Photo: David CJ/Shutterstock

10 Differences Between Silver Lake and West Hollywood That Are Sure to Start Arguments

Los Angeles
by Kaila Yu Aug 24, 2017

Fake Tans vs Man Buns

In West Hollywood, the coffee shops, cafes, and gyms are overflowing with beautiful people, one more gorgeous than the next. These people, with their technician-administered airbrush tans and perfectly white teeth, can’t shut up about the movie business. At first glance, it may seem that the Silver Lakers are much less image-obsessed, but that perfectly curled mustache took hours to perfect. Why does every man in Silverlake have facial hair and a man bun?

Intelligentsia vs Starbucks

You’ll find many a Silver Lake resident hanging out at Intelligentsia – home of the coffee snob. You want lots of cream or sugar in your coffee? Brace yourself for heaps of condescension. All coffee should be single brew, don’t you know? There’s only one Starbucks located in Silver Lake proper, whereas there are countless Starbucks peppered throughout WeHo. West Hollywood residents use coffee as fuel for their auditions and/or business deals and simply don’t have all day to sit around in the coffee shop analyzing the notes of Citrus and Stone Fruit in the latest Ethiopian varietal.

High-end shopping vs vintage shops

West Hollywood borders on Beverly Hills, so you’ll find Fred Segal, Agent Provocateur, Alexander McQueen and Helmut Lang all on the higher end of Melrose Blvd. The mystery is why does there never seem to be a single customer ever in one of these shops? Maybe if they just sell a handful of $1000 stretch lambskin leggings per week, it’ll cover the exorbitant rents? Silver Lake on the other hand, loves its vintage shops. Vintage cowboy boots, vintage bowls, vintage corsets, vintage Kimonos? Vintage enough already.

Artists vs Celebs

West Hollywood is all about the money and the fame. The Ari Golds of the world really do walk the streets here — and you’re only as good as your latest project. Silver Lake is much more of an artists’ community, less concerned with big box offices and opening weekends. Many musicians, visual artists, and screenwriters reside in Silver Lake, and it has the most legit indie music scene in LA.

Restaurants to be seen in vs Local Food

In West Hollywood, power-lunchers love to be seen at The Ivy, Sur, or Soho House (where you can’t get in without a $3000 annual membership fee). Forget the fact that the food at all these hotspots is mediocre at best, and highly over-priced, you might be seen lunching next to J-Lo or Sean Penn. The Silver Lake hipsters wouldn’t be caught dead in any of those celebrity hot-spots. Instead they prefer to eat at a restaurant featuring farm-to-table local ingredients, where the waiters are super keen to tell you about the heritage, Berkshire-raised pig, fed sustainably on a fully vegetarian diet of Icelandic Kelp and organic alfalfa sprouts.

Ritzy establishment vs Recently gentrified

Both cities are expensive to live in, but there are some major differences. Silver Lake isn’t an unsafe city by any means, but it is far more rugged than the upscale West Hollywood. Silver Lake just started becoming gentrified about 14 years ago. It borders on Echo Park, which borders on Boyle Heights – whose current residents are fighting gentrification by literally forcing art galleries out of the city. West Hollywoodians ask, “What’s gentrification?”

Walkable vs Must Drive

Freeways are notoriously difficult to get to from WeHo — even the side streets are congested now that so damn many drivers use Waze. The good thing is that once you are in West Hollywood, it’s extremely walkable. The bad part is all the construction with many huge sky-rise apartment complexes in development. Walk around the residential areas and you’ll see more than one sign saying ‘Down with the McMansions!” You’ll need a car to get around Silver Lake but the parking is much less annoying and congested than it is in WeHo. Either way, every other car in Silver Lake or West Hollywood is an Uber or Lyft, so you have options.

Trendy Nightclubs vs. Dive Bars

West Hollywood is home to pretty much all the trendiest nightclubs in Los Angeles. Good luck trying to get in if you’re: #1 not a hot girl or #2 not ready to shell out $425 and up for bottle service. Silver Lake doesn’t have a single one of these super self-obsessed night clubs but they have a really cool bar scene and killer live music. If you head out to Silver Lake, make sure to check out Red Lion Tavern or The Thirsty Crow. You won’t see any scantily clad women walking by your table with obnoxious VIP bottle sparklers in Dom Perignons at any of these joints.

Gays vs Hipsters

You probably already know that West Hollywood has one of the most celebrated gay communities in the world. They are out and proud and we love it. (You might also be surprised to learn that there is also a large and healthy Russian community in WeHo.) Silver Lake, on the other hand, is famous for its hipsters. Sightings of Zooey Deschanel types wandering the streets with their meticulously styled, clashing ensembles are de rigueur. Forbes listed Silver Lake as number one on its list of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.

Pay to Play vs Local Music Scene

The Sunset Strip has famously launched the careers of Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, and countless others. Sadly, The Viper Room and Whiskey a Go-Go are now mostly just pay-to-play venues. These days, you won’t see any major bands breaking out of West Hollywood. If you want to hear the best local music in LA, you’re better off heading to The Satellite (aka Spaceland) or The Echo in Silver Lake.

Gyms vs. Workoutss

Silver Lake hipsters definitely care about their health and fitness (we’re still in Los Angeles after all) but they are a bit more low-key about it. Silver Lake has plenty of the same boutique fitness studios that exist in WeHo, but West Hollywood amps it up and takes superficiality to the next level. Not only do they have the boutique fitness studios, they have an Equinox, Crunch, LA Fitness, 24 hour Fitness and plenty of cross-fit studios. It’s a common sight to see sweaty and shirtless CrossFitters running down Melrose with heavy objects over their heads. West Hollywood also has the Runyon Canyon trail where you’ll find perfectly toned men (again, sans shirts) and beautifully made-up (contouring and all) women clad head to toe in high-end athleisure.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.