"This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission."
We did something a little different this time and shot all of the photos in this post with our iPhone. If you watch the video, we explain why we had to do this instead of shooting with our usual camera equipment.
The Grove has been in Los Angeles since 2002 and it’s one of those places that all the locals know about. When I first moved to LA, I knew of many iconic places like the Hollywood Walk of Fame or the Hollywood Sign, but the Grove was a place I wasn’t familiar with until I moved to the area. I can’t count how many times I’ve been to the Grove for birthday parties, store events, dining, movie premieres, and more. Crystal and I were staying at an Airbnb across the street from The Grove, so we decided to spend the afternoon here.
Restaurants, Bakeries, Juice Bars, Cafes & More
One of the things we like about The Grove are their array of dining options. They really have a great selection of cafes, bakeries, and restaurants that it’s actually hard to pick just one place. We stopped by a couple of places and was also surprised to see some new shops that weren’t around the last time we were here.
We used to go to Sprinkles Cupcakes, but when we saw Dominique Ansel Bakery we had to get one of their almond croissants. Crystal went to their bakery in New York and was delighted to see their expansion to the west coast. It’s the first and only west coast location at the moment and more than 30% of their menu items are exclusively for Los Angeles. If you don’t know what to order, give their cronuts a try. It’s what they are famously known for.
We almost caved into having some high tea at this whimsical Parisian boutique. We’ve seen their colorful macarons all over instagram and always wondered what their famed macarons tasted like. We just had lunch so we weren’t hungry enough to have another meal, so we decided we would have to come back and enjoy it some other time.
Are you a fan of ice cream? You must try Halo Top’s creamy and delicious protein packed ice cream. They are low in calorie so you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in some ice cream. Currently, there are only three Halo Top scoop shops, all of which are located in southern California. You can purchase Halo Top at grocery stores throughout the United States, but being able to order one at a shop gives you the perk of getting that scoop with a made-to-order Puffle Waffle Cone.
One of the things I really like about The Grove are their pop-up shops. A lot of times there are brands I want to order from, but the only way to test or see the product is to just order it online since limited storefronts exist. The Grove has had pop-up shops like Honest Beauty, FabFitFun, Uncommon James, KORA Organics, and Chiara Ferragni to name a few. Crystal was especially excited to see Uncommon James because she’s been eyeing their jewelry but was hesitant to order it online since she couldn’t really tell what the quality was like and they didn’t offer free shipping. She ended up loving the jewelry and splurged a little.
Get a little taste of Vegas and watch the dancing fountains right here at The Grove. We didn’t know until recently that the dancing fountain here was created by the same company that produced the Bellagio’s dancing fountain show in Las Vegas. It’s such an enjoyable show to watch and a nice break from shopping.
It may seem odd for us to mention the American Girl Place, but this store is crazy huge and is a little girl’s dream. We first stumbled into this store a few years ago and couldn’t believe how much detail went into the dolls that were sold here. You can get your doll’s hair styled, take photos with your doll at their Signature Studio, and even have some afternoon tea at their in-house cafe. We thought we were crazy for thinking this place was so fascinating but right around the same time, our favorite comedian, Conan O’Brien, went here as well and did a fun TV segment about this place.
In the middle of The Grove is a huge theater with a cool vintage looking sign. They offer reserved seating and you can also enjoy cocktails at the their lounge or in their theater. If you check out The Grove’s main website, sometimes they offer great movie specials with three-course dinners and valet parking.
The Farmer’s Market is its own entity, but a lot of people assume it’s part of The Grove. I certainly did when I first went to the Farmer’s Market because it’s located right next to The Grove. It’s technically called The Original Farmer’s Market and its beginnings date all the way back to 1934. We went to the Farmer’s Market looking for some light bites, but there was just so much to choose from that it was a little overwhelming. We could smell crepes, Brazilian BBQ, freshly baked bread and pastries, Cajun cuisine, and the list goes on.
There weren’t any events at the time of our visit, but I have been to a handful of events here and they are plentiful. One of the memorable ones I’ve been to was the “Coach x Hypebeast” event where Hypebeast’s managing editor discussed ideas behind design and answered some questions that attending guests had about branding and style essentials. I really enjoyed the MAC Cosmetics event that took up a huge area of The Grove. MAC makeup artists from across the US were there to showcase their products, but the best part was the dance performance they presented throughout the day. Book signings at the Barnes & Noble here are a common event and there was one I wish I could have attended, but I was out of the country. Will Ferrell was signing his book, “Let Me Off at the Top! My Classy Life,” as Ron Burgundy. It’s hard to keep up with and attend all of the events, but there certainly isn’t a shortage of them.
It’s hard not to love The Grove. Yes, it has some of the typical stores you see around the world, but then they also have a variety of shops that are hard to find anywhere else. Their dining options are plentiful and the quality of the food and drinks are outstanding. The entire shopping area is very picturesque and they even have a battery operated street car that rides through the entire area. The mini garden is a lovely area to relax when the weather is gorgeous and the Farmer’s Market is a whole other section that is a place of its own. It’s no wonder The Grove continues to be on LA’s To-Do List.
The Grove and the Farmer’s Market are two different lots and I usually park at The Grove’s parking structure. From my experience, there is usually more parking spaces available there. Depending on which lot you park at, make sure you are keeping track of your validation so you don’t get hit with a huge parking fee.
The Grove Parking
60 minutes free without validation. If you go over 60 minutes, you can go to the women’s shoe section in Nordstrom’s and get your ticket validated without making a purchase. I’ve done this countless times and a friend of mine shared this little secret with me.
Also, when you enter the parking structure, go ahead and skip levels 1-3. You’ll have a better chance of finding a spot on levels 4 and up with less stress. If you want to have a 99% stress fee parking situation, go before noon.
Farmer’s Market Parking
90 minutes free validation with purchase from a Farmers Market merchant OR 2 hours free with validation from select grocers. There is less parking here and most of the time the lot is closed due to full capacity.