One of the best parts of riding is stumbling across newfound faves and ending those aimless ambles at delightful destinations. Since I moved “over the hill” 5 years ago, I’ve spent a ton of time riding around North Hollywood; these are the places I keep riding back to, again and again.
Let’s start off with coffee: the lifeblood of cyclists, commuters, and general 21st century humanity. When it comes to daily joe, it doesn’t get any better than Aroma. Super tiny inside, but surrounded by patio seating – it’s an awesome spot to end a ride or pick up a mid-route pick-me-up. They also do a mean brunch, but be ready to wait as the lines on the weekend can stretch down the block. (Ask a local how to avoid the wait – I won’t spoil it here because I don’t want to have to compete with all of you for my Sunday morning cuppa!)
And if coffee is the lifeblood of riders, beer and dogs must be oxygen and water. Luckily, District has both! Fancy sausages (think duck, gator, cheese, etc…), awesome fries (sweet potato, regular potato, etc…), and tons of beers on tap! All that, plus happy hour and patio seating means you can roll over with the whole crew after work and keep your bikes right by your side while you imbibe. (Just be sure to charge your phone before you go so you don’t have to go back in the morning for a photo while they’re shuttered… oops.)
You know what still works when your phone’s dead, though? Books! Illiad is located right on the Chandler Bike Path and has one of the best collections of used books (plus low prices, plus store cats!) in town. Why spend $15-$20 on a new book when you can scoop 4-6 used ones for the same price and spend some time in this super-charming little shop. Seriously though, having a book on your bike or in your bag is a great insurance policy for when you inevitably kill your battery with Strava and Snapchatting all those mid-ride leg-shots.
Cactus Taqueria #3
There’s no shortage of awesome tacos in LA, but that’s no excuse not to try them all! If you haven’t hit up one of the Cactus Taqueria locations yet, do it! The hard shell pastor tacos are tough to beat, but the California burrito (it has fries in it!) gives them a run for their money. Again, patio seating means you don’t have to worry about your bike being out of sight while you eat, and if you need a drink – the next door Star Lite Cantina is owned by the same family, so you can always pop in for a cocktail with your grub!
NoHo Red Line Station
Last but not least, the NoHo Red Line Station may be more of a mid-ride waypoint than a destination, but if you need to get around LA or the valley, odds are you’ll find yourself here. Up top, it’s the meet-point for a bunch of weekly and monthly night-rides. Down below, you’ve got the subway that’ll take you into Hollywood, Koreatown, and all the way into DTLA. It also marks the west end of the Chandler Bike Path that will carry you straight into Burbank (and Pure Cycles HQ!), and the east end of the Orange Line Bike Path that’ll take you to the Encino Velodrome and well on into the valley. Always busy, bustling, and brimming with bike riders, it’s a great spot to meet some friends for a ride and have options for getting all over LA!