Once an abandoned and depressing collection of industrial buildings on the eastern side of DTLA, near Little Tokyo and west of the L.A. River, the Arts District is now one of L.A.’s most happening neighborhoods. The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), located in the 110 year-old, quarter-mile long former Santa Fe Freight Depot, offers excellent lectures and talks, and across the street is the 438-unit One Santa Fe building, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture. Coffee is an art form here, with Blue Bottle Coffee Co., Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and Blacktop Coffee acting as the reigning champs. Shop for design-oriented gifts at Poketo, socially conscious fashion at Apolis, organic groceries at Urban Radish, and vintage linen bedding at Matteo. Don’t miss the roast suckling pig and house made salumi at Bestia—if you can get a reservation. The Factory Kitchen, Cerveteca, and Church & State are all excellent backups.