Uptown Whittier: L.A.'s Hidden Historic 'Hood

Located just 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Uptown Whittier is where time seems to slow down and the city feels light years away (even though you're just off the 605). Strolling through the town, you won't find any glitzy big-name chains. Here, it's all about cozy vintage boutiques, family-owned eateries, and ethnic finds begging to be explored--at your leisure, of course.

Updated: September 24, 2009

Favorite Uptown Fare


6724 Bright Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

This inventive Spanish tapas and small plates restaurant and wine bar is a little taste of Spain with a modern L.A. twist (minus all the attitude). Added bonus: the meatballs are by far some of the best you'll ever have.

Crepes & Grapes Cafe

6560 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Folks can get everything from a traditional banana-berry and Nutella dessert crepe to a savory stuffed green chili and chicken savory version, but those not in the mood for the thin pancake can choose from the extensive menu of salads, sandwiches, pastas and grilled meats.

Golden Triangle Restaurant

7011 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90602

Tucked away behind green awning and an unassuming exterior, this warm and relaxed ethnic eatery feels more like a friend's home than an exotic food stop where you can find more than 120 traditional Burmese dishes.

Dattilo Restaurant

6746 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

It might seem fancy-shmancy what with the extravagantly decorated interior with Renaissance-inspired murals, white pillars and hanging lights, but this Italian dining spot is a truly casual neighborhood hang.

Azabu Restaurant

13119 Philadelphia St, Whittier, CA 90601

Uptown's popular Japanese joint serves up sushi and sashimi classics as well as a few house specialties like the Brian Roll (soft shell crab, shrimp, rice, and seaweed with a spicy cream sauce).

Rocky Cola Cafe

6757 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Blast from the past: This retro diner presents classic diner fare like burgers and fries, chicken fried steak, giant breakfast platters, sundaes and jukebox tunes.

Mimo's Cafe

6735 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

This quaint, bustling cafe features charming umbrellas gathered along the sidewalk patio where locals kick back, chat and watch passers-by.

6740 Restaurant

6740 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

As Uptown Whittier's "it" bar, this joint attracts locals with its friendly vibe, enticing pub menu and wide selection of bottled and draft beers.

Worldy, Vintage and Fashionable Finds


6737 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Shoppers may gawk at the mannequins outside this small fashion boutique, but it's the affordable prices inside that bring customers back time and time again.

Casita Del Pueblo

6738 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Uptown Whittier's vibrant Latin American-inspired gift store and gallery is stocked with local and imported folk art and crafts ranging from Che Guevara trinkets to embroidered sundresses from Spain.

Half Off Books Records Films

6708 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Spacious and far from musty, this gorgeous glassed-in store offers a wide-ranging selection of books which are organized into distinct sections such as the blue children's literature room, the pink-hued romance novel section and "Plato's Cave," which specializes in works on philosophy, metaphysics, religion, art and more.

Rattle N' Roll

6702 Greenleaf Ave Ste A, Whittier, CA 90601

If you ever wanted to throw some rockin' threads on your little one, then this indie baby boutique is your ticket. Think greaser jeans, knit caps and colorfully printed baby totes and tees. 'Cause you're never too young to sport a Misfits T-shirt.

Lovell's Records & Tapes

6719 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Forget the big box music stores--this local shop is where music hounds head for vinyl, both vintage and new, as well as CDs, DVDs, soundtracks and posters.


6531 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Is it a store or a bar? A little of both, this neighborhood favorite is where to find plenty of vino (and beer) along with a knowledgeable staff that's always ready to offer advice on both local vintages and foreign finds.

Havana House Cigars

7020 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90602

This well-known Uptown Whittier hangout is where both aficionados and novices can sample over 200 handmade cigars while enjoying a cool beer or refreshing mojito.

Melrose Emporium

6734 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

This place might be miles away from its namesake avenue, but this red-hued shop is a red-hot stop for trendy finds at cheap prices and vintage goodies like leather jackets, cowboy boots and '50s style dresses.

Something Sweet

Pastries By Nancy

13033 Penn St, Whittier, CA 90602

This small family-owned bakery specializes in wedding cakes, while their cafe offers a variety of fresh baked pastries, tarts, cheesecakes, by-the-slice cakes and freshly brewed coffee drinks.

Uptown Extras

Bluebird Art Lounge & Gallery

6747 Bright Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

This contemporary art gallery in Uptown Whittier plays host to vibrant, abstract and cultural works from both local and international artists.

Whittier Village Cinemas

7038 Greenleaf Avenue, Whittier, CA 90602

One of the rare independently owned theatres in Whittier, this neighborhood cinema comes complete with restored '30s architecture, a friendly staff and old-school movie previews.

Shannon Center-The Performing

6760 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

This beautiful state-of-the-art theatre is home to the theatrical poets of Whittier College.

Wednesday Night Family Fair

Bailey St, Whittier, CA 90602

This weekly street fair brings arts, crafts, local foods, vendors, live music, pony rides and more together for a night of family fun and local flair.

Whittier Farmers' Market

Bailey St & Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods year-round at this certified farmers' market in Uptown Whittier.