Los Angeles South Central United States

Straight Outta Compton: Things to Do in South Central


Last Updated on March 28, 2018.

If you are a fan of N.W.A. or any other hardcore gangster rap groups like I am, you owe it to yourself to visit South Central at some point in your life. It’s definitely not a tourist attraction, but it does have some attractions that I think are interesting for tourists.

Since I’ve only been a few times, I don’t have a ton of suggestions on what to do/where to go in South Central, but rest assured that the ones listed below are solid (and safe, if that is a central concern of yours). If you’re renting a car in Los Angeles, it’s really easy to pop over for a couple of hours via the 110 or 105 Freeway. Although it’s entirely possible, I wouldn’t recommend trying to explore the area using public transport unless you are real rugged and/or up for a great challenge.

Fine dine at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles

Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

The first stop I usually make on my South Central circuit is at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Manchester. There are a few different locations in the LA/Long Beach area, but I’m pretty sure this is the best one. Or at least is located in the best place for exploring the South Central/Compton/Watts area and has the best servers and clientele.

Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

For a first-timer, I would recommend #1 Scoe’s with fried chicken, 2 waffles and their own private mix.

The last time I made the mistake of ordering the #2 Scoe’s that features gravy & onions and it just turned out to be too much to handle (even though I handled it, I was hungry). Also worthy of a mention is Natalie’s Special with “2 fantastically prepared waffles”, Obama’s Special, and a side of Mac & Cheese which is actually known to be one of the best in LA.

Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

 

Take a cruise through the hood

Watts

After you are stuffed with chicken and waffles, you should head south on Main Street. In between 87th Street to 108th Street you can cruise freely (just don’t creep) in order to get a good sense of the neighborhood. This is probably one of my favorite things to do as you NEVER know what you’re going to find…

Compton

 

 Get your hair did at From Nappy 2 Sassy

Compton

Feeling nappy but wanna look sassy? Try this place. I haven’t yet but believe me, it’s high on my list for the next time I’m in the area.

Check out Watt’s Towers

Watts Towers

In my opinion, Watts Towers is one of the most unique things to see in LA – it just happens to be smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood which became synonymous with race riots in the 1960s. It’s actually a very peaceful place to come though, especially around sunset when you pretty much have the whole place to yourself. I’ve never seen it open but you can read about its history from the outside.

The erection of the towers (grow up) started in 1921 by an Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia who worked on them everyday for 34 years during his free time. It is said the towers are built in the outline of a ship, a ship that was meant to contain all of his memories when it was time for him to sail back to Italy which sadly he never did. Random and fun fact: Simon Rodia’s likeness is included on the top row of The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

Watts Towers

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Ariana
    May 27, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Very original – love it! I went to USC, which is in South Central LA. One thing missing from this list, though: Catch a USC football game.

    • Reply
      Larissa
      May 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Ah, great one! True, or even just attending a USC party. Not for the faint of heart ;)

  • Reply
    b j
    January 21, 2014 at 4:29 am

    This place and line was created straight out of Watts. very nice and classy. Stop by B j”s and get your hook up for MEN AND wOMEN.

    • Reply
      Larissa
      January 23, 2014 at 3:42 am

      Word.

  • Reply
    Michael
    March 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Can anyone tell me where the Eazy E mural is? I believe it is on or near a do it shop? I seen it before but I cannot remember for the life of me where it is. It may be Inglewood or in Compton.

    • Reply
      Larissa
      March 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      I wish I knew, sounds dope

      • Reply
        OG loc9
        June 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm

        Corner of Crenshaw blv and 67th

        • Reply
          Larissa
          June 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm

          Awesome, I need to go there!

  • Reply
    Fuck you
    August 6, 2019 at 9:10 am

    This is why people like you have no business moving to LA. You completely disrespected our culture, our vernacular, and then some. Go north of the 10 freeway Susan. You are not welcomed to colonize our streets anymore. Fuck you very much. And for the student who went to USC… respect the city. I grew here, you flew here. I learned so much more in my neighborhood than USC has ever taught me as a grad student. You can go to hell too.

    • Reply
      Larissa
      August 6, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      More like trying to embrace your culture, but either way, I don’t live there anymore so LA streets are safe from me!

  • Reply
    Rodney
    January 27, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    That sounds like an amazing trip. I plan to go see Nipsey Hussle’s Rural and store since he was my icon. Thanks for the info!

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