Lunch and fun near Union Station?
February 25, 2009 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Where should we eat lunch, etc. that is in walking distance of Union Station, Los Angeles?

Our 3 year old LOVES trains, so we want to take the family up to Los Angeles from Santa Ana for a day trip on the train. Is there any place cool/interesting to eat lunch that is within walking distance of Union Station? Are there any cool places we could also visit (museum, park, etc.), also within walking distance? Thanks!
posted by Brocktoon to Travel & Transportation around East Los Angeles, CA (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Phillipe's, which is famous for "inventing" the French Dip sandwich, is almost right across the street.
posted by hwyengr at 2:48 PM on February 25, 2009


Olvera Street is across the street. If you wanted to make the trek on Easter Sunday, you could see the Blessing of the Animals, which includes a parade of pets. I've never been to the parade, but have heard it's a sight to see. Chinatown is a couple blocks away, with lots to do including tons of shops that'll make a 3 year-old feel like they're in another country. Grand Central Market is a great spot, with a variety of stalls and shops and food stands. It's a bustling place, and also within walking distance.
posted by incessant at 2:55 PM on February 25, 2009


Seconding Philipe's - that place is awesome. They regularly fight with Cole's (off of the jewelry district) for claim to the invention of the French Dip. Very silly. Also, a cup of coffee is nine cents.

There's also El Cielito Lindo, a little taco stand right at the opening of Olvera Street. They have the best taquitos on the planet. Cheap, too. With the guacamole sauce? Oh man. I want some right now.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2009


I also recommend Philippe's. They have sawdust on the floors which I think kids would find amusing. And I think they have some train memorabilia in there, but I could be wrong.
posted by kidbritish at 3:03 PM on February 25, 2009


Fourthing Phillippes. I cannot believe that people already answered with that. Oh, wait, I can, because it is deliiiiiicious
posted by banannafish at 3:21 PM on February 25, 2009


The two places that I was going to link are, upon some research, long gone.

So looks like Phillippe's is it!
posted by Danf at 3:26 PM on February 25, 2009


I've actually had a really good lunch at the restaurant in the train station, Trax.
posted by kbuxton at 3:47 PM on February 25, 2009


Nting Phillippe's as well.

And if he loves Trains you must take him to Travel Town in Griffith Park. It's an outdoor train museum with many trains to climb on and explore and it's free.
posted by cjets at 4:18 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you go on a weekend, you can hop on the red line from Union Station up to Vermont/Sunset and catch a $.25 shuttle ride up to the Griffith Observatory.

LADOT Observatory Shuttle schedule
posted by aGee at 4:43 PM on February 25, 2009


Philippe's is indeed awesome. As a second choice, though, I have to mention La Luz del Día on Olvera Steet, which has the best tamales and champurrado ever.
posted by wanderingmind at 5:07 PM on February 25, 2009


Phillippe's!
posted by wcfields at 5:27 PM on February 25, 2009


Phillippe's, definitely. Olvera Street street is right there to eat as well/walk around afterwards.
posted by mattsweaters at 5:38 PM on February 25, 2009


La Golondrina on Olvera Street is one of my most favorite places ever. It is great weather to sit ouside and people watch. Then you can walk around the shops and dancers.

Traxx, of course, is right in the station. And, thinking about it, is actually a fabulous and highly rated restaurant, and again, another one of my favorites. Again, do eat outside in the courtyard if the weather permits.

Walking/sightseeing:

Olvera St.
Chinatown
Little Tokyo
Geffen Museum of Contemporary Art
Japanese American Museum
Cornfields (park by Chinatown), sometimes good art events going on.

All these are 1/2 mile or less.

You can also catch the metrorail to downtown, or Pasadena.
posted by Vaike at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2009


Here is a list of what to see, listed by distance Local Interest

Also, there may be a train museum inside Union Station. I would ask about that. My friends went to a party in the Station with all these old locomotives, as I remember. So if it is not a museum, maybe you could still get a peek.
posted by Vaike at 7:19 PM on February 25, 2009


Cielito Lindo taquitos on Olvera street . the first stop on the left from the bottom end , and i am sure Phillipes has some train models in cases as previously mentioned. You may need to go to some of the back seating areas to find them but they are there.
posted by stuartmm at 12:06 AM on February 26, 2009


Vaike, your friends went to a party on the tracks to the Northeast of the station, where private owners store their vintage train cars. It's in a desolate area that's hard to reach from the main station, and not open to the public. Instead, go check out the toy train display and circus memorabilia in Philippe across the street.
posted by Scram at 12:44 AM on February 26, 2009


Thanks for the correction, Scram. These days, I am glad to get information just in the vicinity of correctness. Brain fried, need vacation...

posted by Vaike at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2009


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