Highland Park feels youthful for one of the oldest settled neighborhoods in Los Angeles. One resident describes the neighborhood perfectly, saying, “just enough grit to give it that New York in the late 80s, early 90s excitement. You feel like you are part of a movement of creativity living here.” And with a steady stream of boutiques, restaurants, and décor driven storefronts, it’s no surprise it’s a destination for many people.
Thanks to the Arts and Crafts movement, the tree-lined streets of zip code 90042 are filled with craftsman-style architecture and CA bungalows. And much like its neighbor, Eagle Rock, mid-century modern homes are few and far between.
According to KCET, “The creation of the Arroyo Seco Parkway and the channelization of the Arroyo Seco changed the character of the neighborhood. The era of the automobiles, along with “white flight,” brought forth a demographic shift whose long-term arc is still unfolding today. Now, the DIY, bohemian ethos that grew out of the neighborhood’s early days is alive in the area again ….”
Ironically, the financial crisis of 2007-2008 helped bring it back to life. Real estate in the area seemed like a steal at the time. Able to scoop up properties for cheap, companies like Better Shelter, ModOp, and Extraordinary Real Estate attracted house hunters out-priced in Silver Lake and Echo Park by remodeling distressed, character-filled properties. Today, a starter home in Highland Park starts around a million dollars for a single-family residence.
Local Grub & Things To Do
The restaurant, bar, and boutique scene is blossoming in Highland Park. Here are a few local faves.
The York | 5018 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90042 | (323) 255-9675
This bar on York Blvd may be responsible for starting the neighborhood’s rebirth of cool. Expat bartenders of Edendale Grill in Silver Lake purchased this former dive bar and transformed this space into the neighborhood’s favorite gastropub hangout.
Café De Leche | 5000 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90042 | (323) 551-6828
I’m yet to see an “up and coming” neighborhood take off without a coffee shop. And while owners Matt and Anya Schodorf don’t like to think of themselves as gentrifiers, like The York, they were among the first storefronts that signaled change was happening. The coffee here ranges from your big mug, fill-it-up, drip coffee to Agave Mochas. And Horchata Chai to Horchata con espresso (their most popular beverage.)
Highland Park Bowl | 5621 N Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90042 | (323) 257-2695
1933 Group is doing its “damnedest to change the face of the LA bar scene.” Their latest project is the restoration of this 1927 bowling alley. Revamping this space brings fun and nostalgia back to the neighborhood and marks a continuing trend to revitalize Figueroa Street.
On The Map
Highland Park is located along the Arroyo Seco. It is surrounded by Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Mount Washington, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. The zip code is 90042.