faces + places | an LA round-up by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

just over 8 years ago i made my first acquaintance with LA.  it was summer of 2006 when me and my (then boyfriend) rented a car and drove cross-country.  my main goal was to get to venice beach where my brother and his girlfriend (now wife) lived.  it was a land of sun, sand, beachy laid-back vibes, and i was totally in my element.  it had been a few years since i was there last, and i was super eager to bring my husband to some of my favorite places to eat and visit.  but i found that after just a few years my diet had changed, almost completely, and the food i was so fond of was no longer an option for me.

i'm trying to refrain from calling this a "healthy, mindful eats" list, but it kind of is i guess. so, i've rounded up some of my new favorite restaurants/cafes/coffee shops/markets in LA to eat, check out, and that are just generally fun!  hope you enjoy! 


good eats 

superba snack bar - offers a bunch of various dinner toasts, snacks, and mains.  not the best in terms of food substitutions, but definitely a fun place to check out. offers brunch, lunch and dinner.

cafe gratitude - first of all, i wish i could eat here everyday of the week - it's that good! their menu items include: elixirs, gluten-free options, vegan options, nut milks, awesome coffee. open for breakfast, lunch + dinner!

moon juice - fresh-pressed juices, small bites - all around clean, earthy vibe for your everyday balance!

axe - organic, seasonal, and all that good stuff.  plus, vegan + gluten-free options - open for lunch and dinner and weekend brunch.

gjelina - didn't actually make it to eat here.  BUT, they have a ton of veggie options, really good coffee with homemade almond-macadamia milk which was quite awesome! plus it's a really cute spot.

intelligensia - a super-future coffee shop, with many cool kid customers (er, hipsters).


venice canals

abbott kinney

venice boardwalk (for laughs), and the venice skate park to watch some serious shredding!

beach activities, etc.,

silver lake area

food + lab - yes. yes. yes. all day everyday!  i wish we had a spot like in nyc.  awesome for breakfast and lunch with delicious sandwiches and salads.  they also have fresh pressed juices, snacks and side salads.

cookbook - a great little grocer/farm market with fresh produce, and made-fresh-daily food.  not to be missed, even if it's just for a visit.

sqirl - so much hype about this place.  we went early on a monday morning to avoid the crowds.  i thought it totally lived up to my expectations.  great breakfast options - gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan items - awesome cold brew iced coffee.

pot - roy choi's new spot in koreatown.  we waited for our table at the bar which had a really good selection of cocktails, japanese whiskey, beers, and bodega snacks.  food was awesome, fun vibe too.  it can get crowded so try to get there on the early side.

guisados - for the BEST tacos i have ever eaten.  go!

broome street general store - a cute place to check out, with various housewares, clothing, food, knickknacks, etc.  very "cool kid" vibe though, beware. 

hollywood farmers' market - not really in the silver lake area, but if you have access to a car i would suggest visiting on a sunday morning.  one of the biggest markets i've been to, with tons of awesome street food, spice vendors and tons of awesome produce. 

farmshop and the brentwood country mart - definitely need a car to get here, but it's totally worth checking it out.  farmshop is a market and restaurant, with a bakery/coffee counter open in the morning and afternoon. the surrounding, brentwood country mart, has a small bookstore, clothing boutiques, a gift/card shop, and a chocolate shop.  

manhattan/hermosa beach area

the source - located in hermosa beach. so many awesome breakfast and lunch items, i literally wanted to order everything!  plus, they have fresh-daily gluten-free, vegan baked goods, fresh juices, and again, really good coffee.  love this place to pieces!

manhattan beach post - awesome brunch and dinner spot with some really good options as well as some awesome cocktails! 


pelican cove (pictured below) for hiking trails and general sightseeing.  totally beautiful!

manhattan beach pier - for sunsets

a quick visit: Berlin by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

all these shots above were taken walking around Mitte.  a part of berlin that seems up and coming - think the lower east side of nyc, like 7-10 years ago.  there are interesting galleries, delicious restaurants, boutiques for all, and cute shops.

some places of interest include:

Factory Girl! - coffee, tea, salads, paninis, light fare.

Shiso Burger - small menu consisting of strictly burgers, recommended is the tuna burger and the chili lemon burger.  plus they have sides of edamame and sweet potato fries, and a small, but nice selection of beers.

The Barn - suuuper cute coffee shop and roastery with a "brew bar" that showcases various brew techniques - for all you coffee nerds out there.  

Strandbad Mitte - aesthetically pleasing, both inside and out.  we didn't eat here but the meat and fish lover would probably find most menu items pleasing.  

Do You Read Me? - a shop dedicated to magazines from around the world.  

the Berlin Wall Memorial is a must see if you're into history or general sightseeing.  we happened to get there just as the sun was setting, which made for some dreamy visuals.  there's also a museum across the street with more facts, information and pictures.  we didn't get to it because of our schedule, but i'm sure it's interesting.  on the adjacent corner of the museum is a waffle and crepe stand.  the aroma alone will lure you in, not to mention how cute and quaint it is. 

we stayed between Tiergarten and Mitte, in the downtown part of Berlin so that Frank could be close to work.  it was a great way to get acquainted with a large chunk of historic buildings and sites, while also being close to a smaller section of the city.  above are some shots of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building.  both were massive and larger than life types of monuments.  definitely not to be missed!

um, Harry Potter called and he wants his train station back!  seriously, the Berlin train station is bananas! it's like the most epic train station i've ever been in.  so clean, straightforward, and not to mention gorgeous.  the design is brilliant, as there are walls and ceilings of glass that allow the sun's rays to stream through, making the most wonderful visual display of shadows and light.  Frank and i were totally blown away - as i'm sure you can tell : )  and haribo gummies for good measure because they're my favorite candy in the entire world!!   thanks, Berlin, you're awesome!