Local Gems: Heart of LA

Join us at CicLAvia—Heart of LA on Sunday, October 15th, from 9am - 4pm as we transform the streets of Chinatown, Little Tokyo, South Park, Mariachi Plaza, and Evergreen into a public park for the day.

The Downtown Los Angeles area and its surrounding neighborhoods are bursting with places to eat, art to see, and architecture to admire. Here are some of the MANY local gems that will be along the route. Use the CicLAvia Interactive Digital Map to plan out your day!

Check out:

Places To Eat + Shop

Phoenix Bakery
969 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Since 1977 Phoenix Bakery has been serving Chinatown and the surrounding area traditional, as well as non-traditional Chinese Pastries. Whether it be a wedding, birthday, or no occasion at all, Phoenix Bakery has become one of the go-to places for sweets in the neighborhood.


Yang Chow Restaurant
819 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

What started off small in the heart of Chinatown in 1977, Yang Chow Restaurant has grown into a well known eatery for many. Their slippery shrimp dish, along with its many accolades, placed them on a pedestal and the rest of their menu is bound to have you back for more.


Won Kok Restaurant
210 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dim Sum, the literal translation from Cantonese meaning “Touch the heart,” is a popular breakfast meal typically consumed in Cantonese culture. Won Kok Restaurant is a quaint establishment on the intersection of Alpine St. and New High St. that serves this popular cuisine for an affordable price. With har-gow, siu mai, and chicken feet, any of their options are bound to excite your taste buds.


Katsu Sando
736 N Broadway #105, Los Angeles, CA 90012

In Chinatown, try a Japanese-styled katsu sandwich alongside their popular sides such as waffle fries, curry-dip, and more!


My Dung Sandwich Shop
314 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

My Dung Sandwich Shop is an unassuming place in Chinatown (look for the red awning). They specialize in Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches for an affordable price. If the friendly service doesn’t bring you back, the crispy, flavorful sandwiches will.


Fugetsu-Do Bakery Shop
315 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Family owned and operated since 1903, Fugetsu-Do Bakery Shop has been a staple in Little Tokyo for their mochi (rice cake) and manju (sweet bean-filled rice cake) treats. Four generations later and the friendly staff and high quality recipes still prevail.


141 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in the Japanese Village Plaza is a cunning streetwear brand named Japangeles. They’re known for their blending of both Japanese and Los Angeles culture, thus the origin of their brand name. What started off as a small kiosk has grown into its own storefront with more consistent business hours. The brand does not have an online purchase option which encourages customers to visit and explore not only their store but Little Tokyo as a whole.


Pasta e Pasta by Allegro
432 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in a cozy corner in Little Tokyo is Pasta e Pasta by Allegro. This restaurant specializes in both Italian and Japanese cuisine. Swing by for a plate of pasta bolognese or try their popular uni pasta dish! 


Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened in 1917, Grand Central Market is the oldest and largest public market in LA. They are also known for the hustle and bustle and wide array of cultural cuisines to choose from. This place welcomes up and coming restaurants as well as long-time tenants. China Cafe and Roast to Go are the oldest vendors with 50+ years at the Market. With 40 vendors to choose from, this stop has something for everyone.


Saint Vincent Court
640 S Hill St #249, Los Angeles, CA 90014

In an unsuspecting alleyway is a picturesque strip of shops and restaurants known as Saint Vincent Court. Located on 7th Street between Broadway and Hill St, the architectural design and feel evoke a European village in the heart of DTLA.


The Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

On the busy intersection of Figueroa St. and 9th St. is the Original Pantry Cafe. Open since 1924, this bustling diner has served many renowned diners including Martin Luther King Jr. and Marilyn Monroe.


Un Solo Sol
1818 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Un Solo Sol, the literal translation from Spanish meaning, “A single sun,” is one of the few vegetarian/vegan Mexican restaurants in the area. Proudly serving all non-processed meals, this restaurant stands out from the rest in the heart of Mariachi Plaza.


Al & Bea’s Mexican Food
2025 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Opened in 1996 in the heart of Boyle Heights is Al & Bea’s Mexican Food. Known for their burritos, this location has served the community, as well as famous characters like Hulk Hogan, for many years.


Otomisan Restaurant
2506 1/2, 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

On 1st St near Soto Station is the last remaining Japanese restaurant in Boyle Heights, Otomisan Restaurant. Yayoi Watanabe and past generations have been serving the predominantly hispanic community of Boyle Heights their flavorful Japanese dishes and have been welcomed with open arms since the opening in 1956. In January 2022, the restaurant was labeled an historic landmark and is credited as the oldest, continuously operating Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles.  Although they are closed on CicLAvia Sunday, be sure to check it out next time you are in the area! Click here for Yayoi Watanabe’s interview with VICE Magazine.


Los Cinco Puntos
3300 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Los Cinco Puntos, the literal translation from Spanish meaning, “The five points,” serves East LA warm tamales and loaded tacos at the five points intersection of major streets: E Cesar E Chavez Ave, N Lorena St, and N Indiana St. Across the street are two memorials honoring Mexican-Americans who have served the country in war.


Things To Do + See

Chinatown Central Plaza
943 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Introducing CicLAvistas — a photo opp you don’t want to miss! Chinatown Central Plaza is a popular, walkable spot where many festivals and events take place. The photographic red lanterns and many examples of traditional Chinese architecture and art make for a great photo opp at CicLAvia. At the entrance to the plaza is the Sun Yat-Sen Statue, honoring the first president of the Republic of China. There are many places to eat, shop, and play at this plaza especially during the summer! This plaza is also a hot spot to celebrate the coming of the Lunar New Year in February!


Chinatown Gateway Monument
600 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This is one of our favorite CicLAvistas! As you go down Broadway, you’ll notice the two dragons above you, signifying you have entered Chinatown, Los Angeles. This monument serves as a symbol of prosperity and harmony as well as a gateway and reminder that Chinatown has served as a place for community and growth for numerous Chinese and Asian immigrants. 


Los Angeles City Hall
200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

One of the most recognizable CicLAvistas in the area would be LA City Hall. Constructed in 1928, this structure was the highest skyscraper in Los Angeles at the time. Although it no longer holds that accolade, there is a free observation deck for you to visit and get a unique view of DTLA. City Hall is open to the public M-F from 9-5. 


Gloria Molina Grand Park
200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in the heart of Los Angeles is Gloria Molina Grand Park. Named after the late LA City Councilmember, Gloria Molina. This park hosts community events such as food truck gatherings and free concerts.


”Portal” (Neon Lights Tunnel @ Weller Court)
229-263 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

This public art piece by artist Akiko Yamashita with over 7,000 pixelated lights, has created a hot spot for many to visit and take photos while in Little Tokyo any time of day.


Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial
Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This memorial in Little Tokyo serves to remember those who lost their lives in the Challenger Seven flight disaster. It specially honors the nation's first Japanese American astronaut, Colonel Ellison Shoji Onizuka.


Go For Broke National Education Center
355 1st St #200, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Adjacent to the Little Tokyo Hub is the Go For Broke National Education Center. The term, “Go for broke,” was the motto for many Japanese Americans who fought in WWII. The term meant that they would risk everything on the battlefield and put their lives on the line to win for those back at home in the US. This center and monument honor those who served and aim to educate those on World War II American veterans of Japanese ancestry. Be sure to check out their Defining Courage Exhibition which will be open to the public that day from 11:30am-5pm. 


Japanese-American National Museum
100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located on the intersection of 1st St and Alameda Ave (and where the Little Tokyo Hub) is the Japanese-American National Museum. Opened in 1992, this museum hosts many events, exhibitions, and workshops all tailored to sharing the Japanese history and experience in Los Angeles. In front of the museum is the Oomo Cube, which is a “Rubik's Cube”-like public art installation.


Little Tokyo / Arts District Station
402 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Along the route is another one of LA Metro’s new stations, Little Tokyo / Arts District Station. This stop is now a prime station connecting both the A and E Lines to the area. At this station you’ll also notice art by artists Audrey Chan, Clare Rojas, and Hirokazu Kosaka.


S Broadway
Between 3rd Street and 9th Street

There are many reasons this street is considered historic but one that makes it stand out the most is the amount of movie theaters. Within 6 blocks between 3rd and 9th Street, Broadway contains 12 preserved movie palaces, making it one of the largest protected areas of theaters in the country.


Angels Flight Railway
351 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Constructed in 1901 between Olive St and Hill St is Angels Flight Railway. For only $1 each way you can ride what is considered the, “world’s shortest railway.” This train track has been featured in multiple movies, books, and video games and is estimated to have carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world.


7th Street / Metro Center Station
7th Street and Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Underneath 7th St between Hope St and Flower St is the LA Metro’s 7th St / Metro Center Station. This stop can connect you to the A, B, D, and E Lines as well as the J Line upstairs along with many other bus stops. Because of its prime location and many connections, this stop is one of Metro’s busiest and brings a sense of public transit rush you can’t find anywhere else in LA. This stop is also a popular destination for film and music videos such as: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), The Italian Job (2003), and Taylor Swift’s music video to “Delicate” (2018).


Crypto.com Arena
1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Towards the southwest corner of the route is the Crypto.com Arena, formerly known as the Staples Center, host of many concerts and sporting events. The LA Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, and the LA Sparks all call this place home and have played here professionally since the building was constructed in 1999. In front of the stadium you can find many statues of LA sport legends such as: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, and Oscar De La Hoya.


6th Street Bridge
600 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

A popular CicLAvista during this event is undoubtedly the 6th Street bridge. The original 6th Street Bridge was opened in 1932 but had to be demolished in 2016 due to multiple faults in the old concrete. The bridge was then rebuilt and reopened in 2022 to the public. The bridge has served as a main entrance from DTLA to East LA, vice versa. A significant aspect of the bridge, compared to others in the area, is the installation of pedestrian walkways and bike paths which allow more than just cars to not only utilize, but admire the bridge and surrounding views.


Mariachi Plaza
1831 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Mariachi Plaza is the historic center for mariachi music and used to be an informal area to gather for Mariachi singing back in the early 1900s. Today, this area is an LA Metro station that connects East LA residents to the rest of Los Angeles.


Boyle Hotel (Cummings Block)
1781 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Located on the intersection of Boyle Ave and First St is the Boyle Hotel. Constructed way back in 1889 with a Queen Anne-Victorian style, this building now serves as affordable housing for the community and serves as a prime example of conservation and reuse. This spot is also a great CicLAvista with a terrific view of Downtown behind you if you are facing east.


Hollenbeck Park
415 S St Louis St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Alongside the route is the lakeside, green space named Hollenbeck Park. Since 1892 this park has served the community of Boyle Heights with its lush fields, skate park, and playgrounds. 


Evergreen Cemetery
204 N Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

At the Easternmost part of the route is the Evergreen Cemetery. Opened in 1877, this cemetery is the oldest in Los Angeles and considered one of the largest in the LA area.


Evergreen Cemetery Jogging Track
363-399 N Lorena St, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Wrapping around the Evergreen Cemetery is a 1.4 mile long jogging track. This track was installed to support the East LA community by implanting more green spaces and open areas for those to enjoy. This path includes a rubberized surface that makes it easy on the feet, benches, and trees to provide shade. The sidewalk has also been widened to provide room for runners and walkers and also has a bike lane.


We can't wait to see you all at CicLAvia—Heart of LA on October 15. Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out on updates on future events.

These events are made possible by contributions from people like you. To support more open streets, consider making a tax-deductible donation here today!

Photos courtesy of: TimeOut, The Infatuation, Yelp, DoorDash, Fugetsu-Do Bakery Shop, Japangeles, The Original Pantry Cafe, Downtown LA, Grand Central Market, Un Solo Sol, Roadfood, Japanese American National Museum, Discover Los Angeles, Akiko Yamashita, Foursquare, Expedia, Los Angeles Times, Historic Theatre Photography, World Atlas, LAist, WIkipedia, Boyle Heights History Studios (& Tours), WeLikeLA, Metro Art, Tripadvisor, LA Kings Insider, LA Sanitation, Rubberway, Moviemaps, and IMDb.