5. Echo Park
This neighborhood used to be pretty rough, especially the area around the lake, but it’s now a hip area with a lot to offer and a great amount of old school character. The paddle boats on Echo Park Lake are a fun activity if you’re in the area, or you can simply enjoy the park’s lotus flowers blooming in the summertime.
EAT — Masa: Deep dish pizza isn’t exclusive to Chicago. Don’t miss the delicious cornmeal crust, of course, but the wine carafes, bacon Caesar salad, and suppli are all non-negotiable must-buys. Note that the pizza takes a good while to bake, but there’s plenty to enjoy while you wait.
DRINK — El Prado: This isn’t a bar designed for partying but that’s not really the speed of the neighborhood, so it’s fitting. You can get a locally-sourced glass of wine or beer while you enjoy the vinyl records playing in the background.