Los Angeles is one of those cities known for its wacky and fun places. In a good day of urban exploration, you can find all types of wild and downright weird stores, museums, attractions and cultural sites; being quirky is a big part of the LA identity.
Such wackiness may be due to the city’s cultural inclination, or perhaps due to the influence of Hollywood magic seeping into the streets, but no matter where it comes from, it’s worth making space on your itinerary to experience a bit of the oddity.
LA is however a huge city, in fact, it’s actually made up of several different cities within a city. Making sure you can get around freely and comfortably should be a priority when planning your trip to the “City of Angels”, so don’t forget to book your rental car.
Car rental is one of the best options for land transportation in LA, allowing you to explore at your own pace and with much more comfort than any public transport option.
Now, who’s ready to get wacky?! You’ll need a decent appetite to stomach some of these attractions, so we’re also throwing in our recommendations for tasty food!
Wacky Activities and Tasty Food to Try in Los Angeles
Echo Park Time Travel Mart
A quaint corner store for time travelers going to both the remote past and far future, Echo Park Time Travel Mart has all the time traveling essentials you’ll need such as barbarian repellent, freshly picked dinosaur eggs, and anti-robot fluid.
I haven’t gone mad! Let me explain!
This is a little gift shop that sells humorous knickknacks to poke fun at time-traveling tropes, like caned mammoth meat, or a Victorian-era iPad that’s just a little chalkboard. The store itself is one big practical joke, with many little inside jokes about time travel, such as a “don’t accept checks from Atilla de Hun” sign at the register.
It’s as wacky as it gets, but there is also a good cause behind this wonderfully strange place as the store serves a tutoring center, where students learn about creative writing. In fact, most of the store’s time-traveling in-jokes are made by the students.
You can also buy books written by the students they tutor, as well as a huge range of other publications at the store. You’ll find it at 1714 Sunset Blvd.
Image: RachelObscura (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Toast Bakery Café
📌 8221 W 3rd St
I hope that all that time-traveling has opened your appetite as you’re about to visit one of LA’s most amazing breakfast restaurants. If you’ve just arrived from a tiresome flight or wake up particularly hungry this is the place to go.
Toast Bakery Café offers an amazing variety of egg preparations and other delicious breakfast options such as chilaquiles andtitular toasts, but customers often recommend their pancakes they’re kind of famous in LA.
It has indoor and outdoor sitting areas and both are described as fashionable and comfortable. The place is usually packed but the lines move quickly and trust me, the food is worth it!
The Last Bookstore
📌 453 S Spring St
If enjoy reading you’ll love The Last Bookstore; this is California’s largest used and new book and record store, with used books starting from $1. But it’s no typical shop.
Once a bank, instead of remodeling the building when he bought it (Josh Spencer founded the store in 2005), he simply adapted his inventory of books to the original shapes of the building. And he got incredibly creative.
Now, tunnels and passageways are made of old books, interspersed with art and riveting tales. Fascinating sculptures made entirely of books and the former bank vault is now used to house the horror section, so yeah, they have a horror vault!
There are plenty of couches throughout the first floor, and they encourage you to sit and read. There’s also a packed events calendar of signings, lectures, performances and several monthly book clubs, so check out what might be on while you’re in LA.
Don’t expect it to be orderly – they make a point of proving that you can find beauty in disarray. There’s no symmetry to the bookshelves, and most of the fiction is purposefully unarranged, meant to inspire treasure hunts among shoppers.
Image credit: chripell (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
Kogi, the Original Food Truck
📌 3500 Overland Avenue
If you’re hungry after browsing for books, LA is a city known for its food-trucks. This alternative type of “restaurant” was actually born in LA when famous chef Roy Choy decided to take gourmet cuisine out of high-end restaurants and into the streets.
He did so with Kogi, a project that combined Mexican tacos with traditional elements from Korean cuisine. Kogi is THE original Food-Truck, that singlehandedly started this culinary craze, and you can still find it here in LA!
Fun fact! Food trucks were born in LA! Kogi combined Mexican tacos with traditional elements from Korean cuisine!Click To Tweet
Kogi offers a delicious menu of the world-famous short rib taco, the spicy pork burrito, and kimchi quesadillas; exotic flavors, delicious food, and a touch of the wackiness that makes LA great!
Due to their mobile nature, it’s a bit hard to pinpoint exactly where these trucks will be, so booking a car rental in advance can be a smart idea as you’ll be able to find the trucks no matter where they end up stopping.
There is also a fixed location at 3500 Overland Avenue if you’re not up for chasing food trucks.
Image credit: Eric Chain (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
📌 634 Mateo St
Last but not least, Los Angeles’ very own Two-Bit Circus! This is one of the wackiest places in all of LA; a dedicated palace of interactive, technological entertainment.
This is a micro amusement park where you’ll find VR experiences that make you feel as you’re a bird flying through the air; escape rooms with diverse themes like escaping from a town full of werewolves, and a room where you can battle a horde of dangerous robot drones in VR.
There is also a traditional arcade zone with classic games like pinball, pacman, air hockey, and a stage where you’ll see live comedy performances and karaoke.
Unlike other theme parks you don’t have to pay anything to enter this amazing place, you just enter and pay for the attractions and activities you’re interested in. Both kids and adults will love it!
If you get hungry while playing there is also a really good food parlor with many delicious snacks that include vegan options.