Lifestyle

Which LA Neighborhood Should You Move To?

Published On 11/05/2015 Published On 11/05/2015
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Moving to LA, huh? Pat yourself on the back -- you’ve finally made it! But because we’ve got seemingly limitless neighborhoods, it can be a little daunting to pick one. Don’t you worry though, because we’ll break down 24 LA neighborhoods by the stuff you really care about -- the average rent, how much traffic you'll be stuck in, and how the burrito scene looks -- so you can pick the perfect one for you and all your cats. You’re welcome.

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Atwater Village

For when you’re not quite ready to start a family.
Who lives here: Young couples. Equestrians. Thrillist writers.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,387/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: A solid mix of hole-in-the-wall gems (like the Village Bakery & Café) and guilty fast-food pleasures. A great place to be if you can’t decide between Panda Express and an acclaimed mom-and-pop breakfast burrito joint.
Transportation situation: Right near the 5, which is cash-money because you can connect easily to the 134, 101, 170, and 110. Boom. FREEWAYS!
Quote from a resident: “It’s a great hub between everything in you love in Glendale, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz without all the hustle and bustle -- and the cheap rent lends itself very well to being a broke, freelance content writer.”

Flickr/rocor

Beverly Grove

For when you can’t decide if you like West Hollywood or Beverly Hills better.
Who lives here: Hot single people who love great food
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,685/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Pretty excellent. Between Thrillist-fave Animal, Joan’s on Third, and Toca Madera, it’s extremely hard to go wrong. But not at all hard to go broke.
Transportation situation: Not ideal. Your best bet is the 101 or the 10, but good luck getting to them through the traffic.
Quote from a resident: “I love the accessibility of the Beverly Center. And not to mentioned Canter’s being open 24 hours a day.”

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Beverly Hills

For when you’ve grown tired of eating money for breakfast and need something else to do with it.
Who lives here: Elderly movie producers. Somebody you know’s grandparents. Jed Clampett.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,256/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: It has some of the most acclaimed restaurants in LA. Beverly Hills is nothing but upscale eating and drinking. If you’re prepared to shell out the money necessary, you can have some meals that will change your life (like at places like Urasawa).
Transportation situation: Similar to the Beverly Grove situation, but with less traffic. However, if you live in Beverly Hills, you can probably afford a private helicopter to take you to a private jet to fly you wherever you need.
Quote from a resident: “Money is so legit. I love money. Money.”

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Burbank

For the department store lover in all of us.
Who lives here: Burbank probably has the biggest wildcard assortment of people. You’ll see everybody from young writers to lesbians to people that have had their faces surgically reconstructed to look like Lord of the Rings orcs (seriously).
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,703/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Also all over the place. There are tons of great places like Tony’s Darts Away and Pinocchio, but it’s also packed to the brim with overpriced chain restaurants. Different strokes for different folks.
Transportation situation: The 5 runs straight through the Burb', and you’ve also got easy access to the 134. Oh, and you’re right near the best airport in LA.
Quote from a resident: “Downtown Burbank is my everything. I love being close to IKEA, Target, and Sears.”

Flickr/Tony Hoffarth

Culver City

For when you like the west side, but Santa Monica is too much of a hassle.
Who lives here: Post-college students and Sony employees
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,471/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: A-Frame and JR’s Barbeque are in Culver City. Any other questions?
Transportation situation: You can practically smell the 405 and the 10, and one day when they complete the Expo Line, you’ll be able to get that going to SaMo.
Quote from a resident: “Culver City is an awesome place to walk around, and when they finish the train, it’s gonna be even better.”

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Downtown

For when you want to feel like you live on the East Coast.
Who lives here: Artists, business people, and crazy people
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,810/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: It seems like almost every day a new brewery or restaurant pops up. Get Mumford Brewing, Clifton’s Cafeteria, and The Little Easy in your life right this minute. DTLA also includes Little Tokyo, which is -- surprise surprise -- home to some of the best Japanese food in the city.
Transportation situation: A stone’s throw from the 110 and the 10, which can take you to the 101, 5, and 710. The Red & Purple Lines run here, and they can take you right into the Valley and Koreatown, respectively. AND the Gold Line hits Downtown. AND AND the Blue Line also starts here, so you can ride that dirty girl all the way to Long Beach.
Quote from a resident: “Living Downtown feels like you’re living in a different part of Los Angeles. It’s one of the only areas of the city where everything is super jam-packed together. But it also comes with all the noise, smells, and craziness that you’d get in any other city.”

Flickr/jar[o]

Eagle Rock

For when you are a hip recluse but you don’t feel the need to prove it to everybody.
Who lives here: Hip recluses who don’t feel the need to prove it to everybody
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,210/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Easily one of the most underrated food and drink spots in LA -- you can get all up in Eagle Rock Brewery here, as well little-known gems like Dave’s Chillin’-n-Grillin’ (and not to mention All Star Lanes, a bowling alley that also rocks karaoke).
Transportation situation: It’s easy to hit up the 2, which can easily get you to the 134, 5, and 210 freeways.
Quote from a resident: “I honestly don’t know why people don’t ever talk about Eagle Rock as one of the best neighborhoods in LA. We’ve got everything.”

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Echo Park

For when you don’t care about gentrification ‘cause there are so many cool things always popping up.
Who lives here: Less intense hipsters than in Silver Lake. Dodger fans. People with handlebar mustaches. Shia LaBeouf.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,311/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: If you like hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, you’ll lose your mind for Echo Park. It’s packed to the gills with LA institutions (like the Gold Room) as well as hip new brunch spots (like Ostrich Farm). Oh, and there are Dodger dogs, ‘cause Dodger Stadium is here.  
Transportation situation: You’ve got the 5, 101, and 110 under your belt. Nice job.
Quote from a resident: “I’m a coffee and cigarettes for breakfast kind of guy, but there’s definitely something for everybody in Echo Park.”

Flickr/Jotis

Encino

For when you want to be sweating, like all the time.
Who lives here: Families and people who just moved to LA because they were psyched about the cheap rent
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,255/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Could be worse (if you like hummus & hookah). Could also be a whole lot better (if you like things besides hummus & hookah).
Transportation situation: Treat yourself with a quick jaunt to the 101, as well as the Orange Line, which can take you through all the parts of the Valley worth going to.
Quote from a resident: “If you like community baseball, Jews, and celebrity-spotting, Encino is the place for you!”

Flickr/jar[o]

Highland Park

For when you’re looking to get in on the ground floor of what is almost certainly going to be LA’s newest “spot.”
Who lives here: One of the most diverse populations of any LA neighborhood. If you’re lucky, you’ll live here before it becomes too expensive.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,090/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: It’s starting slow, but soon it’ll be huge. In the meantime, there are some superstar places like La Cuevita and El Huarache Azteca.
Transportation situation: The 110. That’s about it.
Quote from a resident: “I like having access to the stuff in Pasadena without paying the rent prices in Pasadena.”

Juan Camilo Bernal/Shutterstock

Hollywood

For when your love of pizza availability trumps your fear of people dressed like Jack Sparrow.
Who lives here: Working actors. But mostly not-working actors.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,213/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: For as many touristy spots as Hollywood has, there are also plenty of incredible places to eat and drink. Also: most of the Houston Hospitality establishments are in Hollywood, and that is as much of a bonus as any neighborhood can possibly have.
Transportation situation: You can grab the 101 fairly easily, but beware of the almost-permanent traffic. The Red Line runs through a good portion of Hollywood, too.
Quote from a resident: “If you don’t mind wading through crazy people, awful traffic, and tourists who love to stop walking suddenly while they’re directly in front of you, you might find something to do here.”

Flickr/Davin Sanchez

Koreatown

For when you can’t decide between Downtown and Los Feliz.
Who lives here: Koreans, and all the people who just discovered Koreatown was amazing
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,554/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: No surprise: there are plenty of outstanding Korean BBQ spots here (like Soowon Galbi). Medium surprise: there are shitloads of karaoke spots here (like The Brass Monkey). Actual surprise: there are some great sports bars and burger spots here (like Biergarten and Cassell’s).
Transportation situation: You’re surrounded by the 101, 110, and 10. You’ve also got the Purple Line, which easily connects to the Red Line.
Quote from a resident: “My favorite thing about K-Town is that there are so many places open late, if not 24 hours. Like, God bless BCD Tofu House.”

Flickr/Tom Benson

Los Feliz

For when you like to be walking distance from everything you love.
Who lives here: College grads who can’t keep up with the Silver Lake lifestyle
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,571/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: A++++. Breakfast (Mustard Seed Café), lunch (Rocco’s Italian Deli), dinner (Little Dom’s), and fourth meal (House of Pies/Fred 62) all await you in Los Feliz.
Transportation situation: The 5 and the 101 are more or less accessible, but the Red Line hits Vermont & Sunset, which makes it super easy to head to Hollywood or DTLA.
Quote from a resident: “Los Feliz feels like a small town in a big city. The food is great, I run into friends everywhere I go, and the movie theatres are under $10.”

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Long Beach

For when you’re addicted to The Queen Mary.
Who lives here: Sailors, coffee enthusiasts, and CSULB students
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,215/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Very solid, and frequently overlooked. Get yourself to Seoulmate as quick as you can.
Transportation situation: You’ve got the 710 under your belt, which can hook you up with the 405 and even the 605. Also you’ve got the Blue Line, which can take you all the way to Downtown LA.
Quote from a resident: “Long Beach has a feeling all its own. It’s not quite LA, but it’s not quite a beach town either, it’s kind of a happy medium. The city feels a bit like an island, and the people that live here tend to be super laid back.”

Flickr/Steve Devol

North Hollywood

For the struggling artist.
Who lives here: Actors, painters, and mechanics
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,009/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: North Hollywood has been blowing up lately -- it seems like a new bar opens every day. If you’re in the NoHo Arts District you can’t go wrong (especially when you’re at Hy Mart Sandwiches or Idle Hour).
Transportation situation: Pretty much as good as it gets -- you’ve got easy access to the 101 and 170, as well as the Red Line, LA’s best Metro line. This bad boy will take you all the way through Hollywood (hitting Los Feliz and East Hollywood), a bit of Koreatown, and then Downtown. And to top it all off, you’ve got the Orange Line, which will get you all up in that North Valley business.
Quote from a resident: “I love seeing plays at little community theatres, so I couldn’t be in a better spot.”

Flickr/Neil Kremer

Manhattan Beach

For when you love sunsets and mimosas.
Who lives here: Families with money. Chefs.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,983/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: More on the upscale side, but very strong. Manhattan Beach Post will be your second home, as well as the many food & drink festivals that happen down here.
Transportation situation: Easy enough access to the 405 and 110, in addition to the Green Line, which can take you all the way to Downey and Norwalk.
Quote from a resident: “I’m not going anywhere any time soon. I’m a sucker for boozy brunches, and I’m totally a beach bum.”

Flickr/Graham

Pasadena

For when you want to live in a nice area without the pretentiousness of Santa Monica.
Who lives here: Rocket scientists (‘cause JPL), CalTech professors, and families
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,604/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Pretty appreciable. Even the chain restaurants in Pasadena look beautiful, so sometimes you can’t tell if you’re in a Jimmy John’s or an artisan sandwich shop. Also: the closer you are to Sushi Kimagure Ike, the better.
Transportation situation: The 210 and 134 will be your lifeblood, but the 134 will also get you to the 101, the 170, and the 5, so that’s somethin’ special. Add to that the Gold Line (debatably the most arbitrary Metro line), which can swing you around to East LA, and you’re set.
Quote from a resident: “Living in Pasadena is like living in an old, quiet neighborhood that forgot it’s part of one of the largest cities in the world, since it’s full of old people, scientists, and their families -- but also has an insanely happening night life.”

Flickr/Edward Conde

Santa Monica

For when you don’t want to see anything dirty, ever.
Who lives here: PR girls and rich people
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,674/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Easily one of the most happening nightlife areas in LA. The lunch scene in Santa Monica is also a force to be reckoned with. It won’t be long before somebody tells you to go to Bay Cities (so do it), but it might be too long before somebody tells you to go to Sweetfin Poke (SO DO IT).
Transportation situation: The 10 -- probably the most fear-inducing freeway in LA. Don’t bother having any friends on the east side, because sometimes driving to San Francisco seems more pleasant than hopping on the 10 and dealing with that traffic.
Quote from a resident: “I love the beach, and I love sandwiches, and I love burgers, and I love not being in 100-degree weather.” (Perhaps the greatest Santa Monica defense of all time?)

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Sherman Oaks

For when you are getting ready to send your kids to school.
Who lives here: Families. And Charlie Sheen.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,466/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: There are some exceptional places (like the Boneyard Bistro & the Chimneysweep Lounge) but also a ton of chains and terrible restaurants. Proceed with caution.
Transportation situation: Hit up the 101 as basically a high-speed version of Ventura Blvd, and use it to get to Hollywood and eventually DTLA. Also pop your fine butt on the 405 for everybody’s favorite game of “Why is there traffic right now?”
Quote from a resident: “It’s a really nice place to raise a family. People are very close with their neighbors here, and I like that.”

Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Silver Lake

For when you like to overpay for grilled cheese and coffee.
Who lives here: Fifty percent of the residents of Silver Lake look like they read a book called How to Dress to Live in Silver Lake (read: H-I-P-S-T-E-R). The other 50% are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,674/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: The food and drink scene is pretty top-notch, but don’t ever get too attached to a place, since the bars and restaurants seem to open and close on a whim around here. In the meantime, make sure you hit Pine & Crane and the legendary Tiki-Ti.
Transportation situation: The 101 cruises underneath Silver Lake, but sometimes the traffic is so awful that you might as well take Sunset if you’re going Downtown. In fact, take Sunset if you’re going Downtown.
Quote from a resident: “Have you seen my cowboy hat? I must have left it with my donut-print button-down, skinny jeans, and leather boots.”

Flickr/Tony Hoffarth

Studio City

For when you’re sick of Sherman Oaks but don’t want to leave the Valley.
Who lives here: Families, actors, and ex-film students
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,665/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Congratulations, you’ve just moved to the sushi mecca of the entire city (debatably the entire world). There are fun new bars and restaurants popping up all the time, as well Carney’s, an old train car that now serves some of the best chili burgers in LA.
Transportation situation: The 101 and 170 are easy to get to, and will be your primary freeways. North Hollywood isn’t far, so it’s also fairly easy to get to the Red & Orange lines.
Quote from a resident: “I love Studio City because my house is here.”

Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Van Nuys

For when you’re trying to save money at the cost of a social life.
Who lives here: Families. CSUN students. People who didn’t do a lot of research on what neighborhood to move to.
Average one-bedroom rent: $993/mo (!!!)
Bar and restaurant scene: Not exactly exploding, but there are still some places that will blow your brains out of your head, like Bill’s Hamburgers and Mom’s Bar-B-Q House.
Transportation situation: Same deal as most of the Valley -- the 101 is your one-stop shop, but the Orange Line is right around the corner.
Quote from a resident: “I think I’ve had quite enough of Van Nuys, thank you very much.”

Flickr/Brian L. Griffin

Venice

For when you “need” to go to a “doctor” because you have “back problems” or “insomnia.”
Who lives here: Homeless people. Crazy people. Musicians who draw inspiration from the ocean.
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,960/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: If you avoid the Boardwalk, you’ll find tons of good bars, upscale Italian restaurants, and poke places. Abbot Kinney itself is a restaurant and bar haven.
Transportation situation: Like Santa Monica, you’ll be reliant on the 10, but you’re also a bit closer to the 405, which is a standard route to LAX.
Quote from a resident: “Wanna watch me break dance?”

Flickr/vxla

West Hollywood

For when you wanna party non-stop.
Who lives here: Most of the gay community and anybody who has tons of energy
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,950/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Exploding with life. The Sunset Strip alone is lined with places to go, and Santa Monica Blvd’s gay area goes absolutely ape-shit with parties on weekend nights.
Transportation situation: Hahahahahahahahaha
Quote from a resident: “I love West Hollywood -- there are lots of fun places to eat and drink, and it’s safe for the most part. I also love the bounty of workout studios to try out.”

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Wilder Shaw is a regular Thrillist contributor who dropped an oh-so-subtle hint as to which neighborhood he lives in. Tell him you solved his riddle on Twitter at @WilderShaw_ and Instagram at @wildershaw.

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