Berkeley restaurants

Top 4 Non-Touristy Places to Visit in Los Angeles

After spending spring break at home in sunny Los Angeles, I’ve compiled a list of must-see places to take my college friends when they come to visit. From beaches to hikes to restaurants and cafes, here are four non-touristy spots to keep at the top of your itinerary when visiting LA.

Café Alfred Studio City

Starting your busy weekend with a delicious dose of caffeine is key – when in LA, Alfred Coffee Studio City is absolutely the way to go. The menu is filled with delicious classics, from their famous vanilla iced lattes to breakfast burritos made with eggs, bacon and tater tots. This specific location in Studio City is the perfect place to grab your coffee and catch up with friends before heading to other parts of LA. It’s not crowded like other cafes, and it’s surrounded by families and locals rather than tourists. The next time you’re looking for a coffee to satisfy your caffeine cravings, try Alfred Coffee Studio City.

Runyon Canyon Park

Soak up the afternoon sun with a hike in Runyon Canyon Park located less than 15 minutes from Alfred Coffee and right near the heart of Hollywood. This park is home to a variety of routes to suit all tastes, from high-intensity trails to leisurely walks alongside the dogs you’re bound to encounter. Unlike typical views from Mount Hollywood Trail or Griffith Observatory, the Runyon hike takes you right up to the sign. This hike also gives you the opportunity to take the best Instagram photos ever, where the background and lighting will always be in your favor.

Sage Herbal Bistro and Brasserie

LA is generally well known for its countless vegan options available at most restaurants. While it’s good to know that most dietary needs can be met in Los Angeles, not all vegan restaurants are created equal. Fortunately, Sage Plant Based Bistro & Brewery is a win for vegans and non-vegans alike. With dishes like BBQ Pulled “Pork” Jackfruit Sandwiches, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, and even fresh kombucha on tap, you’re bound to find something you like. You can enjoy your food indoors with its warm, rustic ambiance, outdoors under the patio lights, or even place a take-out order so you can dig into your meal while on your way to your next destination.

Matador Beach

You definitely don’t want to miss the famous SoCal sunsets, but finding a beach other than the ones around the Santa Monica Pier can be a challenge, especially if you want to avoid the big crowds. El Matador Beach is the perfect place to drive up and watch the sunset from the comfort of your own car with blufftop parking. But if you have time to get down the stairs and onto the clean, cool sand, even better. About a 30-minute drive north of Santa Monica, this beach has tall sand cliffs and sea caves that make you feel like you’re at a secluded resort. Whether you’re in the mood to watch the waves from your car or capture the sunset from the sand, El Matador Beach is a must-see spot.

The next time you find yourself in Southern California and have a free weekend to explore, visit these places to feel like the ultimate LA local.

Contact Isabel Espinoza at [email protected].