Burbank, CA

Overview

Burbank holds a position as a media and entertainment hub while keeping the appeal of a small town. The community combines a sense of excitement with a laid-back atmosphere. Sitting northeast of the Hollywood Hills, living in Burbank keeps you connected to Los Angeles but still allows you to get away from it all. With downtown only 12 miles away and Hollywood even closer, you'll have major attractions only a short car ride away. The neighborhood strikes a balance between work and play that makes it ideal for both families and young professionals. A strong economy with many local employers, a well-designed school system and entertainment options throughout the city means Burbank can accommodate you no matter your lifestyle.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Burbank has a fun mix of classic dining options and new school restaurants with a modern vibe. Chow down on large portions of Mediterranean food at a reasonable price, over at Grilliant on Riverside Drive. The restaurant uses natural, organic foods free of hormones and antibiotics, ensuring you get the healthiest meal possible. Try one of Grilliant's many kabobs if you're in the mood for some meat. Those on a health kick should get the kale salad with Brussels sprouts. The Asian Project Buns and Bowls puts a new spin on Asian cuisine. You guide the creation of your food every step of the way, resulting in a customized meal exactly the way you want it. The dimmed lighting makes for an intimate, unique experience. If you like it spicy, add some jalapeño to your bowl. For a classic American breakfast, try Granville Cafe, which specializes in gourmet food without gourmet costs, and provides a casual, unpretentious dining experience. Start your day off with the heavenly hotcakes paired with berries, and wash them down with an iced blended coffee to beat the California heat. Nightlife in the area tends to be more low-key and laid-back than the nearby Hollywood club scene, but the collection of lounges, bars and clubs still provide plenty of entertainment. The Burbank Bar and Grille gives you a bit of everything, providing a neighborhood bar where you can watch the game and a rooftop patio if you want to dance the night away. The bar's fire pits keep it warm and provide a touch of ambiance on chilly nights. Burbank Bar and Grille draws the biggest crowds on weekends, so check it out then and go up to the roof for live music.

History & Culture

Burbank has humble beginnings as a small ranch town which was purchased by its namesake, Dr. David Burbank, in 1867. Major growth occurred when entertainment and aviation companies came to the area in the 1920s, followed by a real estate boom after World War II. Today, the area remains popular while maintaining a strong sense of community. The Burbank Historical Society celebrates the area's rich history at the Gordon R. Howard Museum. Visit the museum's 1887 Victorian house and memorabilia building to get a taste for how life used to be in Burbank. The city also features a thriving art scene for both new and old work. For a wild mix of the current art scene, check out the Hyaena Gallery. Featuring dark and underground art, this gallery may both surprise and impress you.

Transportation

Living in Burbank makes traveling easy and convenient, whether you just want to get across town or fly across the country. Driving around the neighborhood doesn't take long thanks to several road options that don't see as much traffic as other areas of Los Angeles. For longer trips, you can access multiple freeways from the area. Interstate 5, running north and south, runs through the middle of Burbank, with California State Route 134, running east and west, on the city's south end. You can find public parking lots, especially near the airport, but you'll rarely need it. Burbank has plenty of street parking options. Locals love having Bob Hope Airport in their backyard, especially because of the ease of getting through security compared to the larger Los Angeles International Airport. Located on North Hollywood Way, you can get to the airport conveniently by bus or a short cab ride. Those without cars have plenty of public transportation options. Take the Burbank Bus for local trips, and connect with one of the LA Metro buses if you need to travel farther. Metrolink stations at the airport and in downtown Burbank provide routes to visit the rest of the county. If you need a car, taxis and ride-share companies such as Uber service the area, and pickups usually happen quickly. Burbank can be also traveled on foot or by bike. The Chandler Bike Path provides a 2-mile path through the area, and the rest of Burbank tends to be safe for bikers as well. Downtown Burbank can be easy and pleasant to walk through, but the outer edges require a vehicle for most errands.

Cost

Life in Burbank carries a reasonable cost considering the community and the location. The cost of leasing apartments or houses tends to be more affordable than the Los Angeles hot spots, with a one-bedroom apartment typically running around $1,300 per month. A ride to the city center on the Burbank Bus costs $1, and gas prices come in at around 13 percent higher than the national average. A pint at the local pub should cost you about $7.

Shopping

Major retailers and fashionable boutiques give shoppers plenty of spots to explore in Burbank. The area's major shopping centers include the Burbank Town Center downtown and the Empire Center a few blocks north of downtown. The Empire Center houses large big box retailers and discount stores, making it an ideal place to shop for the essentials. The Burbank Town Center mall has a huge line-up of stores, ranging from the affordable to the upscale. The creativeness of the community can be seen in its collection of boutiques. One such shop, Free Bird Boutique, has a down-to-earth vibe and features women's clothing in a bohemian style. The open layout of the store and the helpful sales staff make it easy to shop there, and the hand-selected items combine unique features with low prices. For vintage clothing and accessories, the Pinup Girl Boutique offers a wide selection of fashions for women. Browse through the racks for treasures, and spend the day getting your hair and makeup done to match your new clothes. This 50s-style clothing store also has a section of Gothic items. Most of the large grocery chains are represented in the area, including Ralphs, Vons, Trader Joe's, Fresh & Easy, and Pavilions. Make sure to check out the Burbank Certified Farmers Market, which takes place behind the community services building on Saturday mornings. All the fresh food choices come from California's family-owned farms. Any money you spend here goes to a good cause, as this non-profit market donates the proceeds to the Providence St. Joseph Foundation.

Parks

With parks and community centers across the city, Burbank gives residents several places to get active and spend time outdoors. The Verdugo Park and Recreation Center lets residents get a workout, have a picnic or swim a few laps. The park itself has playgrounds for the kids, and you can even bring the dogs along for a dog-walking class. The aquatic facility features a pool for the whole family to enjoy, while the recreation center has classes, sports facilities and a gym. Fees vary based on the activity. The well-maintained McCambridge Park and Recreation Center has a family-friendly vibe, with playgrounds for both younger and older children. Those with a competitive streak can reserve a tennis court for a match or play some soccer out on the fields. If you want to try something a bit different, check out the lawn bowling area. Every year, the recreation center has a Halloween carnival for elementary school children, with games, candy and prizes.

7 Neighborhoods in Burbank, CA

  • Chandler Park

    Cradled between the Bob Hope Airport and numerous movie studios rests the quiet Chandler Park. Despite its great location, life moves at a casual pace with the area primarily filled with single family homes.

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  • Magnolia Park

    The heart of the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Burbank may appear to zap its locals through a time machine back to the late '50s or early '60s. Funky shops, art galleries, and thrift stores sit side-by-side to create a little pocket of hipster heaven in this charming, close-knit neighborhood, just 12 miles of downtown Los Angeles. Enjoy annual movie nights, neighborhood holiday events, and food truck festivals that add to the sense of community.

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  • McNeil

    Burbank's McNeil neighborhood carries an elite status all its own. Located 13 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, McNeil provides a home to many professionals who love being in the "industry." In the center of the media capital of the world, McNeil lines the streets with cozy cafes and restaurants. With Warner Brothers Studios and Johnny Carson Park lying nearby, it's easy to see how entertainment defines this comfortable neighborhood.

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  • Media Center

    While the world-famous Warner Bros. Studios fills up most of the Media Center neighborhood of Burbank, the western side of this area features small apartment buildings and some single-family homes that place the residents in a prime location for work and enjoyment. Many of the people living in this neighborhood work in the entertainment industry, giving the neighborhood a small-town feel.

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  • Northwest District

    Situated on the south side of the Bob Hope Airport and carrying a rich aerospace history, the Northwest District has evolved into a thriving commercial district with endless shopping and entertainment options. However, you can also find quiet parks and tranquil residential areas that are ideal for raising a family on a budget.

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  • Rancho Adjacent

    Rancho Adjacent, near Burbank's core, combines a mixture of single-family homes, apartments, small and large commercial areas, industrial zones, and city government buildings. Residents enjoy the convenience of having a variety goods and services within a short drive. Rancho Adjacent borders the horse-oriented neighborhood known as Rancho just to the south.

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  • Vega

    The Vega neighborhood of Burbank draws diverse cultures to its prime location. Situated just one mile east of Bob Hope Airport and 16 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Vega attracts a wide variety of residents, from college students and business people who covet the high-rise apartments to aspiring homeowners who cherish the older houses built in the 1940s.

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