• Joe Steele

How Charming is Toluca Lake?

Whenever someone mentions "Charm City", one might immediately think of the nickname given to Baltimore, Maryland. But if there was ever a "Charm Neighborhood", I would nominate Toluca Lake. Situated between Burbank and Studio City, Toluca Lake has a small town feel to it that would make anyone forget they were minutes from some of the biggest movie and tv studios in the world, and only 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

In 1923, wealthy Nevada land owner General Charles Forman bought and developed a large portion of farm land, along with the private natural lake, calling it "Toluca Lake". It was envisioned to become a bedroom community in the San Fernando Valley. Celebrities during the silent film era became enamored with the community soon after, and the community began growing. To this day, people still refer to it as a "hidden gem".

What makes Toluca Lake "charming" you may ask? For starters, the local merchants. Patys is what one thinks of when you say "neighborhood diner". Serving locals since for over 60 years, Patys is a mainstay in the area with a welcoming demeanor, great food, and a landmark building, with an iconic sign that sits high on Riverside Drive.


Driving along Riverside Drive, you will see merchants ranging from restaurants, jewelers, real estate offices, markets, florists, and pet stores.

Establishments like Forman's Whisky Tavern opened in 2015, the upscale gastropub is inspired by General Forman himself, with the interior design and elements used to create a hunting lodge vibe. It has instantly become a fixture along Riverside, attracting locals as well as those leaving work, grabbing a bite and watching a game before heading home.

Sweet Salt, which opened in 2010, could be the place that kick started Toluca Lake's "foodie" buzz. It's gourmet cafe/bakery has a wide range of sandwiches, soups, salads, and homemade sweets, opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef/Owner Alex Eusebio will stick out to most people who watched him compete on "Top Chef", but locals come for the great tasting food, and the seasonally changing menu.

The walkability of Riverside Drive is a huge plus, as weekdays are mostly filled with employees of the nearby studios in Burbank, and local merchants. Weekends bring more local residents, as they and/or their families enjoy the many areas to walk animals, or enjoy a bike ride, while supporting local businesses.

Adding to the charm, buyers in the early 1920's legally agreed to construct Spanish Revival-style homes as a condition of the purchase. Many houses remain to this day and have maintained their original beauty, with many overlooking Lakeside Golf Club, established in 1924.

A few steps west beyond Patys technically begins the city of Burbank, though many of the iconic landmarks people think of in Toluca Lake, actually are in the Burbank city limits!

Looking at the market, here is a quick snapshot according to Zillow:

Median Home Value: $966,100.00

Value Increase: 7.8% since 2018

Median List Price Per Square Foot: $597.00 (Los Angeles average $516.00)

Value Increase Prediction: 3.8% for 2019

Toluca Lake truly can provide something for everyone. With its easy accessibility to major spots around Los Angeles, to its quiet, laid back feel, while still offering a nightlife, it's hard to find many places better than here! When you're ready to begin your search in the Toluca Lake area, don't forget to contact me to assist you.

Joe Steele and his family bought their first single family home in Toluca Woods in 2008. They were attracted to the charm and history of the neighborhood, and loved all of the amenities Toluca Lake had to offer. His top priority is to learn about his clients’ interests and needs. Joe understands that buying or selling a home is one of the most important financial and personal decisions one can make, and his calm demeanor makes that experience a smooth one.

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All