For any lover of the 1950s, Los Feliz is a slice of heaven. Leather jackets and greased-back hairdos abound, as do retro boutiques stocking kitsch, vintage clothing, and other nostalgic wares. Start your tour at (1) Wacko (4633 Hollywood Blvd.; tel. +1 323 663 0122), a veritable museum of kitsch where you can find gag gifts (lighters, bobbleheads, and tattoo templates, at $20 and up), to serious collectibles (dolls, art books, and art, at up to $22,000). Don't miss the art gallery in the back, where there is often a quirky rarity on display.
Next door, to your right, is (2) Ozzie Dots (4637 Hollywood Blvd.; tel. +1 323 663 2867; www.ozziedots.com), a rare novelty store with a chorus line of shiny go-go boots, a wall of wigs, racks of Hawaiiana, and more of adult costumes: everything from cheerleader outfits to nurses' uniforms to full military gear. Continue west (right) down Hollywood Blvd., to (3) Glory (4659 Hollywood Blvd.; tel. +1 323 644 5679; www.glorysales.com), a British store packed with motorcycles of all shapes and nationalities, and motorcycle memorabilia.
Turn right, walk to the corner, then make another right onto Vermont Avenue. This is Los Feliz' main drag, on which (4) Bejon & Deheg (1756 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 668 1103) has great under-the-radar local women's designs, such as jewelry and handbags made out of "found" items (chains, pendants), belts printed with pithy sayings ("to thine own self be true"), and soft cotton dresses and tunics printed to look like faded comic strips—much of it for under $100.
Continue north (right) on Vermont, and peek into (5) The Dresden (1760 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 665 4294; www.thedresden.com), a popular neighborhood landmark. Even if the doors are open and the restaurant is not, the dining room is worth a look—it's the only retro forest we're aware of in which you can devour Chatueabriand steak for two ($55).
Farther north, check out a quartet of stores for many tastes. (6) Oou (1764 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 665 6263) is a women's clothing boutique with a worthy stash of 1980s vintage clothing upstairs. (7) Y-Que Trading Post (1770 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 664 0021; www.yque.com) is a souvenir hunter's paradise, with its L.A.-region T-shirts, and loud Eighties rock vibe. (8) La La Ling (1810 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 664 4400; www.lalaling.com) is a kid's shop with unusually fun sensibilities: Fluffy tutus, toddler T-shirts featuring ad campaigns from the Eighties (Butterball Turkey, Tide detergent), bright satin capes by often-local designers like Jill and Jack, Ashland, Sunday Dreamers, and Kaiya. And (9) Squaresville (1800 N. Vermont Ave.; tel. +1 323 669 8464) is Mecca for vintage lovers—crammed full of well-priced finds.
At the next corner, cross Russell Avenue diagonally (right) to (10) Fortune Tee (4647 Russell Ave.; tel. +1 323 663 0169), a celebrity favorite where the same wearable sayings ("a surprise awaits in these pants") can be cute or naughty, depending on whether they're for dogs, children, or adults.
End at (11) Fred 62, named after the year of owner Fred's birth. The diner is renowned for its car-seat booths, authentic lunch counter, and rockabilly (think "early Elvis")—and celebrity—clientele. But come for the food: thick custom milkshakes, heaping "salads" of corn and fried chicken, juicy burgers.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.