Soda lovers rejoice! We’ve found you a happy place in Los Angeles.
Galco’s Old World Grocery in Highland Park has over 750 different types of sodas from all over the globe. Craving something fruity from Australia? They’ve got it. Thirsty for an alcoholic soda from Germany? No problem. They even stock 75 different types of root beer. Wandering through the store, you pass through a rainbow of sodas in every color imaginable, almost all of it in glass bottles. (Are you a soda aficionado who wants to really up your game? Try these soda-specific glasses.
Galco’s Old World Grocery, soda heaven in Los Angeles (Photo: Melanie Dunea)
With so many choices, it’s easy to get caught up trying new things, but owner John Nese says a lot of his store’s business comes from people who want to rediscover their childhood favorites. Luckily, Galco’s specializes in sourcing sodas from local independent bottlers all over the country. So if you grew up in Detroit and you’re jonesing for a Faygo Red Pop, they’ve got you covered. Same goes for Chicagoans like myself who just want a good old Green River.
One of the wildly flavored sodas at Galco’s (Photo: Melanie Dunea)
I was feeling adventurous, so I tried a Mr. Q. Cumber and I have to say, it totally surprised me. I never would have imagined that a cucumber soda would taste so refreshing and crisp.
What: Galco’s Old World Grocery
Why Go: For more varieties of soda than you could possibly imagine, sourced from independent bottlers all over the world.
Old-school soda packaging at Galco’s (Photo: Melanie Dunea)
Where: Galco’s is located at 5702 York Boulevard in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood.
When: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also order their merchandise online.
Fun Fact: Galco’s has a “soda creation station,” where you can create your own soda flavor. You can set the carbonation level, pick out your flavors, and cap and label your own bottle.
Really love soda? Check out my visit to the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain for a taste of their old-fashioned homemade soda.
“Photo Tripping” is a series from Yahoo Travel, hosted by renowned celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea (author of My Last Supper). Melanie will take us on a photographic journey with her as she visits America’s top cities, exploring off-the-beaten path spots to experience the best tastes, sounds, and sights the city has to offer. Going on recommendations of her friends — chefs, celebrities and tastemakers, a couple of whom even come along for the ride — we uncover some truly special places, seen through the lens of a photographer.