- Morning Jolt.
An elevated coffee culture has begun to bloom in Los Angeles in recent years, and downtown’s Verve Coffee is home to some of the best brew in town. Pair your cuppa with one of their breakfast offerings, like radish toast or chia pudding.
- Public Art.
Spend some time exploring the Arts District, which has become one of the country’s most important destinations for street art. At the intersections of Traction Avenue and East 3rd Street, you can see works by Shepard Fairey, How and Nosm, among others. On Saturdays, the square plays host to a farmers market where you can peruse fresh produce and meet local artists.
- Grab a Local Beer.
Pop into the Arts District Brewing Co. for a quick quaff at one of Los Angeles’ few craft brewpubs. With an on-site 15-barrel brewhouse and 30+ beers brewed on-site, the open, airy space is the perfect place for an early happy hour. Don’t miss the classic bar games, like pinball and Skeeball.
- Sample the Market.
Opened in 1917, Grand Central Market has undergone a revitalization in recent years, lending buzz to downtown’s food scene. Amble around the sprawling indoor space while attempting to narrow your choices from among the many standout shops. Try a traditional pastrami or Reuben sandwich at Wexler’s Deli, or tuck into a bowl of wonton soup at China Café, one of the market’s longest-standing vendors.
- Fine Dining Without Pretension.
An intimate, relaxed spot from celebrated French chef Ludo Lefebvre and partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, from L.A.’s equally lauded restaurant Animal, Trois Mec serves an ever-changing five-course tasting menu to ticket-holding guests. Each of the restaurant’s 24 seats has a view of the open kitchen, which adds an entertainment factor to the inventive, delicious meal.
- Toast of the Town.
Arrive early to beat the crowds at Sqirl, one of Los Angeles’ quintessential breakfast spots. Try a nourishing rice bowl laced with nut-free sorrel pesto and French sheep feta, and it’s practically obligatory to order one of their signature toasts — avocado or the thick brioche with house-made ricotta and seasonal jam.
- Hit the Trail.
Work off the brioche toast with a brisk walk in Runyon Canyon Park. Trails vary in difficulty, but each affords stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains and city below.
- Find the Taco Truck.
Chef Wes Avila trained in culinary schools in California and France, and his skill shines through in the inventive gourmet tacos sold from the Guerrilla Tacos truck that roves L.A. It’s worth tracking down for a taste of the roasted sweet potato or octopus and chorizo taco.
- Downtown’s Finest. Set.
Set in the stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, Patina Restaurant showcases the craftsmanship of Master Chef Joachim Splichal. The Michelin-starred restaurant’s tasting menus feature classic ingredients, prepared thoughtfully, like Hudson Valley foie gras with kumquat and pistachio.
- Return to Nest.
Retreat to The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles for a nightcap at Nest, Wolfgang Puck’s lounge perched on the hotel’s 24th floor. Sip a glass of sake or a specialty cocktail while taking in the twinkling city skyline.