring a new block or two with a tourist’s eye and a bit of native know-how can turn any day into an adventure. Lately, we’ve loved exploring Culver City.
In the past few years, LA’s Culver City has blossomed into a shopping, food and design destination. The area’s old Hollywood roots, incredibly central location and explosion of new places to shop and eat make it the perfect mid-city date for east and westsiders. Whatever you’re in the mood for, here are a few of our all-time favorite spots in Culver City…
Where To Eat
destroyer | This daytime-only cafe has major design chops. Fittingly, the food often looks more like contemporary art than anything we’d ever expect to find on a cafe menu. Made using meticulously sourced ingredients, any of the food — which is somehow not obscenely expensive — feels like a serious treat-yourself-moment. Discover why we love Destroyer here and learn about their visionary chef here.
loqui | Tucked away in the cool retail slash lifestyle space, Platform LA, Loqui is the perfect cross between hole-in-the wall taco joint and trendy neighborhood resto. Their tacos are fresh and insanely addictive, with the real stars being the house guac and handmade tortillas. Mixed by hand, these magical discs of dough are worth breaking your gluten-ban for. But don’t worry, there’s a GF option too.
lodge bread co | This neighborhoody haunt serves up bread baked the old fashioned way, as well as a great menu full of diverse options. Insider’s tip: avoid eye contact with the basketball-sized cinnamon roll. Or don’t.
hayden | Part wine bar, part cozy cafe, Hayden is a dreamy blend of quick, casual and chic. The light and airy spot serves up bottles of wonderfully unusual natural wines and little bites made to share, from oysters and ceviche to toasts and desserts. Hayden’s stylish, but casual vibe makes it the perfect place for a first date: guests can easily keep it quick and casual or linger all night – depending on how things go.
akasha | Akasha was one of the first LA restaurants to make eating vegan a stylish experience. Once a star-studded vegan hangout, this old school classic still provides one of the best fine dining experiences in the city for vegans. We love the dining room’s industrial modern feel.
sweetgreen | Midcity and looking for something quick but nutritionally satisfying? Drop in to build the salad or grain bowl of your dreams, or go for one of their chef-inspired seasonal specials. Thoughtfully sourced and prepped fresh daily, sweetgreen’s ingredients are on point which means whatever you order you can’t go wrong. you can sneak a peek into the company’s experimental kitchen if you’re lucky too.
n/ naka | This swanky Japanese restaurant is considered one of the absolute best in the city. That means your dinner is likely to be pricey, but you’ll end up with one of the best meals you’ve ever had. So much of LA’s sushi scene is about funk and creativity, but N/Naka keeps it classic and timeless. N/Naka is the kind of place you go to for the freshest fish and the most traditional pairings, with a contemporary feel from plate to palate. It’s not the kind of place you stop into for a quick bite, but rather one you go for when you’re looking to luxuriate in your dining experience. Also, we should note that it was featured on the first season of Chef’s Table, so if you want a real feel be sure to check it out before booking a reservation.
bar nine | Just around the corner from Destroyer, Bar Nine bears all the industrial minimalist style you hope to find in this neighborhood, but isn’t over-crowded. Cross your fingers and head in to find (the illusive) coffee shop perch – the coffee is bold and better here than most cups in town.
Where to Shop
bird | Hailing straight from Brooklyn, Bird is one of our fave places to shop for independent labels when we’re not looking for something specific. We’re just waiting for something special to jump out at us among the quirky chic racks — expect to find plenty of prints and playful silhouettes. Bird also promotes eco-conscious ideals in the build of the store and the brands they stock.
reformation | Fashion girls rejoiced when eco-conscious and uber stylish Reformation made its way to the Westside and landed right on the edge of the Platform center. Their green ethos can be spotted everywhere, from the fashionably upcycled materials to the earth-friendly design elements in their stores. This store is extra fun to frolick through with their electronic shopping experience. There are racks of clothes all over the store with samples, but shopping is done through massive touch-screen TVs – a hybrid online / offline experience.
Arcana books | Located in the historic Helm’s Bakery complex, this arts-oriented bookstore is one of the largest in the city – and a serious treat for the creative-type. We could spend hours browsing the beautiful variety of books on everything from architecture to photography to rock and roll.
midland | Midland is a gorgeous curation of home and lifestyle goods from the ladies who founded stylish event planning co, Bash Please. Midland is the stuff of a modern wellness girl’s dreams – think jewelry and home goods from local LA designers, modern silhouettes made with natural materials, incense, perfume and other perfectly giftable essentials. Meet the founders and learn more about the Culver shop here.
tenoverten | tenoverten is one of our favorite spots to get a green mani-pedi. This specific locale offers spa experiences too. Stop by for a fresh coat of non-toxic nail polish and stay for a shamanic reiki facial by their resident holistic skincare pro. They also have a strong curation of green beauty to shop while your nails dry.
The edit | This chic AF hybrid store is the fashion baby of two stylish ladies, LA-based hat designer Janessa Leone, and luxury shoe queen Freda Salvatore. You might find yourself splurging on a killer pair of sandals or the wide-brim hat finally turns you into a “hat person” but honestly, we get as much of a thrill just from browsing the beautifully combined collection.
varley pop-up | Focused equally on performance and style, fitness lifestyle brand Varley is one of our faves when we need a chic new workout outfit to inspire us back into the gym. Their pop up at Platform LA is a fun opportunity to try things on, feel the materials, and do all the hands-on evaluating you can’t do when shopping online. They’re also hosting cool wellness events and workout classes all summer.
Nanushka pop-up | This Hungarian brand has set up shop for a few months at Platform LA. Their clothes have a vintage feel, meaning they don’t look like everything else in every other store. Each item has a timeless feel infused with subtle femininity and a casual-but-modern edge we just can’t quit.
Looking for more great spots to eat in LA? Check out our fave haunts here.
Thanks for the recommendations, I’m visiting LA in 3 weeks for the first time!
Just a small correction.. Nanushka is a Hungarian brand not Turkish. 🙂
Nothing screams “I’m an out of town transplant” more than referring to Culver as mid-city.
Is there a map to go with the recommendations?
BAR NINE – I bought a cup of coffee there about a year ago. The guy behind the counter had tattoos. I’m old fashioned – didn’t make me feel comfortable. He squatted down behind the counter to get a pitcher of coffee and then poured a cup over ice for another customer. I bought a hot cup of coffee. It was very overpriced. I walked outside and had three sips. Didn’t like the taste. Seemed bitter to me. I threw it out into the first trash can I found. I have never been back. My recollection is that I paid $5 for that cup of coffee. In my opinion, that is a ridiculous price.
If people really knew Culver City they would mention the coffee shop the actual locals go to The Conservatory on Washington. That is the ONLY place to get a real cup of coffee. Beans roasted twice a day, in front of you. It’s been there for 20 years.