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. 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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 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. Republique

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | French

    This stunning expansive space, originally built for Charlie Chaplin back in the 1920s, serves French delicacies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Baracoa Cuban Cafe

    $ | Atwater Village | Cuban

    As far as Cuban food goes in Los Angeles, Baracoa’s cozy Atwater café, whose interiors loosely resemble an old colonial Spanish square, is perhaps...Read More

  • 10. Beefsteak

    $$ | West Hollywood | Vegetarian

    Top Chef alum Marcel Vigneron brings his conscious plant-based cuisine to Melrose. The minimal restaurant features an array of vegetarian delights...Read More

  • 11. Café Gratitude

    $$ | Hollywood | Vegetarian

    Of L.A.’s long list of vegan restaurants, this is among the best, with luscious dishes that are also social media worthy. But it’s more than...Read More

  • 12. Café Sierra

    $$$ | Universal City | Seafood

    Don’t let the fact that this airy Californian and pan-Asian spot is located inside a Hilton Hotel scare you; Café Sierra has a drool-worthy...Read More

  • 13. Canter's

    $ | Fairfax District | Deli

    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

  • 14. Cassell's Hamburgers

    $ | Koreatown | American

    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. The simple...Read More

  • 15. Cindy’s

    $ | Highland Park | American

    The husband-and-wife team that took over Cindy’s in 2014 never set out to create a trendy space for hipsters looking for their next artisanal...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Dongpo

    $$ | Universal City | Chinese

    Upmarket regional Chinese cuisine chain Meizhou Dongpo tries its hand at bringing its modern take on authentic Sichuanese cuisine with Dongpo...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. El Huarache Azteca

    $ | Highland Park | Mexican

    While you definitely should try the flat shoe-shaped dish El Huarache Azteca is named after—think somewhere between a flatbread and a tostada...Read More

  • 20. Gingergrass

    $ | Silver Lake | Vietnamese

    With minimalist decor marked by tropical wood banquettes, Silver Lake's bohemian past and uber-trendy present converge at Gingergrass. Traditional...Read More

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