I’ve heard Melrose Avenue referred to as the more casual Rodeo Drive, but I see Rodeo Drive as the perception of Los Angeles, while Melrose Avenue more accurately represents Los Angeles.
Things You Will Find on Melrose Avenue:
- The expensive, mostly unattainable for the average person shops you would find anywhere else in LA. I’m convinced these places only make money when celebrities shop their after typical closing hours
- The slightly pricey but up and coming trendy shops. These are for those in LA who either have a consistent income and can truly afford it or for those who want to fit in so they buy a few outfits and eat packaged ramen for a week
- A few thrift shops that you think would be super cheap since it is a “thrift” shop but is somehow still pricey
- The famous pink wall with twenty epople always taking pictures in front of it for Instagram (Psssst it’s the outer wall of a store called Paul Smith)
- A bunch of well-known LA eateries from brunch spots and coffee shops to bakeries
- Fun window displays since most of us are just window shopping anyways
- Street art that gives Melrose Avenue character
- A farmer’s market every Sunday down the street Melrose Place
- A lot less tourists than Rodeo Drive
- A lot more locals than Rodeo Drive
- Some abandon buildings because Los Angeles is expensive and some just cannot survive (a perfect metaphor for people as well as businesses)
When I first visited Melrose Avenue I missed half of the area and was disappointed since I missed out on half of the shops and restaurants. The unofficial center of Melrose Avenue is where the streets Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place cross. I would suggest going as far as Huntley Dr to the west and as far as Harper Avenue to the east, right under one mile in length, to hit all of the main shops.
Overall Melrose is one of my favorite areas in Los Angeles as it gives off a pretty authentic LA vibe.