Get To Know These 6 New Echo Park Businesses

Pollen. | Photo: Tammy L./Yelp

Looking to discover the newest businesses to open in Echo Park? From a breakfast and brunch spot, offering coffee and tea and more to a spot to score coffee and tea and more, read on for a list of the newest businesses to land in this Los Angeles neighborhood.


2100 Echo Park Ave.
Photo: Tammy L./Yelp

Pollen--the first eatery in Los Angeles from Australia's Happy Fat Group--recently took over the former Fix Coffee space.

The new restaurant specializes in breakfast and brunch fare, including the mushroom toast with whipped black pepper boursin, fennel gremolata and garden herbs on whole grain bread; the corn bacon hash with piquillo pepper, gold yukon potatoes tomatillo salsa and a poached egg;

Customers can also expect coffee and espresso mainstays, including a flat white, macchiato and pour-over.

Yelp users are excited about Pollen, which currently holds 4.5 stars out of 56 reviews on the site.

Yelper Diana H., who reviewed Pollen on February 13th, wrote: "In love with this gem! Service, food, coffee and ambience are all excellent!"

And Emi K. wrote: "Great new addition to the neighborhood! We had the lemon poppy seed pancakes, avocado bacon and egg, and mushroom toast--by far my fav was the mushroom toast. Very flavorful and lots of mushrooms."

Pollen is open daily from 8am-4pm.


1825 Sunset Blvd.
Photo: Virginia B./Yelp

Housed in a cozy storefront, VanillaBlack is a neighborhood coffee shop that offers pastries and a simple menu of coffee mainstays like the cortado, cold brew and cappuccino. For tea lovers, there are chai options and iced tea.

Yelp users are excited about VanillaBlack, which currently holds five stars out of eight reviews on the site.

Yelper John L., who reviewed VanillaBlack on February 14th, wrote: "I was in the area for business. Needed a coffee break. I am glad I stopped at VanillaBlack. Great variety on the menu and full robust flavored coffee. The staff was pleasant and helpful."

And Nicole V. wrote: "This is the cutest little coffee shop! What I usually get is their house special, the Vanilla Bomb! Great shot of coffee to start my day. I also tried and love their Bakhti Chai Bomb drinks."

VanillaBlack is open weekdays from 6am-6pm, and weekends from 7am-6pm.


2619 Sunset Blvd.
Whitefish cigars. | Photo: Lucy W.H./Yelp

Housed in an unassuming strip mall space on the border of Silver Lake and Echo Park, Freedman's is a deli and bar offering modern takes on classic Jewish cuisine.

Look for bagels, smoked fish platters, and a number of sandwiches like the Reuben and the chopped liver. Dinner entrees include a swordfish steak with remoulade, the mutton chop with anchovy and mint jelly and glazed brisket with smoked bone marrow, meant to be shared.

Sides include the matzoh ball soup and latkes with cured sea trout and sour cream.

Freedman's's current rating of 4.5 stars out of 27 reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Zachary S., who reviewed Freedman's on December 8th, wrote: "While I do wish the place looked more like a no-frills diner and not a hipster heaven, I was ecstatic to find that the food was delicious."

Mei L. noted: "I am addicted to their bagels! Excellent service, friendly staff. I have been there twice in the last five days. Reuben is deliciously hot with melty cheese and thick pastrami."

Yelper Carly H. wrote: "This is such a wonderful addition to our Silver Lake neighborhood! We went to check this Jewish-style deli out last night and were blown away. The service was impeccable, the food was so delicious and the atmosphere is funky and lively."

Freedman's is open weekdays from 11:30am-2:30pm, and Monday-Saturday from 6pm-11pm.

Bengees Ice Cream

2134 Sunset Blvd.
Photo: Ben G./Yelp

Offering traditional and vegan ice cream, Pasadena's Bengees Ice Cream recently expanded with a new outpost.

There's a wide variety for dairy lovers and vegans alike. For traditional ice cream, look for the toasted almond, horchata and black sesame. Vegan options include mango lassi, Thai tea and tiramisu.

Customers can opt for the traditional cup or cone, or a decadent ice-cream stuffed cronut.

Bengees Ice Cream's current rating of 4.5 stars out of eight reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Gia T., who reviewed Bengees Ice Cream on December 2nd, wrote: "Nice ice cream for a cold winter night. New ice cream spot in Echo Park! It's in a terrific spot, Sunset and Alvarado, and wait for it....with a parking lot!"

Amanda Y. noted: "The owner is really friendly! BF and I stopped in for dessert on a Tuesday night. It wasn't really busy at all. We each got to sample a few flavors--lots of variety here. And they've got plenty of vegan ice cream flavors, too."

Yelper Dan P. wrote: "Pretty tasty. Flavors aren't too exotic, but not too boring either. $4 single is fairly small, but comparable to other places."

Bengees Ice Cream is open daily from noon-10pm.

Pharos Athletic Club

1316 Glendale Blvd.
Photo: PHAROS Athletic Club/Yelp

Pharos Athletic Club is a new gym that specializes in classes tailored to each individual's skill level and goals. It also offers chiropractic and massage therapy options for members.

Look for classes like "Work," an interval weight training class; and "Sprint," which "combines tempo runs, sprints, agility drills, sled drills and sport specific drills on performance turf," the gym's website explains. (You can check out the full listing of classes available here.)

Pharos Athletic Club's current rating of five stars out of eight reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Trevor M., who reviewed Pharos Athletic Club on February 11th, wrote: "Best gym I've ever joined. I've never waited on a squat rack, bench, pull up bar... and I've been coming five to six days a week for over six months."

Niccole O. noted: "Besides having a variety of classes to choose from from attentive, supportive, fun-loving instructors there is an incredible physical therapy team that includes mobility with owner Emylee, chiropractic services with Dr. Tang and magical massage therapy from Tonya."

Yelper Jonathan T. wrote: "Best gym I've ever been a member of, hands down. It's full of positive, fun, motivated people. Accessible to beginners and challenging for experienced athletes."

Pharos Athletic Club is open weekdays from 6am-8:30pm, Saturday from 8am-2pm, and Sunday from 8am-1pm.

Serrano Mexican Food

1378 W. Sunset Blvd.
Tacos dorados. | PHOTO: Mirca F./YELP

Serrano Mexican Food is a neighborhood spot that offers classic fare. Look for options like carnitas quesadillas, taquitos and a variety of tacos, including chorizo, pork asada and beef asada.

Yelp users are excited about Serrano Mexican Food, which currently holds five stars out of 14 reviews on the site.

Yelper Ingrid O., who reviewed Serrano Mexican Food on February 3rd, wrote: "This was a really good spot. The owner and the cashier were super nice and so attentive to us. I don't like beans and the chef herd me saying that to the cashier. So the chef made me a new plate and came to our table with the owner and apologized for adding beans to my first plate."

Kiara G. noted: "My guys always hook it up in here! For the past five months this has been my go-to spot for Mexican cuisine. They're very friendly and very accommodating here. Customer service is amazing."

Serrano Mexican Food is open daily from 10am-7:30pm.
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