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. Cole's French Dip

    $ | Downtown | American

    There’s a fight in Los Angeles over who created the French dip sandwich. The first contender is Cole’s, whose sign on the door says it's the...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. The Apple Pan

    $ | West L.A. | American

    A favorite since 1947, this unassuming joint with a horseshoe-shaped counter—no tables here—turns out one heck of a good burger. Try the cheeseburger...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Badmaash

    $$ | Downtown | Indian

    This laid-back Indian gastro-pub is beloved for its boundary-pushing menu, irreverent posters of Gandhi, and Bollywood movies projected onto...Read More

  • 11. Canter's

    $ | Fairfax District | Sandwiches

    This granddaddy of L.A. delicatessens (it opened in 1931) cures its own corned beef and pastrami and features delectable desserts from the in...Read More

  • 12. Clementine

    $$ | Century City | Café

    In fast-paced Century City, this quaint restaurant pays homage to comfort food classics. Look for chicken potpie, macaroni and cheese, roast...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Happy Ice

    $ | West Hollywood | American

    From a food truck to a brick-and-mortar space, Happy Ice is a rainbow-colored icee shop that keeps the crowds coming. Customers can combine...Read More

  • 16. Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe

    $$ | American

    Founded by Santa Monica natives, Huckleberry brings together the best ingredients from local farmers and growers to craft diner-style comfort...Read More

  • 17. KazuNori

    $$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Part of the Sugarfish family (a chain of exceptional sushi restaurants), KazuNori is strictly about hand rolls. Inside, there’s a horseshoe...Read More

  • 18. Lady Chocolatt

    $ | Belgian

    The purveyor of the finest Belgian chocolate in all of Los Angeles, Lady Chocolatt is the perfect answer to the age-old question of what to...Read More

  • 19. Link N Hops

    $ | Atwater Village | Hot Dog

    Almost just your typical sports bar, there are a couple of things that elevate Link N Hops above its competitors, like excellent hot dog sandwiches...Read More

  • 20. Milk Bar LA

    $ | West Hollywood | Bakery

    This place is so popular that lines often spill out the door and onto the sidewalk. The Milk Bar pie and cereal-milk soft serve are favorites...Read More

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