5.3 out of 10

Historic Core

Ranked 49th best neighborhood in Los Angeles
34.0460127429317 -118.25099340559
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Old Buildings, Young Crowd"

Four of five buildings in this area were built before 1939. When you watch old Hitchcock films, you can probably see many of the buildings from this area in them.

The Historic Core, however, is bustling with activities with hundreds of stores and businesses, dozens of restaurants, a handful of hotels and nightspot thrown in for good measure as well.

Here are some of my favorites:

There are a number of dance and live music clubs in the area worth checking out, the foremost of which is The Mayan, a Latin dance club which has a venue designed like a Mayan temple—very cool and fun, though expensive with a cover of close to $20 and parking across the street costing $5, you’re out $25 before you’re even in the door. Nearby you can also find the Conga Room, a somewhat more reasonably priced dance club. And if you prefer a dive bar sort of feel when you are getting down, you should try La Cita, a tiny Latin inspired dive bar dance place. The night to go is on Mustache Mondays—if you like your dive bar dudes with whiskers, of course. More handle bars than at the Tour de France.

The Orpheum Theater is also just blocks away. This giant venue makes you feel as if you have stepped back into the 19th century with it high coffered ceilings, pendulous chandeliers and neoclassical balcony arcades. For TV fans, this is where they hold auditions for So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent.

If you are in Downtown for lunch, a great place to check out is Clifton’s, a cafeteria straight out of the 50’s with lots of relatively inexpensive food, and a very kitschy Redwood Room where the columns are done up like redwood trees and the mural on the wall is supposed to make it seem as if you are in the forest—just makes you want to go over and paint a little camp fire on the wall to warm you hands and tell stories by.

Another good place to have lunch on nice days, if you work in the area, is Pershing Square, always crowded during lunch hour during the week. On weekends they have a farmer’s market there I am told, and they have a tiny little ice rink there where, if you have a Big Apple sized imagination you can imagine, or pretend to imagine, you are in Madison Square Garden—if your imagination is only Cleveland sized though, it won’t be enough to get past the postage stamp sized skate space.

As far as hotels go, one that I have been to is the Kyoto Grand. I haven’t seen the rooms, but I was once in their banquet room for a convention and they are quite nice—very classic sort of a hotel hall. The Japanese Garden was nice as I remember it, but nothing that I would go out of my way to see unless there was really nothing better to do.

If you are looking for a spot to get married, you could definitely do worse than Vibiana, a large hall with classically arcing coffered ceilings and center stage set up as if you were in church. Went to a friend of a friend’s wedding here a while back and really found the space to be ideal for an event like a wedding. Definitely the kind of place that can make you forget that you look like a peach if you are a bride’s maid.

You will definitely not run out of things to do in this section of town. The only thing it really lacks is a place where you can feel as if you are home (excluding the hotels of course).
  • Great Hotels
  • Great Dance/Music Venues
  • Great Public Transportation
  • Noisy
  • Dirty
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5

"A great place to visit, not to live"

The so-called “Historic Core” of Los Angeles is an area that presumably was once the core of downtown Los Angeles. While “Skid Row” is in a small corner of the Historic Core, much of the area has been renovated and has much to offer.

There are so many sites of historical interest as well as beauty that it is worth visiting. Many have been used as settings for movies.

The Bradbury Building at Third and Broadway is an architectural landmark in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #6) and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1893. Its outside is considered Romanesque. The interior is exceptional, a Victorian court almost 50 feet tall, filled with ornate iron railings, open cage elevators and marble stairs. It is light and airy. The building was completely restored in the 1990.

Angels Flight Railway, a short, funicular rail line, is near the Bradbury Building. The original location nearby was dismantled in 1969. The new location uses the two original funicular cars but with brand new track and equipment. It was reopened in 1996. However, it was closed and redesigned after a fatal accident in 2001. It is now open again. It costs 25 cents to ride one way from the Historic Core to Bunker Hill California Plaza and the Museum of Contemporary Art- MOCA.

The Grand Central Market has been a fresh produce, meat and seafood market since 1917. It is frequented by those purchasing food for local restaurants, tourists, and residents wanting to shop and eat. It is Los Angeles’ largest and oldest open-air market. The Market was also recently restored.

The Million Dollar Theater on South Broadway is one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. It has been restored, and shows Spanish language films. It has been used for live entertainment and movie premiers. The front of the theater was featured in Blade Runner (1982).

The Orpheum Theater was opened in 1923 for vaudeville performances. It has undergone many transformations, from offering live music performances, to location filming for film and television. It is currently hosting live performances by talents as diverse as Melissa Etheridge, The Fab Faux Beatles tribute band, and chef Buddy Valastro.

Pershing Square is a park which hosts outdoor concerts and events. Many are free. This space was dedicated as a park in 1866. There were many militia receptions and speakers there during WWI, and it was renamed after the famous General Pershing in 1918. After WWII it was neglected, but between 1992 and 1994 it was restored. There is now a garage under the park, as well as a Metro station. It is a popular site for political demonstrations.

Clifton’s Cafeteria has been open since 1931. No one was ever turned away from Clifton’s hungry, even during the Depression. They still offer “quality food at a reasonable price” and they “make a friend of every guest.

Many of the older buildings in the Historic Core of LA have been converted to residential lofts. For example, the historic Pacific Electric building now offers loft living. This is not for everyone. The neighborhood is not quiet or necessarily safe. Some lofts are advertised as luxury living, and some people are very happy living in them. Others are not. There are a diverse group of people living in the Historic Core, but it is not primarily a residential neighborhood.

It is definitely worth a visit. Walking tours are available.
Recommended for
  • Singles

Travelling to Historic Core?

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Best Streets in Historic Core


West 3rd St

"Good for a Start"
34.0512316160763 -118.248433084554

Unranked Streets in Historic Core

"A nice long street with plenty to do"
34.0506380014046 -118.243929497461
"NOT clearly marked!"
34.0479400647195 -118.251701974269
"Many things to see and do here!"
34.0460680845844 -118.252572879792
"Beautiful architecture and history."
34.0473262532961 -118.253125865869
"Typical downtown street"
34.0492398234619 -118.253058943143
"Long way to go..."
34.0468459868748 -118.2501318506

West 1st St

"A long, somewhat curvy street with one great place to visit"
34.0539855095718 -118.246050214662

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