The Eastside of Los Angeles includes the unincorporated communities of East LA and City Terrace, and the Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno neighborhoods of Los Angeles proper, just east of Downtown. We also cover Northeast LA here, including Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Hermon, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights and Mount Washington.
The Eastside of the City of Los Angeles was originally settled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It contains relics of a number of architectural styles, chiefly Craftsman, Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival. For much of its history, it contained many of Los Angeles' ethnoburbs. Lincoln Heights once had a substantial Italian-American population, and Boyle Heights had substantial Jewish, Eastern European, and Japanese populations. The Eastside has always had a substantial Hispanic population, and today Mexican-American is the predominant ethnicity on the Eastside. Many prominent Latino demonstrations have taken place on the Eastside. The Eastside is also the epicenter of the various Latino gangs in Los Angeles, particularly in Boyle Heights and Glassell Park (The Avenues).
Topographically, much of the Eastside consists of rolling hills. Many of the streets on the Eastside are at incline, and there are several instances of stairways.
Six freeways serve the Eastside of Los Angeles. Interstate 5 parallels the Los Angeles River in Atwater Village, Glassell Park, Cypress Park and, Lincoln Heights, before veering east in Boyle Heights. U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 60 also have a few exits in Boyle Heights before ending at the East Los Angeles Interchange. Interstate 10 runs for a few miles between Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights. California State Route 110 (the Arroyo Seco Parkway) parallels the Arroyo Seco through Northeast LA. California State Route 2 runs north-south through Glassell Park and along the edge of Eagle Rock.
The Eastside and Northeast Los Angeles are served by the Metro [dead link], which also serves Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. The Gold Line has three stops in East Los Angeles (on 3rd Street at Atlantic Blvd, Mednik Avenue and Ford Boulevard), four stops in Boyle Heights (along 1st Street at Indiana Street, Soto Street, Boyle Avenue, and Utah Street), one stop serving Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park at Avenue 26, two stops in Mount Washington (at French Avenue and Museum Drive), and one stop in Highland Park at Avenue 57. Line
A number of bus lines connect the Eastside to Downtown. These include Metro Bus Lines 18, 30, 62, 66, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 84, 94, 378, 794, and Montebello Bus Lines 40 and 50 (see below for timetables). The Metro Silver Line bus has one stop near the USC+LAC Medical Center, and another at Cal State University Los Angeles. The CSULA Silver Line station is also a Metrolink station.
Here are some of the major streets in the region:
- 1st Street: Runs east-west between Downtown and Monterey Park. Served by Metro Lines 30 and 106
- 4th Street: Runs east-west between Downtown and East Los Angeles, where it splits into Pomona and Beverly Boulevards. Served frequently by Montebello Bus Line 40
- Broadway Runs east-west in Lincoln Heights, then north-south into Downtown and South Los Angeles. Served frequently by Metro Line 45.
- Cesar Chavez Avenue: Runs east-west between Downtown and East Los Angeles College. Originally named Brooklyn Avenue when Boyle Heights was still a Jewish community. Served frequently by Metro Line 68 and Metro Rapid 770.
- Colorado Boulevard: Runs east-west between Glendale and Monrovia, including through Eagle Rock. Served frequently by Metro Lines 81, 180, 181 [dead link] and Metro Rapid 780 [dead link].
- Eagle Rock Boulevard Runs north-south in Glassel Park and Eagle Rock. Served by Metro Line 28
- Eastern Avenue: Runs north-south in El Sereno and East Los Angeles. Served by Metro Bus Line 256 [dead link].
- Figueroa Street: Runs north-south between Eagle Rock and Lincoln Heights, and again from Downtown to the Harbor. Served frequently by Metro Line 81.
- Huntington Drive: Runs east-west between Lincoln Heights and Duarte, along a former streetcar right-of-way. Served frequently by Metro Lines 78, 79 and 378
- Marengo Street: Runs east-west parallel to Interstate 10 in Lincoln Heights and Boyle Heights. Served frequently by Metro Line 70.
- Olympic Boulevard: Runs east-west between Downtown and Montebello. Served by Metro Lines 62, 66, 665 and Montebello 50.
- San Fernando Road: Runs north-south between Lincoln Heights and the San Fernando Valley. Served frequently by Metro Lines 90, 91, 94, 603 and Metro Rapid 794.
- Soto Street: Runs north-south through Boyle Heights. Served by Metro Line 252 [dead link], and frequently by Metro 251 [dead link] and Metro Rapid 751 [dead link].
- Whittier Boulevard: Runs east-west between Downtown and Whittier. Whittier Boulevard is one of the main thoroughfares in unincorporated East Los Angeles, particularly for low-riding and taco trucks. It is the street that carries El Camino Real through East LA. Served frequently by Metro Line 18 and Metro Rapid 720
- York Boulevard: Runs east-west in Highland Park and Garvanza. Served by Metro Line 83.
- 1 Heritage Square, 3800 Homer St (Off CA-110 at Ave 43 exit), ☏ . F-Su and M holidays 11:30AM-4:30PM. A collection of historic houses and buildings from the late 19th century moved from other parts of Los Angeles to a museum on the Arroyo Seco. Features guided tours of those buildings, often by people in Victorian dress. $10 Adults (13-64), $8 Seniors (65+), $5 Children (6-12).
- 2 Lummis House, 200 E Ave 43, ☏ . F-Su noon-4PM. Arroyo stone house and gardens designed and built by Charles Lummis, author/journalist of the American West and founder of the Southwest Museum. Listed on the NRHP.
- 3 Los Angeles Police Museum, 6045 York Blvd (between Branch and Aldama), ☏ . M-F 10AM-4PM, third Sa of the month 9AM-3PM. Located in the former Highland Park Police Station, it displays the history of the LAPD from its 1869 beginnings General (13-61) $8, seniors (62+) $7, children (under 13) free.
- 4 Southwest Museum, 234 Museum Dr (above Marmion Way and Southwest Museum Gold Line Station), ☏ . Sa 10AM-4PM. Extensive collection of American Indian art and artifacts. It is a subsidiary of the Autry Museum and undergoing major renovations. Free.
- 1 Audubon Center at Debs Park, 4700 N Griffin Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. An urban nature center showcasing the native habitat that used to fill the Los Angeles Basin. Free.
- 2 Cafe NELA, 1906 Cypress Ave (Corner of Cypress Avenue and Macon Street (1 block west of Division street)). Thursday-Saturday 8PM-1AM, Sunday afternoon varies - see website.. Music venue and beer bar specializing in Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Jazz, and experimental music; featuring local bands and touring acts from Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada, and the US. Beer only. 21 and over Cover charge $0-10, drinks $2-7.
- 1 El Tepeyac, 812 N Evergreen Ave (Between Wabash and Cesar Chavez), ☏ . M-Tu 6AM-8PM, W-Th, Su 6AM-9:45PM, F Sa 6AM-11PM. Famous for tostadas and burritos, in particular the Hollenbeck Burrito and the "Manuel Special" five-pound burrito.
- 2 Auntie Em's Kitchen, 4616 Eagle Rock Blvd, ☏ . 8AM-4PM daily. Very popular breakfast spot in Eagle Rock, great food in a homey environment.
- 3 El Arco Iris, 5684 York Blvd, ☏ . M-11AM-9PM, Tu-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-9PM. Good Mexican food and margaritas in one of LA’s oldest neighborhoods.
- Kitchen Mouse, 5904 North Figueroa Street, ☏ . M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa Su 7AM-4PM. Kitchen Mouse is a predominantly plant-based breakfast and lunch cafe serving fresh, organic, California cuisine. Next door, TOPO by Kitchen Mouse is an entirely plant-based bakery, deli, and gift shop, specialising in gluten-free and vegan baked goods, sandwiches, and prepared dinners and deli sides to take home. (M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa Su 7AM-8PM).
- 1 Eagle Rock Brewery, 3056 Roswell St (off CA-2 and San Fernando Road), ☏ . W-Sa 4PM-10PM, Su noon-6PM. One of the only breweries based in the city of Los Angeles.
- 2 San Antonio Winery, 737 Lamar St (off of Main Street 0.3 mi west of I-5), ☏ . The oldest winery in the City of Los Angeles, founded 1917, and the only winery operating in Los Angeles from the 1930s to the 2000s. $12 wine tasting.
- 3 Galco's Old World Grocery, 5702 York Blvd (Highland Park neighborhood. Take the 83 to the "York & Avenue 57" bus stop), ☏ . Su 9AM–4PM; M–Sa 9AM–6:30PM. Stocks more than 700 different kinds of soda, and 600 types of craft beer and hard-to-find wine and spirits. The sodas come from all over the world, especially from old-fashioned, small-batch, family-owned businesses. If you've ever wondered what a cucumber soda would taste like, whether your childhood favorite still exists, or what to get for a homesick visitor, then stop by and look around. While you're in the neighborhood, the Los Angeles Police Museum is just a short stroll east along York Boulevard.
Lodging options are few and far between in this area, with nearly all accomodations being budget motels, many of which have lousy reputations. A much wider variety of lodging can be found in nearby Pasadena, Glendale, and Downtown LA.
- Downtown LA - southeast of the Eastside, downtown Los Angeles has been revitalized, and is now home to the impressive architecture of Disney Concert Hall, sporting and concert events at Staples Center, and a variety of dining and lodging options.
- Northwest LA - northwest of the Eastside, this area is home to Dodger Stadium and the massive Griffith Park and its world-famous observatory.
- Glendale - The third largest city in Los Angeles County is notable for the influence of Armenians on its food and culture, and also for the massive Forest Lawn Cemetery where a multitude of Hollywood stars are interred, including Walt Disney and Jimmy Stewart. The city is located to the north of the Eastside.
- Pasadena - The Eastside's northeastern neighbor, known as the "City of Roses", is famous for its New Year's Day parade and college football Bowl Game. Just beyond, the adjacent community of La Cañada Flintridge is the home of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where tours of interplanetary missions being prepped are available by reservation only.
- South Pasadena - east of the Eastside, South Pasadena is a small residential town with a number of places of historic interest, including a portion of Route 66 that passes through the town.
- Alhambra - This city's Lunar New Year Parade and Festival draws huge crowds and is well worth a visit if you are around for it. Alhambra is located to the east of the Eastside.
- Monterey Park - southeast of the Eastside, Monterey Park was known as "Little Taipei" in the 1980s and is a great place to experience authentic Chinese businesses and restaurants.
- Gateway Cities - The Gateway Cities of Huntington Park, Commerce and Montabello border the Eastside to the south.
|Routes through Eastside (by car)|
|Sacramento ← Downtown L.A. ←||N S||→ Commerce → Santa Ana|
|Santa Monica ← Downtown L.A. ←||W E||→ Alhambra → San Bernardino|
|Alhambra ← Monterey Park ←||N S||→ Commerce → Long Beach|
|Santa Monica ← Downtown L.A. ←||W E||→ South Pasadena → Barstow|
|Santa Monica ← Northwest L.A. ←||S N||→ Glendale → Wrightwood|
|END ← Downtown L.A. ←||W E||→ Monterey Park → Riverside|
|Pasadena ← South Pasadena ←||N S||→ Becomes → Downtown L.A. → San Pedro|
|North Hollywood ← Glendale ←||W E||→ Pasadena → Ends at|
|Routes through Eastside (by public transit)|
|Pasadena ← Downtown L.A. ←||W E||→ END|
|Pasadena ← South Pasadena ←||N S||→ Downtown L.A. → East L.A.|
|San Pedro ← Downtown L.A. ←||W E||→ El Monte → END|