Salt & Wind Travel

Local Gems: Ten Indie Spots To Shop in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has exploded in the past few years with an influx of creative entrepreneurs from all over, transplanting themselves into the epicenter of the cool and casual good life. 

With so many places to go, and the city being so spread out, it can get overwhelming. But not to worry — we have done the hard work for you. Here are ten must-see boutiques, markets, and restaurants when you next visit our hometown of Los Angeles:

County LTD (Silver Lake)

We can’t say enough good things about this little Silver Lake shop. The first time we stepped into the boutique, which describes itself as “T-shirts & Chairs”, we were immediately transported to Tokyo. The small boutique is crowded in a way that feels effortlessly chic and conscious. Drool over the hand-picked vintage Danish chairs. Select a clay donabe, the perfect conversation-piece artwork, or a Japanese clock. 

Botanica Restaurant (Silver Lake)

You might not expect too much from a food magazine turned an all-day café. But if you stepped into this Silver Lake restaurant thinking exactly that, you would be sorely mistaken. Think: vegetables, cocktails, natural wine, and good times. Oh, and the food absolutely nails it. Grab a bottle of organic veggies and biodynamic wine before you head out the door and start channeling your best Southern California life.  

Melrose Trading Post (Fairfax District)

Oh Rose Bowl flea market, how we love you. But every time we wake up on Sunday wanting to drive to Pasadena, we realize you’re not always open. Cue the Melrose Trading Post that’s open every single Sunday in the city’s Fairfaf district. So, after you grab a chic cup of coffee (at Cofax) or brunch (at Sweet Chick!), you can stop by MTP to get your flea market fix. Find the perfect Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree that doesn’t break the bank or haggle for that vintage tee. It’s so good that we outfitted an entire wedding with brass vases and candlesticks entirely from the post.

Janessa Leone (Culver City)

Local designer Janessa Leone has created a line of hats that epitomize the Angeleno lifestyle. Wide-brimmed straw hats with a band of fabric and a dot of metal show that you are casual enough to rock a hat, but care about the high-quality details. Although you can find her hats online, we recommend you stop by her boutique in Culver City to try her hats and handbags on IRL. After all, what would LA be without the perfect hat to take a selfie in the sun?

Midland (Culver City)

This stunning little shop is brimming with everything you need for a curated California lifestyle. They focus on well-chosen items ranging from clothing to homegoods.  Local ceramics and candles line their pale wooden shelves. The owners, Paige and Kelly, take their mission a step further, supporting women and brands that are ethical in their practices. 

Bay Cities (Santa Monica)

Founded in 1925, it doesn’t get more indie or local than Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica. This gourmet food shop imports everything Italian and is well known for their oversized stuffed sandwiches served on a thick house-made bread that soaks up everything from pesto to hot peppers. Our best advice is to show up early, or even-better, order online (they have a pick-up window in the back of the shop). Beachgoers line up for well over a half hour for their own custom slice of Italian living. If you do choose to wait and have the “full experience,”, peruse the endless aisles of imported goods ranging from squid-ink pasta to rainbow cookies.

Christy Dawn (Venice)

Christy’s corner shop in Venice is effortlessly bathed in the perfect shade of golden light. And for an independent clothing designer whose sustainable practice exclusively leverages deadstock (the leftover fabrics of other fashion houses who overestimated their needs), perhaps that is the shining example of her truth. Her line focuses on dresses, jumpers, and oversized sweaters. It’s the type of clothing you want to live in and, since the fabric is limited, you may be one of the lucky one or two people to own a certain dress.

General Store (Venice)

When we feel the need for true inspiration in our lives, we pop into the General Store. The husband-and-wife team behind this lifestyle concept store is truly visionary. If you ever wanted to fantasize about living a near-perfect life in the countryside of California, just Google their home “Domino Mag Topanga Home.” Stepping into one of their shops (they also have a San Francisco location) is like going shopping in their house. Pick up the perfect neckerchief, woven basket, and peruse their hand-picked selection of vintage items that are expertly curated for the person who wants to rock vintage but has no eye for it.  

Parachute Home (Venice)

Another LA local who has made it mainstream, you may have heard of Parachute, or even purchased their high-quality sheets, towels, and bathmats online. But you absolutely must stop into their Westside shop to get the full picture. Grabbing a gift for your mother-in-law, your bestie, or yourself? Owner Ariel Kaye has an eye for luxury that doesn’t break the bank.  We’re obsessed with their new line of waffle towels, but you can pick up everything from a merino eye mask to placemats.

Cuyana (Venice)

Fewer, better things: that’s Cuyana’s motto. The brand has two brick and mortar locations in California;, one of which is situated on Venice’s Abbot Kinney. We adore this brand not only for its philosophy, but also for the high quality and fairly priced travel goods they supply. Their leather bags range from the perfect weekend bag, to the perfect tote bag. Monogramming is available onsite while you wait, and it doesn’t stop there. They’ve basically thought of everything you need to travel in style, from a monochromatic passport cover to alpaca cardigans to keep you cozy on your flight, to a panama hat that’s made to shield the sun. 

More Los Angeles On Salt & Wind

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P.S. If you liked this story, you’ll probably like our newsletter too! 

P.P.S. Hitting the road soon? Show us how you travel in good taste by sharing your adventures on Instagram with the #swsociety hashtag!

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