It’s Official: Silver Lake is America’s “Best Hipster Neighborhood”

Photo by James Chutter/Flickr

So says a magazine not usually associated with hipsters: Forbes. In its first ever ranking of the nation’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods, the business magazine ranked Silver Lake at the top of a list of 20 neighborhoods from Los Angeles to Miami. Silver Lake topped San Francisco’s Mission District, which came in at No. 2,  and No. 3 ranked Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Apparently there was no room on that list for either Echo Park or Highland Park. What makes Silver Lake a pleasure ground for hipsters? Says Forbes:

The eclectic enclave boasts some of the nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmer’s markets, a booming arts scene and one of the largest creative class communities in the country. Silver Lake is also home to some of the most avant garde Modernist architecture in North America.

Of course, when it came to  illustrate Silver Lake’s hipness, Forbes used  an interior shot of Rudy’s Barbershop, which is in Los Feliz.


  1. Let it begin…

  2. Rudy’s lists that location as being in Silverlake, not Los Feliz. I would consider it to be right on the border.


  3. Actually, that neighborhood is usually referred to as Five Points, after the intersection.

  4. Anyone want to speculate on the $/ft that this will be worth to property values?

  5. Can someone point me in the direction of this avant garde modernist architecture please? Because I’m not seeing it.

    • They’re mostly referring to the influence of Richard Neutra:


      His son Dion still lives in the neighborhood.

      • I think we’re all clear that Neutra and Schindler aren’t still avant garde, right? Is WAS radical and pushed the artform forward in its own time (70 YEARS AGO) which is what made it great. Who did that in the intervening decades in silver lake.

        Who cares where Nuetra’s son lives?

        • The claim in the article is that SL is home to “avant garde Modernist architecture.” The article is correct, because Modernism (capital M) refers to a specific style. In the intervening years, Modernism went out of fashion, then came back, and is probably now, to some, rather passe again.

          I suppose the charitable interpretation of why they specified “avant garde Modernist” is to distinguish the Neutra style from more-dramatic styles like googie. Or, maybe they thought it sounded more exotic that way.


          My point with mentioning Dion is that the influence of Neutra is and was very much part of the neighborhood. It’s not like Neutra built a few commissions there but actually lived in Chicago. He lived and worked right there.

          • I think we are all aware of the historical architecture in silverlake. It’s been sold to us in coffee table book form for 50 years. But the article didn’t refer to “historic 20th century architecture” in it’s supporting list of current cultural references.
            Avant garde is a description of a present circumstance- and there is no avant garde architecture in silverlake and hasn’t been for many years. You could argue that los angeles in general has had a really hard time moving forward because of this same self-satisfied attitude toward modernism. LA should have a continuous history of residential architecture that is “avant garde” each in its own time . . . but we’ve got mid century. . . very few isolated interesting pieces in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. . . then not much at all but safe and conservative “silverlake bohemian” ™. It’s sad really, and another few decades of telling how radical we are because our grandparents supported schindler and nuetra won’t help.

          • I am actually trying to respond to Roberto’s post below, but it isn’t letting me do it, for some reason.

            But Roberto — did you really trademark “silverlake bohemian”? LOL!!!

  6. It is Silver Lake. Two words. Not SILVERLAKE.

  7. Fewer and fewer hipsters are roaming the streets of Silver Lake these days, and since when is the neighborhood a hotbed for food trucks? In Los Angeles, my vote goes to Echo Park, but even then, the Mission would have L.A. beat.

  8. This is kind of funny. Calling it “best hipster” is supposed to mean it is the greatest. But I take that to mean the opposite, maybe mean it is the shallowest, or most filled with spoiled brats. I would like to think of Silver Lake as something more than that, but alas, when hipsters take over, perhaps it no longer is more than that.

  9. According to the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Rudy’s is not in Silver Lake.


    I don’t understand the politics involved with all that, but I have always considered Rudy’s as being in Los Feliz.

  10. I think we can all agree that it’s not entirely accurate of Forbes to describe Silver Lake as having the best “food trucks… farmer’s markets… [&] arts scene” – – in Los Angeles. However, I think we can also agree that Los Angeles as a whole has the best of these things in the nation, and that Silver Lake is the most hipster neighborhood in Los Angeles. Thus, although their blurb may be fudged a bit, their conclusion seems sound.

  11. I cannot believe we’re wasting our time discussing an article in Forbes. Have you ever looked at it online? I don’t know what happened, but a one semi-decent business magazine now reads like it was written by clueless suburban bloggers. Lists of world’s richest people. Truly embarrassing.

  12. Oh, and Santa Monica at Manzanita is in the Griffith Park neighborhood council area — even though it is definitely Silver Lake, a block off Sunset Junction. (Even though I’m a block away in the Silver Lake NC area, I get the mailings from the Griffith Park council — and I note, Silver Lake does not mail anything nor do much to keep anyone informed. I know a LOT more about the Griffith Park council for that reason. I’ve only once seen a ballot for the Silver Lake council elections!)

    None of the neighborhood council lines are the determiners of an actual neighborhood and were not drawn to match such. The neighborhood council boundaries were chosen in much more haphazard fashion.

  13. So Hipster now means rich self important white kids. Because that is what the strip of Sunset has become. When all the Range Rover’s and BMWs moved onto Maltman anything Avant-Garde was gone. A bunch on rich yuppies moved here from the Westside and forced out any artists years ago.

  14. Should have named Edendale as top hipster hood…

  15. Well, it’s written up, so thank god it’s over.
    Always amazing to see the intensity of reaction to things on the internet (must be true). Mitt Romney’s BLACK!

  16. Forbes just ripped a hole in the time-space-irony continuum.

  17. i love the irony here.
    you get a compliment of being the coolest! and everyone gives it grief for not being cool enough, or that it was cooler many years ago, or that the landmarks are miss-categorized, or that no one understands true art, or understands me for that matter…

    so hipster of us all!
    take the compliment!
    happy friday to all the cup half empties!

  18. exactly my point dj bingo bot.
    black sheep, baby!

  19. this thing is a joke. what bars? we got a farmer’s market, that happens twice a week which is a joke. mostly weird dudes selling non organic vegetables and sage. the only time ive seen a food truck at the junction was when “the next great food truck race,” was filming here.

  20. LOL I’m glad that I live in Highland Park. Would an award for most complaining neighborhood make you happy? Would anything?

  21. posts about hipsters are my favorite!

  22. dj bento box remains the biggest troll. forbes should give dude an award!

  23. I am laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my cheeks. These comments are so f***ing funny!
    seriously hilarious.

  24. Do you have to be white to be a hipster because i want to be one

  25. seriously folks, hipster circa 2012=mainstream. there’s ain’t much more to discuss.

  26. I Brake for LA Natives

    Please, whatever a hipster is or is not, just please make it go back home.

  27. Hip, my ass. I live here and it’s far too many white kids trying too damn hard to be cool/ironic and far too few black people to be truly “hep”. Cos isn’t that the origin of hipness, jazz musicians on 52d St.? Then again, it is Forbes magazine. That’s the kiss of death, if ever. Time for me to pack my bags and go home – Clinton Hill, now that’s f*cking cool. And culturally diverse.

    One thing I will say about my present ‘hood, as stated above — Silver Lake. Two words.

  28. Turn back the clock, make Silver Lake gay again. It was a socially nicer place in that era.

  29. Silver_Lake_Hip_Dude

    I have the hipest, coolest house in Silver Lake, which is located in the Hippest community in the US thus making ME the hippest person in the USA.

  30. I like Silverlake as much as anyone, but who would go to Forbes Magazine to locate the best hip neighborhood? Wannabees with investment portfolios, I reckon. So now, where do they rate on the scale? Third, fourth, tenth?

  31. I think when you’re rated “hip” by Forbes, it’s safe to say your time is truly done. It’s akin to Mitt Romney singing ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ to a group of blacks because he thinks that’s what “those people” find “cool” and current.

    LOL, poor Silver Lake.

  32. Gross hipsters

    • Such strong feelings about a noun that has practically lost all commonly understood meaning in the parlance of our time.

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