Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Discover all the ways you can make a difference.
Support Icon
The Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams are here to help.

Gallery: Food Culture in Watts

Support Provided By

South L.A. isn't just a food desert. Even if we're only talking about food, and ignoring everything else that makes a community whole. There is an active food culture in Watts and the neighborhoods and cities surrounding it, discussions of whether locals are "allowed" to eat fast food notwithstanding. As these pictures show, restaurants -- along with other retail businesses -- took a hit during the 1965 Watts Uprising. But food played a part in rebuilding the area, and now restaurants like Hawkins do community work alongside serving food. It's an engaged community -- after all Roy Choi is launching his next L.A. project there.

All black and white photos: Los Angeles Public Library
A Korean-America women's society in South L.A. hosts a Mother's Day breakfast in 1952. / All black and white photos: Los Angeles Public Library
gty_watts_riots_7_kb_150811
This deli, pictured during the Uprising, was also a wine and gift shop.
wattsfood2
Putting out a fire at a chop suey restaurant during the Watts Rebellion.
wattsfood4
Residents waiting in line for care packages in the days after the Rebellion.
wattsfood5
Boarding up a liquor store.
wattsfood1
A classic L.A. fast food restaurant: burgers and pastrami. This photo was taken in the '70s -- is there any sign more iconic of L.A.?
Photo: Kobbler King
Kobbler King has been selling retail and wholesale desserts since the 1990s.
Photo: Hawkins House of Burgers
South L.A. firefighters on a lunch break. / Photo: Hawkins House of Burgers
Photo: Hawkins House of Burgers
The burgers at this Watts restaurant are always making best-of lists. / Photo: Hawkins House of Burgers

Support Provided By
Read More
An archival black-and-white photo of a man kneeled with his hand on a vintage car.

When L.A. Drove in the Dark: SoCal During World War II

At the height of World War II, Southern Californians navigated nights in complete darkness as defense authorities imposed severe dimout restrictions on the region, ordering residents to turn of all lights that could be seen from sea at night.
A Mission Revival style red brick building stands next to a set of train tracks that cut between the station platform and a line of trees.

All Aboard! 8 Must-See Vintage Train Stations in SoCal

From coastal cities to desert gateways and wine country weekenders, here are the most historic depots where you can take the train — and what to do once you arrive or before the conductor calls out, “All aboard!”
A row of ice creams in cones.

We Asked, You Answered: Your Favorite Women-Owned Small Businesses

If you're missing a personal touch, creativity and curation, small businesses are the way to go. This holiday season, here are some women-owned shops to add to your list.