los angeles, silver lake, california, post-gayborhoods
los angeles, silver lake, california, post-gayborhoods

Post-Gayborhoods: Silver Lake Is LA’s Original Gay Neighborhood

post-gayborhoods, gayborhoods, travel, gay travelOver the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into what’s often termed a “post-gay” neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, you’re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well — and vice versa. And it’s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse — including the influx of the dreaded “hipster”. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, you’ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country.

Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones. 

To see all the articles in this series, click here.

Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California

Intelligentsia, Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, LA, Post-Gayborhoods
Intelligentsia in Silver Lake (Photo: Andrew Collins)

LA’s original gay neighborhood became more mixed in the late 20th century as the scene migrated to West Hollywood. Still, this hilly, picturesque enclave east of Hollywood, south of beautiful Griffith Park, and northwest of downtown has always had at least a handful of gay bars. But the scene has changed, and the neighborhood has become more integrated — a popular spot for edgy boutiques and craft cocktail bars, but still with some terrific longstanding taquerias and retro diners that gays have been heading to for decades.

Akbar, Silver Lake, Los Angeles, LA, California, Post-Gayborhoods
Akbar in Silver Lake

You’ll notice that the few remaining gay bars in Silver Lake fall into two categories: hip mixed venues like laid-back and arty Akbar, Latin-flavored Los Globos, and the live-music club Silverlake Lounge; and old-school cruise-y and male-oriented, such as the Eagle and Faultline Bar (there are a couple of gay bathhouses in the vicinity, too).

The newer, hipster-approved face of Silver Lake is found primarily along Sunset Boulevard, southeast from Fountain down to about Silver Lake Boulevard, and then also Hyperion Avenue for several blocks south of Rowena Avenue. You’ll nearly always spy some gay guys and lesbians at urbane cafes like LAMILL Coffee and the Sunset Boulevard branch of Intelligentsia.

black cat, silver lake, la, los angeles, california, post-gayborhoods
The Black Cat in Silver Lake (Photo: Andrew Collins)

The Black Cat, a former gay bar that’s now a mixed and quite inviting gastropub, is fun for people-watching and late-night dining, as are Barbrix wine bar on Hyperion, historic and very gay-popular Casita del Campo Mexican restaurant, and Black Hogg, a wildly eclectic place serving delicious international breakfast and dinner fare, from carnitas poutine to fried-chicken confit.

This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.

(Featured image via The Futuristics/Flickr)

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