I’ve been inspired by all the mouthwatering photos of food I’ve been seeing online lately, but with literally thousands of delicious choices right here in my home town of LA, and limited time to eat out, my list of must try places was growing long. A plan was in order and I decided a food tour* was the perfect answer! Combining a visit to one of my favorite LA neighborhoods with delicious food and iconic sights sounded fun to me, but how would I keep my 9 year old son (and husband) engaged? A dessert tour of course! After all, life is short… dessert first!
There are many fabulous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, each one with it’s own charm, but it was my desire to ride the newly reopened Angels Flight Railway, that helped me choose Downtown LA for this particular adventure. A big fan of public art, I was excited to see a number of fun street art pieces along our route.
Related Post: Downtown Los Angeles Graffiti & Mural Walking Tour
Sweet Tooth’s Walking Tour of DTLA
The Sweet Tooth’s Walking Tour is 1.7 miles, and can be enjoyed in both directions. We chose to walk back to our car after the tour, but there are plenty of public transportation options if you’re too full to walk. Public parking lots and metered parking are available. We found $5 parking just behind Birdies.
Location: 314 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles (Stop A)
Our first stop, Birdies, is well known in LA for both their donuts and fried chicken, so of course we had to try both! The donuts are baked fresh every two hours.
To ensure we had room for all our delicious stops, we decided we’d share two donuts, and some Birdies Bites (fried chicken tenders) between the three of us. There are multiple dipping sauces available for the bites. We tried sweet Asian chili and house ranch, but left the ghost pepper mayo to braver souls.
Elliot chose a panda donut, because… panda! The strawberry donut was so delicious we forgot to take a proper photo. pictured above is the cream cheese champagne glazed gold leaf donut, a specialty donut, which will set you back $100! Other donuts range in price between $.50 for donut holes and $3.50 for fancier flavors.
Related Post: Donuts Are The New Cupcakes!
Location: 700 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles (Stop B)
Bottega Louie, is known for it’s colorful and photogenic macarons, but it isn’t just about the sweets and treats, it’s also a full service restaurant with a full bar and a gourmet market.
We weren’t planning on a sit down meal, so we took our treats to go, however the lunch options looked and smelled wonderful, so I see a return visit in the near future!
LA Weekly listed Bottega Louie as one of the 10 best macarons in LA! The flavors we enjoyed were, chocolate mint, raspberry, salted caramel, birthday cake and coconut. My favorite was the coconut! Macarons can be purchased individually, or in boxes.
Elliot chose to enjoy a chocolate eclair rather than a macaron… from the looks of it he had no regrets!
Location: 700 S Spring St, Los Angeles (Stop C)
Little Damage is a family owned soft serve ice cream shop in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. With trendy black cones and unique flavor choices, Little Damage, is not your average ice cream… its ice cream with a Goth twist!
We sampled Unicorn Tears, a lovely blue color, which actually tasted like vanilla birthday cake. A scoop is $6 and comes with one free topping. The trendy black waffle cone (made from activated charcoal) is $1 extra.
Planning on sharing your food finds on social media? With it’s many fun signs, both inside and out, Little Damage provides plenty of opportunities for that perfect pic! But you better hurry, because it’s hot out there and the SoCal sun and soft serve ice cream don’t mix.
The Bradbury Building
Location: 304 S. Broadway, Los Angeles (Stop E)
If there are any movie or architecture lovers in your group, they’ll love this next stop!
Built in 1893, the Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building in the area. While the outside might not seem like anything particularly special, its the inside’s Victorian Era atrium with it’s grandiose iron work, 50 foot ceilings, and open cage elevators that really shine.
Fans of the movie Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford, might recognize the atrium space as Sebastian’s home.
Visitors are welcome, and entrance to the Bradbury Building is free, but keep in mind the building is still in use, so access is limited. If you’re interested in exploring further there are various tours available.
Grand Central Market
Location: 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles (Stop F)
The Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and has been operating continuously ever since. A popular destination for locals and tourists alike, you’ll find something for everyone in your group, no matter their food tastes. From Thai sticky rice to cheesecake, whisky and cheese, a Jewish deli, vegan choices, coffee, Chinese food, green grocers and so much more. There’s even a PB&J shop!
The hustle and bustle, neon and vibrant atmosphere make Grand Central Market a place worth visiting all on it’s own! My plan to finish our foodie tour with a taste of cheese at the DTLA Cheese shop was foiled when we realized we were just too full. Next time!
Angels Flight Railway
Location: 351 South Hill Street, Los Angeles (Stop G)
The newly reopened Angels Flight Railway has been in operation on and off since 1901, and at 298 feet is the world’s shortest railway. When it opened, one hundred years ago, its location was the main hub of commerce and entertainment in Downtown Los Angeles. The Angels Flight Railway is a treasured piece of LA history, and it has given more than 100 million rides!
Located just across the street from the Grand Central Market, Angels Flight was the perfect way for locals to get up and down the steep hill with their groceries!
A one way ride on Angels Flight is $1 payable at the upper station. Metro pass holders may ride for $.50. If you’re only interested in riding one way there are stairs located to the side of the railway. We rode up and walked back down.
The Last Bookstore
Location: 453 S. Spring St, Los Angeles ( Bonus Stop D)
If you have book lovers in your group you’ll want to make time for The Last Bookstore. Full of character and visually stunning this place is a book lovers dream!
A labyrinth of books, the comic section, the first edition vault, (literally, it was inside an actual vault), the artist studios, and a rare book room are just a few of the places you can explore during a visit to The Last Bookstore.
Related Post: The Last Bookstore
*This is a self-guided walking tour created by yours truly! Even with the promise of unlimited desserts I couldn’t persuade my teen to join us.
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This looks like my ideal a foodie tour! How did the charcoal ice cream cone taste? Xx
It was a really fun day! It looked cool, but I like a more traditional cone!
I bet! When you’re in London, Camdens opened even more cool food places. There and Borough Market would be great for a foodie tour☺ Well at least you tried it ! Xx
OOh! I’m interested in your fun food ideas! We’re still thinking about that lovely marshmallow we had in Camden thanks to you!
Aaw I’m glad you liked Chin Chin in Camden☺ xx
Lins @ Boo & Maddie
This is total walking tour goals!! I have such a sweet tooth. We went to LA once only, 10 years ago as the first part of our honeymoon, I’ll have to go back! #citytripping
Sounds like a fun honeymoon! You’ll have to come back!
Ohh my goodness, this post is incredible. Totally saving these recommendations for my next trip to LA. Thank you TONS for sharing!!!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve found some fun ideas for your next visit!
You’re killin’ me smalls!! I’m dying over here of hard core jealousy!! I think it’s time to make a pinterest board JUST for LA! Everything looks so yummy!! #CityTripping
Sorry…. kinda… ha ha! I’m glad you’re feeling inspired and all my “hard work” is paying off! Xx
Drooling right now reading this and looking at your fabulous photos Hilary!! Sounds like the best tour to me and that unicorn ice-cream – wow!! I would have trouble pacing myself here, everything looks and sounds delicious.
Thank you!! Pacing is hard, though sharing did help… then exercising like crazy all week to alleviate the guilt of overindulgence!
I didnt realize you called LA home. I’m down south in Orange County. I loved your idea of a dessert tour. I want to incorporate your ideas and some of my other yelp book marks to try something in DTLA. I loved the pics from the last book store. I need to bring the good camera and take some pics there next time. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad you found some fun ideas! Would love to hear about any others you’ve learned about! I’m always up for exploring!! I’m betting the OC has some pretty great things to explore and treats to discover!?
hit the Grand Central market and the last book store on our last trip to LA. Didn’t see the railway! Love your photos!
Thank you! The railway only reopened a few weeks ago… You’ll have to check it out on your next visit!
I love how you’ve matched your macarons to your street art! Actually I love all of this tour, what a fab mix of LA history, style and sweet treats. I am drooling… Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
Thank you! We had such a lovely day! Iwish I could say that I intentionally matched the macarons and the art, but that was just luck!
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels
This looks delicious and a lot of fun! All the food is so instagrammable, and I’d love to ride the Angels Flight Railway. I’ve never heard of it before!
Although Angels Flight has been in existence for a long time, it only recently became operational again a few weeks ago! It was both a delicious and fun day!
I need to follow this tour! I haven’t been to a lot of the places you have described in here. There is so much to see in Downtown. I have been many times but I feel like I have not covered enough ground. Bottega Louie rocks! #FarawayFiles
I’m glad I’ve been able to share a few new things with you! LA is such a big place I doubt I’ll ever see it all!
This is such a great idea for a tour! No wonder you had to pace yourself after eating all those sweet treats. I love the mix of colourful foodie spots, vintage rides and bookshops you’ve added to your tour. Some of my favourite things all in one place.
Thank you!! It was a really fun afternoon and I couldn’t believe all the other interesting spots we walked by along the way… a return visit is definitely in order!
I bet the buzz was high on this tour! I want a unicorn icecream now. I am such a sucker for an unusual theme and flavour and would definitely have tried the black cone – hee. Bet your teenager is begging to go on the tour now! #FarawayFiles
I think I was the one with the biggest buzz! Ha ha! Next time I’m trying taro coconut! He may have been a little interested after we told him about it…
Aaahhh, just up my alley 😀
Anisa & Katherine (@2travelingtxns)
You did a great job coming up with that tour. I love it and will pin so that I can do it next time I am in LA. I just love that Panda donut too. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
Thank you! I’m so glad you found some fun ideas!! Dtla is such a fun place to explore!!
This tour is right up my alley! Dessert, street art, and bookstores- everything I love! I think my first choice would be the donuts…then little damage. Oh, did you try the black waffle cone?? #theweeklypostcard
I did try the black cone, there isn’t any other option! It was pretty good, but my favorite is still a traditional sugar cone. The donuts were so good, and I’ve tried a lot of donuts! LA is a donut town!
What a great subject to plan a tour around! I’ll definitely do this next time I’m in LA! #theweeklypostcard
Thanks! It was really fun!
fifi + hop
This is such a great idea for a tour! I can’t believe your teen said no! #teenagers #farawayfiles
I guess he had more important things to do. LOL! #teenagersknowbest #not
Now that’s MY kind of tour! I’m with Elliot—a good chocolate eclair trumps EVERYTHING! Hopefully, I can squeeze in your tour on my next visit to LA. Thanks for the inspiration.
Ha ha! He’s definitely got good taste when it comes to sweets! Xx
Thanks for letting me know about this great tour in my own city. I only go to downtown LA for a concert, once in a while. It never crossed my mind that I could go visit the city (lol!) That’s what happens when you live too close to a great attraction. #TheWeeklyPostcard
When we lived here 16 years ago downtown wasn’t a place People went very often, but it’s changed SO much! there is so much to do there we go all the time! It’s part of my mission to take advantage of all our city has to offer!
I absolutely love food tours! I’ve done two in NYC, but I didn’t realise there was one in LA too. Darn! Had to laugh at an ice cream flavour called Unicorn Tears. Blue ice cream isn’t my thing, but I’d buy it just for the name!
Ha ha! I have a rule about never purchasing blue food, but made an exception for this! This food tour was created by me, so that could be why it’s not been advertised! 😘
Delicious and delightful post Hilary! I’m curious how does an activated charcoal ice cream cone taste? And I still can’t get over that gold donut! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin
I’m glad you enjoyed it! You inspired me with your food tour! The cone tasted pretty normal, but my favorite are actually sugar cones.