Even though Hollywood is considered the ‘capital’ of the entertainment industry, it is actually Burbank that has a lot of entertainment production happening within its city limits. The film industry began taking root in the city as early as 1920, and as a result, the area has an eclectic feel ranging from the urban to small town.
Many Burbank residents describe the city as Mayberry, forever stuck in time. With residents like the magical Disney corporation and Warner Brothers, no wonder it takes on a timeless demeanor. Burbank is definitely a city worth checking out whether you like to shop, eat, drink or enjoy being entertained…
If you happen to be in the neighborhood, whether you recently moved there or are just passing through, let’s take a look at some of the very best things to do in Burbank.
Burbank Town Center
Unlike many Los Angeles area malls, Burbank Town Center provides free parking. This is a good thing since one can easily spend the entire day shopping in the town center. In addition to the standard mall shopping, the center includes one of 4 IKEA locations in Los Angeles County, 2 movie theaters, and a bungee jump area in the center court. For more shopping take a stroll outside the indoor mall and walk along San Fernando. There are tons of eateries, shops, cafes and bars to enjoy as you walk from the mall all the way to Angeleno Street.
Magnolia Park district is located on Magnolia Blvd. from Victory to Clybourn and on Hollywood Way from Clark to Chandler. Hands down the best part of Magnolia Park is the plentiful vintage shops that line Magnolia Blvd. Pin Up Girl Clothing will take you back to the 1950’s with their authentic department store feel. Another retro gem is the Bearded Lady Vintage which received the 2014 LA Weekly reader’s choice award. Magnolia Park also features a few special events each month. Ladies Night Out happens every last friday of the month and every second Saturday features the Magnolia Park Art Walk. Each event features food trucks, music, and fun for all ages.
Burbank Farmer’s Market
With all the market choices we have in Los Angeles, this market is unique because of the small intimate atmosphere. The market is located in the heart of Burbank, behind the Burbank City Hall. There are vendors as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego who travel to this market. Farmers include Mike and Son’s Egg Ranch, The Honey Guy, and J & J Grass Fed Beef. The market also features local restaurants and bakeries as well as representatives from local businesses and community groups.
Since Burbank is home to several movie and television studios, it’s a perfect place to take a studio tour. One of the popular tours in Burbank is the Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour. During the tour you will see the exciting backlots from popular movies including a special exhibit devoted to Batman. There is also a Warner Brothers museum featuring costumes, props, sets, and scripts from Warner Brothers history. The Walt Disney Studios is another Burbank destination where you can learn about Disney history during a privately guided visit to include The Walt Disney Archives.
If the Hollywood Bowl proves too crowded, this pleasant Burbank treasure will not disappoint. The Starlight Bowl is host to a summer concert season including a spectacular July 4th concert and fireworks show. You can pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the concert with your friends or family. The 2015 summer concert series includes performances by Latin Jazz great Poncho Sanchez and the Commodores. Even better, the concert series is affordable at $15 per adult and $8 for children age three through twelve.
This Burbank treasure was once a railroad line before it was transformed into this 2 mile biking trail in 2004. In addition to biking, many active Burbank residents rollerblade, jog, and stroll along this trail. The trail is also home to 3 art installations made possible by the Burbank Art in Public Spaces. If you take the bikeway all the way to North Hollywood you can witness the beautiful murals along the way. Every month the Sidewalk Astronomers will bring their telescopes to the Bikeway to educate the public about Astronomy.
What better way to let off some steam than by mashing some baseballs after a long day at work. The Batcade is one of the best batting cages in the valley, offering both slow-pitch and fast-pitch machines, and allowing you to either pay with tokens for a set amount of pitches or a flat-fee for set amount of time (half-hour or hour). Definitely worth it if you need a serious stress reliever.
Flappers Comedy Club
Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant provides world class comedy and food in the heart of Burbank. Presenting over 40 shows a week, this spot is the friendliest comedy club you will visit in the Los Angeles area. Unlike most comedy clubs in the area, you can have a full dinner along with the show. Their roster of talent includes comics from Comedy Central, Conan, Letterman, and several network sitcoms. Some recent drop in headliners include Kevin Hart, Damon Wayans, Bill Burr, and Felipe Esparaza. Flappers also presents a family friendly show called “Two Milk Kids.”
Ride a horse
The Los Angeles Equestrian Center is located on 50 miles of Griffith Park horse trails. Their motto for visitors is “Everything Equestrian.” This definitely has everything. If you are new to horse riding, the center is home to dozens of horse trainers. If you already own your horse, the center provides a home for your horse. While you ride through the center you may even see a movie shoot since it’s so central to the major studios. The LA Equestrian Center is also home to several horse shows.
Places to Eat
The Porto family opened their first location in 1960 after they relocated to Los Angeles from Cuba. The biggest draw for this Burbank hotspot is the huge selection of pastries and bread. Baked good lovers of all kinds will often line up around the block to choose their baked favorites. However, their wide selection of tamales, empanadas, meat pies and sandwiches do not disappoint. Pastrami lovers should check out their mouthwatering Pastrami sandwich served on Porto’s freshly baked french roll.
Market City Cafe
The owners of this Downtown Burbank restaurant stand by their Neapolitan roots presenting traditional favorites such as their Housemade Meatballs and Fresh mussels with white wine, parsley, garlic, and butter. Get there for an early dinner to check out their incredible happy hour specials. This is also a wonderful place to enjoy brunch with lovely live chamber music in the background. Market City also includes a high quality wine selection and specialty cocktails including the Nectar Margarita and Lychee Cocktail.
Another Broken Egg Cafe
Primarily known for their popular breakfast and brunch selections, Another Broken Egg Cafe serves a wide variety of food. If you are in the mood for eggs, this is your place. A few outstanding menu items include the Lobster and Brie omelette or the Southwest Scramble that includes scrambled eggs, breakfast chorizo, onions, diced tomatoes & green chilies with Cheddar-Jack, guacamole, salsa & flour tortillas. Be prepared to wait, this cafe is an extremely popular Burbank brunch destination.
Bob’s Big Boy
Big Boy’s is known nationwide for their burgers and milkshakes but the legendary diner also is a registered California historical site. Known as the oldest remaining Big Boy in America, this location maintains it’s 1950’s charm. Enjoy a milkshake served 1950’s style in a large silver tin goblet. They also serve three types of Coke including cherry, vanilla and chocolate. Top it off with the famous Big Boy double decker hamburger. As you leave, make sure you get a photo with the larger than life Mr. Big Boy himself.
The Castaway is a full service restaurant but the happy hour is not to be missed. In addition to awesome specialty drinks like their Acai Margarita and the Maui Itch, select food items are half off during happy hour. Plus their Oysters, Tacos and Chips and Salsa are 2 bucks! The best part of this spot is the breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding mountains. This is a perfect spot for parties and celebrations as well.
Luna Vine Wine Bar
Located in the quaint Magnolia Park section of Burbank, the Luna Vine Wine Bar is a cozy spot to have a drink. Wine director, Nick Caballero includes a wide array of choices bound to please every palette. Despite the wine bar label, Luna also includes an extensive beer list. If you arrive with an appetite Luna Vine Wine Bar has an full menu including a wide variety of specialty cheeses to accompany your wine selections.
Burbank Bar and Grille
Burbank Bar and Grille is an awesome bar with both indoor and outdoor seating areas to enjoy good food and drinks. The happy hour drink specials include $3.50 Coors Light and $4 well drinks. Food specials include $6 hot wings and nachos. There is also an incredible 1980’s cover band on Fridays to entertain their post happy hour crowd. Get there early to save a table for your happy hour buddies because this place fills up fast.
The Park Bar & Grill
Two words: dollar tacos. The Park Bar & Grill is an great place to meet great people and watch your favorite sports teams. Besides the $1 Taco special on Fridays The Park has a wide selection of drink specials on various nights of the week including $2 jello shots every other Thursday night. It’s also a cool place for live music featuring live jazz and blues on various evenings. If you are a game lover The Park has life size Jenga and Connect Four Tournaments plus Texas Holdem.
For even more information on things to do in Burbank check out the official Downtown Burbank website for upcoming events and activities.
Also, if you live in the area, let us know what you like to do in Burbank for fun!