Travel Los Angeles, California in about 2,000 calories and 10,000 steps with our guide to great grub, rejuvenating activities, and locals-only hotspots.
December 25, 2014
1 of 6Photo: Christina Gandolfo
A Unique Guide to Los Angeles
We toured Los Angeles to find the best, most nutritious restaurants the city has to offer. Here's a unique guide to good eating and great exercise for hungry travelers.
How we did the math:
This series is meant as a fun guide to experiencing a city through the Cooking Light lens. All calculations are rough estimates and should be seen as a starting point for your own adventure.
Calorie burns were estimated using this calculator.The approximations are based on how vigorous the activity level is for a 150-pound woman—for example, a stroll around a farmers’ market was calculated at a lower burn than when we tell you to pick up the pace.
We estimated steps at an average of 2,000 steps per mile walked.
All calorie calculations for the meal selections we recommend were rough estimates based on inputting similar dishes and ingredients into this calculator.
2 of 6Photo: Jessica Sample
Rise and Shine at the Coast
Take a cue from local surfer superstar Laird Hamilton and lay the foundation for your perfect LA day with a fortifying breakfast at The Malibu Farm Cafe, perched at the preposterously photogenic Malibu pier. Order a sweet, strong Vietnamese coffee and a bowl of quinoa oatmeal.
Thusly stoked, drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Venice, where the scene is by turns fashionable and funky. You'll see that the locals have figured bikes are the coolest conveyance.
Rent a beach cruiser at Venice Bike and Skates, and pedal from the boardwalk up to hopping Abbot Kinney Boulevard, perpetually packed with boutiques, bars, and boho chic residents. The quintessential hangout is Travis Lett's California Mediterranean hotspot Gjelina. Good luck getting in. Instead, continue west up to Lett's brand-new, equally hot bakery Gjusta to grab a portable and pedal-friendly butcher's sandwich.
Burn: 263 calories Eat: 779 calories
3 of 6Photo: Christina Gandolfo
Take a Hike at Bronson Canyon Park
Leave Runyon Canyon, Sunset Boulevard, and more obvious strolls to the tourists and hike like a local at Bronson Canyon Park, which offers a challenging incline and a close-up view of the Hollywood sign.
You'll be ravenous post-hike, so head to haute hippie hangout Café Gratitude on Larchmont Boulevard for lunch. Go for the "Whole" bowl, an umami-packed vegetable and rice dish spiked with house-made kimchi.
By now it's caffeine o'clock, so stroll down to Go Get Em Tiger, a friendly take on the hipster café phenomenon, to recharge with a luscious iced latte enriched with house-made almond milk—served in a mason jar, naturally.
Burn: 477 calories Eat: 455 calories
4 of 6Photo: Courtesy of Moon Juice/Brandon Friend-Solis
Explore a Hip 'Hood in Silver Lake
Drive east to Silver Lake, the neighborhood that's the chill West Coast answer to überhip Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Rehydrate at the new Moon Juice pressed juice shop, the easterly outpost of the Venice brand that's justly become a local favorite thanks to inventive combos like Fennel, Frond, and Herb Juice.
Grab an afternoon snack at Squirl, where the mismatched vintage plates and sleek interior are the quintessence of casual cool. Sqirl is a revelation of the infinitely modifiable menu: You can add a fried egg or sausage to just about everything, or hold back and keep it vegan. We say add both to the heirloom brown rice bowl with zingy sorrel pesto.
Eat: 760 calories
5 of 6Photo: Melissa Valladres
Do Dinner Downtown
The city's revitalized downtown has seen a reboot of the nearly century-old Grand Central Market. Here, under one sprawling roof, you can still find the traditional spice shops, Latin food stalls, and green grocers, as well as an influx of new stalls, including a Texas BBQ spot, an oyster bar, an artisanal cheesemonger, and Wexler's, a modern take on the classic Jewish deli. You've been mean and lean all day, so you've earned The Macarthur Park sandwich, made with pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing piled high on rye bread.
6 of 6Photo: Courtesy of The Varnish
Find a Hidden Nightcap
Stroll down Spring Street to Cole's for your final reward, but it's not the famed sandwiches you're here for. Go to the unmarked door at the back of the dining room, behind which you'll find The Varnish, one of the country's best neo-speakeasies, and bartenders who will shake up a Fitzgerald cocktail, named for one of LA's great itinerant authors. The bracing mix of gin, fresh lemon juice, and bitters is a fitting nightcap for a perfectly balanced day. Who says nobody walks in LA?
Burn: 217 calories Eat: 852 calories
TOTAL BURNED: 957 TOTAL EATEN: 2,846 TOTAL STEPS: 18,000 [NET CALORIES: 1,889]