Olvera Street, Los Angeles

4 out of 5 stars 61 Reviews

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  • Olvera Street
    by MJL
  • Día de los Muertos altar (November 2012)
    Día de los Muertos altar (November 2012)
    by Dabs
  • shop (tienda), Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA
    shop (tienda), Olvera St, Los Angeles,...
    by marinarena

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    A Flavor of Mexico, Olvera Street

    by GracesTrips Updated Sep 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: Alameda and Cesar Chavez Drive

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park,845 N. Alameda Street

    Market Place Carnitas Plate at El Paseo Inn Lots of items for sale
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    Olvera Street

    by Dabs Updated Nov 25, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park, 845 N. Alameda Street

    Olvera Street D��a de los Muertos altar (November 2012)

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Visit the Roots of L.A. at Olvera Street

    by marinarena Updated Nov 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park, 845 N. Alameda Street

    Olvera St. in Los Angeles, California Olvera St shop, California tiendas (stores) at Olvera St area, Los Angeles park area, Calle Olvera, Los Angeles, California shop (tienda), Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA
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    Biscailuz Building 1925

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

    Phone: 213-624-3660

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    Brunswig Annex 1897

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Address: Main Street, Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park on 845 N. Alameda Street

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    Old Winery and El Paseo Inn 1870

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Hellman-Quon Building 1900

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Sepulveda House 1887

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This lovely Victorian buildilng serves as a museum and visitors center. Senora Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda lived in this beautiful Eastlake Victorian design that cost of $8,000 to build. It had at one time, 22 rooms, 2 commercial businesses and 3 residences. You can enter into the building from Olvera Street or from Main Street. Some of the rooms are on display and they even have a wonderful little theatre that shows a 18-minute film on the history of El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda & Main Street Los Angeles Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

    Main Street Main Street Olvera Street
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    Masonic Hall 1858

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If your familiar with history, Masonic Halls were and still are very popular within many communities across the United States since the 1800's. Established as Lodge 42 Free and Accepted Masons and served as their hall. The first floor served as a furniture store, pawn shop, and eventually the whole building served as a boarding house. During the 1950's it was decaying and it was saved and now it serves home again Los Angeles City Masonic Lodge 841.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda & Main Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Pico House 1870

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Pio Pico was the last governor of Mexican California that sold his land in the San Fernando Valley to be able to build his grand hotel that was Los Angeles' first three story building. The hotel once boasted as the "finest hotel in Southern California," with "bathrooms and water closets for both sexes" on every floor that had 82 bedrooms, 21 parlors, two interior courtyards and a French restaurant. Sadly he lost the hotel by foreclosure in 1880. Served as the National Hotel from 1892-1920. Its been restored and used for cultural events.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda & Main Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Pelanconi House 1855

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    It stands as the oldest brick building in Los Angeles that was built by Giuseppi Cavacciand an Italian vintner. It was bought by Antonio Pelanconi in 1871 and was used as a wine cellar. In 1930, Senora Consuelo Castillo de Bonzo in 1930 bought it creating La Golondrina restaurant making it the oldest restaurant on Olvera Street.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

    Olvera Street Facing Main Street.
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    Simpson-Jones Building 1894

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Built to house Moline Engines. It continued to be used as the Diamond Shirt Company, Soochow Restaurant and a Mexican style bank 1959. It was subdivided to house the Luz del Dia Restaurant. Now it serves as Café de Camacho.

    Address: 608 North Main Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park on 845 N. Alameda Street

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    La Plaza 1820

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This was the center of social, political and business life during the Spanish (1781-1821) and Mexican (1821-1847) eras. This location is the third and final location during the 1800's. This still is the center of many social festivities and celebrations. The day we were visiting they were holding some dancing activities. They had a very lovely nativity set in the gazebo.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Plaza Substation 1903

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Built by Henry Huntington, owner of the Los Angeles Railway Company and was the largest of the 14 substations in Los Angeles. The substation task was to convert electricity from AC to DC to convert power for the city's yellow trolley cars. Sadly, the electric street car system ceased operating in 1963.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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    Machine Shop 1915

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Originally built as a machine shop with another front that faces Main Street. Its 1910 brick architecture resembles many of Los Angeles commercial buildings. When Olevra Street was saved by Christine Sterling, this building served as Leo Carrillo Theater. Sadly two of the three arched openings facing Main Street have been filled in with stucco walls. Now it houses a wonderful gift shop called Casa California.

    Address: 845 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

    Directions: El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park

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