12 Places in LA to Take Your Friend From NYC That Just Hates LA

Though there has always been some competition between New York City and Los Angeles, there is no denying that both cities have a ton to offer. But let’s be real—nothing really beats sunny and 75 practically year-round. But if that’s not enough to “wow” your chic NYC friend visiting for the weekend, then you’ve come to the right place. From beachside eateries with the freshest seafood to rooftop bars that are sure to give NYC skyscrapers a run for their money, plan a weekend itinerary with these spots penciled in. NYC Friends in LA

Oysters + Natural Wine

Dudley’s Market

Credit: David Todd McCarty/Unsplash

Looking to impress your NYC native with some refreshing wine and freshly shucked oysters? Dudley Market is a Venice staple that offers a hint of east coast vibes and a European aesthetic vibey enough to turn anyone into a west-coaster. If they’re craving a low-key night as they adjust to the time change, simply snag a good bottle of natural wine and some fish to-go.

Location: Venice

NYC Friends in LA

Wish You Were Here

Belle’s Beach House

Credit: Jakob Layman

Say goodbye to gray and gloomy NYC and hello to a retro, tropical tiki bar by visiting Belle’s Beach House. In addition to having some of the most fruity and flavorful cocktails on the westside, Belle’s is also known for its rock shrimp tempura and Hawaiian fries. Though you can’t go wrong with any of their creative cocktails, the Heat Stroke has an amazing and vibrant flavor along with a slight kick. Plus, you’ll snap the cutest Insta picture of the two of you here.

Location: Venice

NYC Friends in LA

The Sky Is More Blue in Malibu

Broad Street Oyster Co.

Credit: Jenna Weinstein w/ Broad Street Oyster Co

After taking a dip in the ocean and tanning on the show-stopping beaches of Malibu (like Zuma and Surfrider), stop by Broad Street Oyster Co. for oysters on the half shell or a buttery lobster roll. This casual eatery has a massive patio in the back parking lot, but it can fill up quickly. Simply snag a table as soon as you arrive and then order at the counter before enjoying some sensational seafood under the sun.

Location: Malibu

Dreamy Lattes, With a Side of Kindness

La La Land Cafe

Need to turn your NYC friend’s frown upside down? La La Land Cafe is the place to go. No, seriously…it’s impossible to be upset in this cafe. From the bright yellow coffee cups to the spacious, sun-drenched patio, La La Land Cafe is the perfect place to kickstart a sunny morning. While you can’t go wrong with their unique butterfly pea flower lattes (soo LA, right?!), their tasty toasts are also worth trying. Pick up your lattes and head to Runyon Canyon for one of LA’s most popular hikes.

Location: Santa Monica

NYC Friends in LA

Pizza and Pasta, Please

Felix Trattoria

While New Yorkers may think that they have some of the best Italian food in the country, Chef Evan Funk’s Felix Trattoria is bound to blow their minds. Getting a reservation in this sleek Abbot Kinney establishment can be pretty difficult, so be sure to plan ahead. Buy a bottle of wine for the table and indulge in some fan favorites like the Tonnarelli Cacio E Pepe and margherita pizza. Oh, and don’t forget to start with the famous focaccia.

Location: Venice

Get Your Groove On

Winston House

When it comes to hitting the dance floor, Winston House is the place to be. Situated in the heart of Venice, Winston House was born out of a desire to bring more live music to the area. Stop by for dinner Thursday through Saturday from 6 pm to 9 pm or check out the retro Lobby Bar late at night and stay for the DJ or live performer. You’ll be dancing the night away under the disco ball!

Location: Venice

NYC Friends in LA

Stay Awhile

Santa Monica Property

Show your NYC friend just how chic LA can be by booking a stay at the Santa Monica Proper. This hotel is located in the heart of Santa Monica and is within walking distance of Palisades Park and the Third Street Promenade. The hotel itself is an aesthetically-pleasing work of art, with neutral tones and curved architecture throughout the interior. After a long day of exploring, head up to the rooftop for poolside drinks and bites at Calabra (get the mezze plate).

Location: Santa Monica

NYC Friends in LA

Take Me to the South of France

Bar Lis

Credit: Michael Mundy

Located within the new Thompson Hotel in Hollywood, Bar Lis has created quite the buzz thanks to its craft cocktails and rooftop views. It has a special Old Hollywood glamor to it, allowing you to give your NYC friend a timeless taste of LA history. Immerse yourself in the French-inspired decor as you sip on a refreshing La Vie En Rose cocktail or an elegant espresso martini.

Location: Hollywood

I Spy Hollywood

Grandmaster Recorders

Credit: Wonho Frank Lee

Despite the fact that NYC is full of amazing rooftops, none can compare to the scenic and historic spot that is Grandmaster Recorders. Enjoy a passionfruit-forward Studio Spritz and some fried olives in front of the Hollywood sign. If you want to experience the best of their menu, head down to the restaurant for innovative Italian cuisine with an Australian twist. Pro tip: They don’t take reservations for the roof, but you’ll definitely want one if you plan on dining in the restaurant.

Location: Hollywood

NYC Friends in LA

Meet My Two Best Friends

Jon + Vinny’s

Credit: Joshua White

Jon + Vinny’s is always a must when visiting LA. It’s the ultimate vibe. With three locations around town, Jon + Vinny’s serves up incredible hand-tossed pizza and homemade pasta—best known for their spicy fusilli. When it comes to pizza, give your visitor the best of both worlds with the Bronx Bomber and LA Woman, then finish the evening with some soft serve.

Location: Brentwood & Fairfax

Some Serious Shopping

Palisades Village

Palisades Village is one of the most quaint and charming shopping centers in the city; it basically feels like you’re on the set of a picture-perfect movie. Though your NYC friends might be used to shopping in Soho, Palisades Village offers a more low-key and intimate experience without skimping on the same level of luxury. Enjoy a drink at The Draycott or tacos at Que Padre before stopping by Erewhon for some next-level snacks.

Location: Pacific Palisades

NYC Friends in LA

Dine in Decadence

Cara Hotel + Restaurant

If you’re looking to explore the east side of LA, book a room at the Cara Hotel in Los Feliz. Though it has a very modern design, the entire hotel is incredibly warm and inviting, possessing a “homey” feel. If you already have accommodations for the night, make a reservation at the on-site restaurant; Diners can sit on a patio surrounded by 100-year-old olive trees. Between the coastal cuisine and the tranquil setting, you’ll seriously feel like you’re in Greece.

Location: Los Feliz


About the author

Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; Ella writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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