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Food and drink in Los Angeles

Sinfully delicious fare in the City of Angels.


Los Angeles fuses anarchist energy and Hollywood romance, and its food scene follows suit. Sip on a Mexican Coke after midnight or get dressed up for fine dining. There’s no doubt your foodie dreams will come true in this town.

Popular restaurants in LA

Choosing the best restaurant in LA is like declaring the best pizza in NYC — nearly impossible. LA bursts at the seams with ever-changing, delicious grub.

Still, you can’t go wrong with one of these beloved eateries.

Pacific Dining Car

You can’t get any closer to old-school, golden-age LA than the Pacific Dining Car, open 24/7. Mingle with Hollywood producers, off-duty cops and locals alike in this high-end eatery housed in an old railway car. A filet costs around $70, while a side of mac ‘n cheese goes for $14.

1310 W. 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

pacific dining car


Perched on a Hollywood hilltop, Yamashiro is a Japanese-style castle — designed as a replica of one found in the mountains of Kyoto — that’s over 100 years old. Views of the downtown LA skyline, spectacular gardens and an intimate pagoda just skim the surface of this spellbinding LA treasure.

1999 N. Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

yamashiro los angeles

HomeState Taco

Los Angeles Magazine called this hipster hotspot “L.A.’s Tex-Mex go-to.” It serves up lone star classics from Frito pie to brisket tacos. At $3.50 a pop, the price indicates trendy but still accessible tacos. But if you’re looking for cheaper — and equally delicious — Mexican tastes, opt for El Flamin’ Tacos at $1.50 each.

Locations in Hollywood, Highland Park and Playa Vista

homestate hollywood tortillas


In juxtaposed style, the Destroyer in Culver City offers minimalist vibes and futuristic food: The menu is projected onto the wall. It’s inventive Scandinavian-inspired menu features Icelandic rye bread with cultured butter and preserves, roasted sunchoke soup and beef tartare.

3578 Hayden Ave., Culver City, CA 90232

destroyer restaurant los angeles

Bestia Restaurant

Housed within a converted urban warehouse, Bestia Restaurant has been described by TripAdvisor as a “buzzy Italian restaurant in the Arts District.” It’s the brainchild of a Los Angeles-born couple whose approach toward the regional Italian dishes they serve is “from scratch.” Just like how Nonna does it.

The charcuterie is prepared in-house and the pizzas and pastas are handmade. Book a table to avoid having to sit at the pizza bar. Not that that’s a problem.

2121 E 7th Place, Los Angeles

bestia restaurant los angeles

More restaurants to love in LA

  • Salsa & Beer
  • Dan Tanas
  • Little Dom’s
  • L&E Oyster Bar
  • The Alcove
  • Home
  • Aroma Café
  • Pie Hole
  • Massa Pizza
  • Sugarfish
  • The Dresden

How does tipping work in LA?

Tip 15 to 20% at restaurants if you’re happy with the experience. An easy trick? Multiply the 9% sales tax by two to calculate the tip. Drinks warrant $1 to $2 each, depending on the price of the cocktail.

What to drink in Los Angeles?

Trendy bars and nightlife hotspots change daily in LA, so your best bet wherever you go is to try the house special. For an in-the-know nudge, try one of these liquid faves.


Liquid fruits and vegetables are a quintessential LA drink, sold at juice bars around the city and beyond. Stop at Beverly Hills Juice Club where the trend was born 40 years ago, or get trippy with Moon Juice’s Golden Spirit Moon Milk.

fresh juices

Sparkling espresso

On Sunset Boulevard, Blackwood Café is a mecca for caffeine enthusiasts. Espresso made in-house melds with sparkling water and orange zest for an electrifying taste-bud jolt.

sparkling espresso drink


At Good Housekeeping in Highland Park, they make this tequila-and-grapefruit-soda cocktail by following the original recipe found in a 1950s pamphlet, Cocktails of the Rio Grande.

paloma cocktail

Regional delicacies

Culturally specific foods are a direct reflection of the diverse groups of people residing in LA. Sushi, tacos and Chinese cuisine are renowned as excellent choices, as well as:

French dip

Believe it or not, two restaurants in LA claim to have invented the wet meat-and-bread sandwich. Philippe the Original is a cafeteria-style restaurant open since 1908, while Cole’s French Dip is a landmark saloon. Try them both to choose your favorite.

Korean food

In 1902, the first married Korean couple set foot in Los Angeles, laying the groundwork for what is now known as Koreatown. Located four miles west of downtown LA, locals are crazy about authentic tastes of gamjatang (pork neck and potato soup) at Ham Ji Park, soju (grilled skewers of meat) at Dan Sung Sa, and grilled pork belly at Eight Korean BBQ.

Food trucks

Los Angeles foodies argue that LA was the birthplace of food trucks, and it’s safe to say you’re missing out if you visit without eating food passed through a window. Kogi BBQ, Coolhaus, Frysmith, Mariscos Jalisco, Urban Oven and Jogasaki are a few popular stops.

Food and drink experiences in Los Angeles

Bottom line

“Los Angeles is where the modern restaurant was born, the good, the bad and the ugly of it,” LA’s most-famed, taco-loving food critic Jonathan Gold said. Dive deep into the spicy tangs of seasoned pork and lightweight froth of fresh fruit blends when you book a cheap flight to Los Angeles.

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