Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles California is an oasis of culture and history. The colorful Mexican marketplace is situated among skyscrapers, condominiums and businesses and gives the impression of stepping back in time as soon as you walk in. Time stops as you enter Olvera Street and it seem that the noise of the traffic just a few feet away gives way to the sounds of soft music and people conversing. It’s a relaxing and fun experience.
Olvera Street is part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and was designated a historical landmark in 1953. Olvera Street features 27 historical buildings including the Pelanconi House, the Sepulveda House and the Avila Adobe which was the home of Francisco Avila, one of the cities first mayors and was constructed in 1818.
One of the biggest attraction is the plaza. The plaza is located on one end of Olvera Street and is the site of cultural entertainment often featuring Mexican and Indian dancers or bands. On occasion there are contemporary musical groups with a Latino background. Covered in shade, the plaza is a relaxing spot to just spend some time as you enjoy the sites and sounds and decide what to do next.
Not only are there interesting shops and entertainment to see while you stroll around Olvera Street but there’s also the food, which is an experience on its own. The area is packed with restaurants and casual cafes. One of the more famous and historic restaurant is La Golondrina where you can enjoy traditional Mexican dishes like Chile Rellenos, Tamales and Mole Poblano.
There’s always something going on at Olvera street so there’s not really an “offseason”. You can visit virtually anytime and enjoy what is has to offer. Union Station is right across the street, so you can ride the train, or if you drive, there are public parking areas nearby.