The Larchmont Scene: An LA Local Spills it on Where to Shop in her Own Hip Hood
There a lot of shopping districts in LA, but none quite as charming as the historic Larchmont Boulevard. The tree-lined street with diagonal parking is the quintessential small town village, in the heart of a big city. On any given day, you’ll find parents pushing baby strollers, families walking their dogs, celebrities toting yoga mats, and hipsters drinking coffee. Although many of the old shops have closed recently, they’ve been replaced with more upscale digs, making Larchmont the destination shopping area it’s never been.
What makes Larchmont so special is its slew of independently owned stores. Set among chains like Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, Pressed Juicery, Flywheel, and Babycakes, is an old fashioned barber shop (complete with a red, white, and blue barber pole), Go Get Em Tiger Coffee (their iced latte was rated The Best in America by The New York Times), Larchmont Wine and Cheese, a specialty food and wine shop (their sandwiches are the best-kept secret in town), Landis Labyrinth (an old-fashioned toy store), and Flicka (a trendy children’s boutique).
There’s also an amazing variety of dining options, owned and operated by locals, such as Vernetti (excellent brunch), Village Pizzeria (always worth the wait), Le Petit Greek (best people watching and sidewalk seating), and Prado (a Boulevard institution).
But if you only have an hour to kill, here are the top five shops to hit:
Larchmont Beauty Center: The most epic beauty supply store in Los Angeles. They have everything you need…and even more stuff you didn’t know you needed.
Salt and Straw: This farm-to-cone Portland ice cream shop offers a variety of artisanal flavors that change monthly, like rhubarb crumble with toasted anise, and dill flowers & fennel pollen. If herbed ice cream isn’t your thing, they have old standards, too, like chocolate gooey brownie and sea salt with caramel ribbons.
Pickett Fences: A mainstay of Larchmont for over 20 years, this finely curated lifestyle boutique offers everything from clothing and lingerie to books and jewelry.
Village Heights: A gift shop offering distinctive, unique items, from barware and tableware to candles and soaps. You won’t be able to resist the solar, waving Queen of England (they also have a Napoleon and a Pope!), or the huge selection of S’well water bottles.
Chevalier’s Books: It’s been on The Boulevard since 1940 and although it has changed hands a few times, its brick and mortar feel paired with personalized, welcoming service has never wavered. Come in with your children and read books in the kids’ corner, plop yourself down on one of their comfy chairs and settle in with a good novel, or bring in your dog for a biscuit.
Lastly, if you’ve got some time on a Sunday, stop by the Farmer’s Market. It offers the finest organic produce from local farmers, baked goods from the city’s best bakeries, music, jewelry, flowers, and the sickest rotisserie chicken east of La Cienega — get there early before they run out!