©2019 by Dubway Studios.

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Dubway is located Downtown Los Angeles, just a couple minutes away from the arts district. 

What once looked like a warehouse wasteland (and provided a low-cost haven for L.A.’s artists) has become a beautiful, burgeoning hub for L.A.’s young, professional and creative. With approximate limits of Second Street to Seventh Street and Alameda Street and the L.A. River, surprisingly, the Downtown Arts District is totally walkable.

Sprinkled amidst these perimeters are the makings of a community rich in character, featuring stylish galleries, handsome coffee shops, socially conscious boutiques and some of the best restaurants and bars. These pockets of budding establishments lie amidst a stretch of early 20th-century warehouses—many ex-factories—converted into swanky lofts and creative spaces.

Below are some of our favorite best places to eat, drink, shop and explore around the studio.

 

CHURCH AND STATE

Located in the loading dock of the Biscuit Lofts in DTLA’s Arts District, this French bistro serves classic fare—steak frites, escargot, steak tartare and more—to Angelenos with big budgets and a taste for nuanced interiors. Start with a seasonal cocktail and oysters on the half shell, then progress to housemade charcuterie and savory tartes. Don’t miss the weekday meal-deal: a three-course lunch for a steal at $25.

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STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS

If, by the late afternoon, you still haven't met your day's caffeine quota, make your way to Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the coffee house that started in Portland and (some would say) served as the catalyst for Downtown's massive coffee culture boom. Housed in a 7,000-square foot warehouse space in the Arts District, the building boasts a 60-kilo Probat coffee roaster, pastries from Sugar Bloom and a menu of 20+ coffees and espresso-based drinks. Plan your visit for 3pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, when the staff leads daily cuppings (that's coffee tastings, for you non-coffee nerds).

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THE FACTORY KITCHEN

The Factory Kitchen, a Northern Italian eatery made noticeable only by red neon signage above its door, focuses all of its efforts on the food and almost none on the decor. Cement floors and peeling pillars blend into the background as servers in checkered-shirt uniforms bring out one excellent dish after another. There are many stand-out options to start with, but the focaccina calda di recco, a heavenly flatbread, should be at the top of your list. When it comes to pasta, a fan favorite is the mandilli di seta, a delicate handkerchief option with pesto, though an oxtail ragu spooned over beautiful ribbons of pappardelleis just as excellent. And to finish? The dessert list is short, but let us narrow it down for you further: ask for the cannoli.

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GUERILLA TACOS

A Dubway Favorite. A former sous chef at Chef Gary Menes's Le Comptoir, Wes Avila has branched out to apply his considerable talents and fine dining experience to the taco, a food group all its own in this town. Avila sets up his truck in a few spots throughout the city, so check the website for an up-to-date schedule. There's a short menu of tacos filled with ingredients otherwise found at top-notch restaurants: Weisser Farm potatoes paired with chorizo, braised lamb neck carefully nestled with root vegetables and topped with a fried egg, bay scallops with a tomatillo and tomato confit. On a plate, any of these would be stellar, but in a taco, it’s perfect.

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AMAZEBOWLS

As one of the best acai bowl shops in town, Amazebowls has grown from a truck to a brick and mortar in Downtown L.A., selling their popular bowls and smoothies from the Arts District. Try the classic Amazebowl made with acai, blueberries, pineapple, banana, agave and hemp milk; or the Instagram-friendly Coconut Acai Bowl served in a chilled coconut and topped with a slew of superfoods.

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BESTIA

A few years after opening and Ori Menashe’s Bestia continues to turn tables and require weeks-out reservations. It shouldn’t be surprising, given this spot’s penchant for nailing straightforward but innovative Italian food that arrives hot from that centerpiece of a wood-burning oven. Some of Bestia’s menu highlights have become modern icons of L.A.’s dining scene: the Spaghetti Rustichella—a small pyramid of noodles under dungeness crab—is synonymous with this hard-to-land reservation.

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THE PIE HOLE

This family-owned café, whose interior consists of a few basic wooden picnic tables and chairs, offers homemade pies deemed by many as the best in L.A. Made from scratch every morning, popular pie options include Mexican Chocolate, Earl Grey and a savory Mac and Cheese hand pie (if that’s not a match made in heaven, we don’t know what is). To accompany your slice, Pie Hole’s coffee selection is top-notch, including their own fare trade organic blend. Craving something a little more funky? The shop also offers cold brew nitro iced coffee—one of the few places in the city to do so.

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BAVEL

Husband-and-wife team Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis redefined modern-Italian food with Bestia, but Bavel, their newest, feels much more personal, and even traditional. The cuisine pays tribute to both chef-owners’ heritages as the flavors wind their way through Israel, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. The space livens up the already exciting menu: You can sit on the patio, but inside, near the open kitchen and under the waterfall of hanging vines, is where the action always is.

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PIZZANISTA

The hand-tossed, thin crust pies at this Downtown pizza joint show off local ingredients like arugula, tomatoes, cage-free eggs and ethically-raised pork-and-beef meatballs. Aside from the standard pepperoni, margherita and veggie options, Pizzanista offers inventive slices like macaroni and cheese (available on Sundays only), along with gluten-free and create-your-own pies. A selection of beer and wine is available, but if you want to drink elsewhere, order your pizza and take it next door to Tony’s Saloon.

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WURSTKÜCHE

Cousins Tyler Wilson and Joseph Pitruzzelli transformed a triangular space into Wurstküche, a contemporary “sausage kitchen.” The cousins’ crew will gladly grill sausages like Polish-style Kielbasa or more adventurous Rattlesnake & Rabbit to pair with a “groot” worth of skin-on frites; in case you didn’t know, that amounts to a lot of fries. Wurstküche primarily pours Belgian and German beers from (surprisingly) brand-free tap handles.

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EVERSON ROYCE BAR

Stepping into Everson Royce Bar is like heaving a sigh of relief, a hidden gem in the Arts District that feels part elegant cocktail den, part raucous patio party. Cocktails come inspired by Los Angeles—we recommend the Oaxacan old-fashioned, or the Yo LA Tengo which comes packed with mezcal, grapefruit, Aperol, ginger and lime—whether you’re hanging with friends outdoors or tucked into a dark corner inside on a date. Don’t skip the bar bites, which include some of the best biscuits and one of the best burgers in town.

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IN SHEEPS CLOTHING

Walk through the nondescript door to the right after entering Lupetti Pizzeria and you’ll find yourself in one of the coolest bars in the Arts District. Modeled after Japanese kissaten, audio-focused lounges and coffee shops, Lupetti’s hidden gem In Sheep’s Clothing is part listening lounge, part cocktail bar and part coffee concept.

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TONYS SALOON

Located next to Pizzanista, Tony’s Saloon is a favorite for Arts District denizens who come to play a few rounds of pool, down a couple well-crafted drinks and indulge in cheesy slices from the pizzeria next door. For those looking to challenge their drinking buddy to some friendly competition, there’s darts and table tennis in addition to pool. And if you’re hungry? Pair your Peroni with a piece of pizza (you can either order from the bar or pick it up at Pizzanista to bring into Tony’s), then head to the back patio for some fresh air under twinkling lights.

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ARTS DISTRICT BREWING CO

Arts District frequents now have another watering hole to rival Angel City Brewery and the arcade bar EightyTwo. This brewhouse features nine beers on tap, which will no doubt be expanded, and a full cocktail bar for when you want to amp things up. Oh, and there are skee-ball machines.

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EIGHTY TWO

If ever there was a bar to geek out in, this one is it. Los Angeles’ first barcade (that’s bar + arcade for you noobs) boasts more than 40 classic consoles, from Centipede to Ms. Pac-Man—all fixed with cup holders for endless booze-fueled sessions. An entire section of the bar is dedicated to vintage pinball machines.

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TWO BIT CIRCUS

Two Bit Circus wants to be your Arts District arcade hangout. The “micro-amusement park” combines virtual reality, escape rooms, motion-sensing carnival-esque attractions, old-school–inspired arcade games and trivia, all wrapped up in a sort-of-steampunk aesthetic that’s as well-suited for a kitsch robot bartender as it is a virtual battle arena.

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RESIDENT

It’s a scene straight out of Austin’s Eastside, where food trailers and outdoor imbibing reign supreme at this patio bar and concert venue. In keeping with that theme, a revolving lineup of food trucks crank out comfort grub while craft beer and draft cocktails flow from a 1950s Spartan trailer-turned-bar. But the block party doesn’t end there—the musically-inclined head inside. Once a restoration warehouse for vintage Woodies, the high-ceilinged space has been converted into a dark, industrial performance venue featuring a DJ booth and an intimate stage for up-and-coming talent.

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INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The Institute for Contemporary Art Los Angeles, or ICA LA, is the new home for the former Santa Monica Museum of Art. The new facility in the Arts District occupies 12,700 square feet of warehouse space.

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APOLIS COMMON GALLERY

Shopping at the Apolis Common Gallery is like stepping into an epic ’round-the-world travelogue, where every globally-sourced item has a story behind it. Leather sandals were crafted by a four-person co-op in Tel Aviv; jute market bags were assembled by a collective of mothers in Bangladesh; a women’s co-op in Nepal hand-knit the ’50s-style sweaters made in collaboration with cycling brand Rapha. Brothers Raan and Shea Parton launched Apolis the brand in 2004, employing and empowering artisans worldwide (and right here in Cali) to create their heritage-inspired pieces—this flagship shop serves as a showcase for the full product range, as well as an event space and gallery.

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