Armenian Community of Glendale: 1-Day Visitor's Guide

Written by The Hayk Team on .

Visiting Glendale and want to get a glimpse of the city's Armenian community? Let us help you navigate this microcosm of the Diaspora: find Armenian restaurants, art galleries, shops, and other treasures of the community.

Map

Glendale Map

Non-Armenian Recommendations

Breakfast & Lunch
  • Porto's Bakery
    315 N. Brand Blvd.
    Glendale, CA 91202 Map
    (818) 956-5996
    Web Site
    Exceptional Cuban bakery in the Glendale area for 35+ years. Porto's has become so popular that long lines are the norm here, so be ready to wait until your turn.

Dinner
  • Gauchos Village
    411 N. Brand Blvd.
    Glendale, CA 91203 Map
    (818) 550-1430
    Web Site
    If you are not yet tired of all the kabob meat then Gauchos Village is by all means a great choice for dinner. Serving Brazilian style Churrascaria and carnival bar, Gaucho's Village is all about the meat--beef, lamb, filet, ribs, sirloin, tri tip--and all at an unlimited amount.

Entertainment
  • Glendale Centre Theatre
    324 N. Orange St.
    Glendale, CA 91203 Map
    (818) 244-8481
    Web Site
    Outstanding theater company, in the heart of Glendale, produces various shows throughout the year for both adults and children. This intimate theater has produced works ranging from Fiddler on the Roof to the Little Mermaid and many others.

Helpful Resources

Transportation
  • Beeline bus service. Goes to nearly every corner of Glendale and costs $1 for any one-way route.

1-Day Tour: Glendale's Armenian community is far too culturally and socially diverse for one to be able to soak it all up in just one day. But, if that is all the time that you have, we suggest an itinerary here to follow to get the most of Glendale in your limited time.

Start your day at Wilson Mini Park (1), where you can get a glimpse of one of the most popular watering holes for the older Armenian generation. Groups of old men gather here everyday from what seems like sunrise to sunset, to play backgammon, converse, see their neighbors, and pass the day with good company. The park is very small, if not tiny, so unless you plan on playing a game of nardi (backgammon) or making your way into the tightly knit clicks, then your stop here will probably be a short one.

There are a number of shops that most visitors find interesting to visit, so plan on these somewhere throughout your day. Start with Sardarabad Bookstore (2) which carries a good selection of Armenian books as well as souvenirs and artifacts, followed by Abril Bookstore (3)—the first Armenian bookstore in the US. Abril is slightly larger than Sardarabad and has a greater book selection, but lacks the wide selection of Armenian souvenirs and artifacts. If you enjoy the arts, then you should definitely make a visit to Roslin Art Gallery (5), ran by local artist Seeroon Yeretzian. In addition to great art pieces, Roslin also offers small Armenian tidbits such as bookmarks, magnets, and posters designed by Ms. Yeretzian herself. If Armenian music is your preference, then a stop at Glenoaks Video and Records will be worthwhile.

For lunch, visit Raffi's Place (7), where you will see a diverse group of people crowding this small Armenian restaurant for all of its great kebob and appetizer entrees. For those with a sweet-tooth, skip dessert at the restaurant and head over to one of over a dozen excellent bakeries in Glendale such as Lord & Villa (8), Paradise (9), or Movses (10), where you will find great pastries such as gata, nazouk, and many European style treats. Or if you are in the mood for some Middle-Eastern baklava, then Sarkis Pastry (11) is your destination for some very sweet delicacies.

As night arrives, Glendale's young (and young at heart) make their way out to the streets. Things to do are plentiful in the city, and it's just a matter of what you are in the mood for. For dinner head over to Carousel (12) for a bit of upscale Armenian/Middle Eastern dining. Carousel offers live musical entertainment on weekends so plan on being there a little longer than your typical dinner. Reservations are highly recommended on weekends. For something more affordable, grab a quick bite at the small and homey Elena's Greek Armenian Cuisine (13).

How about theater and the arts you ask? A variety of productions, sometimes Armenian or Armenian related, are always circulating through the long standing Alex Theater (14). For something a little more intimate and different try the 49 seat Luna Playhouse (15). Opened in late 2005, the Luna Playhouse has had great success and exceptional acts from day one. Due to its small size, reservations are recommended ahead of time, but it never hurts to drop by on a whim and see if tickets are available on show night. If you want to relax, have some coffee, and do some people watching, then hop over to one of Glendale's numerous coffee shops such as Urartu Coffee (16), La Goccia (17) or Sidewalk Cafe (18), both of which are always bustling with college students and adults at nights.

** Editor's Note: establishments listed on this page are the sole opinion of the editor. They are not influenced by advertisement, owner/customer comments, or any other external factors. **

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