I lived in Los Angeles for about a decade, constantly running into celebrities out in the wild. At first it was a strangely exhilarating thing. Like almost every person living in LA, I eventually got used to it and got a little jaded. That doesn’t mean some celebrity sightings didn’t still get me excited though.
Luckily, I was able to live in a part of town that was likely out of my price range, but I kept finding deals with friends. This area seemed to be the celebrity hotspot for just living their lives. Below are a few of the places I’ve learned you have a great chance of seeing someone famous when visiting Los Angeles.
This isn’t exactly a place you’re going to be hanging out all day. It is a place I have seen more celebrities than anywhere else in this city, besides my office when I worked in television. It’s just a charming little grocery store that is worth going to for the high-quality foods even if you don’t see a celebrity.
There are a few Bristol Farms locations in LA, but the one in West Hollywood on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Fairfax Ave seems to have celebrities on a daily basis. I used to live one block away, so I would often find myself just walking here to pick up single ingredients for meals or picking up something from the pre-made foods.
There are a few celebs that I have seen consistently in this store, then a lot of one-off visits. My roommate and I always thought it was funny coming back and telling each other which celebrity we saw and if we had a funny story…I myself had an amazingly embarrassing run-in with Chris Pratt and Anna Faris when they were still together and I stumbled in hungover for coffee and a breakfast burrito.
Equinox West Hollywood
The second most celebrity sightings I’ve had in Los Angeles definitely has to be the Equinox Gym on the Sunset Strip. This is one of the most expensive and most boujee gyms in Los Angeles, and maybe the entire country. I miss those eucalyptus wet towels in the steam room, but I definitely don’t miss the $200+ per month bill!
If you’re just visiting, you can always sign up for a guest pass or pay a day rate…which I’m sure is a lot. The facilities are really nice, and it seems like everyone in there acts and/or models which is intimidating, but great motivation.
So with high prices, great facilities, and good looking people, you’re setting up a recipe for a fitness center for celebrities. You’ll find them lifting weights, on the treadmill, in group classes, and hanging out in the locker room. I’ve spent time jogging on a treadmill next to Will Ferrell at 7 am and spotted Common on bench press after work.
Yeah, I realize I’m giving you another grocery store. You want to see a celebrity, well, they do normal things too like shop for organic pasture raised eggs. This location actually has paparazzi wandering around sometimes.
Unlike Bristol Farms, you can hang out here. If you want a break from spending a ton of money on restaurants while visiting Hollywood, there is always the hot bar and sandwich counter at Whole Foods. There is plenty of outdoor seating available for you to do some of the best people-watching in Los Angeles, and also have a chance of seeing a celebrity. Two notables I’ve seen at this grocery store were Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift.
I was born and raised an East Coaster, so I had no idea what Coffee Bean was when I first moved to LA. If you’re from out of town and looking for a quick coffee, skip Starbucks and go here instead. My opinion is it is way better. That and if you go to the Sunset Blvd location, you have a great possibility of seeing someone famous.
My first ever celebrity spotting was at this coffee shop. My first trip to California was in 2010 when I extended a business trip and stayed with a friend down the road from this Coffee Bean. I wandered up after seeing this place on Yelp for cheap coffee and figured I could spend some time relaxing with a view of Sunset Blvd with an iced coffee.
I walked in, got on line, looked around and made eye contact with someone that scared me. I got stuck in an awkward staring contest with Michael C Hall aka Dexter. My idiot self saw the Dexter character in my head and was shocked to see him just waiting for his coffee. Then it got a little more intense when Mr Hall gave me a “wtf are you looking at” type face. I then realized I was just staring at another person like he was a monkey in the zoo.
This is another good day time hang out spot where you can relax with a good view and great people-watching. Lots of celebs live in the area and in the hills behind the coffee shop, so they will stop in there on their way in or out of the hills. Hang out here long enough and you’ll definitely see Chris D’Elia.
The Comedy Store – Guaranteed Sighting
If you visit Los Angeles and don’t go to the Comedy Store, you messed up bigtime. The greatest comedians in the country are on the lineup every single night and for about $20. Usually you’ll have to spend at least $40 to see a headliner comedian in your hometime with a few openers that might be OK. Here…there are ALL headliners and each follows each other for 15 minute sets.
So yes, you will definitely see a celebrity comedian here, but a lot of them will be down to hang out. Somehow The Comedy Store is the only place on the Sunset Strip that is allowed to have an outdoor bar. Before and after their sets, lots of comedians will come hang out here to get some air, see their friends, and say hi to their fans.
A typical night there will have a combination of superstar comedians like Joe Rogan, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummins, Chris D’Elia, Bobby Lee, Anthony Jeselnik, and Iliza Shlesinger. Then there are the comedians who just show up and feel like doing a set unannounced. I’ve been lucky enough to see drop-ins from Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and even Chevy Chase.
I feel I should now give you a little disclaimer just to remind you that celebrities are people. If you happen to see one of them out in public, please be respectful. Yes, their job is to entertain you, but not 24/7.
If a celebrity is with their children, do not approach them. It’s really disrespectful and children should not be subjected to random strangers approaching their mother or father all of the time.
If a celebrity refuses to take a selfie, shake your hand, or whatever, don’t just write them off as a bad person. We are all entitled to having bad days. You may just have met them on one of theirs.