Downtown and Koreatown Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Downtown and Koreatown - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Bavel

    $$$$ | Downtown

    Fans of Bestia have been lining up for stellar Mediterranean cuisine at this Arts District hot spot, which is owned by the same restaurateurs. Rose-gold stools give way to marble tabletops as the open kitchen bangs out hummus and baba ghanoush spreads, along with flatbreads and lamb-neck shawarma. The vibe is lively, the staff is chill, the patio is a scene, and the food is out of this world. Reserve early, as this place gets filled fast.

    500 Mateo St., Los Angeles, California, 90013, USA
    213-232–4966

    Known For

    • Delicious Mediterranean cuisine
    • Reservations recommended
    • Great vibes
  • 2. Cole's French Dip

    $ | Downtown

    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 originator of the salty, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth meats. The restaurant opened in 1908 and today is still going strong with dark lighting, delicious sandwiches, and a secret speakeasy called the Varnish hidden in the back. The men’s room nods to the famous clientele of the past with plaques over the urinals notifying bathroom goers that Charles Bukowski and Mickey Cohen both "pissed here.”

    118 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, California, 90014, USA
    213-622–4090

    Known For

    • Historic L.A. dining
    • One of the top contenders for best French dip sandwich in the country
    • Secret speakeasy in back
  • 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 butchers and Latino farmers. While the vendors have changed over time, the market continues to feature an ever-evolving array of all-day dining choices, like Wexler’s Deli for the best lox in L.A., or Madcapra for inventive falafel. For those willing to wait in a Disney-esque line, Eggslut is your breakfast go-to. And for lunch on a chilly day, don’t pass up the slurp-worthy vegan hot spot Ramen Hood by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall.

    317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, California, 90013, USA
    213-624–2378

    Known For

    • Breakfast at Eggslut
    • Fast casual dining
    • Popular lunch destination
  • 4. Here's Looking At You

    $$ | Koreatown

    Hawaiian and Asian-inspired dishes can be found on this menu featuring veggie, meat, poultry, and seafood. The environment is eclectic, as is the food, with signature dishes like frogs' legs with salsa negra and blue crab tostadas with yuzu kosho. There’s also an exceptional cocktail program; if you’re lucky enough to sit at the bar, order a slice of pie.

    3901 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, California, 90020, USA
    213-568–3573

    Known For

    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Exceptional cocktails
    • Inventive dishes

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed.
  • 5. Howlin' Ray's

    $ | Downtown

    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 middle of Chinatown, this tiny chicken joint consists of a few bar seats, a few side tables, and a kitchen that sizzles as staff yell out “yes, chef” with each incoming order. Opt for the sandwich with varying spice levels, but don’t skimp on sides, with collard greens and fries to help cool the fire in your mouth.

    727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, California, 90012, USA
    213-935–8399

    Known For

    • Spicy fried chicken
    • Classic Southern sides
    • Long waits

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Kobawoo House

    $$$ | Koreatown

    Nestled into a dingy strip mall, this Korean powerhouse is given away by the lines of locals waiting outside. Once inside, scents of grilled meats and kimchi immediately fill your nostrils, and soon enough, your table will be littered with sides, kalbi beef, dolsot bibimbap, wang bosam (cabbage wraps with boiled pork), and tall bottles of Hite beer. A buzzer at the table allows you to alert the waiter for when you’re done, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the bill.

    698 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, California, 90005, USA
    213-389–7300

    Known For

    • Perfect kalbi beef
    • Long lines
    • Cheap eats

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 7. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant

    $$ | Downtown

    This James Beard Award winner not only has the look and feel of a no-frills Jewish deli from New York, it also has the food to match. The draw here is the hand-cut pastrami: lean, peppery, robust—and with a reputation for being the best in town. Other classics include the #19 (pastrami with Swiss and coleslaw piled high on twice-baked rye), but purists prefer it straight up with Russian dressing. The neighborhood is a little rough around the edges, but if you're in search of a classic deli, it would be wise not to worry and dive in for blintzes, matzo ball soup, and a take-home order of rugelach.

    704 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, California, 90057, USA
    213-483–8050

    Known For

    • #19 sandwich
    • Jewish deli classics like matzo ball soup and rugelach
    • No-frills atmosphere

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No dinner, Reservations not accepted
  • 8. Majordomo

    $$$$ | Downtown

    You would never just stumble upon this out-of-the-way spot in Chinatown, but world-famous celeb chef David Chang likes it that way. The beautifully designed minimal spot with spacious patio, an exposed-duct ceiling, and elongated wood bar has a cuisine style that defies any singular category. Can't-miss dishes include the mac and chickpea, the crispy pork belly, and the whole plate short rib with beef and rice—a dish you'll dream about for years. Reservations are hard to come by, but the bar is first come, first served, and a great way to sample the unique menu.

    1725 Naud St., Los Angeles, California, 90012, USA
    323-545–4880

    Known For

    • Chuck short rib
    • Rice-based drinks
    • Hard-to-get reservations (try to eat at the bar)

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 9. Open Market

    $ | Koreatown

    One of the newer (and better) additions to the Koreatown dining scene, Open Market is part restaurant, part corner store, specializing in sandwiches, coffee, and a meticulously curated selection of wines, chocolates, tinned fish, and more. Run by husband-and-wife team Brian and Yoona Lee, the minimalist market attracts everyone from midday construction workers to oenophiles looking for the next best thing. But the star of the show here is the sandwiches like the Hill St., a fried pork chop sandy with cabbage slaw and Serrano ham on pain de mie, or the Olympic, a lemongrass Jidori chicken sandwich with pickled radish, mint, and crispy chicken skin. Come for lunch and then stock up on specialty items that can't be found anywhere else.

    3339 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California, 90010, USA
    213-232--3851

    Known For

    • Excellent sandwiches
    • Locally made chips, hot sauces, and snacks
    • L.A. goods and gifts

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 10. Philippe the Original

    $ | Downtown

    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 continues around the city, one thing is certain: the dips made with beef, pork, ham, lamb, or turkey on a freshly baked roll stand the test of time. Join locals as they chow down at communal tables while debating Dodgers games and politics. Orders are taken at the counter where some of the motherly servers have managed their long lines for decades, doling out huge breakfasts, chili, pickled eggs, and a generous pie selection. The best bargain: a cup of java for 50¢.

    1001 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, California, 90012, USA
    213-628–3781

    Known For

    • 50¢ coffee
    • Communal tables
    • Post–Dodgers game eats

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted
  • 11. 71Above

    $$$$ | Downtown

    As its name suggests, this sky-high dining den sits on the 71st floor, 950 feet above ground level. With that elevation comes the most stunning views of any restaurant in L.A., and the food is close to matching it. This fine-dining experience has a quarterly rotating menu, but you'll typically find fresh seafood, innovative veggies, delicious scallops, and more. A dress code is loosely enforced, but you can't come in wearing shorts, hats, flip-flops, or any athletic gear. Keep it classy here, bring a date, and get sucked into the twinkling lights of the city as the sun sets over the ocean.

    633 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, California, 90071, USA
    213-712–2683

    Known For

    • Sky-high views
    • Fine dining with a seafood focus
    • Classy atmosphere and loosely enforced dress code (no shorts or flip-flops)

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 12. Bestia

    $$$ | Downtown

    One of the most exciting and popular Italian restaurants in L.A. is housed inside a converted warehouse in the Arts District Downtown. Exposed air ducts and brick dominate the enormous space as in-the-know eaters chow down on spicy lamb sausage pizza and spaghetti Rustichella with Dungeness crab. Thirtysomethings flock to this hot spot with an ever-bustling bar and patio. If you want to impress a date, bring them here—you may want to valet, as the area can feel a bit seedy, although it's not.

    2121 E. 7th Pl., Los Angeles, California, 90021, USA
    213-514–5724

    Known For

    • Eclectic pizzas
    • Excellent date spot
    • Upscale modern decor

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 13. Cassell's Hamburgers

    $ | Koreatown

    Since 1948, Cassell’s has been grilling up some of the city's best burgers and remains on just about every top burger list in town. In-the-know burger lovers come here for the reliability of a perfectly cooked patty, a toasted bun, and fries with the right amount of crunch. The simple diner features barstools, a dozen or so tables, and large windows looking out onto the street. Nothing fancy, Cassell’s just gets burgers right in a city that’s known for them.

    3600 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, California, 90020, USA
    213-387–5502

    Known For

    • Perfectly cooked burgers and fries
    • No-frills diner setting
    • Late-night eats
  • 14. Damian

    $$$ | Downtown

    The Arts District in DTLA continues to trot out some of the most exciting restaurants in all of Los Angeles, and Damian is simply the latest and greatest example to enter the space. Across from Bestia, the Enrique Olvera--helmed joint serves contemporary Mexican fare combined with California's bounty of excellent produce. Dishes like the mole verde and fish tartare tostadas wow your taste buds as they slide from spicy to creamy and back. The cocktails shouldn't be overlooked either with mezcal-heavy options that also incorporate Italian vermouths and Japanese sake. Buzzing inside and out, this restaurant has vibes for days, food to match it, and service that's second to none. Eat here to question everything you know or want to about what Mexican cuisine can and should be.

    2132 E. 7th Pl., Los Angeles, California, 90021, USA
    213-270--0178

    Known For

    • Modern Mexican cuisine
    • Great cocktails
    • Buzzy spot

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues., Open for brunch weekends
  • 15. De La Nonna

    $$ | Downtown

    Meaning, 'from the grandma' in Italian, De La Nonna is the newest, hippest, most fun pizza restaurant in DTLA. Owned by three friends, chef Patrick Costa, restaurateur Jose Cordon, and bar manager Lee Zaremba, the outlet features a bevy of focaccia-styled pizzas with engaging toppings like Japanese sweet potato or roasted mushrooms with garlic cream sauce. You can still get a basic Margherita (and should), while scarfing down on sides like whipped eggplant or a half-dozen raw oysters. The fun comes in the form of the attached bar, The Let's Go, where Italian cocktails and late night dancing are on the menu. Come to eat, stay to drink and dance, and leave full and tipsy. An incredible combo that your grandma would approve of.

    710 E. 4th Pl., Los Angeles, California, 90013, USA
    213-221--1268

    Known For

    • Great pizzas
    • Italian cocktails
    • Late-night pizza slice window

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 16. Guelaguetza

    $$ | Koreatown

    A classic L.A. Mexican eatery, Guelaguetza serves the complex but not overpoweringly spicy cooking of Oaxaca, one of Mexico's most renowned culinary capitals. Inside, you'll find a largely Spanish-speaking clientele bobbing their heads to nightly jazz, marimba, and rock while wolfing down the restaurant's specialty: the moles. The intense flavors come from intricate combinations of nuts, seeds, spices, chilis, and bitter chocolate. Be sure to check out the pizza-like tlayudas topped with white cheese and tasajo (dried beef) or cecina (chili-marinated pork) and chorizo.

    3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, California, 90006, USA
    213-427–0608

    Known For

    • Mole
    • Chili-marinated pork
    • Family-owned restaurant

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 17. Le Comptoir

    $$$$ | Koreatown

    Situated inside the Hotel Normandie in a minuscule space, Le Comptoir is a 10-seat French restaurant helmed by chef Gary Menes that features veggie-forward food in an unstuffy setting. The counter spot earned a Michelin star for its organic kitchen and intimate atmosphere that gives guests one-on-one attention from the chef who is making and plating your food right in front of you.

    3606 W. 6th. St., Los Angeles, California, 90020, USA
    213-290–0750

    Known For

    • Eight-course tasting menu of innovative French cuisine
    • Intimate setting
    • Vegetarian-friendly dishes

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.--Wed.
  • 18. Monty's Good Burger

    $ | Koreatown

    A 100% plant-based establishment in Koreatown shouldn't be a thing that works, but Monty's Good Burger has the neighborhood fooled, as its Impossible Burger makes believers out of the most devout carnivores. Perfectly pressed plant-based patties come with oozing vegan cheese and fries or tots that melt in your mouth. The small counter spot usually has lines out the door (especially late night) of Angelenos who are now hooked on healthy burgers, epic shakes, and perfectly fried food.

    516 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, California, 90020, USA
    213-915--0257

    Known For

    • Plant-based burgers
    • Epic shakes
    • Late-night eats and long lines
  • 19. Original Pantry Cafe

    $ | Downtown

    Opened in 1924 by Dewey Logan, this classic diner's former claim to fame is that it never closed in the entirety of its run. Currently owned by former L.A. mayor Richard Riordan, the diner has more limited hours and serves American food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is known for cakes, pies, steaks, and chops. The establishment is also a Los Angeles historic cultural monument.

    877 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, California, 90017, USA
    213-972--9279

    Known For

    • Long lines
    • Amazing breakfast
    • Historic restaurant

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No dinner Wed.--Fri.
  • 20. Q Sushi

    $$$$ | Downtown

    Every night is different at this elegant, one-Michelin-starred omakase (chef-selected) sushi joint. It all depends on what's the freshest and what's the absolute best. The Zen-like space mostly consists of a long, simple wood bar, abacus-lined wall, hanging orb lights, and the master chef Hiroyuki Naruke serving each customer. On any given seating you can find bluefin tuna, giant clams, Hokkaido scallops, Japanese bonito, and more. There are roughly 15--20 courses and each bite is better than the last.

    521 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, California, 90017, USA
    213-225--6285

    Known For

    • Pricey multicourse omakase menu
    • Elegant ambience
    • Fresh bluefin tuna and Hokkaido scallops

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Sat.

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