The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles

Head to Canters Jewish-inspired restaurant for homemade pickles and delicious apricot hamantaschen (pastries)
Head to Canters Jewish-inspired restaurant for homemade pickles and delicious apricot hamantaschen (pastries) | © iWebbtravel / Alamy Stock Photo
Culture Trip

Los Angeles might bring to mind images of smoothies and Buddha bowls, but there’s plenty more to the home of Hollywood than healthy eating. From Pink’s legendary hot dogs to Canter’s Jewish staples, our guide to LA’s best restaurants is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Join the gastronomic journey through LA restaurant scene, where every bite is a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainable, compassionate, and delicious food.

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Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles, Sawtelle

Tsujita LA and its sister shop, Tsujita Annex, have introduced a new way to eat noodles in the Sawtelle area. Called tsukemen, or dipping noodles, customers are presented with dry noodles and toppings in one bowl which they dip into a flavoursome broth in another. Diners can change the taste of the dish as they eat by adding lime juice and soup wari, a stock used to dilute the thicker tsukemen broth.

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa, Beverly Hills

This popular sushi spot was created by chef Nozawa and is one of the most sought-after seafood restaurants in the city. There are locations all over the city but head to the Brentwood location for a relaxed vibe. The fish is ridiculously fresh, so the rolls just melt in your mouth. It is a minimalistic and traditional approach to sushi in the style that it is eaten in Japan.

La Azteca, Belvedere

La Azteca Tortilleria’s famous chile relleno burrito has been named LA’s best so many times, there isn’t room to list them all. The restaurant opens at 6am, when they start making the tortillas, and closes at 3:30pm (or earlier, if they run out), so plan to stop by for lunch. It’s worth a little planning to get your hands on a burrito filled with refried beans and an entire cheese-filled, battered and fried chile.

Mastro’s Steakhouse, Beverly Hills

For an ultra-fancy dinner in the heart of Beverly Hills, head to Mastro’s and order one of its massive steaks with sides such as lobster gnocchi and gorgonzola mac ‘n’ cheese. This place is high-end and amazing in every way – perfect for celebrations or a casual celebrity dinner. So LA.

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, Sawtelle

Bäco Mercat

Dried cheese, fried egg, bacon and hot sauce on a burger; the Chef’s Favourite at Plan Check will become yours too. Doubling as a restaurant and bar, it serves creative food and cocktails. This burger is packed with flavour, the over-easy fried egg breaking nicely over the bacon and crispy cheese. The hot sauce will leave you wanting it on every burger hence forward.

The Original Pantry Cafe DTLA

The classic, 24/7 cash-only diner in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles has served loyal patrons on the same corner of Figueroa and James M Wood Boulevard since 1924. Repeatedly ranked for good food and authentic 1950s diner decor, the restaurant is now owned by former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan. If you don’t mind a little wait, slide into a booth at this cavernous diner and watch servers shuttle out with towering stacks of pancakes and platters of biscuits smothered in gravy.

Blair’s Restaurant, Silver Lake

Blair’s, with its intimate candlelit ambiance, is a welcome respite from the current minimalist design trend. Traditional comfort food like deviled eggs and ribs are taken to the next level with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. The incredible truffle mac ‘n’ cheese merits a trip to Silver Lake on its own but the charm of Blair’s is that it has retained the feeling of a hidden neighbourhood venue.

Pink’s Hot Dogs, Fairfax

Come to Pink’s for a taste of LA history and enjoy hot dogs, burgers, sides and specialties for under $10 (£7.22). This casual hot dog stand has been frequented by celebrities – one wall of the dining area is lined with photos of those who’ve visited. There’s also an outdoor dining area with plenty of umbrellas for shade.

True Food Kitchen, Santa Monica

For gluten-free eaters with a bit of money to spend, True Foods Kitchen caters to the health conscious, with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Crudites with two dipping sauces is a popular starter, as is herb hummus with warm gluten-free pita bread. The Quinoa Burger is served on a gluten-free bun, Turkey Lasagna and ginger-infused Panang Curry with brown rice and, for celiacs, there are the gluten-free pizzas. The open kitchen is visible from the dining tables.

Plant Food + Wine, Venice

Matthew Kenney‘s Plant Food + Wine offers a high-end experience of organic vegan food and organic wines from California and France. It supports local growers, fosters relationships with farmers, and has an onsite vegetable garden. The restaurant was recently awarded a Sustainable Restaurant Award by the Sustainable Business Council of LA. The patio is replete with lush greenery and olive trees.

Zam Zam Market, Hawthorne

Zam Zam Market moved from Culver City to Hawthorne in 2016, but it still serves up delicious Pakistani and Indian food in a bare-bones space. The menu is quite small but it’s best known for lamb pulao, served on Friday afternoons, and chicken biryani which many visitors claim is the best in the Los Angeles area. You can also buy various sundries here. Closed on Mondays, you may want to call ahead as hours can vary.

Bamboo Bistro, Panorama City

Located in the heart of Panorama City, this hidden gem serves a Filipino-style breakfast and lunch buffet. The best part of Bamboo Bistro, however, is the kamayan dinner, an array of dishes served on banana leaves. Friendly staff members chat with you as they set the table with garlic rice, seafood, lechon kawali (crispy fried pork), salted egg and tomato salad, BBQ pork, and plenty of napkins. During the meal, karaoke or a comedy show entertain guests.

La Bruschetta, Westwood

Endorsed by Ospitalità Italiana and part of Los Angeles’ culinary scene since 1984, La Bruschetta is a favourite with Italian food lovers. Owner Angelo Peloni offers a warm and comfortable space where diners can enjoy risotto with porcini mushrooms and peas, lasagna with Bolognese sauce, and large prawns in a spicy tomato sauce on a bed of linguini. Add friendly service and an extensive wine collection — chosen by the owner — and it’s easy to see why people return again and again.

Geoffrey’s Malibu

Geoffrey’s Malibu offers exquisite ocean views of the southern California coastline. The flower-filled patio that overlooks the Pacific Ocean is an ideal spot for a romantic candlelit dinner or a weekend brunch with family and friends. Sautéed day-boat sea scallops and crab cake benedict are specialities. The luxurious restaurant attracts an elite clientele.

Canter’s, Fairfax

Since opening its doors in 1931, Canter’s Jewish-inspired deli has become an LA landmark. Open 24/7 on Fairfax Boulevard, Canter’s is managed by the third and fourth-generation children of the original owners. The ambiance is welcoming, with friendly staff and a stylish 1950s decor. Next door is the Kibitz Room, a 1961 addition where The Doors, Joni Mitchell, members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Guns n’ Roses came to schmooze and chat. The apricot hamantaschen (pastries) and house-made pickles and fresh rye bread are delicious.

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