Eating Your Way Around Los Angeles

The Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the glamorous movie stars might be the primary lures of Los Angeles, California but not very many visitors realize that the city has an exemplary food scene as well. The multiethnic Southern California makeup showcases a variety of traditional cuisines from different countries and also led to the creation of California fusion, a food trend popularized by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, that offered menus with French, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese influences. Nowadays, eating your way around Los Angeles is akin to having a truly global culinary experience but with great people watching to match. Here are some suggestions on the best places to eat in Los Angeles.

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles

Portos ($)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Porto's Potato Ball
Porto’s Potato Ball

The legendary Cuban bakery from the Porto family is definitely one of the best places to eat and is a must try for any visitors staying in Los Angeles. The original café opened in Glendale, California almost thirty years ago and has since been a hit with locals and tourists alike. Matriarch Rosa’s infamous Cuban cakes sit alongside French patisseries and Italian desserts. The demand for Rosa’s baked goods has superseded the family’s expectations so the beloved bakery opened two additional locations in the cities of Burbank and Downey. Make sure you try house specialty “refugiados,” a snack filled with guava and cheese and its infamous potato balls.

Address: three locations in Glendale, Burbank, and Downey

Guisados ($)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Picadillo Taco
Picadillo Taco

Eating your way around Los Angeles seems rather incomplete without comfort food and there’s no better place to go than Guisados, arguably Los Angeles’ best taqueria. The original shop opened just five years ago in Boyle Heights and has since expanded into three other locations, opening their latest in Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. The corn tortillas are fresh, handmade that same day, and the fillings that go in them are full of flavors you didn’t even know existed. Try their sampler plate, an order that comes with six unique mini tacos. You can choose from a dozen offerings like steak picado, camarones (shrimp), or chorizo.

Address: four locations in Boyle Heights, Downtown, Echo Park, and West Hollywood

Tsujita ($$)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Char siu ramen
Char siu ramen

New York and Washington, D.C., might have Momofoku but legions of Southern Californians will argue that Tsujita takes the crown of the best ramen in America. You’ll have to wait in line for sure, but every minute is totally worth it. Try their Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen with char siu (slices of barbecued pork) that comes with free toppings like sesame, beni shoga (red ginger) and karashi takana (hot leaf mustard). Tsujita also offers several rice bowls filled with raw tuna or salmon for less than $5.

Address: 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Sqirl ($$)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Sqirl Takeaways
Sqirl Takeaways

It’s a café with a twist. Classic breakfast offerings at Sqirl are mixed with inventive items like mole with braised shortrib, queso, arugula, and crispy onion strips or the gluten free and vegetarian Green Goddess sandwich made with market greens, shaved root vegetables, and egg. Locals flock to the nondescript spot located in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood where you can order breakfast food until 4 p.m. You can also shop for your favorite jams and preserves, all of which are made in-house and features local ingredients, at the same time.

Address: 720 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Lukshon ($$$)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Banh Mi Lobster Roll
Banh Mi Lobster Roll

Lukshon takes Southeast Asian cuisine onto a new level with its modern take and so far, people are embracing it. The sleek environment of this Culver City restaurant offers guests with its version of a “bahn mi,” basically a lobster roll mixed with pig-ear terrine or its aromatic green rice, made with bamboo rice, long beans, snow peas, bok choy, shishito, and edamame. The drink list at Lukshon is pretty impressive as well, highlighted by its irresistible single origin sampling teas and a couple handfuls of Japanese whiskies to choose from.

Address: 3239 Helms Ave., Culver City, CA 90232

Maude ($$$$)

Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Summer salad with pickled red chili
Summer salad with pickled red chili

It turns out, chef and entrepreneur Curtis Stone does know a little bit about cooking because his restaurant Maude is lauded with great reviews already despite being open for just a year. The restaurant is small with just a 25-person seating capacity so it’s almost impossible to get a table, but when you do get lucky, just sit back, relax, and leave it to the chef and his team of capable cooks. There’s no set menu at this Beverly Hills restaurant since chef Stone prides himself with creating dishes using seasonal ingredients. What you’ll get however, is nine different courses that even discerning diners will likely reflect upon for days to come.

Address: 212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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