Commuting with tokyobike's Lauren
I love biking in Los Angeles. Yes, you read that right. In the city where people love to say that "car is king", I beg to differ. Nothing beats the sun on your face, or whipping into your favorite coffee shop or restaurant without spending hours looking for parking. That alone should convince you that it's time to start riding a bike in this incredible city.
I have commuted by bike in LA for five years, and while I run into challenges almost daily, I have found a love for my city in ways I didn't expect. Here are some of my favorite downtown haunts just a short distance from the tokyobike showroom.
Home to the tokyobike Showroom and our US HQ, ROW is not only an amazing place to work from, but a unique destination to visit in Los Angeles.
First known as the LA Terminal Market, ROW DTLA was built from 1917 to 1923 along the Southern Pacific Railroad and continues to be a major hub for the distribution of produce across the region.
The thirty-acre district and its historic, industrial series of buildings have evolved into a walkable urban environment comprised of a unique and highly curated collective of restaurants, retail shops, creative office workspaces, galleries, event venues, and an abundance of amenities amid nearly two million square feet of space. The scope and scale caters to a forward-thinking creative community, while preserving the inherent character of this historic, evolving area.
Click here to check on the entire Collective.
My favorite former taco truck has settled in to its new spot in the Arts District and lucky for me, it is just a short bike ride from ROW DTLA. Classically trained chef, Wes Avila honors the heart beat of Los Angeles Mexican culture and flavor with new and inventive flare.
2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Housed in a historic firehouse, this boutique hotel has recently opened in the Arts District—with custom tokyobikes. The beautifully designed restaurant, bar and coffee counter are welcoming to all, not just hotel guests.
710 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
This Japanese bicycle seems to ride itself straight to Little Tokyo, and when that is only a 10 minute bike ride from our US headquarters at ROW, it has been my go-to for Japanese fare. Lock your bike and stroll around First Street or inside the Japanese market place, or pay a visit to the Japanese American National Museum. For tried-and-true ramen that’s worth the wait, I go to Daikokuya.
The Last Book Store
Brick and mortar bookstores are a sight for sore eyes, almost sacred these days and this one is an absolute treasure. I can walk the isles for hours flipping pages and gathering books to bring home. Be sure to go to the upper level to check out the whimsically arranged used book section that seems to never end!
Bikes are usually my method of choice for getting around the city, but alternative transportation options are booming right now and I’m excited for how this will change the city. My daily commute for example, consists of a short bicycle ride to the Metro in Highland Park, a train ride to the Little Tokyo Station and back on the bicycle from there to ROW DTLA. Feel free to get creative—ride, walk, scoot or whatever else you can to leave your car at home once in a while.
Grand Central Market
The market has seen some transformation in recent years and is now the spot for lunch or happy hour for many who travel to or work downtown. The al pastor tacos from Anna Maria (one of the longest standing vendors), or the green falafel from Kismet Falafel are to die for. When I want to escape the crowds, I'll grab a loaf of bread from Clark Street Bread and a wedge of cheese from the DTLA Cheese counter for the perfect picnic.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Highland Park Brewery Taproom (Chinatown)
Basking in the sun on the patio drinking a beer with friends afterwork- what could be better? Located just across the street from the LA Historic Park, it's a spot in the city where there is room to breath. I'll often recognize a friend's bicycle in the bike racks right outside and swerve right in. With a rotating selection of new beers to try, and delicious snacks to order (I recommend the cheese curds) this has become a weekly tradition.
1220 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
So join me, and let's get riding Los Angeles!