map
Map &
Directions
access_time
Hours
mode_edit
Been here?
Rate it
chevron_left
 
chevron_right

Top Tours

 
6-Hour Los Angeles City Tour
"Hollywood BoulevardThis tour starts in front of LA City Tours near the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Feel the magic of Hollywood as you visit memorable locations from hit movies. Look for your favorite celebrity hand-prints at the TCL Chinese Theater and search for their names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You'll also s Hard Rock Café Dolby Theater — the new home of the Oscars — and many other fun attractions along the world famous Hollywood Boulevard. Griffith Park & Hollywood SignGo inside Griffith Park from high above Los Angeles. Have your picture taken in front of Bel-Air celebrity homes and more. Visit beautiful mansions night clubs on Sunset Strip
From $75.00
 
Privately Customized Tour of Los Angeles
"Experience the most comprehensive Los Angeles tour! See Santa Monica Venice Beach Downtown Los Angeles Hollywood The Hollywood Sign Griffith Park Hollywood Walk of Fame
From $219.00
 
Small-Group Tour of Los Angeles from Long Beach and San Pedro
"After morning pickup from your Long Beach hotel travel in a luxury Mercedes Benz coach about 25 miles north toward Los Angeles. On the way see the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles one of the largest ports in the US. Make your way to downtown Los Angeles and stop for 15 minutes at the Los Angeles Coliseum a popular location for concerts and sporting events. Continue to the Walt Disney Concert Hall a distinctive stainless steel building designed by Frank Gehry that’s home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Check out Angels Flight a funicular railway that goes up Bunker Hill and holds the title of being the world's shortest railway. Then head to Olvera Street
From $99.00

Olvera Street Tips (60)

A Flavor of Mexico, Olvera Street

My uncle who was 67 years old at the time of his visit from Japan was here in Los Angeles for the first time. He did some organized tours of Santa Monica, Hollywood & Beverly Hills. My mom drove him down to an Indian casino near San Diego and they plan to drive up to San Francisco tomorrow. So, today, we went to Olvera Street. We also had lunch there which gave my uncle an opportunity to try Mexican food for the first time. Unfortunately, the weather was extremely, extremely hot. So, we really couldn't hang out too long there. Anyway, it seemed quite lively and it's always very colorful. You could spend an hour or two there and it's more than enough time to check the place out.

See my travelogue for more photos.

GracesTrips's Profile Photo
GracesTrips
Sep 20, 2015

Olvera Street

Last visit November 2012

Although a bit of a tourist trap, Olvera Street is still a lovely place to stop for a short visit if you find yourself in downtown LA. Olvera Street is a pedestrian only street that is only about a block long, stuffed full with Mexican eateries, both sit down and take out, and Mexican craft stores. You can't walk down the street smelling that delicious food and not stop to have a taste. On my last visit in November 2012, I sat down at La Golondrina, a popular restaurant about midway on the street.

In November 2012, Olvera Street was decorated for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which is celebrated November 1-2, with some family shrines in the plaza area, the stores selling items with skulls and skeletons, many people with life-death makeup, half of the face covered in skeleton makeup.

Olvera Street is home to the Avila Home, built in 1818, considered the oldest building in LA. Admission to the house, decorated as it might have been in the 1840s, is free.

There are several parking lots in the area, I didn't feel like trying to drive around and find a free space so I used one of the lots, the lot I found was a flat fee of $6 on a Saturday (April 2007). You can also take the metro to Union Station and Olvera Street is a very short walk from there.

Please see my travelogue for a few more photos of the area.

Dabs's Profile Photo
Dabs
Nov 25, 2012

Visit the Roots of L.A. at Olvera Street

The L.A. story begins here! Calle Olvera (Olvera St) is a vibrant part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles, right off Union Station and close to the 101 freeway- so easy to arrive here! The area is known as the official birthplace of the city of the Angels. Originally, the Native American Tongva nation settled here in the L.A basin.

Mexican culture flourishes here, however, there are hints of Chinese and Italian influence with nearby Chinatown (which actually was originally on Olvera St) and Little Italy (which is slowly resurfacing but is as of yet not in your face) .

Often deemed a tourist trap, the calle is bustling equally with neighborhood dwellers and tourists alike. OK, first time here, go ahead and get you a pancho, sombrero or cute pequeño Mex trinket. But please avoid getting to obvious fake merchandise like Dora the Explorer purses and other suspect branded paraphenalia.

If hungry there are about half a dozen quick service taco/burrito stands from which to choose but more notably for the restaurant experience, Casa La Golondrina and El Paseo are the classic choices here.

On weekends, there is sure to be live Mariachi music and other cultural presentations in the plaza. Many of the events are conducted in Spanish, but even if your espanol is muy mal, the rich live music transcends language.

marinarena's Profile Photo
marinarena
Nov 11, 2012

Olvera Street 1877

It's original name was Wine street, but in 1877 the street was extended and the name was changed to Agustin Olvera the first county judge of Los Angeles who had a home at the end of the street across from the Plaza. The beautiful huge cross was erected at the south end of the street, along with many of the beautiful huge trees you see today. The Olvera Street opened Easter Sunday (April 20), 1930.

When Christine Sterling first saw Olvera Street in 1926, she was appalled with the condition of the decaying buildings. This wonderful lady went on a mission to save this whole area of El Pueblo. She raised awareness and the funds to renovate and now it is famous for many yearly celebrations such a Cico De Mayo and so many more wonderful celebrations. It's market place has some wonderful restaurants and souvenir shops. It is the hub of many daily community activities.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011
 
 
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Olvera Street

Hotels
711 North Main Street, (formerly Days Inn), Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
818 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
995 N Broadway, Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
328 East First Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012-3902, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
200 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
251 S Olive St, Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Show Prices

Garnier Building 1890

Built by Philippe Garnier from France. It was the oldest and most important building of the original Chinatown that housed important Chinese businesses and associations. Part of the building was lost due to the freeway in the 1950's that now houses the Chinese American Museum.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Vickrey/Brunswig Building 1888

This gorgeous building was built for commercial and residential use. The building housed the Braun Drug company in 1897, which became the Brunswig Drug Company in 1907. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Departments crime laboratory was here 1940s-1960s. It survived a terrible fire and decay, but has been lovingly restored and will be part of the soon-to-open Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Italian Hall 1907

This wonderful building was one of seven buildings associated with the Italian community from 1855-1930s. It was used for many political and social functions. Up towards the roofline is a mural painted by David Alfaro Siquieros "América Tropical" on the south exterior wall in 1932. It was considered controversial and ordered whitewashed. Its being restored.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Old Plaza Firehouse 1884

This was the first fire house in Los Angeles that was equipped with fire-fighting equipment and housing for personnel. It is Engine Company No. 1 and was home for the first volunteer firefighters of Los Angeles. It housed the first 38 volunteers, a horse cart and 3 horses for two years. Sadly the firehouse moved out in 1892 due to a legal problems. It served as a saloon, boarding house, drugstore and vegetable market over the years. In 1953 like many of the wonderful buildings here became part of El Pueblo Historical Monument. It since has been restored and opened as a museum in 1960. It contains beautiful fire fighting equipment, historic photographs and maps.

Also located here is an California Historical Marker No#730 Old Plaza Firehouse, the plaque reads: "Dedicated to the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department-past, present, and future-who, by their courage and faithful devotion to duty, have protected the lives and property of the citizens of Los Angeles from the ravages of fire since 1871. This was the first building constructed as a fire station in Los Angeles. Built in 1884, it served as a firehouse until 1897. After this it was used for various purposes until restored in 1960 and opened as a museum of fire-fighting equipment of the late 19th century."

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Top 5 Los Angeles Writers

Yaqui's Profile Photo

Yaqui

""El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles""
View Member
marinarena's Profile Photo

marinarena

"Getting at the Heart of L.A."
View Member
GracesTrips's Profile Photo

GracesTrips

"Coming to LA, see what all of SoCal has to offer!"
View Member
Dabs's Profile Photo

Dabs

"Los Angeles"
View Member
Erin74's Profile Photo

Erin74

"My Hometown: Los Angeles"
View Member
 
 

Biscailuz Building 1925

Built on the once site of Juan Sepulveda's adobe, it served as the United Methodist Church Conference headquarters, the Plaza Community Center and the Consulate-General of Mexico. Named after Eugene Biscailuz, a former Los Angeles Sheriff in 1968 since he had helped Christine Sterling to save this historic section of Los Angeles. It houses the Mexican Cultural Institute and visitors can also enjoy the Institute's Spanish-language Bookstore, Resource Center/Library, Art Gallery with an exhibition of paintings by emerging Mexican artist Jose Ramirez from Los Angeles

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Brunswig Annex 1897

Built on the old site of the old Los Angeles Gas Company. It was the Braun Drug Company showroom and Brunswig Drug Company. Acquired by Los Angeles County in 1946, along with the Vickrey/Brunswig building next door. Used in the 50's as Los Angeles County employees and a Sheriff's crime laboratory. After the 1971 earthquake the facades were removed and it went into decay. The buildings are being retored to their former glory and will be part of the soon-to-open Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Old Winery and El Paseo Inn 1870

Antonio Pelanconi who owned the Pelanconi House, now the La Golondrina Restaurant on Olvera Street. He had the old winery built, but he died in 1879. His widow carried on in his footsteps in business. The building was subdivided and in 1930 the El Paseo Inn moved into the southern end. Now there are administrative offices and an art gallery.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Hellman-Quon Building 1900

This was the former home of Isaias W. Hellman a prominent Los Angeles and San Francisco banker. It was eventually sold to tenant and important Chinese businessman Quon How Shing in 1920, but eventually became part of El Pueblo historical site 1953. The Las Angelitas del Pueblo volunteer group live here now and they offer free tours of El Pueblo de Los Angeles and the el Pueblo Education Center.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Yaqui
Apr 04, 2011

Things to Do Near Olvera Street

Things to Do

Chinatown

Located near Union Station, next to Downtown LA, Chinatown is the cultural and commercial centre for the Chinese-American population of Los Angeles. The area became designated as such in the early...
View More
Things to Do

Ávila Adobe

I didn't have long to explore Olvera Street...and it was very busy indeed on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with souvenir stalls all in a line...but what I did see gave me an idea not only of how LA might...
View More
Things to Do

Union Station

After visiting Olvera Street, be sure to also pay a visit to Union Station about a block away. Union Station was built in 1939, it's Spanish/mission style architecture has a much different feel than...
View More
Things to Do

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Completed in 2002, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles. The ultra-modern edifice was designed by the Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo,...
View More
Things to Do

Los Angeles City Hall

City hall is a highlight of downtown Los Angeles. A magnificent historic building completed in 1928, it was until the 1960s the tallest building in the city, by law. The interior is interesting to...
View More
Things to Do

Hollywood Boulevard & The Hollywood Walk of Fame

I remember Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Strip, Melrose Ave, and etc., as being a very different world. The glizty and galmor has always been here, but there is the seedy side. Many of buildings here and...
View More

Getting to Olvera Street

Address

We don't yet have an address for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!

Hours

  • Sunday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Monday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Tuesday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 19:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 19:00

Map