Where to Eat and Drink in Los Angeles

BY Liam Casey

Where to Eat and Drink in Los Angeles


Jeremy Fall

Los Angeles is a cultural melting pot by nature so we have food from all over the world. Our Korean food is by far the best you’ll find anywhere in the country. We have an amazing Thai town, fantastic Israeli food and our city loves mixing all types of cuisine. This city’s food is just like its style; comfortable, laid back and open minded. There’s something for everyone ranging from the health nuts to adventurous eaters looking for a hole in the wall at 10PM.

When it comes to LA's stable dish... If you ask most people, they’ll tell you it’s avocado toast. Personally, I think it’s our sushi. I may be biased because it’s my favorite food but we just have so many amazing Japanese restaurants here. It’s not necessarily a specific dish but I’d say that anywhere you’re staying in Los Angeles will have access to an amazing local hole in the wall sushi spot.

My tip for anyone visiting would be to find someone who knows the city well. There’s such an inaccurate perception that Los Angeles is Hollywood and a three block radius surrounding La Cienega. Venture out to the east side, there’s a whole world that people don’t know as much about. It’s such a big city and it’s hard to take it all in at once. I’d nix all the touristy activities and try to peel more of the layers back to discover the beautiful cultural melting pot that this city is.


You're about to enter one of the most diverse food cities ever. It’s a massive melting pot of cultures and ethnicities from every continent. You can really find great renditions of any food type. We do need more African food though, we've got some good Ethiopian but room for growth there for sure...

Staple dish? One word, TACOS. It's all about the quality of the meat and the SALSA at the end of the day.

Michella Ore

Despite its reputation as a city of salads—which it certainly is, thanks to the plentiful bounty from the Central Valley, local farms, and fresh produce—Los Angeles, too, is a city with roots in hamburgers, diners, and donuts; nearby Downey is home of the oldest McDonald’s restaurant; travel in any neighbourhood and you’re guaranteed to encounter four donut shops at one corner competing for whose is fresher; diners like Norm’s, Pann’s Coffee Shop, House of Pies, The Pantry, and Nick’s Café are iconic. At these joints, your wallet can relax, you will find it hard to spend over $15 for a decent amount of food. Of course, four excellent street tacos might set you back just $5.

The sheer size, density, and people of various backgrounds make Los Angeles arguably the most exciting food city in the United States. Night Markets in the San Gabriel Valley highlight the immense Chinese, Cantonese, and Taiwanese diaspora. Sushi gained international notoriety here, with the first modern sushi-ya in Little Tokyo in 1966 (prepare to spend a hefty amount). Northern and southern Thai immigrants have shared their piquant culinary heritage in the dining rooms of Thai Town. Koreatown’s legions of restaurants specialising in dukbokki, bossam, galbi jjim, and godeungeo jorim rival or maybe eclipse those in Seoul. Guelaguetza’s mole negro is a complex symphony on a plate, and La Cevichería on Pico respects the fish dish, serving up Mexican, Guatemalan, and Peruvian interpretations. Read any restaurant review by the late, great Jonathan Gold.

New Yorkers may complain about the flavour of Los Angeles’ tap water, but other than that, it’s perfectly potable. Because the state of California is in historic drought, and Los Angeles is in a chaparral (Mediterranean) climate, it’s less common for restaurants to serve water unsolicitedly; oftentimes you may have to request it. If you’re into the funky flavours of natural wine, Los Angeles has witnessed a boom in the booze. Stores like DomaineLA, Voodoo, Psychic, and Silverlake Wine are prime to visit.

If you're planning to visit Los Angeles, have a look at our local guides to discover the best places to eat and drink.