Years ago, one of the summer rituals for L.A. children was a new pair of huaraches from Olvera Street and maybe some Mexican ... More
Years ago, one of the summer rituals for L.A. children was a new pair of huaraches from Olvera Street and maybe some Mexican jumping beans. Nowadays those rituals are a year-round treat on this cobblestone street, which is a block-long cornucopia of traditional clothing and accessories, Mexican art, giftware, leather goods, novelties and restaurants. There is also a Visitors Center where tourists can appreciate the complimentary screening of a film which depicts early life in Los Angeles. Olvera Street was created in the '30s and comprises the area known as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, which is the site of the city's beginnings. Free tours are given to the public by the Las Angelinas, a non-profit organization.
Olvera Street is kitsch. There are some really cool places to see: an adobe that's been restored, an old church, some murals. But what they really want you to do is eat the food and buy the leather, terra cotta and ceramic goods they are hawking down the midway. Some people love going here to get deals on "Mexican" clothing and religious statuary. It's a low budget kind of destination, and if you keep that in mind you won't be disappointed. For what it is, it's o.k.
To all the college student out there who are looking for a great time and a great place with easy access to public transportation check out Olvera Street. So I'm a student at Cal State LA and I take the Metrolink train to and from school and Olvera Street is right across the street from Union Station, there is a killer coffee shop that serves up a Mexican hot cocoa that is so thick that it could simply be breakfast alone and plenty of restaurants that are just right for the college student budget. The best times to go and catch a glimpse of LA of the past is during Cinco de Mayo, and Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). If you love the classic Frank Sinatra movie, Anchors Aweigh you must check out Olvera Street. Also it's a great way to spend a couple of minutes or hours if your waiting on a train to depart
Anyone visiting LA for the first time needs to devote a few hours (say at lunch time) for a visit to Olvera Street. This restored cobblestone street represents what LA once was. Today the street is lined with street vendors all trying to sell there touristy goods. In most cases the goods are similar to those found in Mexico (and some even state being from there). What's hidden behind these shops in the history of LA. The original pueblo is open for tours. The street opens into a plaza where dancing and performances may be taking place. Across the plaza is the historic fire house museum. Also Union Station (the hub for the lightrail, Metro trains and Amtrak) is a 5 minute walk away. With many sit-down restaurants and food stands (all Mexican) this makes a great place to spend a lunch hour.
At the north end of the street is a food stand that dates back to the '30s. Since my dad was a kid it has been a tradition to always stop here for some taquitos. Now I bring my daughter. They are definately worth the stop.
Things have changed somewhat over the years but if you haven't been there you should visit and people watch. The fruit smoothies are great. I do agree that it is expensive but it's still a family favorite tradition. I will be visiting again in July 2009!
When I was a child this was the frist feild trip that I remember taking. We took the AMTRACK ( it was a big thing to take the train anywhere) and had a great time. As a child in a place so far away. At the time it was so far away. Just to be out with the class on a class trip made this the trip of a life time. I cant wait to take my kids there this summer.
i have been to la plaza de olivera many times since i was youngster. And til this day i even enjoy it more. La plazita has something for everyones heart. Its many shops with driffernt mexican hand crafted goods, from handmade handbags, silver jewelry, hand made pottery items, textiles and many other wonderful beautiful merchandise that will sure catch anyones heart. It's long rows of resturants that comprimise from expensive to less expensive. But mind findings are those out to be the best are those that are the ones that serve real traditional mexican foods not like others that serve tex-mex. La plazita also offers entertainment, like live enactments of mayan tribal dances with authentic costumes. They are very impresive to watch, donations are accepted for the cost of costumes which are made by the family members. Not so far away is the mission of nuestra senora de los angeles guardian of the city of los angeles and los angelenos. This was founded by the franciscain order of preist who founded the site where los angeles originated. The church is an active catholic church where masses are held in a true mexican style. The inside has a magnifacient ornade altar emblished in gold leaf and gems. Not to far away is union station that serves amtrack passengers. This buildging was built in an art deco style that till today is very well maintained and is a wonder example of the style used in that era. This is a must see site. And if you like to walk, you can take in the sites of downtown los angeles and enjoy its splendor, just have some caution like in any other city. I have done all the above many times and i truely would not hesiate again.
every time i go there my parents are always happy to be there. im not, is so lame, high prices for a small souvenire and everything is borING! i may be part of my culture but that place is not. However the food is good (even though is expensive) and theres historical events... pLUS china town is near by so go theRE INSTEAD! =D
I have been eating at Cielito Lindo restaurant since I was two years old. I recently went with my wife to get our taquitos. The cashier took our order and we paid for the food. What happen next was very disgusting. He just finished handling my money then he wipes he nose with his right hand. Then he gets a plate and pours the beans on it. Then with his bare dirty hands grabs the cheese and puts it on top of my beans. It gets worst because he finishes all the cheese and goes to refill the cheese and puts both dirty hands into a bucket of cheese to refill his bowl. This was not someone who went to food handling class,even thought this establishment has a "A" LA county health rating. When I told him that what he had done was wrong he told me if I didn't like it to go somewhere else and not to complain. I will know longer recommend what used to be my favorite taquitos in LA.
I wanted to take the opportunity, to give my impressions, of an old landmark restaurant, on Olvera Street. The name of the restaurant is "Las Golondrinas". For years, I had many lovely experiences. I sat outdoors, in the quaint, but ample outdoor patio area. The outdoor patio dining is well shaded, and there seems to always be a cool breeze blowing through. The ambience is lighthearted, and, somewhat "touristy". You can enjoy one of the choices of giant margaritas, and sit back and watch the interesting people passing by, on Olvera Street.
The service, overall, has been very good, in the past. The food is well-prepared, and there are ample portions.
My only "heartbreaking" experience, came, about three years ago, when I visited the restaurant, while on jury duty. I sat inside, for a change, and asked for a margarita. I guess I was there during peak business hours, when employees, in the surrounding area come in... Perhaps, this might explain the change in how I was treated. Perhaps, it was just one, or two bad employees... I don't know. Anyway, my margarita arrived late, and, on the staw, I saw someone's snot, clearly showing... When I pointed it out, to the waitress, she just smiled, and went about her business... Other times, in the past, someone would have instantly brought me another margarita, and apologized. I miss the good experiences, of the past, but this last, traumatic experience, has prevented me from returning.
It is a charming place to taking an occational viewing of Aztec dancing, great food and many shops to choose from. My only complaint is the coffee shop the coffee was terrible and the service even worse.
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