The modern home of wellness, Los Angeles is the Californian hub from which healthy eating and fitness trends travel the world from.
No one holidaymaker could tick off every vegan eatery and fitness concept off in a single visit, but there are a few institutions you’d be mad to leave off your itinerary.
Here are Form’s not-to-be-missed delights in the City of Angels.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign
While you’re there, you cannot miss it. There are several routes that you can take depending on fitness level and desired views. Whichever you take, don’t forget your water bottle – it can get very hot up there, especially in the summer.
This would not be a Los Angeles travel guide without SoulCycle – the mother of all spin classes. On the surface, it’s 45 minutes of intense cardio to great music, but SoulCycle has created an entire culture around indoor biking, taking their attitude far beyond the pedals. It’s no wonder that their classes are always full.
Otherwise known as the mecca of bodybuilding, Gold’s Gym is an American institution. The Venice Beach outpost is the original, opened in 1965 long before the modern-day health club was born. The iconic fitness centre was even frequented by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For your holiday yoga fix, head over to YogaWorks – a marriage of ancient teachings and new-age Californian vibes. By nature, Californians love Vinyasa, but YogaWorks also offers Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini and other styles, so there’s a little something for everyone.
Gracias Madre is where you go when you need your vegan Mexican fix in LA. On their menu, you’ll find tasty goods like tempeh chorizo, cashew nacho cheese and barbecued jackfruit. Over-indulgence is unavoidable here, so digest as you undergo some retail therapy – the surrounding location boasts some of La La Land’s best shopping spots.
Plant Food + Wine
Let us begin by saying that Plant Food + Wine is the best place to get vegan cheese. Their fermentation and artisanal processes are well worth the pilgrimage. They also meticulously choose the very freshest ingredients and, well, you’ll just have to believe us when we tell you the difference is noticeable. Remember your sunglasses – the outdoor area has the best seats in the house.
Grab a pew outside in the parking lot of this hidden treasure in Santa Monica. Thai Vegan is an experience away from the polish you’ll get in eateries elsewhere in Los Angeles. Our recommendations? You’d be mad not to order the fresh vegetable tofu rolls dipped in delicious peanut sauce, and you simply can’t go wrong with its selection of vegan Thai curries.
Double Zero gets its name from the doppio zero flour its signature pizza crusts are made from, topped with the creamiest sprouted nut spreads. The LA outpost is the second of its kind – the first having opened in New York several years ago – and utilizes seasonal ingredients from southern California.
Café Gratitude is a favourite among Los Angeles’ wellness community. Their unique ordering system means that you order with an affirmation. Saying ‘I am vivid’ will land you an açai superfood bowl and ‘I am humble’, an Indian curry bowl. Yes, it brings the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ to life, but we’re quietly confident you’ll be delighted with the food regardless of who you chose to be.
Stock up on your groceries for the week at Erewhon Market. Here, you’ll find sustainable and nutritious produce from vendors who pride themselves on knowing every single supplier. Enjoy (vegan) bone broths, adaptogens, cold-pressed juices and even superfood doughnuts (yes, you heard that right). You’ll also find Erewhon on Postmates, so in theory, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your Airbnb. It is recommended, though – the store itself is a sight to behold.
If you’re planning to do any shopping in LA, Bodega is the place to do it. The store is a treasure trove of coveted sneakers and streetwear, hidden in plain sight in what looks like the tradesman entrance of a grocery store. Alongside the latest from Nike, adidas et al, check out the collaborations and creations from Bodega’s own line.
The Griffith Observatory
Sure, you’ve seen it on the silver screen, but inside is a gateway to the cosmos, where live shows can be watched in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and you can look through its collection of telescopes into the great unknown. If that’s not you’re thing, it also provides one of the best spots from which to look over LA.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is the ultimate LA tourist spot. With plenty of food options nearby, rides and the beach, you could easily spend the entire day here… And why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the best spots in the city to enjoy the sunset. The Pier periodically hosts yoga classes and runs, which are posted on the Instagram account @santamonicapier.
Just down the shoreline, Venice Beach is LA’s bohemian capital. Across the street, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is renowned for its eclectic assortment of unique stores you won’t find anywhere else. There’s also the famous Muscle Beach gym – home to the city’s aspiring bodybuilders. If you’ve been using Form to nourish your own performance, why not go and show off your powerlifting? Oh, and tell them we sent you…