almost every night i turn to arian and say “where do you wanna eat tonight?” he pauses and thinks. “i dunno, what do you feel like?” we sit and think together. and then one day he was like “can you please just make a map and tape it to the wall so i can just pick from that?” and that day i started looking for a map illustrator for this new column. i have done scattered food posts in the past, but i wanted something more thought out…something you could bookmark if you are visiting LA or if you live here and need to try new places. (and we will hopefully feature more cities too) i know that i am such a sucker for a good food recomendation and figure a lot of you must be the same way.

i have found that something that gets me really excited about a vacation (or even a weekend) is researching where to eat. i like to put in my time and find just the right place. i will be documenting what i find here for you!

asia pietrzyk is an amazing artist that i chose to illustrate for this project. i love that her work reminds me of one of my favorite designers, saul bass (who’s film posters made me realize how much i love graphic design.) asia’s work struck me right away as clever and unexpected and i knew she was the right fit. and the fact that she could make these maps happen all the way from stockholm with my direction in one email is pretty rad too.

so i will be breaking down my neighborhood first (in two parts)…my favorite places to eat, grab a cocktail, go on a date and enjoy snacks with friends. i hope you enjoy the new column!

all of these spots are on sunset blvd in silver lake. i’ll start from the top of the map and follow it down…not in the order or “must go here” first, ok?

1. malo – if you go here, you have to get the ground beef and pickle taco. sounds a bit weird, i know, but it’s definitely the best on their menu. we don’t eat full meals here often but we will grab a spicy margarita and a taco with friends for happy hour every once and a while. the vibe is fun, it’s best if you can sit on the patio in the warmer months. i also had my birthday party upstairs 2 years ago and it was an awesome venue.

2. the cheese store – i always ask the counter for their favorite 3 cheeses (they have 3 that everyone loves!) they will let you try them. it’s a fun weekend activity to stock up on wine and cheese and bread and browse around their cute shop. (stop by my favorite floral shop, clementine next door for a mini bouquet too.) this year for my birthday we got a bunch of stuff from here and had a beach picnic.

3. intellegentsia. good coffee and people watching. gets a little sceney but it’s worth checking out.

4. cafe stella (and bar stella too) – it’s my favorite place. it’s like taking a trip to paris for breakfast. the baked eggs  are my thing…but i know a lot of people who rave about the lemon ricotta pancakes and the salmon benedict. you have to go there. and the bar that they added semi-recently is way legit. the interior design is out of this world. warning: the cocktails are pricey, but they are delicious. just splurge a little.

5. the black cat –  it’s a new spot in our neighborhood and i would recommend it for cocktails and bar food. we spent new year’s here and had a really fabulous time. arian loves the vegetarian lasagna. i love ordering their side dishes: burrata, roasted squash, shishito peppers…

6. flore vegan – it’s a great healthy lunch spot. i used to get the brown rice baked tofu bowl (with crunchy kale and avocado)  but i got it so many times that i vowed i would try other things. but i usually still get that out of rebellion. and because it’s just that good. also, the raw coconut milkshake.

7. forage – i like this place because i like places you can get sides as a meal (not much of an entree gal myself) they have interesting salads, awesome mac n cheese, roasted cauliflower…the selection is different every time i go in there. we love eating here for dinner or lunch because it’s fast and easy and they have a lot of healthy options.

8. cliff’s edge – this place takes “eating outside” to a new level. it’s the closest you can get to opening a restaurant inside of a tree house. either way, the aesthetic has a great nature feel to it. i love it for brunch (blood orange mimosas and eggs benedict) because of their bright pillows for lounging…but it’s a pretty fantastic date night as well.

9. alegria on sunset – my boyfriend says “best fish tacos in LA!” we love it here because you can eat mexican food without all the grease. healthy, chill, great service.

10. heywood: grilled cheese shoppe – i get the “muy caliente” grilled cheese! fontina and spicy jack melted on top of sliced jalapenos…and you get a side of tomato soup  for dipping. quick and easy comfort food.

11. millie’s cafe – a staple silver lake diner. sit on the sidewalk with your pancakes and coffee and watch the locals pass by.

12. dusty’s bistro – i won’t lie, the aesthetic of the place is a little confusing. sort of looks like your fancy grandma’s house. but the food is legit. and they have $5 mimosas.i always order the “eggs a la luna” which is a english muffin with mozzarella, poached eggs, pesto, parmesan, prosciutto and asparagus. mmmm

13. local – i hear they give you a free coffee if you rode your bike there. (very silver lake) they have really large portions and they’re very vegetarian friendly. the whole wheat pancakes and a coffee will start your day off right.

14. food+lab – they serve you your coffee in a bowl. i love the eggs and speck in a little pan. my boyfriend always gets the nutella waffles! they also offer picnic lunches that you can buy (with a basket) and take to the park!

15. silver lake ramen – tonkotsu spicy ramen with pork belly, and an over-medium egg on top. perfect for a rainy night.

16. pho cafe – i swear i used to eat here 3-4 times a week. it’s incredibly fast and also very addicting. i get the chicken pho (they give you all the fixings to add to your broth and make it just how you like it) and arian loves the tofu pho. it’s cheap (pay under 10 bucks). and look for the big row of oversized lightbulbs because they don’t have a sign. you can’t really miss it though. and they are open till midnight! (cash only)

see you soon for our part 2 post! let me know if you try out any of these spots, i always love to hear you enjoyed your meal! xo bri

(illustration by asia pietrzyk, photos from the designlovefest instagram)


Add your own

    Quinn Cooper says:

    This post is so helpful for anyone visiting SIlverlake. I’ve never been to the neighborhood of SIlverlake in LA. There has been so much buzz about it in the last couple of years. Next time I’m in LA I’ll have to make a pit stop at one of these recommendations. I love researching places to eat whenever I go away as well. It’s one of my fave parts of the planning process. Thanks for the awesome map. Hope there are more neighborhoods to come.

    Quinn Cooper Style

    Lucrecia says:

    Lovely !!!

    Amanda Gross says:

    This post is the BEST and I can’t wait for more like this to come. I visit LA at least once year – two years. Every time I am there I feel like we walk and drive around aimlessly in search of places to eat, relax, grab a coffee. Thanks so much!

    Love from Kansas City.

    Ranu says:

    Fab!!! Love the illustration and the content. Stepped foot in Silver Lake for the first time last week and loved it. Went to Intelligentsia and Mohawk General. Thanks Bri!

    Kate says:

    I soooo agree with you! My favorite thing about traveling and planning out the itinerary is looking at restaurants we could check out. it’s one of the most fun parts!

    i wish this was around when i went to LA a few years ago. it was by far the best vacation i’ve ever had, and i can’t wait to go back.

    PS, i can’t WAIT for the chicago blogshop! i’m so freakin’ excited!


    love this feature! i will definitely save this for my next trip to LA.
    adorable map by the way 🙂

    alicia says:

    This is great, I seriously LOVE the illustration. You should take it to the next level and sell them as little posters/postcards or fold out fliers. As you expand on the column you get one for each city and if 6 months down the road you discover more places you want to feature you do a second edition or feature nr 2 of LA. Doooo it. I’m a graphic designer myself, let’s collaborate on this one!!
    Hope you have a great time in europe and eat well 🙂

    Sara says:

    This is such a great idea for a column! I’ve explored Silverlake a little, but didn’t exactly know where to go. Can’t wait to put this map into practice!

    Abby Carlson says:

    This is amazing, and uncannily has the perfect timing!! We’re taking a trip out to LA and have been trying to put together a list of restaurants in similar areas we want to try! Thanks!

    Erica says:

    YESSSSS! Perfect timing! I will be in LA next month and being that I love food so much I have been trying to research the best places to go. Excited for some good eats! Thanks for putting this together 🙂

    Shelley says:

    Such a cute idea and a great illustration to match!

    Kerry says:

    Have just found your blog. Have also just moved out of my silverlake sublet. After spending hours – just houuurrsss – trying to figure out where to eat. Guess I’ll be all set for the next time I rent on the east side! For now, it’s back to NYC. Amazing everything here, am uncertain how I lived without your blog for so long. xo

    jmillewitz says:

    Just moved to Los Feliz and I am starting to explore Silverlake. Great list to work off!!!! Thanks!!!

    Esther says:

    Ummm, this is pretty much the best thing ever! I keep a journal of all the places I love to eat in LA and around SoCal(and NorCal too, although I’m not up there all that often. Can’t wait to try some of your recommendations!

    stephanie says:

    Solid list, I’d co-sign on most of these! I’m just so glad you didn’t have Diablo Tacos on here. They try too hard to be interesting.

    you know who says:

    cha cha cha better be on pt. 2

    Ana says:

    I love researching where to eat when I’m in a new city. Currently we are in Seattle for 5 days and I already found where the locals love to eat. When I’m in Silver lake I would definitely check out this spots.

    Trix says:

    I really like the map Asia created, especially the quirky icons for each spot. Everything sounds delicious & I love the picnic basket idea.

    jensen says:

    I always have the longest list of places to eat when I travel. Definitely in favor of expanding these to other cities!

    This map concept turned out great! Love the idea of having a go-to map for all your favourite cafes, bars and restaurants. But man, you’ve made me hungry!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

    Sophie says:

    This is fantastic! I am always looking for new places to eat in LA, and luckily Silverlake is so close to me : ) Thanks for all of these recommendations! Also, I would like to point out how addictive your blog is.

    This is awesome! Such a great idea, I am thinking of making one for my area as well! I always forget a few awesome places because we are always in a hurry to pick what restaurant to go to 🙂

    Danette says:

    I love this post, thank you. We will take our girls to food + lab very soon, they are kookoo for Nutella…..and I have been really wanting to try Flore Vegan.

    Have you been to Elf Cafe? The mushroom risotto there is great and the veggie fondue (I think) which wasn’t really like a fondue but was soooo good. An app that is good for dinner.

    Feel better soon BTW.

    I LOVE the idea for this new column. I will definitely be looking her for advice! I can never decide where to eat either. (:

    Thanks Bri!

    Sarah says:

    Nice! I totally pinned this =) Thanks!

    Ana says:

    Don’t miss the S’mores Bars at Heywood!

    vivi says:

    this is so awesome! thanks, bri. hope you do brooklyn next…

    Tamara says:

    This post is amazing! I’m new to LA and haven’t ventured much out of my West Hollywood bubble. Visited Cliff’s Edge for brunch today and absolutely loved it. Cannot wait to visit each and every one of these spots!

    bri says:

    awesome, tamara! great place to start.

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