My West Portal Village – 2

Here’s another batch of some of my favorite stores at West Portal…

[Edited to Add:  Read HERE for the previous batch.]

Growing Up Toys

I love this toy store for its charm and warmth; it feels like a place from a children’s story book. I think the half-door helps… It also has a fun selection of toys, often as quirky as the store itself.

Ambassador Toys

And here’s another, larger, toy store. This has enticing window displays, an area displaying glow-in-the-dark stuff, and dolls and toys of different cultures. Again, a pleasant stop when I’m seeking a gift for a kid.


This store elevates my blood sugar just by existing… it’s wonderful. It has an unusual selection of candy, including liquorice allsorts and fantastic designer chocolate. On a hot summer day, there are often school-kids on the bench outside with ice-cream.

Just Because

The shop for interesting greeting cards, seasonal decorations, and cute stuff… it’s got a fun, modern vibe. [Edited to Add (June 2012): This has now transformed into a more formal stationery store, the Desk Set. Not sure if it’s the same ownership.]


This might be the most romantic, feminine store I’ve ever encountered. Scented soap. Candles. Delicate gifts and flowers. If I’m buying something for a girl, this is a place I browse.

Andy Jewelers

As long as we’re talking about gifts for girls… this is a nice little family-owned jewelry store. We’ve bought small things here now and then. But they also help us with things like ring re-sizing, changing watch straps, and replacing batteries.

The City Antiques

This is an eminently browseable place, with a really eclectic bunch of stuff. Furniture. Glassware. Jewelry. Art. Silver. All kinds of collectibles. Again, a great place to get a unique gift for someone.

The Grateful Head

Every couple of months or so, these people battle my genes to make my hair stop resembling a bird’s nest. I’m Grateful, notwithstanding the pun.

Pacific Rim Optometry

Half our family needs glasses, and we’ve bought a bunch from here… it’s a personal touch, unlike some of the big chain names. [Edited to Add, June 2012: This store has also changed hands, but is still selling specs.]

West Portal Produce

The perfect place to pick up some veggies for dinner, or fruit for desert. Again, family-run, small, easy, and not expensive. The fruit displayed outside all tempts me.

West Portal Bakery

The perfect place for a cup of coffee and freshly-baked bread… and a selection of pastry and cookies. [Edited to Add, July 2012: Disappointingly, this place closed overnight some months ago. I believe Goat Hill Pizza is coming in instead.]


Walgreens. Walgreens? Yes, Walgreens. It’s like the anchor store of a mall. Open late, stocks everything you might need in a hurry. Once upon a time, this was a Woolworth’s; then it was RiteAid, and then Walgreens bought RiteAid.

2 thoughts on “My West Portal Village – 2”

  1. It’s almost as fun browsing your postings as it is the stores themselves. I also recommend the hair salon right next to the Grateful Head, where a woman named Chana does a great job cutting my husband’s hair and my son’s.

  2. Spot on! My favorite neighborhood.
    Miss the bakery, but Goathill Pizza would be fabulous.
    Thanks for not mentioning the Goodwill boutique- used to be good, but now gotten pricey…

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