Our Favorite Glendale Things
I recently asked some of my Glendale Locals for their favorite thing (person, place, event, etc) in Glendale and the Foothills. I loved the answers- many are gems I had forgotten about, some were completely brand new and I can’t wait to try them out. I was also blown away by how many people responded!
So, tuck in and take notes. Prepare to be delighted.
Elyse Briggs – former owner of Yoga Village in Kenneth Village, yoga instructor, a founding member of Stepping Stone Players and all around awesome person:
I miss my Studio and the community that I was able to build! My favorite place absolutely is the Alex Theatre and it’s offspring, The Alex Film Society who’s great work brings history to the present with the preservation of film dating back to the early 1900s.
Patricia Larrigan – retired officer at Glendale PD, Glendale Kiwanis member and general do-gooder extraordinaire: My favorite is Glendale Kiwanis because they do so much for the community and tie in with so many different organizations. They help the homeless, Grant scholarships, work with the Y to provide for victims of domestic violence, books for the schools, also work with the police department for needy families and we will be embarking on a bike/pedestrian safety program for kids this coming year. Much much more but those are a couple of highlights!
Robert Gordon – Member Glendale Historical Society and Chairperson of the Friends of the Glendale Central Library: We like a relatively new place called We’re Pouring, on Glenoaks and Jackson. Do you know it? Great friendly neighborhood brew house- they have a bunch of sensational mostly Southern CA craft beers on tap and some dynamite comfort food items like sweet and sour Brussel Sprouts and the best BBQ Chicken pizza in town. Highly recommend it!
Sharon Weisman – Member of La Crescenta Historical Society, Friends of Rockhaven and probably a dozen other cool community groups: I love Deukmejian Wilderness Park and I’m so thankful that Glendale has allocated funds to complete the Nature Center in the Le Mesnager stone barn. I’m delighted busloads of kids from all over Glendale will be learning about their environment.
Glenn Marhevka – plays trumpet in the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and is a huge supporter of the Verdugo Woodlands Dad’s Club: My favorite things in Glendale are eating dinner at La Cabanita with my family, weekend brunch at the Black Cow Cafe, and cruising my Volkswagen Thing through Montrose on a weekday morning and stopping at Coffee Bean.
Maria Sahakian – Director of Marketing and Events at the Alex Theatre. It goes without saying that the Alex Theatre is my favorite place in Glendale. As a native of the city, I grew up attending performances and going to see movies at the historic venue. My appreciation for the Alex took on new meaning when I joined the staff fourteen and a half years ago. There is so much to love about this place. The facility itself is a stunning architectural gem. Programming-wise, we have something for everyone. I also take pride in the positive economic impact our activity has on our neighboring businesses in Downtown Glendale and fellow non-profits throughout the city.
Laura Friedman– California Assembly Member representing the 43rd district and former Glendale City Council Member: My favorite things are: Alex Theatre, Museum of Neon Art, Moonlight Roller Way, Burbank City Hall, Descanso Gardens, Taylor’s Steakhouse, Montrose Shopping Park (Thank you for reminding us of a teenage favorite- Moonlight Roller Rink!)
Armena Andranian– Verdugo Woodlands resident, fiber arts teacher and all around fun neighbor: My favorite would for sure be Quilt N Things Fiber Arts. Lana has totally revamped the shop and taken if from dreary and dated to fab and fab!!! She offers a huge selection of classes for all things textile. There is always something exciting going on there. Mary Ellen is a quilting whiz and the shop is so colorful and is really bursting with creativity.
Favorite late night takeout Din Tai Fung (Glendale). Great dumplings to go and you can use the valet for pickup. (That’s a pro tip, Jeff!)
Favorite picnic Descanso Gardens Summer Jazz series (La Canada) Fantastic excuse to picnic, bring wine, and listen to some cool outdoor Jazz.
Favorite lunch Skafs (Glendale) Great, homey food served to you by the sweetest family & they have the best garlic sauce.
Favorite fried chicken HoneyBird (La Canada) Excellent fried chicken. Southern style but with some Asian twists. Great sides too.
Favorite Martini John Sparr Tavern (Sparr Heights) Clean. Great quality Martini in an inviting environment.
Favorite Margarita La Cabanita (Sparr Heights) Sit at the bar with some chips and keep ‘em coming; Margaritas, that is.
Favorite views Forest Lawn (Glendale) No, it’s not creepy, but head over to the cemetery to check out the amazing views of Glendale on a clear day and the exhibits at the church are great too.
Michael Ruiz– owner of the tragically closed Epic Taco. Michael is currently focused on catering and kitchen consulting. My favorite thing about the community is definitely the Dads Club. These dads really step up every year for VW and our area, not to mention Father’s Follies for 70 years!
Alex Calleros and Alek Bartrosouf– fellow UCLA alums and do-gooders extraordinaire in the City of Glendale. As food lovers we can name some of our favorite restaurants! Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine, India’s Flavor, Casa Córdoba
Chris Walters – former Glendale Unified School District Board of Education Member (2009 – 2017) I can still say the schools in Glendale are one of my favorite things. There are so many different options between languages and different magnet programs that families can choose from! The schools were great for my kids and have continued to evolve.
1. My wife, Tamar Sadd – Economic Development Coordinator for the city of Glendale and Emmy nominee for her work on some GTV6 work
2. Peco’s Bills BBQ (hidden gem lunch spot)
3. Byblos Mediterranean Bakery– Great Sunday breakfast spot, try the “foul fava bean dish”
4. Mini Kabob – Amazing lunch or dinner spot
5. La Cabinita, Montrose – The best Mexican food in town
6. The views of Glendale and downtown LA from the Glendale hills
7. Glendale Central Air Terminal – An awesome place to explore, terminal was recently renovated by Disney
8. Disney Imagineering – Some really cool Disney history can be seen at this special place
Susan Jerkarl – Community Servant, Disaster Preparedness Expert and Complete Badass My favorite event has to be the Run the Verdugos 10K, a very uniquely Glendale event that gathers so many different people into this amazing healthy and supportive community event. It’s all ages, it’s for a good cause and we have volunteers and participants from birth to septuagenarian.
Vickere RocketGirl Murphy – my favorite science nerdy neighbor. I love our Montrose Post Office– they have the friendliest staff!
Ardy Kassakhian– Glendale City Clerk, fellow nerd AND UCLA alum. (There might be a theme here. Maybe.)
Favorite Family Park(s): Nibley Park and Brand Park. Glendale has a lot of great parks but these two stand out for a few reasons. Brand Park has great kid’s play areas nestled among the Verdugo Mountains next to Brand Library. During the summers there are concerts in the park and the play area is set back enough from the main streets (behind a large gate) so that you don’t have to worry about your kid darting into traffic ( a major issue in some parts of Glendale where people drive like they’re in the Indy 500). Which is also why I like Nibley Park so much as well. The play area could use an update and there isn’t any real parking for visitors but you can find plenty of parking along the street and there’s a fence that runs along the entire length of the park so you can let your little ones run wild and enjoy this clean, quiet park in Northwest Glendale.
Favorite Coffee Shop: Urartu Coffee on Maryland in Downtown. Urartu has been around for over a decade in this same location. Named for the ancient 9th century B.C. Kingdom preceding Armenia, this small coffee shop is a relaxing place to grab a cup of coffee and a snack and enjoy the Maryland Paseo – a blocked off out door plaza that the City just recently closed off to encourage pedestrians and residents to hang out at European style out door cafe tables. It’s a downtown oasis away from the hustle of Brand Blvd. and Urartu will give you a warm beverage to enjoy it with.
Favorite Kebab: There are too many kebab places in Glendale that are excellent so picking one is very difficult. If you live in Glendale, you are living in the epicenter of some of the best Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in possibly all of the U.S. You can find Iraqi, Persian, Lebanese, Greek, or any other type of cuisine but the one place that continues to deliver consistently great food and in humongous portions is Raffi’s Place. This Armenian run Persian style kebab restaurant serves up some of the best food of its kind in Glendale. The big name corporate chains in the Americana may get the press attention, but Raffi’s Place will always be packed (even on a weeknight) with hundreds of patrons who come from as far as Westwood (the Mecca of Persian food) to try the Soltani, Koobideh and tender boneless chicken kebabs accompanied with fluffy saffron basmati rice served at Raffi’s.
Favorite Coffee Shop around City Hall/Civic Center: Highlight Coffee is the newest addition to the downtown Glendale civic center scene. Occupying the corner of Broadway and Glendale on the ground floor of the historic Glendale Hotel building, this new coffee shop is home to hipsters on macbooks sipping on exotic teas and city bureaucrats who just want a cup of joe alike. They don’t have a food menu but they’re grilled cheese and tomato soup is the definition of comfort food and their butterscotch latte (with a bit of sea salt) is a revelation. Small and cozy, it’s a great place to grab a cup of coffee before crossing the street to pay your water bill or go to a city council meeting.
Kendyl Young – owner/broker of DIGGS and local blogger.
Favorite view – happens right now when the Santa Ana winds clear out the air and the cold makes everything crisp and bright… take a night drive down Camino San Rafael from Emerald Isle toward the 2 freeway. When it is clear the city lights will take your breath away. I saw that view frequently as I was racing up and down the mountain to take care of my parents.
Favorite hike– Brand Park– there a number of quirky sights along this hike that starts at the Docter’s House. A private cemetery, a seasonal waterfall, killer views. Favorite Community Event– Montrose Christmas Parade. This is the definition of a small town parade. You are either in it or related to someone who is. And Santa shows up in a helicopter, I mean, c’mon!!! That’s so cool!
Favorite Way To Blow A Diet – Porto’s Bakery. There are a million reasons to abandon all food discipline here. The Fruit Tarte, Mango Mousse Cake, Potato Balls and….. Cheese Rolls. I would endure jiggly thighs for Cheese Rolls.