There are so many things to love about Los Angeles. It’s my home, it’s where my family is, and where many other things and places I love are. As much as I love traveling it always feels good to be home. And I never have to wander too far to feel like I’m somewhere completely different. If you want to “travel the world” in a few days, come to LA and experience many cultures in one city. Here is my list of Los Angeles cultural neighborhoods to visit.
If you want a piece of China, there is Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s one of my favorite “towns” in LA. From shops full of interesting Chinese trinkets to huge street festivals for Lunar New Year and other big Chinese celebrations, Chinatown is where it’s at. And it wouldn’t be LA without a little movie action, films like Rush Hour and I Love You, Man have been shot here.
And if you’re looking for the best of the best authentic Chinese food head to Monterey Park. This suburban city just outside the LA city limits has some of the best Chinese food in the U.S. One of my favorite restaurants there is Mama Lu’s Dumpling House. I love their dumplings! If you’re a fan head there but it does get packed on Friday and Saturday evening to make sure to make a reservation online.
Want a taste of Korean culture? Head to Koreatown, also know as K-town, just west of Downtown LA. From amazing Korean spas like Wi Spa and Hugh Spa (my two favorites) to karaoke clubs you’ll be feeling like you’re in Seoul. Korean BBQ is a must and there’s no shortage here! And for the beauty/skincare lovers, check out shopping malls such as Koreatown Galleria and Koreatown Plaza, and also Nature Republic (one of my favorite Korean beauty brands) at the Wilshire/Western shopping plaza.
There are many predominately Mexican and Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles so you never have to wander far for amazing Latin dishes. If you want to experience a bit of Mexico head to Olvera Street, located in the heart of Downtown LA, just across from Union Station.
From restaurants and food stands to boutiques selling goods straight from across the border, this place will transport you.
TIP: Be sure to visit on a festival day! Olvera Street hosts some amazing street fairs from Día de Los Muertos to other Latin festivals and celebrations.
Fancy a quick trip to Japan? Head to Little Tokyo! From amazing sushi and ramen to the coolest Japanese shops, Little Tokyo has it all. Walk under lit up red lanterns at night in one of the plazas and head for mochi if you have a sweet tooth.
If you’re a foodie and haven’t tried Ethiopian food a trip to Little Ethiopia is a must! Just west of Miracle Mile is a small area called Little Ethiopia that is home to some of the best Ethiopian restaurants outside Ethiopia.
Thai Town in East Hollywood is home to the largest Thai population outside Thailand. Pretty cool, huh? It’s also where some of the best Thai restaurants are located. From the amazing Thai massages to the shops at Thailand Plaza, there is plenty to do in Thai Town.
Want more culture? Then stroll over to Little Armenia just next to Thai Town! And head to the historic Filipinotown is located just outside Downtown LA. Hope you found this list of Los Angeles cultural neighborhoods interesting.
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Great list! I’m a huge fan of all these places, being an LA native myself. I love that you can travel the world throughout Los Angeles without needing a passport. Please tell me you have a Part 2 brewing! What about Little Armenia, Little Italy, Cambodia Town, or the pockets of German, Russian, Persian, and Bangladeshi areas? We should collaborate on it!
Thank you for reading! Yes, I’m hoping to extend the post since there are SOOOO many other places to include. Would love to collaborate! Please shoot me an email hello (at) lewildexplorer (dot) com.
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