warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Best Dates In Downtown L.A.

Uracha Chaiyapinunt |
September 26, 2014 | 8:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

A tourist visiting Los Angeles for the first time is blessed with the many attractions the City of Angels has to offer. From hiking to surfing, shopping to eating, Southern California does not disappoint when it comes to entertaining its guests. However, when you’re living in L.A., there are only so many times you can hike the Hollywood sign or walk along Sunset Boulevard before that loses its allure. Date ideas run out as you begin to check off LACMA, Disneyland, Griffith Park and Santa Monica pier—not once, not twice, but three or four times. So if you’re looking to impress your significant other with something different (and easily accessible by Metro), here’s a short list of things to do and places to see in DTLA that's sure to guarantee you a memorable time.

READ MORE: #ReviveDTLA: Live, Work and Play in #DTLA

Instagram, @grandcentralmarketla
Instagram, @grandcentralmarketla

Grand Central Market

A charming landmark in the heart of Downtown L.A., the Grand Central Market is the perfect place to take your date for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food mecca, which was opened in 1917, has a long history of bringing delicious flavors from all over the city under one roof. 

Choose from pizza, pad thai, scrambled eggs and ice cream. The wide variety of options makes the market an ideal place to dine at with friends, family and loved ones. To get to Grand Central Market, take the metro to Pershing Square station. 

317 S. Broadway St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Instagram, @aceofcase88
Instagram, @aceofcase88

Electric Dusk Drive In

Located on the roof of an abandoned parking lot, Electric Dusk Drive In is the perfect date idea if you’re hoping to impress your lover

without spending a fortune. During the year, they have screenings of Hollywood classics like Fight Club and Back to the Future. You can also get tickets to themed screenings on holidays; for instance, the drive specifically screens horror flicks around Halloween every year.

READ MORE: 9 Date Night Movies You'll Actually Enjoy

All tickets, excluding VIP passes, are priced per person and range from $9-$11 for regular films and go up to $13 for double features when bought online in advance. There are also outdoor Astroturf seats for moviegoers who may not want to bring their car. The website describe these seats as “‘lawn-style’—it’s an ‘al fresco’ viewing experience.”

To check the screening schedule, get tickets, or learn more about the drive in, head over to their website

1000 San Julian St., Los Angeles, CA 90015

The bench from 500 Days of Summer. Instagram, @summerkat
The bench from 500 Days of Summer. Instagram, @summerkat

"500 Days in Downtown LA" Walking Tour

If Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's quirky on-screen romance didn't move you to tears in 500 Days of Summer, then you're either heartless or you're lying. The movie, which came out in 2009 and was quickly deemed by the public as a "sleeper hit," was initially supposed to be filmed in San Francisco. However, production was moved to Los Angeles and the script was rewritten to make good use of the location; Downtown LA's architecture is mentioned throughout the film. 

Now, you can relive this indie rom-com by taking the "500 Days in Downtown LA" Walking Tour that the LA Conservancy created. The online guide features the Bradbury building and the now-iconic bench that Tom (Gordon-Levitt) said was his favorite, along with many other locations that were shot in the film. From the guide you'll learn about the history of the venues, as well as more information about them and their relevance in the movie. 

Click here for the walking guide.

Instagram, @pru_dl
Instagram, @pru_dl

The Original Pantry

Definitely more about the history and culture than the food. According to Carrie Kim's "100 Things To Do In Los Angeles Before You Die," the 24-hour café has "never locked its doors or been without customer since 1924." The menu might be short, but expect big portions of comfort food that's sure to fill you up.

READ MORE: Top 10 Mac & Cheese Joints In L.A.

877 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90017 

Instagram, @eliepingpong
Instagram, @eliepingpong

SPiN at The Standard Hotel, Downtown LA

A unique and hidden gem not far from campus, SPiN is the right place to go if you and your partner are looking for something novel and exciting. Located on the second floor of The Standard Hotel in downtown, SPiN is easy to get to by public transportation. By combining an unusual mix of sport, design and entertainment, SPiN has created a unique day- and night-time venue with ping-pong courts.

Open from noon to 2 a.m., the space is great for serious and casual ping-pong players during the day. Then it turns into a vibrant party scene as soon as the sun sets. The menu features delicious finger food options and creative drinks. Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. Monday to Thursday. There's also an open ping-pong tournament every Monday, if you're up for the challenge.

The Standard, 550 S Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 439-3065

Instagram, @mirandaaa64
Instagram, @mirandaaa64

The Last Bookstore

Easily one of the most creative independent bookstores you will ever visit, The Last Bookstore should be on every Angeleno’s bucket list. The second level (aka the labyrinth) has a collection of used $1 books that’s organized on the shelves solely by color. Feel free to wander around. 

435 S Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Contact Staff Reporter Uracha Chaiyapinunt here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.