Having been to Los Angeles 9 years ago, I was excited to return and experience it from a whole nother point of view.
Last time I went to LA, I was only 19 years old. I had packed my back pack, taken off by myself, not knowing how long I would be in the states for. LA was my first stop before I would continue on to Pennsylvania to work at a Summer Camp as a Personal Trainer for 3 months. I remember being extremely homesick. I had left family and friends, my boyfriend at the time and I parted ways after 5 years at the airport. I cried myself to sleep most nights and although I went out and explored, I definitely wasn’t living in the present moment while in LA. As soon as I reached Pennsylvania, I quickly got over myself and then enjoyed the rest of my time in the states.
This time I knew it would be different for a number of reasons. I was ready to experience the health hub that LA is known for.
Mac and I had a list of places we wanted to eat at. And around every corner was a new cafe or restaurant to discover as we roamed the streets all day, talking to locals, and meeting new friends. Below is a list of places we absolutely loved and would recommend to you Free Birds.
The Independence – Santa Monica.
We didn’t eat twice at many restaurants when we were away. There was just so many options of beautiful cafes and restaurants to eat in. However with The Independence we couldn’t resist but to eat here twice. This place is a great brunch or lunch spot. The shiitake mushroom rice and quinoa with a fried egg and sautéed spinach was beyond delicious. Mac enjoyed there burgers (they had a healthy spin on them and didn’t serve them with fries, which is rare in the states) and the Thai Brussels and meatballs are divine.
Body Energy Club – Hollywood.
Although this isn’t a cafe, it is a handy place to keep in mind if you need a quick lunch or some snacks. This is a supplement store that offers prepacked gym meals such as chicken, steak or turkey meatballs with sweet potato chips and grilled greens. Or wraps and smoothies. There was a few times we found this the easiest option, especially if we were heading on a hike for the day.
Acai Nation – Brentwood.
We were recommended to go here by a fellow Nutritionist who had claimed they had the best Acai Bowls EVER. After trying it for myself I would have to agree that these jacked up Acai Bowls are pretty darn tasty.
Bullet Proof – Santa Monica.
I’m sure you have all heard of a Bullet Proof coffee? Well this is where it all began. You can smell the butter when you walk in (it actually smells delicious.) They serve the original bullet proof coffee recipe made with octane oil and grass fed butter, as well as many other coffees and teas. The breakfast burrito wrap is delicious, especially if you sub out the rice for cauliflower rice. DELICIOUS!
Groundwork – Venice.
This place was on my list of go-tos and if you are a tea or coffee lover, it is a must. They have every type of tea or coffee imaginable, some of which I had never even heard of. Groundwork is a chain and they have several located across LA. Some of the cafes are just coffee bars, others serving food too. Don’t do what we did and head to two of their coffee bars, instead of cafe. You may end up Hangry 🙂
Trastevere – Santa Monica.
If you love Italian head here. It was delicious food, amazing service and great for people watching. Mac had the lasagna and I ate the grilled chicken breast with herbed roast potatoes. It was divine.
Stamp Proper Foods – Los Feliz.
LA folks are known for there love of brunch. Walking around the streets at 8am is a ghost town compared to 10 – 11am when everyone comes out for a social brunch. Stamp Proper Foods is just the place for this, serving and amazing all day breakfast menu. You can’t beat the vegan banana buckwheat pancakes.
Wholefoods – Located across LA.
Wholefoods is seriously every Nutritionist dream. This Supermarket is full of fresh and organic fruit and vegetables, fresh prepacked meals, salad bars, soup bars, you name it wholefoods have it. We went here several times to pick up staples, supplements and snacks. They are located across LA, so no matter where you stay you should be able to find one nice and close.
Wurstkuche – Venice.
Before I begin to tell you about this place, let me just say it’s not exactly a ‘wellness eats.’ Our friends in LA told us that no matter where we ate, make sure we fit in time for this place because they new how much Mac loves bratwurst sausage. I wasn’t going to add this to my list but it is such an amazing place and worth the experience. You walk into a narrow little area 1 x 2 meters long. There is a beer tap and a register to order. Once you order you walk around the corner and follow a long black corridor to an amazing open space. They have music pumping, outdoor gardens, and no matter what time you go it will always be busy.
Huckleberry – Santa Monica.
Huckleberry is such a busy little place. They are known for amazing, fresh food and have there own cook book available too. I had the roasted farmers market vegetables with quinoa and eggs. And the homemade chai latte with almond milk was probably the best chai latte I have ever drank. This place is a little more pricey than your typical brunch or lunch place, but I think it is worth it. The food was great.
Sushi King – Santa Monica.
Our last night in LA friends took us here. They knew I had been craving sushi for weeks and told me that this was the best place. They were right. The sushi was so fresh, the people were lovely, and the sushi rainbow roll was the best sushi roll I have ever eaten.
Rise and Grind Juice and Coffee Bar – Hollywood.
Rise and Grind is a great place for good coffee and quick breakfast options. We stopped by here on a couple of occasions. You guys may have felt like this while traveling before… after traveling for so long and eating out every single meal, it was nice just to have a bowl of warm oatmeal, topped with berries. Simple, basic, delicious.
So next time you visit LA or if you already live there, head in to these places for the best and healthiest meals. You won’t be disappointed.