Nothing fancy here at all, just grand convenience stores when traveling downtown. It took a while but downtown L.A. finally has mainstream drug stores for its people.
What to buy: various items like personal care necessities, medicine, food/snacks, maps, emergency items like band-aids, aspirin and an umbrella when it rains!!
What to pay: a few dollars or more
Macy's department store is conveniently located centrally downtown, on 7th St. It is part of the busy shopping and transit hub, 7th and Metro rail line station and fairly close to several popular downtown destinations, like L.A. Live hot spots and hotels. This particular 3 story Macy consistently has a good selection from which to choose in all department areas, though, locations west of here (Beverly Center and Santa Monica) tend to be more attractive.
As much as this is a shopping tip, I must say that I can mention this Macy's location as a "when nature's calling while downtown tip". Outside of finding bathrooms in big hotels, expect a less stinky and messy toilet in the store where usually one finds well maintained restrooms.
There is ample parking in the underground garage area (can be pricey if you stay long) and street parking nearby.
What to buy: whatever good on the sale rack!
What to pay: from a little to a lot :-)
Japanese food is easily found these days. When I was a little girl, we make a once a week trip to downtown LA to Little Tokyo to do our grocery shopping. These days there are a lot more Japanese markets in Southern California.
Marukai and Nijiya Markets are the more prevalent markets in SoCal. The photos here are from the Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo.
Shopper Shuttle is a new concept transportation service, exclusively for shoppers in Los Angeles. SS has a fleet of luxury-appointed vehicles, affordable rates, and retail-savvy guides (a.k.a., "Shopping Sherpas"), visitors and local Angelenos no longer have to worry about where to go shopping and how to get there (and back).
OK, that's the marketing material on thier website. Basically you can get a ride in a luxury vehicle from your house/hotel to the shopping mall of your choice for as little as $9. Prices start at $9 and don't run much more than that -unless you choose to go to the Camarillo outlet mall. You are guaranteed a ride back, another $9, or however much you are paying, depending on how far you are going.
The Shopping Sherpas are also very shopping savvy and can help you decide where you need to go depending on what you are shopping for. They specialize in the downtown fashion district and know where to find what and for how much. It is a unique service
I totally recommend them!! I'll have to put this listing in transportation as well.
What to pay: $9 and up each way
I am not sure why the "OC" poster dissed Downtown LA. (actually I DO know why... OC is NOT LA... if you want culture, don't go down there unless you drive all the way to San Juan Capistrano or Laguna).
Downtown LA is a treasure trove of weirdness. Now I won't contradict and say you won't find junk, because you will. Knock-offs to rival China, crap that will fall apart tomorrow. But I work in entertainment and my job is to buy things that look good on set. And let me tell you... between the Flower mart, the fabric stores and the odd amazing find (most notably the sample sale items) it's a neat place to walk through. And the cheapie food on the corner... tasty tasty (but not for a weak stomach!)
What to buy: Bare essentials, socks, underwear, cheap-o jeans that you might want to decorate yourself, backpacks, t-shirts, flowers, fabric if you're a crafty (hell... any sort of notion for crafties.. buttons, etc) Jewelry in the Jewelry area. *that's real jewelry, btw... got a pair of fabulous white gold hoops for $10 after I walked out of one store.. turns out they owned three on the block and by the time I got to the third one, the $50 earrings were $10... haven't tarnished and that was 8 years ago that I bought them)
What to pay: bring $20. If you see anything costing more than that (other than at the Fashion School's sample sale stuff) it's not worth it or a simple walk away will give you less.
If you like stupid/kitch souvenirs go to Olvera street at downtown. There are kiosks full of Mexican sombreros, wooden puppets, colorful guitars (pic 2), ponchos and of course the Dia de los Muertos figurines (pic 1).
At Venice Beach you can find cheap suitcases (hello China!), fake sunglasses and dozens of touristic tshirts and other souvenirs like magnets etc Some nice skates also wait for you if you are into skateboarding (pic 3)
In Santa Monica go to Main Street or to 3rd Street, both full of stores with clothes. If you have a lot of money to spend go to Rodeo Drive.
L.A.'s Broadway district is a thrifty person's paradise. Some stores promise everything under $5!. Granted, the quality of fashion and merchandise is not top-notch Beverly Hills but you wouldn't be here for that anyway. Prices are scandalously inexpensive for everyday items. Some major retailers include Big Lots, Payless Shoes, Fallas Paredes, and Rite Aid. However, local merchants dominate here so if you want to help out small business, come and get a new pair of leather shoes or a knock off watch.
Besides clothing, merchandise and jewelry, Boroadway is good for cheap eats- $0.60 tacos, $2 pizza, $5 lunch that will fill you up!
What to buy: clothes for the family
Mexican and Middle Eastern food!
What to pay: a few dollars to many
The Grove located adjacent to the Farmers Market in downtown Los Angeles has a lot of stores that you would find in a mall, like Abercrombie & Fitch and Banana Republic. There is also an Apple computer store here. So it's mostly retail stores here, and things are not that cheap. Good place though to take a walk and browse stores.
Downtown Los Angeles could easily be racked under "Off the Beaten Track". The butt of many jokes, Downtown has had more than it's share of hard times since the focus of the city moved North and West. However, the last five years brought in "Adaptive Reuse" permits - modern condos in historic buildings - and every service related to the burgeoning, hipoiserie moving Downtown has followed. Make an afternoon trip to the Center City and walk Broadway(the busiest street West of Chicago). There are hundreds of discount shops and street stalls; most focused on the gigantic Mexican community - a wee bit of Tijuana in LA. There are incredible bargains and an exciting, albeit, rowdy street scene. Do some shopping, grab a churro(or a beer at Cole's on Sixth St.) and get out by dusk. This is the "real" Los Angeles.
What to buy: Tons of shoe stores and bargain clothing shops. The Jewelry district is right around the corner, and Western Wear is surprisingly cheap in the Mexican-owned "Ranchero" shops.
What to pay: Most clothing is under ten. Better items average $20.
The whole section of Broadway between 6th and 8th streets
What to buy: The shops on broadway are excellent! I went there on more than one occasion. Mens clothes shops are everywhere, but there are stores selling everything
What to pay: its so cheap on Broadway, I bought so much clothes and spent like $200.. that was for countless polo shirts, sweatsuits etc
Magic Castle Hotel Los Angeles
5 Reviews and 1255 Opinions The Magic castle hotel is a great place to stay. It looks small at first view but its rooms are on...
Sofitel Los Angeles - Beverly Hills Los Angeles
4 Reviews and 871 Opinions This is a very nicely appointed hotel but not as imposing as I thought it would be. I booked a...
The Peninsula Beverly Hills Los Angeles
1 Review and 298 Opinions The only hotel in southern California to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil...