At House No. 23, we are grateful for all the local businesses that spread cheer and joy in our community during the holiday season. Below is a list of our go-to’s.
Melis and Melda’s Favorite Local Spots:
First on the list, we visit the warm bakery Colossus Bread at their newly opened location on 2nd street in Belmont Shore. The smell of sweet dough and rich coffee immediately overpowers our senses, filling us with anticipation.
We were first introduced to this bakery at their booth at the Marina Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday. Colossus prides itself on incorporating seasonal fruits, herbs, and vegetables that are local to the region. Like House No. 23, their products are sustainably sourced and made with all-natural resources. You are not only eating “good” but doing good when you buy your baked goods here. There are many notable and unique pastries that you won’t find anywhere else and are impressive in their own right, but our favorite is the perfectly proportioned chocolate croissant, filled with rich chocolatey goodness in every bite. Before you leave, make sure to grab a fresh baguette to enjoy later.
Making our way from 2nd street to 4th street we head into Oh La Vache, the premier cheese shop on Retro Row. Whether you are serious about cheese or just cheese-curious, you will be welcomed here with open arms. Oh La Vache aims to make the cheese-buying experience as accessible and fun as possible. Pronounced like “Oh My Gosh”, Oh La Vache literally translates to “Holy Cow,” and you might just exclaim that when you realize this little shop has over 50 cheese varieties. Remember that baguette we told you to grab earlier? Make your own artisan charcuterie board with your selection of soft-cut cheeses, imported cured meats, and the wild assortment of condiments and spreads you can find in this fromagerie.
Now that our bellies are full of incredible local food, it’s time to head to Rose Park Roasters for a little pick-me-up. This coffee shop has three convenient locations for wherever you happen to be in town: 4th street, Pine Ave., and Ocean Ave. While there certainly isn’t a lack of coffee shops in this city, few are as dedicated to an ethical and sustainable process. This commitment to quality is represented by the perfection of their cappuccino, which is hands-down the best in the city. Their comforting and exciting flavors even extend beyond coffee with their newly launched Brunch and Dinner Menus, served exclusively at their Pine location. The menu items are sustainably created by Chef Melissa Ortiz, who insists on zero waste - she reuses, reduces, and recycles! The fresno water leftover from fresno chilis, for example, was added to a seasonal cocktail for some extra punch.
Fueled by food and energized by coffee, we gather our entire family and head over to El Dorado Frontier to enjoy a day filled with adventure and nonstop play. Never mind the crowds and exorbitant prices at Disneyland when you can take your family to Long Beach's very own theme park. Patricio Wolovich, a former set designer, is the owner and creator of this amazing mini-theme park. El Dorado Frontier invites families to experience the historical California frontier. The main attraction is the El Dorado Express, an 18-gauge model train built in 1946. 75 years old and still running! Since the park opened in 2018, Wolovich has invested nearly a million
dollars into enhancing the park's rides and facilities. You can now find a mini theater, a morse code educational display, and designated picnic area. Have some fun here - you might even learn a thing or two.
Last on the list is our guilty pleasure. No, it’s not dessert. We indulge in home decor shopping at 6th and Detroit. Fortunately for our pockets, the artfully curated selection of vintage furniture and home items are offered at a great price point. Owner and curator Michelle Qazi believes that home is a feeling that we bring to the spaces we inhabit, and she hunts down beautiful vintage pieces so you don’t have to. House No. 23 appreciates her clear love of natural earthy tones that give off a warm glow in the home.
Keep the heart of our community going by visiting these local spots during the busy holiday season. Grab bread and cheese to bring to your holiday potluck, snag tickets to the joyful Tree Lighting Ceremony at El Dorado Frontier, or eye a gift for your partner (or yourself) at 6th and Detroit. The continued support of small businesses like these makes a huge impact that ripples throughout our wonderful city.