Since moving back to LA, I’ve had so much fun discovering different areas of the city. I spend a lot of time in West Hollywood (I think I went like 5 times last week?!) and Melrose is my favorite part. Actually, it’s safe to say I’m 100% obsessed. It can be a bit of a trek coming from where I live in the Palisades (about 30 minutes without traffic, up to an hour and a half with traffic ugh!), so I like to really maximize my time when I’m there. I promise the amazing restaurants, shops, street art and people watching make the drive well-worth it! Below are some of my favorite hot spots on Melrose. Hopefully, you’ll find this list helpful whether you’re an LA newbie like me, a longtime LA resident who wants to switch things up, or you’re just visiting for the weekend! : )
Eat & Drink
Alfred Tea Room: All pink ladies, you gotta go to Alfred Tea for the ‘gram. It’s the relatively new sister/baby of the Alfred Coffee gang. This place is the stuff of all of your cotton candy pink dreams. You’ll swoon over the sweet pink interior and signs with cutesy sayings like, “I love you so matcha” and “Tea, yes. You, maybe.” I get the rose boba every time I go, but their “Fancy Pink Tea List” has you covered if boba isn’t your thing. I bet their Vanilla Orchid tea is amazing! It’s also so tempting to pick up a Compartes chocolate bar, Alfred mug or candle as a souvenir for yourself or a friend on your way out. Alfred Tea is hands down my favorite place on Melrose- not to be missed!
Alfred Coffee: You know the “But First, Coffee” neon sign + floral wallpaper you’ve seen all over Insta? That’s Alfred Coffee. Very hipster and trendy- you know the deal. It’s a favorite LA staple, and I think the Melrose location is the best one. If I can’t make it out to Melrose, I’ll stop by their Brentwood location on San Vicente. I appreciate a pretty coffee sleeve, and of course Alfred always nails it. They’re currently sporting cheeky designs from Bumble- I met my boyfriend on Bumble, so I might be a little biased but I think they’re hilarious! I typically have an iced chai latte.
Moon Juice: I’m normally not much of a juice fanatic and typically prefer my food in more of a solid form, lol. But I went to Moon Juice with a friend after the Melrose farmers market one weekend, tried the Silver Strawbery and was instantly hooked. Pink medicine? Yes please. Their pretty décor + beauty line are total eye candy too.
Verve Coffee Roasters: Another fun place for a caffeine fix. Can you tell I really like coffee? I think I have some Gilmore in me. Anyways, I like to post up here and work for an afternoon when I have cabin fever.
Sweet Lady Jane: The sweetest café and bakery. Fun for brunch with girlfriends (challah French toast I’m looking at you). Don’t even get me started on their red velvet cupcakes. INSANE. I repeat- All of their desserts are INSANE. Sweet Lady Jane makes really gorgeous custom cakes as well, so keep them in mind for your next birthday party. I can’t even handle this picture of Kerry Washington going after a Sweet Lady Jane cake #MyIdol. Also love their Montana location for any fellow Westsiders.
Gracias Madre: I have high expectations for Mexican restaurants after living in Texas for 6 ½ years. Let’s just say I don’t joke about my guacamole and Gracias Madre far exceeds my expectations. It’s definitely not your typical Mexican restaurant. It’s plant-based, which may throw some off at first. I had a friend who didn’t want to eat here for lunch because she “doesn’t like vegetables” LOL but I convinced her anyways and we had a fabulous time over snowcone cocktails—seriously that’s a thing and it’s FUN. Sit at the photo-worthy bar or outside on the patio.
Fig & Olive: Fig & Olive is just a really gorgeous restaurant. I get all the heart eyes and so much décor inspo here. They have these really pretty olive trees with little twinkly lights inside the restaurant that I just love. They aren’t messing around with their fries either. TASTY. I always go with my mom—we typically discuss her opinions on my love life and argue over who is hogging the fries.
Cecconi’s: The chicest Italian restaurant I can think of in LA. Great people watching. Sit on the gorgeous open patio or at the bar. Don’t miss their happy hour menu (food and drinks run from $4-$9!!!) + save room for dessert.
Urth Café: If you’re in a healthy mood, Urth is a fun, sceney spot for coffee and lunch. I saw Sophia Bush here once and the One Tree Hill fanatic inside of me lost her freaken mind #BrookeAndLucasForever
Carrera Café: Go for the coolest latte art I’ve ever seen and the notorious mural (used to be covered in kisses and is now a La La Land poster!) Prepare to get ‘gramming.
Farmer’s Market: I’m such a sucker for farmer’s markets. You can typically find me here every Sunday with an armful of fresh flowers and a mouthful of free samples.
Shopping: Melrose has practically every store my shopaholic heart desires but my favorites to pop into are Violet Grey, Equipment, Zimmermann, Vince, NARs, Elodie K, Restoration Hardware and Kelly Wearstler.
Rise Nation: If you’re on Melrose to sweat, Rise Nation is the place to do it. Warning: it will be the most intense 30 minute workout of your life. Treat yourself to a new pair of kicks as your post-class award.
The Pink Wall: All social media addicts are familiar with The Pink Wall. It’s easily the most Instagrammed wall in LA. Who doesn’t love a bubblegum pink backdrop? Heads up: only iPhone photos are allowed during store hours.
Made In LA Wall: Whether you’re here for the weekend or looking to show off your hometown pride, the Made In LA wall is a necessary photo opp.
Did I miss any of your favorites? Shout out in the comments!
Stay tuned for more neighborhood guides and one big LA travel guide coming soon! xx