Natalie Arroyo Camacho


There’s some merit to the claim that the San Fernando Valley is “the porn capital of the world.” A lot of porn has been and is filmed here. Per the Daily News, the mainstream newspaper covering the Valley, our city was bringing in more than $1 billion in revenue from porn in 2007. What people fail to realize, though, is that far more than porn is filmed in the 818. In fact, some of Hollywood’s most popular movies and TV shows are filmed or based in the San Fernando Valley.

Viva the Valley‘s mission is, has been, and will always be to uplift folks from and places in the SFV. That’s exactly why we wanted to prove that our hometown’s been a cultural staple in Hollywood for years—and that goes way beyond porn.

40 movies and shows filmed in the San Fernando Valley.

Over the course of researching this piece, there were more than 100 options to include across film and television. For your reading ease, we’ve only included 40 and sorted the list into two parts. First, you’ll find 18 TV shows filmed or based in the San Fernando Valley, all with links to view on their respective streaming platform. Then, we list 22 movies that fit the same criteria.

Keep reading to learn more about the 40 movies and shows filmed in the San Fernando Valley.

18 TV shows filmed or based in the 818

1. Euphoria 

Euphoria tells the story of protagonist Rue Bennett, who is an addict in high school. It’s some pretty compelling stuff (the first season, anyway), and even though it’s not set in the Valley, the second season features a scene in which Rue is running through Lake Balboa, off of Saticoy Street and Balboa Boulevard. She even zooms past Heart’s Coffee Shop—which Valley kids know as a classic 818 diner.

Watch Euphoria on HBO.

2. Barry

Barry is a show about a struggling hitman who turns to acting as a way of dealing with his demons. While the majority of the show takes place in what some people refer to as “LA proper,” one of the main characters in Barry goes by the nickname NoHo Hank. Naturally, a lot of the scenes are shot in the newly bustling (read: gentrified) neighborhood. In the pilot, there’s also a feature of Ventura Boulevard when Barry picks up a gun that was mailed to him, you know, for work.

Watch Barry on HBO.

3. Never Have I Ever 

Taking place in Sherman Oaks and following the experiences of an Indian Valley girl navigating high school, this Mindy Kaling masterpiece stays true to the diversity of the San Fernando Valley. On a more risqué note, it also introduced us to Paxton Hall-Yoshida (real name: Darren Barnet), who became an American heartthrob almost overnight.

Watch Never Have I Ever on Netflix.

4. Kobra Cai

Picking up 34 years after Johnny Lawrence lost to Daniel LaRusso in the All Valley Karate Tournament, Kobra Cai sees this rivalry alive and well (and still based in the Valley). Lawrence re-opens Cobra Kai, the dojo where young LaRusso was bullied, while setting out on a road to redemption. It’s the stuff Valley dreams are made of.

Watch Kobra Cai on Netflix.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I was born in the 90s, so I distinctly remember coming come from elementary school to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since I was so young, I didn’t realize that the TV Series, which ran from 1997 to 2003, had an episode filmed at California State University, Northridge’s Cleary Court Breezeway. It’s pretty cool to know that connection between two big parts of my childhood.

Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Hulu.

6. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Talk about a freaking throwback. Turns out that in the early 90s, CSUN lent their front portico to the Power Rangers, which they then jumped off of to defeat the villain. Sadly, I couldn’t find the series on any streaming networks in the U.S., but you might be able to find an episode or two on the official Power Rangers YouTube channel.

7. The Office

Not to be controversial, but if you don’t consider The Office the workplace sitcom that started it all, I’m not quite sure you’ve been paying attention. Not only did this show perfect the art of breaking the fourth wall (which they did by having actors look straight into the camera), but they also connected the Valley to Scranton by way of Pacoima, Van Nuys, and Valley Village. You know that episode where the gang goes to the lake? Well, that’s Hansen Dam!

Watch The Office on Peacock.

8. Pam & Tommy

Though I binged this show in a few days, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it’s filmed largely in the Valley—including neighborhoods like Chatsworth, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, and Valley Glen—but it also mostly sticks to the porn identity that people connect to us. That said, it’s a pretty compelling historical of one of Hollywood’s most closely followed relationships.

Watch Pam & Tommy on Hulu.

9. The Good Place

Starring Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, and William Jackson Harper, this sitcom heavily features CSUN’s campus. Per Movie Maps, The Soraya, CSUN’s performing arts center, has appeared in at least three episodes of The Good Place. The Soraya has stood in for iconic landmarks like St. John’s University and the Sydney Opera House. A few episodes of The Good Place were also filmed on the lawn in front of the University Library.

Watch The Good Place on Netflix.

10. Young Sheldon

The Big Bang theory has a strong fandom, so it’s not all too surprising that Young Sheldon has also seen a lot of success. As its title indicates, this series follows 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he’s starting high school in 1989. What ensues is, according to critics, is “a lot of heart and plenty of laughs.”  But what parts of the Valley does it feature? Van Nuys High School, y’all.

Watch Young Sheldon on CSB.

11. You’re the Worst

Clocking in at five seasons and featuring Valley sites like the Burbank mall and Van Nuys RC Field in Lake Balboa, You’re the Worst is an FX TV show about Jimmy Shive-Overly—who’s described as “narcissistic, brash, and self-destructive”—and his paramour, Gretchen Cutler, who’s “cynical, people-pleasing, and stubborn.” Their paths cross at a wedding and, even though they shouldn’t, they start catching feels. Watch it to see how that turns out…

Watch You’re the Worst on Hulu.

12. Awkward

I was actually enrolled at Birmingham Community Charter High School when MTV was filming this coming-of-age show. I distinctly remember there would be times during class when I’d use the bathroom and I’d walk past a crew of cameras by the quad or some of the school’s buildings. You can actually see the football field, Joe’s Shack, and the main office in the season one trailer. (Is this where I say, “Go Patriots!”?)

Watch Awkward on Paramount+.

13. Workaholics

Don’t let this show’s title fool you. Blake, Adam, and Anders, the protagonists, actually loathe working and spend most of their time doing recreational drugs. Even though this series is set in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the house in which the trio lives is actually in Van Nuys on Hamlin Street! According to Fotospot, an app that curates “photo-worthy” tourist attractions, the Workaholics house is owned by the studio, which means you can book tours of and stays in the house.

Watch Workaholics on Hulu

14. Loot 

After divorcing her cheating husband, who created several computer coding languages, Molly Wells gets $87 billion in alimony. Loot is the story about how she spends that fortune. Since Wells lives in the most expensive mansion in Los Angeles, it’s only natural that she shouts out Valley hoods, like Van Nuys as well as North Hollywood, where one character appears in a play. (What I love most about the show is how diverse the cast is. Maya Rudolph and Joel Kim Booster leading? Yes, please!)

Watch Loot on Apple TV+.

15. Made for Love

If you’re into dark comedy, then Made for Love might be made for you. It stars Cristin Milioti as Hazel Green, whose tech billionaire husband has implanted a monitoring device in her brain—giving him access to her thoughts, feelings, and location. As any free-will-loving individual would do, Green sets out to rid herself of the monitor. Through the series, we see a house in Studio City referred to as “Home Cube,” where a vast majority of Made for Love takes place. Sadly, HBO removed Made for Love from its catalog in December 2022, but its Valley connection remains forever.

16. The Orville

From the dude who brought you Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane, comes a mix of science fiction, comedy, and drama. In April and May of 2016, at least two episodes of the show were filmed at the CSUN library lawn and portico, as listed in CSUN’s library records. I watched the trailer and if I were to describe it in three words, I’d say: chaotic, funny, and weird—but in a good way.

Watch The Orville on Hulu.

17. CSI: Vegas

Another show that was filmed in CSUN’s gorgeous library? CSI: Vegas. According to the CSUN library, a 2007 episode of this forensics show was filmed at the library and Sierra Tower. The Sundial, which is the CSUN student newspaper, reported that the San Fernando Valley campus transformed into West Las Vegas University during the filming.

Watch CSI: Vegas on CBS.

18. S.W.A.T.

S.W.A.T. is the show that completes the holy trinity of series shot at CSUN’s library. Believe it or not, I was a student at CSUN when this was filmed. With the ever-popular Shemar Moore strutting around the campus, CSUN was in a whirlwind. Scenes took place at Manzanita Hall as well, where one student was even able to take a photo with Moore.

Watch S.W.A.T. on Hulu.

22 movies filmed or based in the San Fernando Valley

Let’s start with a quick caveat: I said we’re including classics, and the problem with that is that a lot of them aren’t on streaming networks. Instead, you’d have to rent them for less than $5 on YouTube or Amazon Prime Video. Still, they well earned their place in this article and on your watch list.

19. La Bamba (1987)

You bet your buns that if anyone mentions this movie to me, I’m immediately screaming “Not my Ritchie!” at the top of my lungs. It’s such a powerful scene in such a wonderful movie—and it gets me in my feels every single time. Considering that Richard Steven Valenzuela, who went by the stage name Ritchie Valens, was born in Pacoima, it’s only natural that the story would be set in the San Fernando Valley and that they shot it primarily in his hometown.

Watch La Bamba on YouTube for $3.99.

20. The Karate Kid (1984)

Considering that there was a spin-off show (Cobra Kai) from this film, it’s not hard to acknowledge that it is a 1980s classic. If you haven’t already seen it, let me give you a quick plot summary: The new kid on the block is Daniel, and he quickly finds himself being bullied by karate students at the Cobra Kai dojo. In steps Mr. Miyagi, a repairman who just happens to be a master of martial arts. Under Mr. Miyagi’s tutelage, Daniel trains in karate and prepares to go against the savage Cobra Kai in the All Valley Karate Tournament.

Watch The Karate Kid on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

21. The Sandlot (1993)

Recently, I saw a Tweet from a Los Angeles Times editor that read: “The Sandlot takes place in the early 1960s in the San Fernando Valley. Realistically, what city would it be?” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that since. Replies ranged from Pacoima to Van Nuys and Granada Hills to Canoga Park. We may never know the answer to this question, but we certainly know this classic is set in the San Fernando Valley—and that’s good enough for me. 

Watch The Sandlot on Disney+.

22. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth studio film is loosely based on the real story of Sharon Tate. Tate was a famous actress who was brutally murdered by the Manson Family in her Hollywood Hills home. What made the story darker is that Tate was pregnant. Naturally, the film mostly takes place in Hollywood, but the Valley gets its shoutout as Tate visits Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks and Brat Pitt’s character (stuntman Cliff Booth) goes on a trip to Chatsworth.

Watch Once Upon a Time In Hollywood on Hulu.

23. Back to the Future (1985)

Talk about a Valley classic! To this day, this film is inspiring art exhibits, musicals, and actor appearances at Comic Cons. Additionally, digital creator and director Giovanni Hernandez, who’s lived in the Valley all his life, actually made a video explaining the different Valley scenes you can spot in Back to the Future. Most notably, this includes Marty McFly’s house, which is in Arleta.

Watch Back to the Future on Peacock. 

24. Licorice Pizza (2021)

Even though I’ve never seen this Paul Thomas Anderson film, I trust that it’s good from word of mouth—and its whopping 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie’s protagonists are Alana Kane and Gary Valentine, who we see come of age, do wild things, and fall in love in the 1970s San Fernando Valley. 

Watch Licorice Pizza on Amazon Prime Video.

26. Pulp Fiction (1994)

According to The New York Times, this Tarantino classic was filmed in neighborhoods all over Los Angeles, including the San Fernando Valley. You know that scene where Bruce Willis’s Butch saves Ving Rhames’s Marsellus Wallace from even more brutal sexual trauma? Yes, the one with all the violence. Well, that was filmed at Crown Pawn Shop in Canoga Park.

Watch Pulp Fiction on HBO Max.

27. Boogie Nights (1997)

Like Licorice Pizza, Boogie Nights is a Paul Thomas Anderson film. Anderson was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and he actually still lives here. A lot of his films have been described as love letters to the San Fernando Valley, and Boogie Nights is that, but a little more erotic. It features Mark Wahlberg as a busboy-turned-adult-film-star. The movie is set in the Valley and showcases the Reseda Theatre as well as Miss Donuts.

Watch Boogie Nights on YouTube for $2.99.

28. Encino Man (1992)

This is another film I haven’t seen, but the plot summary makes it seem pretty watch-worthy. Apparently, protagonist Dave Morgan, a teenager from the San Fernando Valley, “happens upon a caveman frozen in a block of ice.” Morgan and his “goofy friend Stoney” decide to thaw the caveman—only to discover that he’s survived all this time. They then make the brilliant decision to pass the caveman (Brendan Fraser) off as a foreign exchange student. Cue: misadventures! 

Watch Encino Man on on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

29. Crash (2004)

Crash features a truly star-studded cast, including Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris, and Terrence Howard. The plot is also quite compelling, documenting events following a Los Angeles car crash involving people of multiple races. If you watch the film, you’ll see the Carney’s in Studio City.

Watch Crash on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

30. The Bad News Bears (1976)

Even though there was a 2005 remake of this 1976 classic, the more recent movie doesn’t have a connection to the San Fernando Valley. On the other hand, the original film does. The Bad News Bears was filmed all around Los Angeles, but it was mostly shot in the San Fernando Valley. If you look carefully, you can see that the field they play at is in Mason Park, which west Valley kids know is on Mason Avenue in Chatsworth. 

Watch The Bad News Bears on Hulu.

31. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Recently, Drew Barrymore—one of the stars of E.T.—said that she grew up believing the namesake alien was real. Considering that the film’s special effects continue to be regarded as ahead of their time, that honestly tracks. While the film takes place in a “suburban town in California,” iconic scenes from the movie were filmed in west Valley cities like Northridge, Porter Ranch, and Granada Hills.

Watch ET on Peacock.

32. Nightcrawler (2014)

Filmed all over Los Angeles, Nightcrawler follows Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom, a newly minted cameraman who goes to questionable lengths to get all the right footage. What I most love about Nightcrawler is that it answers the age-old question, “Is the San Fernando Valley a part of LA?” by showing the neighborhood as straight-up LA. It features mostly Ventura Boulevard, but a win is a win.

Watch Nightcrawler on HBO.

33. A Cinderella Story (2004)

Contrary to most of the films on this list—which were filmed in the Valley but not based in the Valley—we have A Cinderella Story. Movie Locations reports that not a lot of the movie was actually filmed here, but the whole story takes place in the Valley. It’s an adaptation of the fairytale that stars Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray, the former being a waitress at a San Fernando Valley diner and the latter being your typical hot guy.

Watch A Cinderella Story on YouTube for $3.99.

34. Superbad (2007)

From when I first watched Superbad in theaters (had to sneak in because I was 14 at the time), I instantly recognized that Burbank corner. In the years since, it’s hard for me to drive by 7 Days Liquor without remembering when Francis accidentally runs McLovin’ over in the parking lot. I’d say spoiler alert, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Valley kid (or anyone, for that matter) who hasn’t seen this coming-of-age classic.

Watch Superbad on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

35. Booksmart (2019)

I think of Booksmart in the same regard as I do Superbad. They’re both films about nerdy high school students on a quest to do outlandish sh*t before they leave for college. And they’re both filmed in the Valley? And two of the leading characters in each film (Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein) are siblings!? The connection couldn’t be clearer. Booksmart is actually based in the Valley and features a lot more SFV footage, including Lido’s Pizza on Sepulveda Boulevard and Victory Boulevard as well as a house party in Encino.

Watch Booksmart on Hulu.

36. Magnolia (1999)

Like Boogie Nights and Licorice Pizza, Magnolia is another Paul Thomas Anderson film. And if there’s one thing about Paul Thomas Anderson movies, as you can see, is that they’re going to feature the San Fernando Valley. This particular film also has a star-studded cast, including Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, and John C. Riley. It’s basically an existential film about people finding happiness in the Valley.

Watch Magnolia on YouTube for $2.99.

37. The Terminator (1984)

Not to be so hyperbolic, but who among us didn’t say “ll be back,” in The Terminator’s voice? No tea or shade, but probably someone who was born post-1995. In any case, The Terminator is a classic film that featured Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys when the titular character purchased a gun at Alamo Gunshop.

Watch The Terminator on Paramount+.

38. Sky High (2005)

Remember director and digital content creator Giovanni Hernandez? He also points out that the CSUN library recast itself as this film’s namesake high school, Sky High. “In the movie,” says Hernandez, “the building is supposed to be up in the sky, like some sort of hovering device.” That makes sense, considering the plot involves a school where teenagers are trained to be superheroes.

Watch Sky High on Disney+.

39. Day Shift (2022)

I’m not saying someone at Netflix has stumbled across this site, but I am saying that it’s a cool coincidence that the villain/realtor in Day Shift uses the slogan “Viva La Valley.” This film is a visual love letter to the SFV, which is clear in its scenes that include a long stretch of Reseda Boulevard as well as Circus Liquor in North Hollywood. It does get a little campy, but it’s definitely worth the watch.

Watch Day Shift on Netflix.

40. Clueless (1995)

I’m gonna be honest: I had no intention of including Clueless in this roundup. I’ve never seen the film, out of protest for how it makes Valley girls seem: ditzy, unaware, and a little classless. But I’m a journalist, so I had to put personal feelings aside and acknowledge that Clueless definitely counts as a movie set or filmed in the 818. After all, the Beverly Hills mansion is actually in Encino.

Watch Cluelessˆon YouTube for $3.99.

As I hop into my white 2013 Prius and blast some reggaetón, I’m excited about my (metaphorical) 20-minute drive to a mercado in México. In reality, I’m getting on the 118 west to race from Granada Hills to Canoga Park. I take the 27/Topanga Canyon exit and cruise south to get to my destination: Vallarta store No. 12.

This Vallarta might be on Topanga Canyon, but don’t get it twisted. Its home is not West Hills or Chatsworth — she’s in Canoga Park, right across the street from Lanark Park. Vallarta knows their audience after all.

Vallarta Supermarkets have more than 50 stores in Southern California, including several in the San Fernando Valley, but this particular store has only been around for a few years. In fact, that location used to be a Vons. Now it’s something better. Take a look for yourself.

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

Nestled in one of many San Fernando Valley plazas, this Vallarta makes shoppers (like me) nostalgic for Mexican mercados. It’s not hard to see why, as the market is painted in vibrant colors and comes complete with a tortillería…

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

A pescadería…

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

A carnes frescas section…

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

And even aguas frescas!

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

Since it is a Mexican supermarket, it comes packed with Mexican favorites — like Topo Chico (which makes a hard seltzer now!), cantaritos, piñatas, lotería (which hilariously is right next to the chelas), and fruit jellies.

As you’re pushing your cart through the store, you’ll also find all the Saturday morning cleaning staples, like Suavitel, Fabuloso, and jabón Roma. (Ariel is the inferior powder soap. Sorry, not sorry.)

And, of course, no Mexican market is complete without a random tower of pelotas. The Canoga Park Vallarta is no exception: They’ve placed their pelota tower between aisle six and seven.

(Photo by Natalie Arroyo Camacho)

If all of that is still not enough to mobilize you, consider that this store also has a cremería, masa and tamales, and a whole lot of beer.

Vallarta representatives did not answer our multiple requests for comment.

By Donna Rosenberg and Natalie Arroyo Camacho

We’ll just get right to it…

1. Tel Aviv, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Valley Village

We have it on good faith that Tel Aviv has the best shawarma in all of Los Angeles. You can get different meats in a pita, laffa or on a plate with different fresh salads, hummus, tahini, etc. Being that Tel Avis is authentic, it’s closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

2. Firehouse Taverna, Reseda 

If you’re really about that Valley life, you know Firehouse Taverna is a staple. It’s been around for years and it feels like you’re in Greece when you walk in. Firehouse has the best gyros, hands down.

3. Malek’s Grill & Kabob, Canoga Park

If you want to eat like royalty but not pay royal prices, hit up Malek’s for some of the best-priced Persian food in the Valley. Seriously, you can feed a family of 5 for $10 each!

4. Carnival Restaurant, Sherman Oaks

This Lebanese joint has great kabobs, koobeh [koobideh?], hummus, tabouleh and rice pilaf. Carnival has been at its Woodman Avenue storefront since 1984! (And their Instagram feed makes us hungry.)

5. Hummus Bar & Grill, Encino 

If we gave out awards, Hummus Bar & Grill would get the Best Hummus Award (as they should, because of their name). This authentic Israeli restaurant makes fresh laffa and serves hummus, different high quality grilled meats, and Israeli salad sides.

6. Sadaf Restaurant, Encino

Please hold your “Sad AF” jokes, thank you! If you’re in the mood for great Persian food, pick up the phone and place your order at Sadaf — like now. If you’re comfortable dining in, be prepared for a ~fine dining~ experience.

7. Pita Kitchen, Encino

The shopping plaza on the northwest corner of Ventura Boulevard and Reseda Boulevard is, honestly, *chef’s kiss*. In addition to Wanderlust (also *chef’s kiss*), that plaza houses Pita Kitchen — another Valley staple! Pita Kitchen is our go-to when we want solid Middle Eastern fair.

8. Mizlala, Sherman Oaks

At Mizlala, you’ll find dishes from a myriad Middle Eastern countries. You’ll also find vegetarian friendly dishes as well as dips, salads, and sharable plates! Like with Sadaf Restaurant, go to Mizlala reado for a fine dining experience.

9. Baklava Factory, Encino, North Hollywood

While Baklava Factory only offers dessert, they have a huge variety and it’s authentic. Pro tip: Get dinner at one of the other spots and get dessert here! The photos we selected of these freshly made baklavas are guaranteed to make you drool.

10. Papillon International Bakery, Glenoaks, North Hollywood, Northridge

This might be the most popular bakery in the Valley. Since reinventing the brand 11 years ago, Papillon has amassed a following of 191,000 on Instagram. From their ponchiks (fried dough loaded with fillings) to phonuts, you can’t go wrong at this Armenian-owned bakery.

11. FurnSaj Bakery & Restaurant, Granada Hills 

I always tell myself not to do these guides when I’m hungry, but even that didn’t help when I was looking at FunSaj’s Instagram. Their tabouleh is the perfect meal for all, especially considering that it’s vegan!

12. Raffi’s Place, Glendale

The best kabob in all of Los Angeles, hands down. Fight us! (Also, we know y’all don’t think that Glendale is technically the Valley, but Raffi’s Place is so good that we had to bend that rule for them. The Armenian-Persian restaurant is extremely popular and definitley worth the drive.

13. Noah’s Ark Restaurant & Hall, Northridge

According to Noah’s Ark, their most popular dish is the beef shish kabob. If you ask us, we wouldn’t mind also getting the cheese platter.

Some honorable mentions that were closed and/or did not have social media as of writing this: Korner Knafeh, Northridge; Shamshiri, Northridge.

The Valley’s a great place to live because of the diversity and integration we see daily. We see taco stands on the same corner as we see Black-owned eateries, which can be just across the street from a local coffee shop.

But to keep the Valley diverse, we have to invest support into our favorite BIPOC-owned businesses — whether that’s in dollars, nice messages, or social media follows.

Here’s a list of 15 AAPI-owned businesses led by San Fernando Valley natives.


Valley girl Alisa Damaso founded VLY GRL to smash stereotypes about Valley girls through poetry and apparel, like the dope-ass pins below.

2. Cafe Aficionado LA, Northridge

Yes, Cafe Aficionado has amazing ube lattes and delicious breakfast burritos — but, more importantly, Cafe Aficionado LA helps local small businesses by offering their storefront as a popup space.

3. Ninong’s Dessert Lab

Best known for their ube pancakes, Ninong’s sadly had to close their cafe in November of 2020 but are still serving the community online and at monthly pop up events.

4. Luna Bake Shop, Arleta

Owner and head baker at Luna Bake Shop Nancy Pothidang offers homemade cookies in traditional flavors, nationwide shipping, and delivery. DM Luna Bake Shop on Instagram to order.

5. Macra Made by Mel, Tarzana

The next time you’re looking for a chic basket, coaster, rug, or anything else macramé, hit up Mel Wald and she’ll bring your idea to life.

6. Vinh Loi Tofu, Reseda

Here are two very impressive things about Vihn Loi Tofu: 1) Its menu is fully vegan and 2) The restaurant topped the list of Veg Out’s 10 Asian-Owned Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants Across the US.

7. Brown Baked Desserts, Lake Balboa

The head baker at Brown Baked Desserts goes by “Chef Jason” and his mission is to “transform traditional Filipino dessert flavors into cookies and more.” He’s doing a damn good job if you ask us.

8. Rincome Thai Restaurant, Granada Hills

If you live in or near Granada Hills, you know that Rincome is the go-to Thai food spot. Their coconut shrimp soup is fire, as are their spicy noodles, as is their fried rice, as is… well, you get the point.

9. Wanderlust Creamery, Tarzana

The duo who owns all five Wanderlust locations — in Pasadena, Venice, Atwater Village, Tarzana, and Fairfax — are proud CSUN grads and have been featured on Thrillist, Eater LA, and Food Insider.

10. Bamboo Bistro, Panorama City

You really can’t go wrong when you order from or recommend Bamboo Bistro. The go-tos include pancit, steamed rice, and pork adobo. (Also, pre-panny, this was a very poppin’ karaoke spot. Just saying.)

11. Nic’s Burgers and Bowls, Chatsworth

Seriously, words don’t and won’t do justice to Nic’s Burgers. The best we can say is: Go as soon as you can.

12. Clay Play & Arts, Northridge

Clay Play & Arts is a wonderful (and safe!) place to take your kids for some painting and pottery. Think Color Me Mine, except not corporate.

13. House Roots, Granada Hills

This is my favorite local coffee shop and I won’t even try to hide it. It’s right down my house and supports social justice!

14. Sweet Snow, Northridge

Sweet Snow might be one of the most underrated dessert shops in the Valley. They have a good variety of desserts and an amazing assortment of ice cream flavors.

15. Fork & Spoon, Cuisine from the Philippines, Woodland Hills

Fork & Spoon has been a destination spot in Woodland Hills ever since owner Paul Fuentes opened the doors in 2019.

Note: This article first appeared on UncoverLA and is shared with their permission in partnership with Viva The Valley. You can subscribe to UncoverLA for local retail, fashion, and lifestyle news here.

by Danielle Directo-Meston

If your vinyl collection could use more Misfits, Thelonious Monk, Maná, or Mötorhead (and everything in between), then make your way over to the Valley’s namesake town. The city of San Fernando has scored The Midnight Hour, a cool new mom-and-pop record shop that debuted in the 818 back in September. That’s not all: Its owners are bringing their curation of music to West Covina, where their second L.A.-area outpost officially opened March 31.

Located on low-key North Maclay Avenue, the boutique stocks new and used vinyl, cassettes, handmade gifts, and more. Expect to find albums and rare international pressings in nearly every format across every music category and subgenre, including funk, garage rock, grunge, hardcore, hip-hop, Latin, metal, New Wave, psychobilly, rap, soul, and beyond. You’ll also find “mom and dad jams” (rather, grandma and grandpa tunes?) from classic rock acts like Fleetwood Mac and Alabama (to name a few) alongside original mixtapes.

Read the full story over at UncoverLA.

You can ask anyone from the Valley what their favorite thing is about living here — more often than not, they’ll say it’s the food.

From taco shops to hot chicken spots to Black-owned restaurants, the 818 has it all. Read on for 10 pizza places you can order the next time you’re in the mood.

1. Joe Peeps, North Hollywood

Whether you get a larger-than-life slice or a whole pie, you can’t go wrong when you order from Joe Peeps. It’s the most NY pizza you can get without actually going to the Big Apple — and Anna Kendrick’s been there!

2. Pizza Pie Eatery, Woodland Hills

The Pizza Pie eatery gets a lot of love on social media, and for good reason! Their pizza’s delicious and they do what they can to uplift creators in the Valley via social media.

3. 786 Degrees, Sun Valley

Before you try to order a pepperoni and jalapeño pizza at 786 Degrees, let us help you: Take a look at their menu — there are far more interesting things to order!

4. Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen, Van Nuys

With a storefront on Burbank Boulevard, Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen serves up some delicious and authentic pizza, like their pepperoni, tomato and basil pizza pictured below.

5. MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., Van Nuys

We’re not unaware of how weird it is to put a brewery on this list. That said, please do yourself a favor and order from MacLeod (add some beer while you’re at it) the next time you’re craving pizza.

RELATED: 10 Valley Coffee Shops Better Than Starbucks

6. Antonio’s Pizzeria, Sherman Oaks

We have to admit that we’re big fans of a BBQ chicken pizza, and we have to admit that Antonio’s Pizza is where it’s at when it comes to a local pizza shop.

7. Greco’s New York Pizza, Tarzana

If you’re a fan of New York-style pizza, do yourself a favor and order from Greco’s New York Pizza this weekend. You know you’ll probably eat pizza at one point or another.

8. Pizzasaurus Rex, Northridge

This is one of the best and most lowkey pizza spots in the Valley. Also, let this be our official statement that pineapple does go on pizza. Not sorry.

9. Mulberry Street Pizzeria, Sherman Oaks and Encino

Yes, Mulberry Street Pizzeria is expensive — but it is also an experience. I mean, they have a freaking rigatoni pizza, for crying out loud. That’s a pizza with pasta on it, aka a dream.

10. The Thyme Pizzeria, Winnetka

This is vegan pizza in Winnetka! Need we say more?

Mark your calendars for the San Fernando Outdoor Market this Saturday, March 27, from 1-6 p.m., where you’ll find artisanal cookies, custom jewelry, handcrafted gifts, 818 apparel, and more.

While you’re at it, mark it for 1-6 p.m. every fourth Saturday of the month — when San Fernando Road will be closed from Brand Boulevard to Maclay Avenue for the outdoor market. Free parking will be available on Celis and Truman streets and, of course, masks are required.

This event was spearheaded by Joelene Medina and Christina Bernal, who both run businesses in Downtown San Fernando and are part of the Downtown San Fernando Mall Association. 

Medina was adamant that they couldn’t have done it alone.

“Within the mall association is a hardworking group of other local business owners,” she said. 

The first-ever San Fernando Outdoor market, which took place on Feb. 27, featured 10 artisanal vendor booths, a DJ, and a Truman House Tavern beer garden. The duo put that event together in two weeks. 

Medina and Bernal said that they’ve had “overwhelming support” ever since. The March 27 event has already doubled in size.

Bernal, the general manager at vintage shop Throwback Junction and president of the Downtown San Fernando Mall Association, said that “Downtown San Fernando is the destination for coming to celebrate — piñatas, quince dresses, etc. It’s nice to have people walking the strip again.”

Medina, who is the co-owner of Truman House Tavern and also half of the reason that we have the Granada Hills food trucks on Fridays, is excited to support small businesses in the Valley. 

The pair agreed that their goal should be to help the small businesses in San Fernando without harming the brick and mortar shops on the strip. For this reason, they don’t allow creators to sell anything that the brick and mortar stores sell.

If you’re a creator who would like to be a vendor at an upcoming San Fernando Outdoor Market, email or send a direct message to @sfoutdoormarket on Instagram.

In a recent poll, our Instagram followers said we should compile another list of San Fernando Valley-based Instagram accounts to follow and we really hate to disappoint — so we won’t! These Instagram pages are run by Valley residents and range from community to photographers to food. 


1. Las Calles Del Valle

A local organization started by four friends, Las Calles del Valle aims to be a support system for local street vendors.

2. My Sherman Oaks

This page shares posts from small businesses in Sherman Oaks, from restaurants to plant shops to bakeries and more.

3. Grow Gather Give

Grow Gather Give is a local organization that picks “your fruit trees for food pantries” to help combat food insecurity in the San Fernando Valley.

4. My San Fernando Valley

The photos shared by My San Fernando Valley are always top-tier and highlight local photographers.

5. My Ventura Blvd

Have you ever thought of just how far Ventura Boulevard stretches? My Ventura Blvd shows you!


6. Blue Hour Valley

The name says it all: This page will provide you with beautiful blue photographs of the most iconic places in the San Fernando Valley.

7. The Valley Dude

The Valley Dude’s Instagram bio says that they’re “Riding 🚲, contemplating 🤔 & photographing 📸 the San Fernando Valley — the neglected part of Los Angeles.”

8. Glass Blocks Stan Account

This Instagram account is run by Sasha, an “urban planner who loves recently-considered-old buildings [in the] San Fernando Valley.” (Don’t ask about the handle — we don’t know either.)

9. YC Foto Story

Ari Renee Claire, a community photographer, runs YC Foto Story, where the content features popular sights around the Valley.

10. Jasson B

Jasson Bautista — yes, with two S’s — has “the eye.” He’s able to look past the mundane to capture nostalgia.

11. High Caliber Shots

A lot of High Caliber Shots’s photos are not in the Valley, but they’re all great shots of beautiful things from cars to graffiti to camaraderie — most importantly, they’re shot by a Valley native.

RELATED: 25 Valley Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following


12. Sabbie’s Bites

From her contagious positive energy to her impeccable taste in food, Sabrena No’mani is definitely someone you should be following.

13. Cafe Aficionado LA

In addition to having fantastic ube lattes and delicious breakfast burritos, Cafe Aficionado LA is a staple in the Valley’s small business community. They help local small businesses by offering their storefront as a popup space.

14. The Hood Foodie

Alexander Orozco is The Hood Foodie — he eats good and supports the community while doing it. Orozco is from the Valley and still resides here.

Fashion and apparel

15. LNS Designs

An LGBTQ+-owned shop founded by Les Salgado and Sara Dehaven, LNS Designs has ready-to-wear apparel and accepts custom orders.

16. Shop Chapilinda

Are we not supposed to have favorites? Because how could Shop Chapilinda not be that? I mean, look at these earrings and that journal!

17. Throwback Junction

If you’re into thrifting and on the hunt for curated name brands and vintage fashion, you’re in luck. Throwback Junction’s got your back.


18. The Tiny Diaries

Cindy Morales is a YouTuber based in the San Fernando Valley whose mantra is “Life is short and so am I.” (Honestly, same.)

19. The SFV Scoop

If you’re interested in all the local news, deals, and events happening in the San Fernando Valley, follow The SFV Scoop.

20. 818s and Heartbreak 

Dare we say that 818s and Heartbreak is the official podcast of the San Fernando Valley? … Yes! (Though I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more Valley-based podcasts in the next few months.)

David Aguirre, the mastermind behind PINetration®, designs merchandise “para la raza.”

Five years ago, Aguirre wanted a Cantinflas pin to gift to a friend. He scoured the Internet and asked around the pin community. Nothing, which was particularly odd considering that Cantinflas is a legendary Mexican actor and comic.

Instead of resigning himself to not giving his friend a Cantinflas pin, Aguirre was inspired to make his own. This was the start of his career in enamel pin-making.

He continued being a key player in the pin game (which is a lot more competitive than one might think, according to Aguirre) and was eventually contacted for pin design by two famous Valley kids, Danny Trejo and George Lopez.

Aguirre and George Lopez connected via Instagram, the designer said.

“After [we connected], he asked me to make a pin for his restaurant and he had a design for it,” Aguirre recalled. “It was one of his face in black and white, with the word “chingon” that made up his hair.

“He was happy about the finished product. He went on to say, ‘Those are f*cking great!’ George has been a super humble guy with me, which [I think is] the 818 respect,” Aguirre said, ending his email response with a “:).”

Lopez wasn’t wrong in the slightest by saying that the pin was great — take a look for yourself.

A black and white pin of George Lopez wearing sunglasses in which his hair spells out the word “chingon,” which is Spanish for “badass”

Down the road, Lopez would ask Aguirre for 100 of his Keep Families Together pin. The pin shows “an American flag [whose] stripes…represent bars from a jail, with adult red hands being separated from smaller hands representing a child’s hand,” Aguirre shared.

A black and white American flag whose stripes represent jail bars, with an adult red hand being separated the smaller red hand of a child

Aguirre’s relationship with Danny Trejo, a Valley kid from Pacoima, came about after Aguirre made a portrait of Trejo that gained popularity. He heard from Trejo’s assistant after the release and immediately thought the worst.

“I was like, ‘Oh, man… here come the lawyers,'” Aguirre remembered, but it turned out Trejo loved the design and wanted to buy pins. “Buy some!? He can have as many as he wants!”

Appeased by Aguirre’s talent (and perhaps also his Valley roots), Trejo asked Aguirre to make pins for the opening of Trejo’s Doughnuts.

The Danny Trejo portrait by PINetration® that caught the actor’s attention
The design that PINetration® made for Danny Trejo for the opening of Trejo’s Doughnuts

Via video chat in November 2020, as he sat in his San Fernando home, Aguirre recalled being teased about his Valley roots — the same roots that landed him gigs with George Lopez and Danny Trejo.

“When I tell people I live in San Fernando, everyone’s like, ‘Where’s that at again?,'” he joked. “And I’m like, that’s the heart of the Valley — that’s why it’s called the San Fernando Valley.”

This fact may have influenced one of my personal favorite pieces from PINetration®, peep the 818 atop the street sign.

Aguirre, a northeast Valley-based artist, has never stopped making waves. Most recently, he launched a pin that has come to be known as “tío Bernie.”

He originally released this pin on Feb. 12 and it sold out in two hours, in what Aguirre noted was “one of the fastest [pins] to sell out.”

“The tío Bernie pin was an unexpected hit,” Aguirre revealed. “I drew it out and thought I’d only make a handful because people weren’t going to be into it. Next thing you know, I have a super high demand for it. The first run of it sold out in two hours and then I had tons of people emailing me about it.”

Aguirre told himself he’d make a second run as a presale — how ever many orders he had for it would be the amount of pins he made. That’s it.

He capped preorder at 100. Ninety pins sold in two hours. By the next morning, Aguirre said, “all 100 were gone. I’m still having people ask for it, but I want it to be a unique pin. The few that got it were the lucky ones.”

Follow PINetration® on Instagram and visit their Etsy shop.

Whether you’re looking for your very first plant (welcome to plant parenthood!) or hoping to add some more babies to your family, check out the list below to support Valley kids selling plants.

1. Brandon the Plant Guy, Van Nuys

Brandon the Plant Guy has only been selling plants for about a year, but what a year he’s had. According to his Instagram account, in the last seven months, Brandon the Plant Guy has sold 7,000 plants! He gets new inventory on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — check out his Instagram page for the drops.

2. Indoor Wilderness LA, Panorama City

It doesn’t matter what anyone says, Indoor Wilderness LA will always be the original eucalyptus plug. When we first got into putting the plant in our shower as aromatherapy (because the steam releases the eucalyptus’s scent), Indoor Wilderness LA was one of the only shops that carried it. Don’t worry, though: Indoor Wilderness LA sells more than just eucalyptus!

3. Valley Girl Gardens, Granada Hills

Established in 2017, Valley Girl Gardens has a cute outdoor setup in a Granada Hills home. Whether you need plants, sage, crystals, candles, or merch, Valley Girl Gardens is your go-to! Follow them on Instagram to stay updated on their inventory and their next pop-up dates.

RELATED: A Candle Called No. 818 — 420 in the Valley

4. Greenwood Shop, Valley Village

Greenwood Shop is the only plant plug with a storefront (big flex). Located at 12441 ½ W. Magnolia Blvd. in Valley Village, Greenwood Shop offers plants and planters, accessories, and an apothecary. The store is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily and is a great way to surround yourself with nature without having to actually go out into nature.

5. Happy Garden Home, Burbank

Perhaps the best thing about Happy Garden Home — besides the beautiful plants, of course — is their uplifting Instagram captions. Happy Garden Home’s account is also a great way to learn how to propagate (making new plants from current plants) and how to transfer your cuttings to soil. To learn more about Happy Garden Home, visit their website.