There are some places that become tradition to visit. Olvera Street in Los Angeles has become one of those places for our family. It is a happy, cheerful place full of vibrant colors, delicious smells, and festive music. In fact, as I write this I am smiling. Yes, it is that kind of place.
Some dear friends introduced us to Olvera Street on one of our trips to Disneyland, and since then, we like to visit when we happen to be in town. Located in downtown Los Angeles, Olvera Street is about a 40 minute car ride from the Disneyland resort area. The location of Olvera Street marks the oldest section of Los Angeles, and is now a historic monument and mexican market.
There is convenient $7 parking right across the street in an enclosed lot. What I love is how you can smell Olvera Street before you can even see it.
Here is our routine: we stroll up an down the market (you can stroll up one side and then down the other), stop at the historic Hacienda for a quick self-guided tour, have lunch, and shop. It is a lovely way to spend a few hours.
One of the things I love the most about Olvera Street is the music. There are musicians playing traditional folk music on violins, accordions, guitars, and trumpets. It adds so much to the atmosphere. There are often groups stationed in front of the restaurants, but some of the smaller groups rove from place to place singing to anyone who will listen. Take some small bills and loose change for tips!
If you make it to Olvera Street, make sure you go hungry! I love the Mexcian food here. At Juanitas you can get the most delicious taquitos. The food is not served up in a fancy way, but don’t let the lack of presentation turn you off. Otherwise, you would miss the delectable avocado tomatillo sauce and their house horchata.
On one side of Olvera Street, you can find the entrance to the first Hacienda in the Los Angeles area. It has been beautifully restored.
I keep trying to figure out a way I can design a Hacienda style house in Idaho. Not sure how that would work with the snow here.
This year I found a little bakery by the restrooms. I ordered a Dulce Le Leche Churro. I had to wait a bit as they fried it and filled it with warm caramel. It was seriously one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had. It was warm, dusted with sugar and cinnamon, and filled with warm milk caramel that had a slightly toasted flavor. I will never be satisfied with a regular churro again!