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. Au Fudge

    $$ | West Hollywood | American

    This WeHo hot spot owned by Jessica Biel is both kid- and parent-friendly, with kids' playrooms (complete with on-site au pairs) that give mom...Read More

  • 2. Bay Cities Italian Deli

    $ | Santa Monica | Sandwiches

    Part deli, part market, Bay Cities has been home to incredible Italian subs since 1925. This renowned counter-service spot is always crowded...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Grand Central Market

    $ | Downtown | Eclectic

    In continuous operation since 1917, Grand Central Market has always been a hub for ethnic eats from Jewish delis and Asian fishmongers to Italian...Read More

  • 6. Guerrilla Tacos

    $ | Downtown | Mexican

    What started as a food truck serving gourmet tacos has turned into a brick-and-mortar space that also has an excellent (and cheap) bar. Chefs...Read More

  • 7. Howlin' Ray's

    $$ | Downtown | American

    Don’t let the hour-long waits deter you—if you want the best Nashville fried chicken in L.A., Howlin’ Ray's is worth the effort. Right in the...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Meals by Genet

    $$ | Mid-Wilshire | Ethiopian

    In a tucked-away stretch along Fairfax Avenue is Little Ethiopia, where Angelenos of all stripes flock for the African country’s signatures...Read More

  • 10. Mofongo’s

    $$ | North Hollywood | Puerto Rican

    Mofongo’s small storefront represents one of the best and only venues to get authentic Puerto Rican food in L.A. Stop by and try the namesake...Read More

  • 11. Philippe the Original

    $ | Downtown | American

    First opened in 1908, Philippe's is one of L.A.'s oldest restaurants and claims to be the originator of the French dip sandwich. While the debate...Read More

  • 12. Pink's Hot Dogs

    $ | Hollywood | Hot Dog

    Since 1939, Angelenos and tourists alike have been lining up at this roadside hot dog stand. But Pink’s is more than just an institution, it...Read More

  • 13. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

    $$ | Hollywood | American

    Roscoe's is the place for down-home Southern cooking in Southern California. Just ask the patrons who drive from all over L.A. for bargain...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Tsujita LA

    $ | West L.A. | Japanese

    The crown prince of ramen in Los Angeles deserves every accolade thrown at it. With lines wrapped around the block, patrons await tonkotsu...Read More

  • 16. 25 Degrees

    $ | Hollywood | American

    Proudly serving its signature burgers, fries, and shakes, 25 Degrees has won awards for having one of the best burgers in town. At street level...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Baroo

    $ | Hollywood | Asian

    This nondescript strip mall spot (there's no sign out front) serves healthy portions of Korean/Italian hybrids at reasonable prices. There are...Read More

  • 20. Bea Bea’s

    $ | Burbank | Diner

    Just because Bea Bea’s is a no-nonsense kind of place, it doesn’t mean the food isn’t special. This diner serves breakfast food that is about...Read More

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