Businesses featured in the challenge include, clockwise from the top left, REDCAT Theater, Wonzimer Gallery, Lagree213 Fitness Studio and Qwench Juice Bar. (DCBID/Submitted)

Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) is ringing in 2023 with an adventure — to discover 23 fan-favorite Downtown LA businesses and experiences featuring entertainment, nightlife, cultural happenings, diverse food and health and wellness. 

The gist of the “23 Things to Try in 2023” list is to highlight beloved DTLA businesses and experiences for the coming year. To participate, interested players only need to download the free mobile passport.

With the mobile passport, participants can begin checking into businesses and experiences via GPS, racking up points which can then be redeemed for prizes. The challenge, which is currently ongoing, sunsets on Tuesday, Feb. 28

This year’s prizes include a pair of LA Philharmonic Tickets, a Grand Central Market discount card and a Central Library Store gift card.

Currently, the challenge has 250 participants who have checked into over 50 businesses and locations so far. There have already been two winners, one winning a gift card to the Central Library Store and the other receiving a pair of LA Philharmonic tickets.

This is the first year that DCBID has attempted the new year’s challenge, which it hopes to continue. 

“It’s something that we’re hoping to build upon each year, so there’s something for downtowners to look forward to,” said Bree von Faith, vice president of marketing for DCBID.

A few stops in the “23 Things to Try” list include the American Contemporary Ballet, Frais Spa, Gallery Bar and Cognac Room, Poké Bar DTLA, REDCAT Theater, Valeria’s Groceries and Biddy Mason Memorial Park, to name a few.

The 23 locations featured on the list were chosen based on new and old favorite DTLA haunts of DCBID staff and others who have shared some of their favorite businesses. 

Next year, “24 Things to Try in 2024” will feature a whole new list, as Von Faith said “the goal is always to promote and showcase all Downtown has to offer.”

Through her involvement in the challenge, Von Faith relayed that she, too, has discovered new favorites like Bunker Hill Steps’ Te Isshoku Sushi, which sports a convenient lunchtime window where patrons can pick up preordered sushi and rolls. 

“We’re really seeing the impact on businesses directly,” Von Faith reported. Indeed, recently Lagree 213 Fitness reported seeing a participant outside checking in for the challenge and were able to greet the player and give them a tour.

The spirit of the yearly list allows patrons and businesses to move into the new year with curiosity and a sense of adventure, providing the momentum to keep exploring throughout the year.

Von Faith explained that the goal was simple, “to help people who are visiting, working or living Downtown try new things in the area and to support and promote local businesses.”

Downtown Center Business Improvement District

600 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 870, Los Angeles

213-624-2146, downtownla.com