East Los Angeles
Ethnic Neighborhoods LA
Latin Living on LA's Eastside
You can find Mexican influences all over the City of Angels, but to experience some real Latino flavor, enjoy an authentic street taco or purchase some handmade tortillas, you have to venture east. East LA, sometimes also called the Eastside, refers to the area east of Downtown and the LA River and lumps together neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights. Don’t be afraid to try a bacon-wrapped hot dog or an elote (corn on the cob with mayo, cheese and chili powder) from a street vendor, or explore a local grocery store to buy perfectly ripe mango, avocado, flan or queso de Oaxaca.
Boyle Heights has colorful murals and La Serenata De Garibaldi at Mariachi Plaza. It's also home to El Mercado de Los Angeles, a historic, sprawling shopping center offering numerous restaurants and dueling mariachi bands. Moving north to nearby Highland Park, you must try a handmade huarache (thick corn tortilla) with al pastor (thinly sliced spit-roasted pork) at El Huarache Azteca. In Downtown LA at the Grand Central Market, choose from Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Mexican specialties, including the best gorditas in LA.
Outside of East LA, you can drive along Broadway Street downtown on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and you'll think you're in Mexico City. Many speak Spanish, from the vendors hawking little girls’ party dresses or papayas-on-a-stick to Latino families doing their weekly shopping. Or head to colorful Olvera Street and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and stop by La Golondrina Café for a margarita.
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