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Iconic Neighborhood Restaurants: Beverly Grove & Fairfax

Originally a major hub for Jewish immigrants first from war-torn Europe and Morocco, and then from Israel in the 1970s and 80s, this buzzy restaurant and shopping destination still holds on to many historic, family-owned shops and restaurants with a definite Old World flair that can be rare to find these days.

The glitz of Hollywood is also not far away with the CBS studio lot smack in the middle of this historic district, where you can still see hordes of people waiting for their chance to be on The Price Is Right.

The recent urban influx of hip hop and skateboarding shops are also putting a stamp on the Fairfax District, meaning this is probably the only place outside of New York City where you can find an art show for skater punks and Orthodox Jewish men picking up lunch all on one block. Recently, Jewish establishments are relocating further southwest to Robertson and Pico Boulevard, but there is still much history to taste and experience in this area.

 

Canter's Deli: It may be the quintessential L.A. stalwart on Fairfax, but you might be surprised to learn that Canter's, started by the Canter Family, got its start in New Jersey. It then relocated to Boyle Heights in 1931, then moving again to their current location in 1953, once a Yiddish language-only movie theatre. Canter's has kept its Hollywood sheen ever since, known as a celebrity stomping ground and appearing in many films and television shows.

It's open 24 hours (excepting major Jewish holidays), so you can nosh on deli superlatives such as a corned beef sandwich, Ruben, or matzo ball soup any time of the day. Be sure to visit the bakery section and pick up some flaky rugelach or other delicacy reminiscent of a classic NYC bakery counter. Don't forget to check out the aptly named Kibitz Room for live music where musicians like Fiona Apple and the Wallflowers cut their chops Slash of Guns and Roses is known to still hang out and jam. 419 N Fairfax Ave., (323) 651-2030

 

The Bagel Broker: A neighborhood institution since 1987, these bagels created by the Tarnol family are everything this delight should be -- crunchy and crisp on the outside and perfectly light and chewy on the inside in a variety of flavors. And of course, there is lox. Be prepared to get friendly with your fellow patrons -- the line often goes out the door in the morning. 7825 Beverly Blvd., (323) 931-1258

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Schwartz Bakery: You will certainly see the iconic Schwartz bakery sign while ambling down Fairfax reminding you of the handcrafted signage of yesteryear. Come inside the kosher bakery, open since 1954 by the Sibony family, and order a delicious cake for a special occasion, a handcrafted pastry, or some light and fluffy Challah bread lightly glazed to perfection. 433 N. Fairfax Ave, (323) 653-1941

 

The Original Farmer's Market: Open since 1934, the Farmer's Market at The Grove on 3rd and Fairfax started as a replica of Old World open air European markets where local farmers set up stands to sell their loot. These days it features cuisine and fresh produce from all over the world; from Brazilian barbecue to French classics at Monsieur Marcel to sushi. The Farmer's Market's dining selections and atmosphere will make your head (and stomach) spin in a good way. And unlike other "pop up" markets, Adjacent to The Farmer's Market is another L.A. classic -- Du-par's -- open in this location since 1938. They have a killer chicken pot pie. 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, (323) 933-9211

 

Tom Bergin's: It's always comforting to have a historic building amidst the sprawl of Los Angeles still touting itself as a "Thoroughbred Club." Open since 1936, (though the original location was in a Tudor-style location up the street) former lawyer and Irish restaurateur Tom Bergin set up roots here and never looked back. His business license is the second oldest in Los Angeles! The thoroughbred term must have come from his culinary endeavors at the Del Mar racetrack with good pal Bing Crosby. Come in for the newly revamped Irish pub food menu and drink classics, such as the Irish coffee and check out the signature shamrocks plastered all over the walls and ceiling. You might even get to sit in Cary Grant's favorite booth. 840 S Fairfax Ave, (323) 936-7151

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