Secret City

Secret City

Join us as we unlock the secrets of L.A. through tours and tastings… and rediscover the people, food, and culture that make this city unlike any other.


Check out the little-known, underground, and off-the-beaten path Los Angeles to discover what you didn’t know you’ve been missing! Join John Bwarie and his team as he leads you and other adventure seekers through a narrated labyrinth of extraordinary destinations. Stop and eat (delicious!), share your impressions, hear from local leaders, and enjoy making a new community of friends.

“John Bwarie has encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles – unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met.”

Scott McLarty

“John knows everyone!”

Dr. Lucy Jones

“John, compliments are flowing from your keynote at Wikipedia Day LA!”

Phyllis Hansen

Planning an event in Los Angeles?

Contact us about private tours. Our client roster includes Kaiser Permanente, AARP, and Metro.

Proud Sponsor of
Los Angeles Sandwich Week 2021 — May 24-31

Thank you for supporting Los Angeles small businesses through the first LA Sandwich Week. So many people were delighted to discover more about our diverse neighborhoods and enjoy our local sandwich shops. If you want to share a copy of the guide or bookmark it, you can do that here.

During this first celebration of sandwiches across the city, Wells Fargo helped us raise $25,000 for Project Angel Food, matching $1 for every sandwich purchased during Los Angeles Sandwich Week 2021. As a sponsor of the event, Secret City curated the participating sandwich shops, to bring attention to the unique, delicious choices that individual business owners have created from their diverse heritage, passion, and interests.

When we created Secret City, our intention was to help people like you discover and support local neighborhoods. You can bring friends or meet new ones on our tours of little-known, underground, and off-the-beaten path Los Angeles. As the city is now re-opening, we are excited to start planning a secret city experience for you.

To see more about the great results you helped us get for Los Angeles Sandwich Week 2021, view some of the coverage here and here.

Los Angeles Sandwich Week

Our Menu of Secret City Tours

Neighborhood Deep Dives

Want to learn more about a specific community, such as the state of child physical and mental wellness in Hollywood? We’ll design a tour that brings you face to face with community leaders like government representatives, principals, restaurant owners and more so you can hear directly from the community about your issue of interest. (20-person minimum)


Community Immersions

Get to know a neighborhood by learning its history, understanding the context of where it fits in the region, and connecting with places that help define it. Using insider contacts and local expertise, these immersions focus on varied geographic and non-geographic communities to thrust attendees into a space that helps them see more clearly how a community works through a real experience. (20-person minimum)


Signature Bus Tours

These 4-hour tours transport your group across the city by coach bus to 5-7 food stops. Mixed in between the food stops, attendees will learn about the city’s history, culture, and secret facts. Signature Bus Tours also allow the host to provide prizes for trivia, and all attendees will receive an unforgettable experience. The host can pick the starting/ending location, and all fees are included in the price.  Some sample signature tours include Around the World in DTLA, Hollywood Eats, South LA, Taco Tour, Bakery Tour, Bacon Tour, & Dumpling Tour. Custom tours are also available to highlight themes or personal preferences. (25-person minimum)


Signature Walking Tours

Explore a hyper-local neighborhood of Los Angeles, learning the ins and outs of a community and what makes it tick. You’ll eat local bites from various stores and stands and gain a whole new perspective on the city. We’ll offer secret insights on the reasons the community is the way it is and how things evolved and will continue to do so. Walk along and feast by foot on these 3-hour tasting tours in neighborhoods like Echo Park, DTLA, North DTLA, NoHo, Olvera Street, and Hollywood. (20-person minimum)


Metro Tours

Traverse LA via the Red Line, Gold Line, Purple Line, or Expo Line. These tours require each attendee to carry their “day pass” to hop on and off the train cars and walk to food destinations hidden in the shadows of various stations. Including at least five food stops, the group will have the chance to “ride the rails” across this city with no traffic to deal with! We’ll meet at a specific station and help attendees load their TAP cards with a day pass and be on our way exploring LA’s public transport system. All aboard! (20-person minimum)


Grand Central Market Tour

Join us for at our Taste of Grand Central Market as we navigate and sample from vendors new and old. The flavors will be worldly, and the insights will be, well, insightful. This 90-minute dinnertime feast will give you a mental cheat sheet for many return trips to this hallowed food hall. (10-person minimum)