THE BLOG
10/04/2012 04:34 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2012

West Third Street: L.A.'s Not-So-Hidden Secret

Everyone's heard of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard -- these streets conjure up fabulous shopping, epic nightlife, great tourist sites, and beach-side retreats. But one of the most unsung gems when it comes to things to do in L.A. for both day and night is a strip of West Third Street smack dab in the middle of the city.

The Grove

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East of Beverly Hills, South of West Hollywood, and North of Miracle Mile, the stretch of Third Street between La Cienega Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue is chock full of amazing boutiques, incredible restaurants, chic nightlife, large-scale malls, markets, and more.

During the day, Third Street is a shopper's paradise. On the corner of La Cienega and Third there's the Beverly Center mall featuring top rate department stores and a never-ending supply of food options. On the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Third is the famous Grove Shopping center -- an outdoor mall with high-end stores and a farmers market that's been doling out fresh produce since 1934. The corner is one of the busiest in L.A. with a Whole Foods market and Trader Joe's market taking up two of the other corners of the intersection. Walking along Third, there are a plethora of boutiques selling everything from one-of-a-kind shoes to designer furniture and home goods.

Joan's on Third

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All that shopping is bound to make even the slimmest shoppers hungry, and this is where Third Street truly shines. Whether looking for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, there are restaurants for all types and budgets dotting every block. For early risers there's Joan's on Third, a market/deli/restaurant hybrid with some of the freshest food in town, while Toast Bakery Cafe just a couple blocks east is where the see-and-be-seen crowd goes to tear into French toast. Lunch options abound along the street with options for sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and more.

Toast Bakery Cafe

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When the sun goes down, the street lights on Third get pumped up and a bevy of dining and drinking establishments open their doors. The street features all types of cuisine: for Japanese food there's Izakaya, Sushi Roku and Robata Jinya. For Italian there's Gusto, Olio Pizzeria & Café and Berri's Café. French food fans can dine at The Little Door or the Little Next Door. For Mexican food there's El Carmen and Plancha Tacos. And for dessert -- nothing beats Magnolia Bakery on the corner of Third and Orlando.

Goal

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Post dinner festivities certainly don't disappoint either with some of the best bars in L.A. peppered along Third. Drinks can be had at any number of spots along this trendy stretch from high-end and trendy to low-budget dives. On the cheaper side, there's St. Nick's Pub -- an old school hole-in-the-wall with bottom basement prices and a décor to match. If you're looking to watch the game, there's Goal with upscale bar food and plenty of flat-screens carrying every match imaginable. For tequila lovers, stick around at El Carmen as they have one of the best tequila selections in the city. And for the scenesters, there's The Churchill -- which is the latest addition to Third Street's boisterous nightlife.

Anyone can head to Beverly Hills if they want high-priced meals and higher-priced shopping -- but if you're looking for an insider's view of one of the most happening streets in Los Angeles, head over to West Third and experience the hottest stretch of asphalt in all of L.A.

For more articles and reviews, go to Party Earth.