The other day Drew and I were driving down Fairfax Ave, realizing that in the almost 2 years we have lived here, we have probably driven down this road at least 600 times… it’s crazy to put things in perspective like that sometimes. As we passed Canter’s Deli, The Dime, and admired some of the best graffiti in LA, we came to realize this may just be one of our favorite streets in LA (minus the potholes).
One of the coolest things about Fairfax is that it still has that old Hollywood feel about it without the hyped up vibes brought on by being in Hollywood. A lot of the building signs are from the early 1900’s, some of the businesses have served and heard some of the greats and there are little treasures tucked behind every corner. You might remember the song “Lullaby” by Shawn Mullins, he talks about “this bar on Fairfax.” I heard it one day while driving on Fairfax and I couldn’t believe my fave high school song was about the city AND street that I was now falling in love with!
If you find yourself looking for something new to explore in the LA area, here are a few of our favorite things to do on Fairfax Avenue, moving from North to South between Melrose and Pico:
Animal: The hardest restaurant to find ever; there is no sign on the street at all. Drew has been wanting to go there for a while now but can never seem to find it! It’s (apparently) located 4-doors down from Canter’s Deli (see below) on the same side of the street. They have one of the wildest menus in LA serving things like pig ears, beef heart, veal brains, chocolate bacon bars and more things that I don’t think I could ever stomach, but for those who have truly adventurous guts, eat your heart out! Here’s their menu.
Old School: One of the best vintage consignment shops I have yet to find in LA. Awesomely unique items, totally affordable and so well organized! To me, organization is one of the key factors that determines whether or not I will dare to embark on a treasure hunt. I found my long-lost pair of overalls one Monday afternoon in here.
Canter’s Deli: Located right next door to Old School is this incredible Jewish deli that has been around since 1931. It has seen the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Muhammed Ali, John Travolta, Prince and many celebrities who prefer to go “incognito” sneak in around 3:00 am for a late night nosh! Canter’s is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week and on all holidays (except Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Drew and I actually had our Christmas Eve dinner here with his mom this past year!
What to get? Drew swears by the Pastrami Reuben every time, he craves it in his sleep, and I love the Turkey Pesto Panini. You can check out there menu here, and be sure to take a look at their bakery too, freshly baked goods all day, everyday!
Graffiti at Fairfax & Rosewood: One of the most impressive graffiti installments can be found at this famous corner, it even has a wall around it, so to see the whole thing you have to pear through the little openings. There is also other great street art by artists like Curtis Kulig and even Banksy.
CBS: Fairfax has been home to CBS Studios since 1961. Shows like The Carol Burnett Show, Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right have been filmed here. We were part of The Price is Right’s Live Studio Audience not too long ago! You can check out our post here to find out how you can be a part of it too :)
Mendocino Farms: Mendo’s is the key to my heart. One bite of their Not-So-Fried-Chicken Sandwich and I am YOURS. No joke. Drew took me here for my Birthday dinner this year and there is no where else I would have rather been. Mendo’s uses local farm fresh products to reconstruct “Fine Dining” entrees into amazing, one of a kind sandwiches, with a modern twist. I ask for mine on their delicious, freshly made buckwheat bread with a side of warm Chipotle BBQ sauce. Their sides are to die for too! Check out their menu here. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, goodness. On to the next thing.
The Farmer’s Market at The Grove on 3rd & Fairfax: If you live in LA you know that The Grove is where Mario Lopez and Extra are filmed everyday, so there are always stars to see and mingle with. In addition to the fancy people, stores, the beautiful water fountain and restaurants at The Grove, The Farmers Market has a totally different feel to it, which is why we love it. It has been around since 1918 and farmers used to be charged 50 cents rent to have a wooden stall to sell their produce at for the day! In 1941 the famous Clock Tower was built and can still be seen to this day. Some of the best hole in the wall spots can be found in here. We LOVE Charlie’s for breakfast and the Brazilian place always has an incredible line, and for good reason. Our goal is to eat at every place in here at least once, it’s the perfect place to find some adventure for your taste buds!
Sheddy’s: The least glitzy bar in all of Hollywood. It’s located between a nail shop and a pizza parlor across from CVS Pharmacy on Fairfax. It looks like absolutely nothing, but for a simple drink after a long days work, this is the perfect spot. Serving only beer and wine, but offering free shots at 11pm and midnight on various nights, Sheddy’s is a spot that only the locals seem to know about. Oh! And they have a free popcorn machine, a nice change from the free peanuts you typically get.
Little Ethiopia: Our last stop on Fairfax lands you in Little Ethiopia. I would have never thought that I would be a fan of Ethiopian food, but our friend Mero made us try it once and we were hooked. You sit at these authentic basket tables, use injera instead of silverware and everyone shares their meal from the same ginormous plate. The best place to go? Messob Ethiopian, they have the best ambiance and tastes. Vegan? Check out Rahel Vegan Ethiopian Cuisine, we loved this one too.
So go on, get out there and explore some of your nearby neighborhood streets, or better yet, check out this one and see what favorites you discover!