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. Angelini Osteria

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | Italian

    Despite its modest, rather congested dining room, this is one of L.A.'s most celebrated Italian restaurants. The keys are chef-owner Gino Angelini...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Baltaire Restaurant

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    The chicest and buzziest nighttime spot in the neighborhood, Baltaire attracts both well-heeled Brentwood denizens on dressed-up dates and single...Read More

  • 5. Bavel

    $$$$ | Downtown | Middle Eastern

    Fans of Bestia have been lining up for stellar Mediterranean cuisine at this Arts District hot spot, which is owned by the same restaurateurs...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Broken Spanish

    $$$$ | Downtown | Mexican

    Prepare for a taste explosion at this modern Mexican restaurant. Every dish on the menu is packed with flavor in ways you wouldn't think are...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Crossroads

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Vegetarian

    From its famous Impossible Burger (you can’t believe it’s not meat) to its spicy meatball pizza (again, not meat), Crossroads's level of plant...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. El Coyote Mexican Food

    $$ | Fairfax | Mexican

    Open since 1931, this landmark spot is perfect for those on a budget or anyone after an authentic Mexican meal. The traditional fare is decadent...Read More

  • 13. Gjelina

    $$ | Venice | American

    This spot comes alive the moment you walk through the rustic wooden door and into a softly lit dining room with long communal tables. The menu...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

    $$$$ | Italian

    Legendary Italian chef Massimo Bottura opened this spot, his first L.A. eatery, to loads of fanfare and celebrity sightings. The restaurant...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Gwen

    $$$ | Hollywood | Steakhouse

    A heaven for upscale carnivores, this fine-dining restaurant serves impossibly exquisite dishes in a copper-and-marble setting. Cooking meat...Read More

  • 19. Hayato

    $$$$ | Downtown | Japanese

    There's a very good reason that Michelin decided to award this elegant, peaceful restaurant one star, and it starts with chef Brandon Hayato...Read More

  • 20. Here's Looking At You

    $$$ | Koreatown | Eclectic

    Hawaiian and Asian-inspired dishes can be found on this menu featuring veggie, meat, poultry, and seafood. The environment is eclectic, as is...Read More

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