One of the great things about the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles in the past few years is that more people are discovering the beauty of this vibrant, badass community. And now, with the new Metro Bike Share program, it’s easier than ever. Buy a pass, pick up a bike, and drop it off at any of the other spots around downtown. So we decided to test these bad boys out by doing our own biking tour of the area. Results? Pretty successful, in fact.
Angel City Brewery – Traction & Rose
Listen, I know this is supposed to look like it’s an “active, fit, outdoorsy” tour of LA, but let’s face it – that’s all a front. The fact is, do we really want to walk all the way across downtown? Hell no! So let’s take the lazy route, pick up a bike and breeze through traffic! In fact, none of the stops on this tour are more than a block from a Metro Bike stop. So we’re starting this tour where we already are, at Angel City. And luckily, there’s a bike stop right across the street. Away we go, kids.
Phillipe the Original – New High & Ord
Ok, let’s ignore the whole “Phillipe’s vs Cole’s” argument for a minute. Which one of these places came up with putting roast beef on bread and then dipping it in roast beef juice? I dunno, probably neither of them? But there’s no denying that both of these joints make a mean French Dip, and since the other main attraction of Cole’s is a speakeasy in the back, we’re going to start off the tour with Phillipe’s to ease into the day. Our suggestion: Lamb Dip, double dipped.
California Plaza – Grand & 3rd
Now that food is covered (for now, at least), let’s recreate a little bit. The bike stop at Grand & 3rd…well, let’s say you got options. Frisbee at Grand Park. Ballet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Modern art at the Broad or MoCA. But our suggestion? Head over to California Plaza and catch some live music with Grand Performances (ahem… free live music). Plus, you can check out the fancy digs at the Omni, and make fun of the people stuck in the office tower while you have fun outside. Neiner neiner, executive partner.
LA Live – Figueroa & Pico
Time to head south. And if biking all day has got you feeling sporty for some reason, LA Live has got one of the premiere sports arenas in the country with the Staples Center. Or you could just refuel at spots like Tom’s Urban, Rock N’ Fish, Live Basil, or the Yard House (They’re probably showing what’s going on in the arena anyway – for much cheaper!)
St Vincent Court/Clifton’s – 7th and broadway
Let’s head back into the heart for a bit and hit up this spot right near St Vincent Court – a quirky little street that looks like a movie set. You can take the time to explore the little shops, or figure out how to pronounce “gyro” from the Mediterranean restaurants.
Afterwards, head around the corner to Clifton’s for an equal supply of cafeteria Jell-O and taxidermied wildlife. This LA institution came to fame in the 1930s for their all-are-welcome, pay-what-you-can attitude. Now it’s been reinvented as a hipster hideout with live acts, 5 bars, and plenty of weird nooks and crannies.
Last Bookstore/Little Easy – Main & 5th
Now this next stop, only a couple of blocks away, is probably within walking distance. But remember, we’re taking it easy on this trip. So we’re heading to The Little Easy – a New Orleans courtyard buried inside a Los Angeles city block. Laissez les bons temps rouler, dude.
Afterwards, cross the street to go to The Last Bookstore, print media’s swan song synagogue. Upstairs, you’ll find sculptures made out of books, pop-up art shops, and plenty of books for sale, of course. Downstairs, stop in for one of their many author readings, or just relax for a bit and pop open a book and read.
Seoul Sausage – 3rd and San Pedro
Two words: Rice Balls. Crunchy starch outside, savory meat inside. A pair of these will fill you up, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want more. But it’s time to head home now. Not before hitting up one last stop, however…
Tony’s Saloon – Imperial & 7th
Ahh, Tony’s. If you’ve ended up at Tony’s, it probably means you’ve had a good day. This classic LA joint has billiards, darts, and ping-pong underneath the stars. But most importantly, this was Hunter S Thompson’s local – and isn’t that enough reason to go?
Angel City Brewery – Traction & Rose
Now strictly speaking, you don’t need to end this tour where you started it. Part of the appeal of the Metro Bike program is that you don’t have to leave your bike where you found it. But after biking all around DTLA, you deserve a reward. We have over 18 different varieties of rewards, available in 10 and 16 ounces.
Plus, if you thought, “Hey, this biking stuff is pretty badass,” we’ve teamed up with LACBC to provide discounted memberships and a chance to win a bike of your very own throughout September and December. No sharing required! You can enter our Let’s Ride, Angel City! contest here.