Our fall Patchwork Show Season is finally here and let me just say – we are here for it! Literally! Not only do we love celebrating the local makers scene in each of our host cities… but we love celebrating the radness of the cities themselves. Our staff writer and Long Beach resident Nik Vandeventer pulled together a list of some of our favorite spots in Long Beach and Santa Ana that you absolutely must visit while you’re around for our Modern Makers Festival! Be sure to stop by and tell them you’re in town for Patchwork Show!
xo, katie mac
Now, onto Nik!
Although I didn’t grow up here Long Beach has been the only city I’ve lived in that truly feels like home to me. Long Beach is a big city filled with TONS of neighborhoods but it still can have a small town feel, I run into at least one person I know almost every time I leave my house no matter what neighborhood I’m in, and I love that. I live downtown so I am bias to that neighborhood but there is so much to see/do/explore here. Let me tell you about some of my favorites.
MADE by Millworks:
This place is part giftshop-part art gallery-part event space AND hosts a vegan dinner & brunch two days a week. The gift shop features local artists and you can find just about anything you are looking for there. Wild Chive makes some of the best vegan comfort food you’ll ever have on Thursday nights & Sunday Brunch.
This is one of my favorite local coffee spots. It’s a great place to have a meeting, grab a coffee to go, or just hang out with some friends. My favorite is their iced honey vanilla latte with almond milk & they also make some pretty amazing breakfast sandwiches too, try the bacon & egg sandwich, you won’t be disappointed!
One of the best happy hours downtown can be found here. Amazing high quality cocktails both upstairs in Mezcalero & downstairs at Padre + delicious food at padre, my favorite spot for taco Tuesday! Get the Aye Papi Paloma at Mezcalero and the Tijuana Pharmacy with a side of chips and guac at Padre.
Do Good Donuts and Treats:
A newer spot here in long beach, a little bit off the beaten path of bustling 4th street is this gem. Fresh mini donuts made to order & soft serve ice cream both having a dairy & vegan option that change very frequently so there is always something new to try! Have anything here, you can’t go wrong.
Long Beach Beer Lab:
The local craft beer scene has really blown up here within the last few years & with so many options for good beer it can be hard to choose! The Beer Lab has quickly become one of my favorite spots because not only do they make great beer they also make amazing breads/sandwiches/pizzas from scratch. The Mushroom Ricotta Pizza is one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, with their ‘mustard caviar’ being a thing I never knew I needed in my life, especially on my pizza until now! Pair that with anything they’ve got on tap & you’re good to go.
The Pike Outlets:
This area is a bit more on the tourist side, however I still love going here to find good deals. I picked up winter coats for my Iceland trip at the Columbia outlet for a deep discount & I can always find something good at The Gap or H&M. Plus the Cinemark theater there is the best one in the city with really good deals on matinees and Tuesdays AND super comfy recliner seats. There’s also a ferris wheel and plenty of dining options in the area too.
Probably the thing I love most about long beach is the vibrant street art that you can see almost anywhere, especially downtown! Long Beach has hosted Pow! Wow! an amazing mural fest that happens once a year, as well as celebrating artists by commissioning them to turn old walls into works of art all over the city. This is a helpful map for all of the murals that have been put up through Pow! Wow! However just by driving around a bit you can discover SO many more.
Have fun exploring!
ABOUT NIK VANDEVENTER:
Nik is a maker, day dreamer & potty mouth who loves cats, coffee and craft beer. She is a self taught hand embroider and will DIY pretty much anything she can get her hands on. She is head Boss Bitch behind Wasting Thyme creating & selling naughty hand embroidery and sassy greeting cards. You can find her products at justwastingthyme.etsy.com. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and her three awesome cats (that she can’t shut up about).