The lazy stretch of blocks in Burbank on Magnolia Boulevard, between Hollywood Way and shortly before you get to Buena Vista, is home to a bunch of antique, vintage, thrift, kitsch and novelty stores, in addition to a handful of cool cafés, pastry shops, salons and art galleries.
Points of Interest:
A walk along Magnolia isn’t complete without stopping into Portos Cuban Bakery for some delicious sandwiches, soups or pastries. The recently reopened Romancing the Bean is also an excellent choice for a light lunch, with it’s light, airy feel and modern/hip dècor. To indulge your sweet tooth, there are a host of choices, with Yummy Cupcakes and the variety of creamy Gelato’s at Pinocchio Restaurant being my favorites.
Theatre Banshee has great live theater shows all year-round and the monthly Ladies and Gents Night Out on the first Fridays of every month is not to be missed: there’s live music and food and stores are open late for shopping – several of them hosting open-house type wine tastings and snacks to go along with the festivities.
The aforementioned Monte Carlo’s Pinocchio is a great place for pasta, sandwiches and a variety of Italian-style dishes, as is Tony’s Bella Vista, which is directly across the street. Urban Eats is small but a good choice for quick, inexpensive lunches, plus it’s only a couple of doors down from FroyoFace yogurt, so you don’t have to travel far for dessert. If you’re in the mood for Mexican, Bahia Caporales Restaurant is a terrific little spot with great seafood dishes and wonderfully gaudy decorations. Century Dragon, a very reasonably priced Chinese restaurant is just down the street, near the intersection of Magnolia and Hollywood Way. The food there is always tasty and the service is great.
In Magnolia Park, you’re about a 5 minute drive away from “Beautiful Downtown Burbank”, where you can shop at the mall, or the nearby Empire Center, which houses Target, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Micheal’s Crafts and Best Buy as well as a bunch of other restaurant and fast-food choices. Costco is also just around the corner.
Budget Best Best:
Although there are several excellent choices for inexpensive to moderately-priced dine-in meals in the Magnolia Park area, you could still go really cheap if you wanted to. Some of the better fast-food selections include Quiznos, Pizza Hut, Tony’s Dart’s Away (Hot Wings) and Fiesta Taco (my favorite of the bunch).
Tucked away around one of the corners off Magnolia (Lima), sits a quiet little café that you just might miss, if you’re not paying attention to the side streets. Missing Simply Coffee would be a shame, though, because it’s a lovely little French pastry and coffee shop that seems to transport you across the Atlantic once you walk over the threshold. The owner, Gregory, speaks with a heavy French accent and cheerily greets many of the regulars by name. It’s the kind of place that’s just dripping with neighborhood charm. Make sure to try the quiche too – it’s wonderful!
Whether you’re out to shop ’til you drop at the plentiful antique stores or just taking a leisurely stroll, Magnolia Blvd. in Magnolia Park is part Mayberry and part hip urban/retro upscale shopping district. Either way you see it, there’s a little something to suit everyone’s tastes. It’s a great neighborhood to explore in warm, but not too hot weather, as there are few shady spots along the stretch of the boulevard.
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