Galco's: An Old World Grocery

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If you're looking for something a little different and need to grab a cold drink, then there is no better place to go than Galco's Old World Grocery and Soda Pop Shop when you're driving around LA. This little, unbeknownst store front is hiding inside its doors one of the greatest collections of soda pops in the USA.

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Galco's first opened in 1897 as a simple, Italian grocery store.  It wasn't until 1995 when the store was passed on from father to son that John F. Nese decided to rebrand the store from a regular grocer to a specialty shop that offered it's customers a unique take on soda pop. Now inside these doors you'll find domestic and international soda flavours that range from retro, sugary-sweet to organic and sugar-free. Nese wanted to offer customers more than just the same-old-same-old, mass-produced offerings they'll find at their local big-business superstore.

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Lining these aisles are neon coloured colas, lemonades, sparkling waters flavoured with lavender, cucumber and even flowers. You'll find foreign sodas with names you can't pronounce in varieties you've never even heard of. There is an entire aisle just for root beers and cream sodas!

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If you walk through the hundreds of choices that this place offers and still can't find just that perfect flavour you can even make you own! At the back of the store, they have over 35 different soda flavours that you can mix and match and then bottle it in your own glass soda jar. They even have a vintage bottle topper from the original store's soda fountain that you can use to seal in the bubbles.

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They also sell all different kinds of beer and wine from all over the world, specializing in unique tastes and funky bottles. And at the front of the store they have vintage and old-school candy like candy cigarettes, ABA-ZABA bands, Big Hunk chocolate and all different Wonka treats.

Candy at Galco's Soda Pop Stop

If you feel like walking away with a little piece of the store, they now sell cardboard boxes (disguised to look like real wooden crates) that you can fit 12 bottles of soda perfectly into as a lovely souvenir.

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All-in-all, if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary and happen to be driving around LA, this is a great place to stop. Try speaking with the owner, he's always around, for suggestions and seasonal specialties.

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As we hit the road to go, I popped open my icey, Sweet Blossom Lavender Soda. There was only a hint of sweetness muddled in the subtle lavender flavour and was the perfect thing to quench my thirst on a warm Autumn afternoon as we took off to take on those blue skies and warm beaches.

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