Los Angeles Restaurants

Los Angeles may be known for its beach living and celebrity-infused backdrop, but it was once a farm town. The hillsides were covered in citrus orchards and dairy farms, and agriculture was a major industry. Today, even as L.A. is urbanized, the city's culinary landscape has re-embraced a local, sustainable, and seasonal philosophy at many levels—from fine dining to street snacks.

With a growing interest in farm-to-fork, the city's farmers' market scene has exploded, becoming popular at big-name restaurants and small eateries alike. In Hollywood and Santa Monica you can often find high-profile chefs scouring farm stands for fresh produce.

Yet the status of the celebrity chef continues to carry weight around this town. People follow the culinary zeitgeist with the same fervor as celebrity gossip. You can queue up with the hungry hordes at Mozza or try and snag a reservation to the ever-popular Trois Mec that’s much like getting a golden ticket these days. Elsewhere, the seasonally driven bakery and insanely popular Huckleberry in Santa Monica has been given a Brentwood counterpart with the rustically sweet Milo & Olive created by the same owners. In Culver City, a run-down International House of Pancakes has been turned into the ski chalet–inspired A-Frame Tavern. The Ace Hotel opened an L.A. chapter Downtown, creating a hip haven when you can enjoy cocktails and locally sourced menu items poolside or in the restaurant.

Ethnic eats continue to be a backbone to the L.A. dining scene. People head to the San Gabriel Valley for dim sum, ramen, and unassuming taco lounges; Koreatown for epic Korean cooking and late-night coffeehouses; and West L.A. and "the Valley" for phenomenal sushi. Latin food is well represented in the city, making it tough to choose between Guatemalan eateries, Peruvian restaurants, nouveau Mexican bistros, and Tijuana-style taco trucks. With so many dining options, sometimes the best strategy is simply to drive and explore.

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  • 1. Alimento

    $$$ | Silver Lake | Italian

    There’s little surprise that chef Zach Pollack’s soulful Italian masterpiece in Silver Lake features a lot of influences and inspirations that...Read More

  • 2. Dave’s Chillin’-n-Grillin’

    $ | Highland Park | American

    Dave’s Chillin'-n-Grillin' has been making the kind of sandwiches people dream about for more than 10 years. On a couple of griddles, Dave himself...Read More

  • 3. Donut Friend

    $ | Highland Park | Bakery

    When this music-influenced doughnut shop first opened on York Boulevard in the early days of Highland Park’s renaissance, there wasn’t much...Read More

  • 4. Good Measure

    $$ | Atwater Village | Contemporary

    Good Measure’s proprietors decided to mix their love of travel with their passion for wine and start their own space offering a by-the-glass...Read More

  • 5. Knowrealitypie

    $ | Highland Park | Bakery

    The award-winning Knowrealitypie, hidden in a shop the size of a large walk-in closet, serves homemade pies every Friday through Saturday and...Read More

  • 6. Night + Market Song

    $$ | Silver Lake | Thai

    There are a lot of Thai restaurants in Los Angeles, but none have quite reached the level of cult status of Night + Market Song. Tucked between...Read More

  • 7. The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada

    $ | Los Feliz | Mexican

    In mirroring the taco stands of Ensenada, Mexico—simple, cheap, and unceremonious, with a selection of spicy homemade salsas—this little local...Read More

  • 8. 5 Line Tavern

    $$ | Highland Park | Burger

    This would be just another neighborhood spot in a neighborhood full of neighborhood spots, were it not for its 50 beers on tap, long list of...Read More

  • 9. Atwater Village Tavern

    $ | Atwater Village | American

    There’s no denying that part of the reason why this charming rectangular joint on Glendale Boulevard has effortlessly established itself as...Read More

  • 10. Baracoa Cuban Cafe

    $$ | Atwater Village | Cuban

    As far as Cuban food goes in Los Angeles, Baracoa’s cozy café, whose interiors loosely resemble an old colonial Spanish square, is perhaps not...Read More

  • 11. Bon Vivant Market and Café

    $$$ | Atwater Village | American

    The extensive and eclectic breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus here, coupled with the fantastic cocktail menu and charming little marketplace...Read More

  • 12. CaCao Mexicatessen

    $$ | Highland Park | Mexican

    Opened by local Christie Lujan in 2009, CaCao Mexicatessen was one of the first places in town to showcase the creative potential of the street...Read More

  • 13. Cafe Birdie

    $$ | Highland Park | Mediterranean

    This spacious 1920s-style spot along a quickly revitalizing stretch of Figueroa has established itself as a neighborhood bistro frequented by...Read More

  • 14. Cafe Stella

    $$$$ | Silver Lake | French

    This strange den of eclectic decor and peeling paint feels undoubtedly French. Come for the aperitifs (Kir Royal, perhaps?), but stick around...Read More

  • 15. Cindy’s

    $$ | Highland Park | Diner

    The husband-and-wife team that took over Cindy’s never set out to create a trendy space for hipsters looking for their next artisanal fix; they...Read More

  • 16. Daw Yee Myanmar Corner

    $ | Silver Lake | Burmese

    Burmese food is hard to find in Los Angeles so it’s a good thing that tucked away in a Silver Lake strip mall sits the unassuming Daw Yee Myanmar...Read More

  • 17. Dinette

    $ | Echo Park | Café

    Coffee shops may be a dime a dozen, but Dinette stands out. First of all, this is a walk-up-window-only establishment, which gives it a nice...Read More

  • 18. Dinosaur Coffee

    $ | Silver Lake | Café

    By blending geometrical shapes and horizontal lines together in an airy place with big windows, Dinosaur Coffee has utilized its space well...Read More

  • 19. Division 3

    $ | Atwater Village | Café

    Who would have thought that a take-out window concept that serves breakfast sandwiches would ever take off? The folks behind Division 3 and...Read More

  • 20. Dune

    $ | Atwater Village | Mediterranean

    Simple, small, and understated, it’s easy to miss the best falafel spot in town. Hearty Middle Eastern falafel and chicken shawarma are piled...Read More

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