‘hoods explored: Boyle Heights

Urban hikes in Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights is one of our favorite, old school L.A. neighborhoods; nestled just across the bridge from DTLA –  it’s inviting, full of diverse Mexican culture & an amateur photographer’s dream. With rich & eclectic architecture & history, every corner boasts the opportunity of new discovery.

Over the years, we’ve started our day many-a-time with sampler tacos at Guisados or cocteles at Los Antojitos near the police station & then perused the thrift stores down the street – specifically, one of our favorite spots – Pepe’s Thrift Shop.

Guisados in Boyle Heights

Guisados in Boyle Heights

Making our way over to Mariachi Square – a stop on the Metro Los Angeles Gold Line, & a favorite spot for local mariachi’s to offer their services – we ALWAYS make sure to take pictures along the way, & stop for smiles & conversations. There’s such a great energy in that area that it’s almost impossible to not find yourself in conversation with locals out & about.

We’ve also picnicked in Hollenbeck Park – while of course googling (the now-converted) historical landmark, Linda Vista Community Hospital (check out this story by LAist about it) – which is right beside the park. It was vacant for years & has a bit of a sordid & rumored history, & there’s a long list of bands that shot videos in this pretty creepy venue.

If you dig trying new foods, especially from specific parts of Mexico (Mole from Oaxaca?) – definitely check out El Mercadito – across from the Evergreen Cemetery. It’s filled with beautifully crafted goods – like sandals & slides from Michoacan (that we are still IN LOVE with),  traditional Mexican candies & so many homemade food options that you’ll want to walk & explore all the vendors, work up an appetite & then decide where to eat.

Like mariachi music? The entire upstairs is filled with the sounds of dueling mariachi bands @ El Mercadito Mariachi Restaurant.

mariachis-al-mercadito

Three Tips for spending the day in Boyle Heights:

– I know we always say this, but take your time. Spend the day, walk if you can & take pictures. Boyle Heights is another city that is rapidly changing, so there are always new things to see along with original architecture & old L.A., too.

– If you’re rushed, just drive over to El Mercadito – it’s a slice of Mexico in Los Angeles & you won’t regret checking it out. Mexican spices, tortilla presses, pottery & good food.

– Did we say, come hungry? Okay, we’ll say it again… come hungry.

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