The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles
It’s hard to write an introduction for a food city with insane grandeur as Los Angeles. But we feel passionate about sharing this guide to the best restaurants in Los Angeles because you deserve to know where to eat. There are dozens (and dozens) of options in every single neighborhood. And while a lot of them are good, we want to make sure that you have all of the great Los Angeles restaurants on your radar. This guide to the best restaurants in Los Angeles includes everything from high end to low end, Mexican to Italian, and iconic Los Angeles restaurants to lesser-known gems. What are some of your favorite Los Angeles restaurants? Let us know in the comments!
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25. French Dip: Philippe The Original
Until you visit Los Angeles, you might not know that the Philippe The Original claims to serve the original, French dipped sandwich. As you step into this Los Angeles institution you’ll feel as if you have traveled back in time, with friendly employees dressed in old school waitress outfits, a row of vintage telephone booths, and a cafeteria-style glass case boasting menu items like French dipped sandwiches, macaroni salad, and egg custard. You’re 100% here for the French dipped beef sandwich, but whether you order your sandwich single dipped, double dipped, or “wet” is up to you. Enjoy with the house mustard found on every table and if you’re in the mood for something sweet, don’t underestimate the tapioca pudding- simple yet satisfying.
24. Street Tacos: Mariscos Jaliscos
If you’re looking for a great street taco experience in LA, look no further than Mariscos Jalisco. The “tacos de camaron” or shrimp tacos are the only kind of tacos you can get here but rest assured that they are some of the best in the entire city. After shelling out a mere $2.25 for two tacos you’re going to be in mariscos heaven. The tortilla itself is so fantastically delicious and has both a very crunchy texture tortilla plus a soft portion of the tortilla that’s soaked with the delicious salty juices from the entire taco itself. The center is filled with delicious plump shrimp that have just the right amount of tang from a squeeze of lime and subtle kick from the salsa on top of the taco.
23. Korean bbq: Parks Bbq
A list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles isn’t complete without Korean bbq and the best Korean bbq in LA is Park’s Bbq. Eating here is an event in and of itself- even if you order the most simple barbecue menu items everything comes with a menagerie of side dishes. The banchan (side dishes) are so diverse and unique from house-made kimchi to pickled zucchini to seasoned soybean sprouts. We recommend trying the bulgogi, thinly sliced marinated beef, for your first visit and sampling that alongside all of the provided banchan for the best experience! Employees will do the cooking for you- just sit back and enjoy!
22. Mexican: Guelaguetza
If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in LA for incredible food, Guelaguetza should be at the top of your list. The family-friendly restaurant serves Oaxacan cuisine which has a big emphasis on their homemade moles (their website is emphatically named “ilovemole.com”) including mole negro, mole rojo, and mole coloradito. The wait staff will let you sample the different moles before you commit to a dish, and if you’re a fan of the delicious mole negro we recommend trying the classic mole negro served over pork. Don’t love mole? This Los Angeles restaurant is still worth going to.
21. Deli: Bay Cities Deli
Bay Cities Italian Deli is one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles for days when you just need a dang good sandwich. Situated on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, local’s know the way this operation runs: grab a number at the counter, wait your turn, and when it’s time to place your order be ready! The Godmother is their most famous sandwich filled with prosciutto, ham, capicola, mortadella, genoa salami, and provolone cheese. Our undeniable favorite though is the Little Don Lorenzo, which has prosciutto di parma, water mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, oregano and black pepper on a mini baguette. Cash or debit only and if you have a few extra minutes peruse the isles of the grocery store to take a few Italian goods home for cooking or snacking.
20. Fancy Tacos: Guerilla Tacos
If you want a dang good taco in Los Angeles that’s served in an elevated setting with menu items that will really pique your curiosity, then head to Guerrilla Tacos. This used-to-be truck now serves their incredible tacos in their relatively new brick and mortar location to LA natives and visitors seven days each week. There are six total tacos on this menu but what you’re first and foremost here for is the sweet potato taco. There’s something magical about the combination of the roasted sweet potatoes, almond chile, feta, fried corn, and scallions. One of the best tacos in all of town at one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.
19. Market: Grand Central Market
Every great foodie city has a food court or food hall where you can enjoy a variety of different restaurants iconic to the area, and Grand Central Market is not only the place to be in LA, but serves amazing food from some of the very best restaurants in Los Angeles. With just under 40 vendors there are so many incredible options but our standout favorites include Eggslut (best breakfast sandwich of your life), Lucky Bird (fried chicken sandwich that will hit the spot), Sarita’s Pupuseria (if you love pupusas or you want something a little different), Wexler’s Deli (bagels & lox!), and McConnell’s Ice Cream (Santa Barabara ice cream from heaven). Paid parking available next door and if possible go on a weekday for lighter crowds.
18. Ramen: Tjustita
There are many ramen joints that could make our list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, but Tsujita is by far our number one pick. Yes, there will most likely be a line (try to go when they open if possible) but so completely worth it for their tsukemen style ramen, where homemade noodles are served separately from the dipping broth. Don’t forget to wash it all down with some soup wari (ask your server). These Tokyo style noodles are hard to forget and the flavors of both the dipping broth and soup wari will change your life.
17. Casual Tacos: Guisados
Guisados is the perfect place for amazing tacos when you’re looking for something casual but still special enough to actually get dressed and leave the house. There are multiple locations but the one you want to visit is the one on Sunset Boulevard near Dodger Stadium. You can order several different dishes but we strongly recommend trying the taco sampler on your first visit trying the taco sampler- 6 mini tacos of your choice for under $10. It’s one steal of a deal and you’ll be able to try so many of their incredible “stew” like concoctions on top of heavenly homemade corn tortillas. Should you decide to forgo the taco sampler, be sure to order the conchinita pibil and mole poblano tacos.
16. Vegan: Gracias Madre
Nestled in the heart of West Hollywood, Gracias Madre is a popular lunch and dinner spot as it serves great food in a beautiful garden setting. The plating is immaculate, the service does not disappoint, and we are blown away by the fact that everything on this menu is vegan! Start your meal at Gracias Madre with the guacamole and gorditas, and for your entree go for the flautas de camote (rolled tacos with sweet potatoes and caramelized onions, pico de gallo and guacamole). Incredible Mexican-inspired vegan cuisine and no doubt one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles!
15. Mediterranean: Dune
Dune is our top pick for Mediterranean cuisine among Los Angeles restaurants and we know that you’ll love it too! This low key cafe has locations in Venice, Downtown, and Atwater Village and is owned by the creators of Elf (a great restaurant in Echo Park, open for dinners only). The menu here is very straightforward, boasting fresh and bright flavors and made with 100% organic ingredients. Great for carnivores and vegetarians, Dune will satisfy your cravings with plant-based, chicken, and lamb offerings in their sandwiches and plates. The falafel and hummus & lamb plate are our favorite menu items here.
14. Brunch: Farmshop
Brunch is foundational for our list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, and Farmshop is our #1 pick for all of your weekend brunching needs. Situated in elegant and beautiful Brentwood, Farmshop is an integral part of the Brentwood Country Mart. Everything is so well executed here from the pastries and starters to the main entrees. The most noteworthy brunch item you can get here is the brioche French toast and trust us when we say that you cannot miss this one. Toppings will change seasonally but the deep and indulgent richness of both the decadent french toast and the crown maple syrup is simply TDF. We’re big fans of the attached market that has plenty of takeaway snacks or treats for later including homemade baked goods, artisanal meats and cheeses, and a healthy dose of random pantry items galore.
13. Thai: Night + Market Song
If you’re looking for the best Thai food in Los Angeles, Night + Market Song is your best option! There are several great Los Angeles restauranst that serve satisfying Thai food, but Night + Market Song truly nails everything here on their menu. Come here with a group of friends so you can enjoy several of their offerings. Our favorites include the peek bai hey-ha (party wings), gai tod naeng noi (fried chicken- unreal), khoa soi, and the panang neua (short rib curry). All to be enjoyed with copious amounts of sticky rice and roti. The perfect place for date night or lunch with friends or a birthday dinner to remember.
12. Fried Chicken: Howlin’ Ray’s
Yes there will be a line and yes, Howlin’ Ray’s is worth the wait! Tucked in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, this hole-in-the-wall fast casual eatery dishes out LA’s hottest Nashville chicken, served Sando style, as a quarter or half bird, or your choice of tenders or wings. Customize with caution, and edge on the safe side when asked for your preferred level of heat. We’d suggest mild for those looking for a modest taste of Tennessee, though the brave could inch towards “x-hot” or “howlin” if dared. Order the Mario fries for an off-menu app with lettuce, red onions, chicken, pickles, and comeback sauce piled high on a plate of fries, or The Sando with Texas toast for a twist on the classic butter bun. Our favorite menu item? The fried chicken sandwich- a boneless breast on a butter bun, with slaw, comeback sauce, and homemade pickles. Check their twitter for updates on wait times!
11. Sushi: Nobu
Sushi joints in LA are a dime a dozen, but the best of them all in our books is Nobu. They have two locations in the LA area but if you’re going to shell out for this sushi, be sure to make it a night at their Malibu location. With some of the most stunning oceanside views and a truly serene ambiance, Nobu sets the stage for what will probably be one of the best sushi experiences of your entire life. Nobu serves a variety of menu items from classic Japanese favorites to innovative dishes. Whatever you do start with the Nobu style crispy rice with spicy tuna. As for the rest of the menu, all dishes are fair game but make sure to order your sushi and sashimi “Nobu style”.
10. French: Republique
Republique is so perfectly Angeltown and it’s hands-down on the best restaurants in Los Angeles. You’ll love it from the second you step in as you gaze at this 1920’s courtyard converted into restaurant. Order breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the counter, alongside as many pastries as you can stomach (it’s completely acceptable to take home a half a dozen items for later) and choose from any of the brightly lit, cozy tables to enjoy your meal. We feel that nearly everything here on the menu is flawless but the favorites we keep going back to are the kimchi fried rice, brioche french toast, and the croque madame. As for the pastries, the creme brulee bombolone is unforgettable.
9. Sandwich: Langer’s
Unlike many Los Angeles restaurants that are iconic institutions, the food at Langer’s is actually worth your time and you for sure want to come here if you’re looking for some of the best food in all of LA. Langer’s has an extensive and large menu but the thing you’re coming here for is the #19 pastrami sandwich. Picture hand-cut, hot pastrami served on double baked rye bread, layered with crispy and delicious cole slaw, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing. The sandwich is so delicate and soft yet it can certainly hold its own, and by no means is something to underestimate. Come hungry- the sandwiches are very substantial!
8. Pizza: Pizzeria Mozza
Of all the Los Angeles restaurants on this list, the one that’s most likely to catch your attention is Pizzeria Mozza, an LA original and Netflix famous Nancy Silverton’s pizza brainchild, featured season 3 episode 3 of Chef’s Table. The pizza at Pizzeria Mozza is truly sublime and worth every ounce of hype. Start out with Nancy’s chopped salad and order any of her pizza creations for carby satisfaction. The crust here is queen and no matter what pizza you decide to sample, rest assured that it will be truly delicious. Make sure and check out her newest pizza endeavor, Triple Beam, for Roman pizza goodness.
7. Breakfast: Sqirl
If we could only pick one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles for breakfast, it would indefinitely be Sqirl. Located in the Silver Lake neighborhood, Sqirl isn’t your typical biscuits and gravy/pancake joint, but everything on the menu here will wow you from the bowls to the toast to the baked goods. Favorite sweet breakfast item is the ricotta toast- get it “rainbow style” to sample three separate house-made seasonal jams atop their creamy and dreamy housemade ricotta. Favorite savory time is the Sorrel Pesto Rice bowl made with Kokuho Rose brown rice, sorrel pesto, meyer lemon, lacto-fermented hot sauce, watermelon radish, French sheep feta, and a poached egg. Sounds borderline bizarre but it’s the breakfast dish of your wildest dreams.
6. Bakery & Restaurant: Lodge Bread Company
Our favorite carbohydrate fix in the entire city of Los Angeles is Lodge bread Co. Don’t come here if you’re on a keto diet, because everything here is built around the gospel of bread, bread, and more bread! Come here for breakfast or lunch, Sunday through Saturday, and you will not be disappointed. All bread served is whole-grain, giving nearly all of their menu a nice substantial feel without compromising the fluffy addictiveness you want in incredible bread. Our favorite bready indulgences here are the cinnamon rolls (incredibly giant), or the cinnamon toast- beyond nostalgic but still adult enough to buckle your knees. Favorite savory items are the classic and pan pizzas or any of the cold sammies. You’re going to love this place and it will only take one visit to see why it’s one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.
5. Takeaway: Gjelina
Gjelina Takeaway, located in Venice Beach, is one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles because of its approachability no matter what your dining needs are. Whether you’re looking for takeaway (hence the name), going out for a bite to eat with friends, or you just want something simply fantastic then this is your place. We recommend first trying to pizza here but the sandwiches are equally as delicious too. The Pomodoro burrata pizza is what dreams are made of and the simplicity of the ingredients truly shine through in every bite. Eat here as soon as possible and thank us later.
4. New: Porridge & Puffs
In a city with dozens and dozens of new restaurants popping up at every month, if we could only recommend one new restaurant on our list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles it would hands-down be Porridge & Puffs. Porridge & Puffs is everything you want in a dining experience that causes you to stop and marvel. We love the bright and airy feeling inside the restaurant, with booth-style seating against the wall and one big communal table in the center. The concept here is fairly straightforward- most menu items are either made with porridge (mains) or resemble puffs (dessert). Everything served is prepared in house and you can taste it in every bite. Menu offerings change seasonally but we recommend trying the server’s recommendation for porridge on your first visit and then finishing things off with delicious puffs. One of the best Los Angeles restaurants that’s truly unique worth checking out.
3. Lunch Spot: Gjusta
If you’re in Los Angeles for one day and you need a home-run breakfast, lunch, or dinner restaurant that doesn’t require reservations or advanced planning, Gjusta is your spot. Situated on Sunset Avenue in Venice Beach, Gjusta serves casual menu items like sandwiches, toast, salad, and bagels. Take a good gander at everything in their beautiful case before ordering and remember that you can’t try enough things here. Female Foodie favorites are the tuna conserva sandwich, the fish plate with bagels and all the fixings, or literally any baked good served in house. We can’t give Gjusta a higher recommendation!
2. Italian: Bestia
Bestia is not just a hot air balloon full of hype- it’s one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, and rightfully claims one of the top spots on our list. If you’re looking for the best Italian restaurant in town you have come to the right place. Don’t even try to eat here without reservations (or if you do make sure to arrive right when they open), but be prepared to be swept off your feet with seasonal Italian concotions. Start off with Genevive’s Little Gems and the roasted bone marrow for appetizers, and make sure to sample both the pizza and some pasta for course two. The ribeye is a fantastic splurge for course three and if you still have enough room for dessert try the creme fraiche panna cotta. Bestia is the perfect place for special occasions or simply an excuse to enjoy an amazing gastronomic experience in the heart of Los Angeles.
1. Burger: Petit Trois
Petit Trois (pronounced puh-teet, twah #yourewelcome) is at the top of our list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles because the food here is truly exceptional. You’re coming here for some of the best French food you’ll ever have in your life whether that’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Start every meal with the decadent French onion soup that will make all of your melted-cheese dreams come true. If you’re here for brunch, the omelette is so perfectly creamy and delicate- you’ll never want to eat eggs any other way. Our absolute favorite menu item here, however, is the ever so decadent and wonderful “Big Mec” or double burger. Served on top of a brioche bun with craft American cheese and a Foie gras-infused red wine Bordelaise (code words for the best sauce you’ve had in your life), this double-patty burger is unlike any other. Check out the OG location on Highland for the full experience or enjoy in the valley for more seating and breakfast every day.