The Best Neighborhood in L.A.? Try North Hollywood

November 17, 2021 – 01:20 am

A friendly neighborhood gathering at Republic of Pie in North Hollywood

A friendly neighborhood gathering at Republic of Pie in North Hollywood

Could the best neighborhood in L.A. actually be in the Valley? I think so, and even though you might be a total anti-Valley snob, if you'll hear me out, you might change your mind.

First, let's get this out of the way. North Hollywood's charms might at first seem hidden, or at least understated. But in its own endearing and refreshingly un-hip way, this neighborhood in the southeast corner of the San Fernando Valley has become one of L.A.'s best - especially for those seeking fast access to many other key 'hoods and relatively spacious housing at a bargain price.

Tucked between the slicker Studio City, solidly middle-class Burbank, mansion-filled Toluca Lake and the pleasant, leafy grid of Valley Village, the core of North Hollywood has a vibe all its own - a little more gritty and densely urban.

It's easy to get anywhere from here: Folks anywhere near the main drag, Lankershim, can walk pretty quickly to the Red Line stations at Universal or Chandler and zip into Hollywood or downtown in a matter of minutes. For cars, NoHo is also a wonderland of nearby freeways - 101, 170, 134. A trip to Sunset & Vine literally takes just eight minutes. There's good access to at least four city parks.

But it's not just a bedroom community. Basin dwellers may dismiss the "NoHo Arts District" as a bit underwhelming. But good things have happened in recent years, with a slow-forming critical mass of restaurants, bars and shops.

On Magnolia alone, in the block between Lankershim and Vineland, you now find the Republic of Pie, the Bow & Truss tapas emporium, the Brickyard billiards tavern and a casual diner simply called EAT. Embedded in that stretch are also a few great old playhouses, with most regularly offering plays, comedy shows and acting classes. Due to open soon are an udon noodle shop and a brewpub with an ambitious menu.


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  • avatar What are the best things to do in Hollywood?
    • You should definitely hit the Forecourt of the Stars at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is also fun.