Elysian Valley (AKA Frogtown), Los Angeles Neighborhood 90039


frogtownThe official name of the neighborhood, Elysian Valley, is rarely used. 

Elysian Valley (AKA Frogtown)

Frogtown is a really long, skinny neighborhood neighborhood hidden between Elysian Heights (Echo Park) and the Los Angeles River. It is 2-4 blocks wide and 2.5 miles long. There is a 1 block band of industrial buildings along the river, and the rest of the neighborhood is primarily small single family homes and apartment buildings. In recent years a major bike/walking path has been created along the Los Angeles River, and it now functions as the main promenade for the neighborhood. Because of this cycling and cycling related businesses are prominent in the neighborhood.

The increasingly cool neighborhood has long been home to many artists and designers who used the industrial buildings for studio space. Artists Shepard Fairey, Mark Grohjahn, Thomas Houseago, and many others have opened studios there in recent years. The annual Frogtown Art Walk has drawn visitors from all over the city. The neighborhood used to be fairly isolated, but in recent years the new bike path along the LA River (as well as other river improvement projects) has brought renewed attention to the neighborhood and has created more demand for cafes, housing and resting places along the Los Angeles River. Parts of the neighborhood recently were rezoned from “manufacturing” to “commercial manufacturing” which makes regulatory room for high-density residences and retail.

The boundaries of Frogtown are the LA River to the north and east, Riverside Drive to the South, Fletcher Drive to the west. To the north of the river you will find Atwater Village across the river you will find Atwater, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Mt. Washington. Also nearby is Silver Lake, to the south-west.

Approx. 7,770+ people live in the  .79 square mile neighborhood. In the 2000 census the neighborhood was 61% Latino, 25.6% Asian, 9.7% White, 1.1% black.

Lots of wildflowers and native plants along the bike path.


Elysian – happy hour, brunch, dinner. A gorgeous event space/pop-up restaurant in an old industrial complex. Lush garden. Check website for reservations.
The Frog Spot – cafe & community gathering spot along the bike path. Poetry readings events. Run by the awesome people at FoLAR (Friends of the Los Angeles River).
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Spoke Bicycle Cafe – cafe & community gathering spot along the bike path oriented to bikers. Ride right in!
March Park –  newly renovated  3.9 acre park with outdoor classrooms. They host all kind of events, bands, outdoor movie nights. Kind of a town square for the neighborhood.
Marsh Park also has a skate park.
 Kayak the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River that runs through Frogtown.
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Nomad Art Compound houses a bookstore, print shop, music venue, swimming pool and bedrooms for artists to rent.
Silver Frog – bike shopP1040338
Good Eggs is a farmer’s market / food delivery service.
Modernica the furniture company moved their corporate headquarters to the old Twinkie factory a few years ago.
Home Restaurant is a large restaurant & bar on the north edge of the neighborhood. Great patio. Good for groups.

Hike the Wildflower Trail – a beloved trail in Elysian Park, striking views down on Frogtown and Los Angeles river and the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance
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Bars, restaurants, shops in DTLA, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater are a short drive away.

 Why “Frogtown”? There used to be a seasonal infiltration of frogs when the neighborhood was marshy, before the river was channelized.


Apartments under construction along the bike path. More to come.


Lots of frog murals everywhere.


There are still a lot of industrial spaces that are being used for industry. Many look underused.


Huge drifts of Matilija poppies growing along the path.


Neighborhood church.P1040318P1040373 P1040439 P1040440P1040382 P1040403 P1040379 P1040374

The Los Angeles River
In 2014, Army Corp of Engineers recommended the larger 1 Billion dollar proposal to revitalize the Los Angeles River. While some of that funding is still being sought it is clear that there is a lot of change coming to the LA River corridor. Plans include parks, bike paths, habitat, access to the water, and a lot of economic revitalization. A number of projects are slated for the section of the river located between DTLA and Elysian Valley.

Below is a collage from the Greenway 2020 proposal to make the LA River more accessible.



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