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49 Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles – LA Food Bucket List

Here are the best places to eat in Los Angeles. The list is always evolving.

Although we didn’t try as many places as I would have liked while living in LA, I felt like one year was enough time to explore our options and gave us the extra urgency to get out there and try different spots.

I remember while we lived in Atlanta, we just got so comfortable eating at the local spots within a 5 mile radius. In LA, we almost always had to brave the traffic. We sometimes even had to wait 3 hours before getting seated, BUT we ultimately ended up with a mix of good food.

We still visit a few times a year, so check back here as we’ll be adding more and replacing our favorite places to eat.

Our list of 49 Fave Places to Eat in Los Angeles

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Last Updated: Feb 5, 2020


Downtown Los Angeles + Little Tokyo

  1.  Baco Mercat (DTLA) – permanently closed. Everything we ordered was delicious.
  2.  Bottega Louie (DTLA) – people love their macarons and the atmosphere. The food was just okay.
  3.  Colori Kitchen (DTLA) – they have well cooked pasta.\
  4.  Daikokuya (Little Tokyo) – wait is super long, but the ramen is good and portions are big.
  5.  Hama Sushi (Little Tokyo) 
  6.  The Pie Hole (DTLA) – mac and cheese pie.
  7.  Sushi Enya (DTLA / Little Tokyo) – Good blue fin tuna.
  8.  Twinkle Brown Sugar (Little Tokyo) – used to be called Ozero Tea, but this was our bubble tea spot.
  9.  Wurstküche (DTLA) – Try the rattlesnake sausage. Jacob loves it. I also ordered the mango chicken and jalapeño.


  1.  Mountain Cafe (Koreatown) – they used to have the best abalone porridge. After they moved, the recipe changed and the quality went down, but it’s still worth checking out.
  2.  Park’s BBQ (Koreatown, BBQ, 3$) – great quality meat
  3.  Seongbukdong (Koreatown) – Galbi jjim prices keep going up astronomically, but it’s still the best galbi jjim I’ve had. Good korean food in general.
  4.  Seoul Garden (Koreatown) – We’ve tried a little bit of everything here, and my favorite thing on the menu is their bibim naeng myun (korean cold spicy noodles).
  5.  Soowon Galbi (Koreatown) – Waited way too long, but the galbi was good. Worth trying once.
  6.  Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun (Koreatown) – best mool naeng myun / korean cold noodle soup dish in LA imho.


  1. Animal (Beverly Grove, New American, 3$) – iconic spot in LA.
  2.  Bruxie (Santa Monica) – for waffle sandwiches.
  3.  Diddy Riese Cookies (Westwood) – ice cream cookie sandwiches. Be prepared to wait.
  4.  Father’s Office (Santa Monica) – good burger, but not kid friendly or friendly in general. 
  5.  Humble Potato (Culver City) – regular fries, fries with curry, and the little tokyo doggu.
  6.  Malibu Seafood (Malibu) – fresh seafood, nice outdoor area to hang after a long hike in the Malibu area.
  7.  n/naka (Palms, Japanese, 4$) – two michelin stars. reservations are required sometimes months in advance.
  8.  Santouka Ramen (Culver City) – Don’t be fooled because it’s in a food court. Their ramen is good.
  9.  Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle (West LA) – They only serve ramen during lunch, and the tsukemen is their specialty.
  10.  Umami Burger (Santa Monica) – Truffle burger & truffle fries. It’s a popular burger spot in LA. They have locations everywhere now.

The Burger at Father's Office. The Father's Office Burger. Santa Monica Pier. things to do in santa monica. santa monica pier pictures. santa monica pier ferris wheel. things to do in LA. free things to do in la.


  1.  Kettle Glazed Donuts (Hollywood) – the “cronut”, the lemon blueberry, and Jacob’s fave – the bacon.
  2.  Luv2Eat Thai Bistro (Hollywood, Thai, $) – try the crab curry.

The Valley

  1.  The Donut Man (Glendora) – Best strawberry donuts I have ever tasted.
  2.  Mercado Buenos Aires (Van Nuys) – ham and cheese empanadas.
  3.  Porto’s Bakery & Cafe (Burbank) – We always order a dozen cheese rolls and potato balls to go! There are plenty of locations all over LA and OC.
  4.  Republic of Pie (North Hollywood)- banana cream pie.
  5.  Sushi Note (Sherman Oaks) – omakase and wine pairing
  6.  SweetSalt Food Shop (Toluca Lake) – shrimp po boy.

South Bay

  1.  Manhattan Beach Post (Manhattan Beach) – bacon cheddar biscuits and brussel sprouts.
  2.  Rinaldi’s Italian Deli (El Segundo) – great sandwiches.
  3.  Spoon House (Gardena) –  Cod roe spaghetti is a winner.​

Orange County

  1.  85C Bakery Cafe (Irvine) – taro bread and sea salt coffee.
  2.  Brodard Restaurant (Garden Grove) – I only order the pork spring rolls. Everything else wasn’t great.
  3.  Cream Pan (Tustin) – yummy and cheap strawberry croissants.
  4.  Kappo Honda (Fountain Valley) – Japanese tapas.
  5.  Ramen Yamadaya (Costa Mesa) – One of our fave ramen spots.


  1.  Angelo’s Italian Deli (Long Beach) – Loved the sopressata and spicy calabrese.
  2.  Cham Sut Gol Korean BBQ (Garden Grove) – all you can eat korean bbq and reasonably priced.
  3.  Donut Snob (Arcadia) – Donuts for donut snobs.
  4. Genwa Korean BBQ (Hancock Park) – Good quality meat, but pricier than other spots that have comparable food.
  5.  In-N-Out Burger (all over CA) – Just a good solid, cheap burger. Can’t leave CA without trying it.
  6.  Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood (Mid Wilshire) – saltado de mariscos was our favorite.
  7.  Pa Ord Noodle (East Hollywood) – My fave thai spot so far.
  8.  Ruen Pair (Los Feliz) – Ordered the pad see ew to go and it was solid.

Address, map

Local Tip / Pro Tip / Note: dsfsdfsd



Map of ___

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More Places to Eat in Los Angeles

  • Aroma Coffee & Tea (Studio City) – It’s a nice hangout spot with good garlic fries & desserts.
  • Bestia (DTLA, Italian, 3$) – One of Eater LA’s essential 38.
  • Bistro Na (Temple City, Chinese, 2$) – one michelin star
  • Din Tai Fung Dumpling House (Glendale) – truffle soup dumplings. It’s worth trying once, but it’s not their best location.
  • The Donuttery (Huntington Beach) – Blueberry donuts.
  • Providence (Hollywood, Seafood, 4$) – the first place I think of for any special occasion meal. two michelin stars and James Beard Foundation award winner for best chef in the west.
  • Los Balcones del Peru (Hollywood) – fancier version of Mario’s Peruvian.
  • Mariscos Jalisco (Multiple, Tacos, $) – food truck only open from 9 to 6.
  • Osteria Mozza (Hancock Park, Italian, 4$) – one michelin star
  • The Pub at Golden Road (Glendale) – the food is not great, but it’s a cool place to hang out and try local beers.
  • Rustic Canyon (Santa Monica, Tapas, 3$)
  • Shin Sushi (Encino, Japanese) – one michelin star.
  • Somni (Beverly Hills, Spanish, 4$) – two michelin stars.
  • Sonoratown (DTLA, Tacos, $)
  • Sqirl (East Hollywood, New American, 2$) – popular LA brunch spot. On Eater LA 38.
  • Sushi Ginza Onodera (West Hollywood, Japanese, 4$) – two michelin stars. 
  • SushiStop (Multiple Locations) – May not be the best sushi, but it’s not bad for how cheap it is! Everything on the menu used to be 2.75, and it looks like the prices have gone up, but it’s still cheaper than anywhere else.
  • Taco Maria (Costa Mesa, Mexican, 2$) – one michelin star.
  • Trois Mec (Hollywood, French, 4$) – one michelin star.
  • Urasawa (Beverly Hills, Japanese, 4$) – 2 michelin stars. Chef Urasawa was an understudy of Chef Masa Takayama, and Masa was our favorite meal in NYC.
  • Urth Caffe (Pasadena) – Ppl in LA love this place. I still don’t get the hype.
  • Vespertine (Culver City, New American, 4$) – 2 michelin stars.

Restaurants that Closed

  • Cafe Verona (Mid-City West) – Their ravioli di yucca was my fave pasta dish in LA.
  • Chil Bo Myun Ok (Koreatown) – used to eat thekorean cold noodle dish / mool naeng myun.
  • Ink (West Hollywood) – Food made by celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio. The octopus was our fave dish.
  • Frances Bakery & Coffee (DTLA / Little Tokyo) – We love the blueberry “cronuts”.
  • Wa Sushi and Bistro (West Hollywood) – good fusion sushi. Didn’t like the risotto.

Our Food Adventures - Where We Ate In

Essential Tips

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Best Places to Stay

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I know when I first moved to LA, I was overwhelmed by the options. There are SO many places to try. I hope this list of 49 places to eat in Los Angeles can serve as an introduction and helpful guideline for any of your future visits to LA.

If you try anything on this list that you didn’t like or tried anything not on the list that you did like, please let me know in the comments below! I’m always looking to try something new. 

 Has anyone used the Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles? Is it worth checking out? According to huffington post, it could convince you to stop yelping.

Are there any other places to eat in Los Angeles we forgot? What is a must eat if you only had a weekend there?

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Annie Montgomery

    sooo, this looks like my kind of to-do list! I’ll keep this handy when we head to LA! ;)

    1. esther julee

      Please let me know what you end up trying! :) I miss the food in LA.

  2. Quyen Nguyen

    Long list! I’ve never understood the Umami burger craze, but I love Father’s Office, the Helms location because the outdoor seating is great. Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo has a solid “classic” burger and Haven Gastropub in Pasadena has a delicious lamb burger. For beautifully plated food and cocktails, I love 1886 in Pasadena.

    1. esther julee

      yeah, i feel like there should be something better, but whenever people are in town.. i just never know where to take them! and most people want to try umami at least once. maybe i’ll have to check out father’s office’s other location. the people at the santa monica location were not very friendly and the experience itself made me lose my appetite for their burger. i’ll have to check those places out!! :) putting it on my growing.. and never ending list of places to check out. hehe

  3. I see places I would go out a lot to when I was back at home :) I’m happy you put some OC places on there! Mark and I would go to Yamadaya all the time to satisfy our ramen craving and 85 C… it was a little too close to school. I love my bread.

    1. esther julee

      :) If you have others, I am always looking for more recommendations!! I feel like I haven’t really done that much exploring in OC. There are so many neighborhoods in LA too!

      1. Have you tried Earl’s Sandwiches? They have in in Vegas and in Anaheim and I LOVE their sandwiches. After’s, in Fountain Valley, is the donut ice cream place I was talking about. Confetti, an Italian ice place which is right next to Yamadaya is a favorite spot for a lot of people who went to my college. Half and Half Tea in LA! Love their boba. There’s an Italian restaurant in my hometown, Huntington Beach, called Mangia Mangia with delicious pasta… Oh goodness, I want to eat all these things! haha!

        (If you wanted some OC recommendations ;) )

        I will have to try the places on your list too once I get back!

        1. esther julee

          Oh I have! We always get it when we used to visit Vegas or Orlando. haha It’s the only reasonably priced thing around tourist towns. :) Oh yeah.. I really like the earl grey at half and half. I’m going to have to write these places down, so that I remember them! Thanks for all the suggestions!! :D

          1. Justina

            There’s a Half and Half 5 minutes from my house! The earl grey at Cha For Tea is the best I’ve had. There’s one in Alhambra and another one in Irvine. Personally I prefer the one in Irvine. You must come back Esther! :P Confetti is delicious! They’re custard is one of the best. I like Strickland’s too. It’s across from the grad apts at UCI. There’s Taco Asylum at The Camp in Costa Mesa. Charlie Palmer’s at South Coast is also pretty good. Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego is awesome! :)

          2. esther julee

            you’re making me miss all the food out there!! there’s always so much more food to try in LA. i have tried extraordinary desserts in SD. so good! :)

  4. shoutingchow

    Dang girl, that’s a long list. It’s going to take me a while to get through all those places :p I love 85C Bakery! I always get the sea salt coffee whenever I’m in Irvine. Urth Caffe has pretty good coffee. I like to go there and read. I want to try Animal one day. I hear it’s pretty good. I’m still figuring out best eats in SF but HRD, Skool, and SO are the must eats in my hood!

    1. esther julee

      Ooh! I’ve been wanting to go to Animal.. I guess we haven’t really done as much “fine dining” in LA. :) That one has been on my list for a while.

      I’m not much of a coffee person, so I haven’t tried all the good coffee joints, but I did try intellegentsia coffee in silver lake (the hipster hood) and people say that is good. 85C salty coffee was good :) I’m still sad that those SF places are never open or they always do the cut off right before me!

      1. shoutingchow

        Yea that’s been on my list for a while too. haha ..

        more reason for you to come visit me!! :)

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