Local Gems: Watts

We're back with our third event of the year with CicLAmini—Watts! Join us on Sunday, May 21st, from 9am - 3pm as we transform the streets of Watts into a public park for the day. A CicLAmini is a more pedestrian-oriented experience featuring activities sprinkled along this entire 1 mile open street event. While on the route, expect things like scavenger hunts, street games, local business engagements, and art and cultural activities for all-ages.

Although Watts is one of the smaller neighborhoods in LA, there is a thriving community and abounding history all throughout its 2.12 square mile area. Watts offers great local businesses to visit, landmarks to see, and art to admire! Check out this list of local gems beyond the route to help plan your day.

Local Businesses

Hawkins House of Burgers
11603 Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

High quality food and sincere customer service thrive at Hawkins House of Burgers. The owner, Cynthia Hawkins, has kept her burger joint running for decades despite all obstacles thrown at her. From starting off as a small business, to having a pop up at the most recent Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Hawkins House of Burgers is a must stop if you are in Watts looking for a bite to eat!


All Flavor No Grease
728 E 108th St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

Chef Ocho, owner of All Flavor No Grease (AFNG), lives by his motto of, “Uniting the community through food.” After being tired of living a way of life through drugs, AFNG not only opened the door to a new life for him, but also his community. His passion for food and serving people can be felt as soon as you walk up to order. His recipes all contain, “A little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper, and a whole lotta love,” thus coining the name of his establishment. Be sure to check out his Buzzfeed feature for more insight on what he’s all about!


Mudtown Farms - Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC)
2001 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Mudtown Farms is a project of WLCAC which provides homegrown produce to the residents of Watts. Timothy Watkins, son of Ted Watkins, and his wife Janine Watkins guide this organization and dedicate their time to educating the community on urban farming and community building.


Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.)
1827 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Friends At Mafundi is a coalition formed to sustain the history, culture, and traditions of Watts. They aim to cultivate and breathe life into the artistic, educational, and historic resources of the community all while working with other orgs. One of their most recent accomplishments is saving the Mafundi Building (also known as the Watts Happening Cultural Center) and establishing it as a Historical Cultural Monument in the city of Los Angeles.


East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC)
1513 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

ESRBC is a non-profit organization in Watts (and longtime partner of CicLAvia!) that works to improve the lives of the local youth through community service, charity work, and bike programs. They also orchestrate weekly ride outs to keep the community active and away from drug and gang violence. Visit their website for more information on their weekly family bike rides!



Watts Towers Arts Center
1727 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Don’t forget to get a photo op at the famous Watts Towers! Constructed in the early 1900s by Sabato Rodia, his sculpture draws many sightseers for its complex design and use of clay, glass, and rock.


Ted Watkins Memorial Park
1335 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Along the route you will see the 28-acre Ted Watkins Memorial Park. Named after the late civil rights/union activist and founder of the WLCAC, Ted Watkins, this park serves the community of Watts in many ways. With after school activities, community programs, swimming pools, and much more, this park plays a vital role in the city of Watts. 


Watts Historic Train Station
1686 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Near the route and 103rd/Watts Towers Station is the Watts Historic Train Station. This station is considered to be the oldest building in the area and is known for being the only surviving structure to withstand the fires during the 1965 Watts Uprising. It also played a vital role in bringing people to Watts for over 50 years when it operated as a busy stop for the Pacific Electric Rail station.


LADOT - Watts Central Ave Great Streets and Safety Project
On Central Ave from Century Blvd to Imperial Hwy

While Watts is doing a great job preserving its history and culture, there’s a lot of new improvements coming to the area! Along the route we can see LADOT’s project on making Central Ave more efficient. They’ve added convenient bus boarding stops, safer curb extensions, protected bike lanes, and much more! While there are many more improvements underway, be sure to check out the new designs at the CicLAmini event!


We’re beyond excited for you to join us at  CicLAminiWatts on May 21. Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out on future events and to support more open streets by making a tax-deductible donation here.

Photos courtesy of: Los Angeles Times, Black Restaurant Week, Los Angeles Sentinel, Friends at Mafundi, East Side Riders Bike Club, LA County Parks & Recreation, Ron Reiring, and LADOT.