Where to Eat and Drink in LA’s Atwater Village

The Park Slope of the West Coast, Northeast L.A.’s tiny Atwater Village packs a punch. Sandwiched between Glendale, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Frogtown and the L.A. River, this 1.78 square miles family friendly neighborhood just 15 minutes from Downtown L.A. is quiet and walkable, but also draws a creative local crowd that appreciates good food and great wine.

I lived in Atwater for four years and frequented places like Momed (the best Mediterranean food and happy hour spot by the train tracks, the avocado hummus here is unreal and so is the Grandma’s chicken soup), Canele (a space which after 10 years became Journeymen for one year, and is now Hail Mary Pizza) and All’acqua, where you can have pasta for breakfast on Sundays before or after perusing the farmers’ market just next door. There’s also that cozy Cuban place with mojitos and salsa music, perfect for those days you’re craving a savory steak, rice, and some crunchy plantains.

There’s also a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts down the block, but I’ll be personally disappointed if you opt for one of these instead of a local spot where the coffees are strong and made with lots of local love. On adjacent Los Feliz Blvd, there’s the Village Bakery & Cafe and Los Feliz Cafe, a diner overlooking the Los Feliz Golf Course. Both solid choices first thing in the morning or, really, any time of day.

As far as wine goes, there’s plenty of that to go around, too. Oeno Vino, the family-owned beer and wine shop with a basement tasting room in the former 55 Degrees space, offers daily wine flights and a hand-picked selection of small production wines. The cellar is open and a great place for date night, daily from 5 PM to 10 PM and closes at 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Good Measure by owner Sophie O’Malley, Executive Chef Mike Garber and Matthew Kaner, the star sommelier who is also behind Hollywood’s Bar Covell and Augustine Wine Bar in Sherman Oaks, is a wine-centric restaurant also on Glendale Blvd. that opened just last year. The really fun thing about this corner spot is that the menu includes wines from 15 different wine-producing regions and dishes are seasonal, inspired by and paired to reflect O’Malley, Garber and Kaner’s travels around the world. Order from the classic “Greatest Hits” menu I recommend the Crispy Pork Rillete or the rotating selection. Right now through December, it’s “On Tour in Italy” and the hearty Pumpkin and Farro Soup is fab.

The baby of Atwater Village, Good Measure is worth visiting anytime you’re craving excellent wine, but Mondays are especially exciting here. The newly-named Magnum Mondays mean that Kaner is uncorking a different magnum bottle, offering high quality and large format wines by the glass weekly. Usually our least favorite day of the week, Mondays in Atwater now give us a reason to celebrate.

If you can’t stay for dinner, though, pick up a bottle of wine on the go. When the weather is mild, you can head to Griffith Park or an outdoor movie with something special from Kaner’s list and when you stop in on Wednesdays, you can buy one and get the second bottle half off.

There’s a lot to keep you satiated in this charming neighborhood, but no matter how much you eat and drink, there’s always a little room for dessert, right? The artisanal ice cream flavors at Wanderlust Creamery, similar to the concept at Good Measure, are inspired by places its owners have either been to or want to visit. There is a signature menu as well as a seasonal menu here and you can get delicious and creative scoops like Sticky Rice + Mango, Japanese Neapolitan, Abuelita Malted Crunch and more.

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