Inglewood, California has a storied history and not always for the right reasons. White Flight in the 1950s and 1960s produced local business decline. Hollywood Park horse race track & casino became the largest contributors to Inglewood tax base. As apartments replaced many single-family homes, investment in home improvement lowered. Downtown Inglewood restaurants and retail shops closed. The city tax base tanked. The school district declined. Crime grew. Only the Fabulous Forum and Hollywood Park survived.
By 1990, it was clear that horse racing in LA was headed for an endgame, making Inglewood more dependent on casino taxes. Then in fall 1999, Lakers basketball and Kings hockey moved from the Fabulous Forum to Downtown LA. That eliminated 80-100 days/year when people outside Inglewood spent money watching pro sports inside Inglewood. Even the Hollywood Park Casino was run-down compared to others and the Hollywood Park race track finally closed in 2013.
That same year, the Inglewood mayor started a conversation with the LA Rams football team owner about a potential move to Hollywood Park. In 2016, the NFL approved the Rams move to Inglewood, setting in motion a $5 billion stadium-entertainment complex investment by the Rams owner. Not long afterwards, the NFL Chargers team owner announced that his football team would share the jaw-dropping SoFi Stadium. Long story short, a replacement casino was built and the Forum was renovated into a top-tier venue for large concerts. SoFi Stadium is home to Super Bowl 56. The Clippers basketball team owner is also investing nearly $2 billion in a new arena that will open in 2024. The Clippers owner also granted $100 million to affordable housing programs for Inglewood.
The ripple effects are now being felt along Prairie Avenue, Century Blvd, Manchester Blvd, and particularly Downtown Inglewood. More great black and brown businesses have opened on or near Market Street that reflects a city whose population is 93% people of color. As you’ll see below, Stevie Wonder’s KJLH radio station has a lot more company in Downtown Inglewood inviting residents and tourists. BTW, shout out to Issa Rae for featuring Inglewood businesses in so many TV episodes.
Sip and Sonder
DESCRIPTION: This sister-owned coffeehouse opened in 2020. It will be featured in an Issa Rae-produced TV episode. It has all the coffee blends you expect and a few that will surprise you. For the lactose intolerant, they serve with oat milk. Some of the vegan options and desserts are charming too. More than anything you’ll love the vibe here.cIt includes an outdoor seating option. Use the free WiFi and comfortable seating to get some work done.
CUISINE: Desserts and Vegan
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Thu 7:30a-5p, Fri 7:30a-2p, Sat 9a-3p, Sun 9a-3p
ADDRESS: 108 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
DESCRIPTION: Leslie, a luxury wedding planner, and LeAnn, an attorney, were inspired to open 1010 Wine and Events near their home in Inglewood. This upscale wine bar is the first wine bar in the City of Champions. It’s a place to hang with your best friend, make new friends or host your favorite event.
CUISINE: Steaks and artisanal cheeses, breads, soups, and salads
DAYS & HOURS: Wed–Thu 5p–10p, Fri–Sat 5p–11p, Sun 4p–9p
ADDRESS: 1010 North La Berea Ave, Inglewood, Ca
The Wood Urbankitchen
DESCRIPTION: Sports bar by the owner of formerly open Savoy Nightclub. Visit for the cool vibe, margaritas and beers. The burgers are fine, but the barbecue could be better. Outdoor seating and Order Delivery with Uber Eats are also available.
CUISINE: Upscale BBQ and burgers
DAYS & HOURS: Sun-Fri Noon-10:30p, Sat Noon-11p
ADDRESS: 129 North Market Street, Inglewood, CA
DESCRIPTION: This joint is strictly take-out. But the barbecue ribs, links, brisket, and chicken are worth the wait. Everything is cooked fresh daily from the Pit to the steam tables. The sweet potato pie and peach cobbler will have you begging for more too. Highly recommend it after 25 years of patronage and we still haven’t met the owner yet. Features a second location at 1958 West Florence Ave.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 11a-9p, Fri-Sat 11a-10p
ADDRESS: 475 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
The Nile Bar
DESCRIPTION: Premium Sports Bar with a wall-size TV screen and great mixed drinks for big games. Also features a secluded VIP mezzanine section. A must-visit for sports fans. They offer Game Day Packages for groups.
DAYS & HOURS: Fri-Sun 11a-2a, Mon-Thu 3p-12a
ADDRESS: 207 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen – Inglewood
DESCRIPTION: Yonnie Hagos and Ajay Relan opened Hilltop’s 3rd location across from Stevie Wonder’s KJLH radio station. The two-story building has an airy feel to relax and take on the day. Many patrons prefer the mezzanine level to overlook the entrance. Choose to pick up your order or get it delivered from your favorite delivery app. Other locations on Slauson Ave in Windsor Hills and Eagle Rock.
CUISINE: Gourmet breakfast, lunch, and pastries to enjoy with coffee or tea.
DAYS & HOURS: Daily 8a-2:30p
ADDRESS: 170 North La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA
Dulans Soul Food Kitchen – Manchester
DESCRIPTION: Family Restaurant
CUISINE: Soul Food
DAYS & HOURS: Daily 11a-9p
ADDRESS: 202 East Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 11a-8p
ADDRESS: 1515 Centinela Avenue, Inglewood, CA
Rusty Pot Cafe
DESCRIPTION: Modest daytime cafe serving Southern-inspired American dishes. Money was spent on the chef, not the atmosphere. That’s okay since the cuisine is pretty good. Try the Catfish or Turkey Sausage Patties for breakfast. Uber Eats and DoorDash are available.
DAYS & HOURS: Wed-Mon 8a–2p
ADDRESS: 324 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
Little Belize Restaurant
DESCRIPTION: Small but comfortable restaurant. On weekends the DJ plays Caribbean music out front since patrons dine inside and out.
CUISINE: Belizean; try the stew chicken and fried plantains.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 11a-6p, Sat 9a-6, Sun 9a-5p
Address: 217 East Nutwood Street, Inglewood, CA
Sweet Red Peach
DESCRIPTION: Small bakery located opposite the Hollywood Park Complex, specializing in cakes & cupcakes made from scratch. The menu is a laundry list of cakes to satisfy every sweet tooth. As you might imagine, the peach cobbler and frosting are for real.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat: 11a-8p, Sun 11a-5p
ADDRESS: 1035 South Prairie Avenue #2, Inglewood, CA
Mama Sunshine’s Treasures
DESCRIPTION: Mama Sunshine specializes in Custom made, all-natural hair care and skincare products, particularly her Mud Whipp. They help relieve acne, eczema, and the removal of minor blemishes that rejuvenate skin. She has many satisfied customers.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 11:30a-7p
ADDRESS: 124 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
Body Butter Lady
DESCRIPTION: Features organic Shea butter lotion and body scrubs. They specialize in helping you with skin problems.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 11a-6p
ADDRESS: 320 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
DESCRIPTION: Owner Afolabi Aremu features stylish shoes, clothing, and accessories for men. The best styles accent a healthy physique.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 11a-6p
ADDRESS: 302 South Market Street, Inglewood, CA
Harriets Cheesecakes Review
This no-frills take-out bakery has built a loyal fan base from near and far over many years. Its no surprise when you see and taste the menu of fantastic cakes and cupcakes. Menu variety includes Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Bailey’s, German Chocolate, Key Lime, Cookies n’ Cream, Pineapple and Banana Strawberry cheesecake. All are absolutely scrumptious and highly recommended. You can also order fancy wedding cakes.
The Salt Eaters
DESCRIPTION: Owner Asha Grant created The Salt Eaters Bookshop a Black feminist literary hub and resting ground for dreamers, seekers of knowledge, creatives, writers, community archivists, artists, change agents. You can feel the vibe as soon as you enter. The name is inspired by The Salt Eaters book by Toni Cade Bambara.
DAYS & HOURS: Recently opened, still sorting out the hours
ADDRESS: 302 East Queen Street, Inglewood, CA
DESCRIPTION: The owners have created a beloved institution for decades at this location. They are famous for authentic New Orleans Po’ Boys. Yum-Yum.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 11a-8p, Fri-Sat 11a-9p, Sun Noon-6p
ADDRESS: 1400 North LaBrea Avenue, Inglewood, CA
The Serving Spoon
DESCRIPTION: $$ Breakfast & Brunch spot; like many other brunch cafes in LA, they serve Chicken & Waffles
CUISINE: Soul Food version of Pancakes, French Toast, Salmon Croquettes, Catfish Nuggets, and more.
DAYS & HOURS: Daily 8a-2p
ADDRESS: 1403 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA