It’s no secret that Los Angeles is one of the world’s great food cities. The cultural hub of Southern California is famed for its legendary Mexican food, incredible Japanese and Korean cuisine, cutting-edge gourmet, and everything in between. Los Angeles was one of the first cities to turn food trucks into a phenomenon that’s become popular throughout the world. Judging by how crazed LA locals and transplants become over trendy ice cream sandwiches served with fried chicken or the “next great LA ramen spot,” it’s safe to say this city is obsessed with food.
Drop your bags off at a Bounce luggage storage in LA and head out exploring. One of the best features of the Los Angeles food scene is how spread out it all is. Most cities have all their best spots clustered in an area near downtown or a specific neighborhood. The sprawling Los Angeles area has world-class restaurants in every corner of the city. Venice Beach, West LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Chinatown, Koreatown, and Downtown LA all have incredible food scenes, but there are amazing spots you can find at any corner.
Whether it’s LA’s amazing street food options or its unmatched vegan and vegetarian restaurants, there is something for everyone. If you're taking a Los Angeles trip, you’ll want to try at least a few of the city’s signature bites. Here are the best dishes to try in Los Angeles:
Cake Monkey Bakery’s Great Chocolate Babka
The Los Angeles food scene isn’t all taco trucks and upscale omakase restaurants. There are world-class bakeries like Cake Monkey, which is famous for its chocolate babka made from freshly baked bread that's been sweetened to high heaven. Basically flaky Nutella bread, this sweet treat is a fresh take on the classic Jewish sweet bread; it comes with hazelnuts and rich dark chocolate and is baked to perfection. If the chocolate babka isn’t your thing, this sweet dessert bar serves a huge menu of treats, including macaron ice cream sandwiches with salted macarons, an Ube coffee crunch cake, and a dozen freshly baked pastries created by their staff of expert bakers. Outside of the chocolate babka, a warm slice of classic pecan pie is the most popular item on the menu.
7807 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles CA 90036
Ice Cream Sandwich from Diddy Riese
Known primarily for its delectable ice cream sandwiches, Diddy Riese has been churning out some of LA's most beloved desserts for years now. Located in Westwood Village near the Getty Museum, this is a popular spot for grabbing a sweet treat on a summer day. After touring this historic museum, there's nothing better than stopping by this dessert bar for a soft-serve ice cream sandwich, topped with everything from salted caramel macarons to cinnamon sugar to milk jar cookies.
926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Speak Cheezy’s Amarosa Pizza
It’s hard to beat a solid slice of pizza, especially when it’s made with a sourdough-based crust, fresh seasonal ingredients, quality cheese, and the finest meats in town. That’s what you can expect from Speak Cheezy, a solid “pie hole” in Culver City that serves great food with a playful attitude. Their most famous pizza is the Amarosa, which uses exclusively California ingredients, including slices of Amarosa potato, red onion, and pecorino cheese. It’s a tangy, salty, and rich pizza that will delight purists and foodies alike.
3950 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Village Bakery and Café’s S'mores Bars
On weekends, this Los Feliz neighborhood bakery is crowded with strollers and local foodies lining up for a cup of coffee and some freshly baked goods. It’s crowded for a reason because this spot churns out some of the best sweet treats in Los Angeles. Their S’mores bar, with gooey marshmallows and graham cracker crust, is an indulgent, crunchy, chocolatey delight that will bring you back to summer camping trips, minus the bonfire. If that's not your thing, try their ice cream sandwich.
3119 Los Feliz Blvd Los Angeles CA 90039
Kimchi’d Corn at Shiku in Grand Central Market
Los Angeles is absolutely obsessed with Korean food, and these vibrant flavors have started to inspire some of the most unexpected dishes in town. Shiku has churned out one of the more creative inventions in recent years, taking a traditional street corn dish and taking it through the fermentation process that cabbage undergoes to become kimchi. The result is a fascinating and delicious dish that is truly unique. Even better, it’s one of their vegan and vegetarian options! Head to Grand Central Market for this essential dining experience.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Lunch Combo at Namaste Spiceland (Pasadena)
While Pasadena has plenty of fantastic options for Indian food, Namaste Spiceland should be your go-to for a casual lunch of curry classics. Their weekly lunch special combines heaps of basmati rice, chana paneer, masala, and delicious and crispy samosas, all in one combo plate. All of the dishes are rotating, so you never quite know what you’ll get, but that also means these are the freshest ingredients possible, and Namaste Spiceland’s standards for flavor are sky high. If the lunch special doesn’t scratch the itch, order a la carte from their extensive menu of curries, appetizers, and snacks.
Their dining hall has ample seating, but most customers take their lunch to go, as this place is incredibly popular in the neighborhood. Namaste Spiceland also operates as a grocery store selling the highest quality Indian imports, spices, and ingredients, which makes it a must-visit for home cooks!
270 N Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
Brisket at Moo’s Craft Barbecue
Southern California is hardly famous for Texas barbecue, or any type of barbecue for that matter. But Moo’s in Downtown Los Angeles has become the premier destination for smoked meat enthusiasts in the LA area. Pulled pork, a solid fried chicken sandwich, smoked chicken, rib tips, and sausages are all solid here, but at Moo’s, brisket is king. These slabs of (very) peppery beef are smoked low and slow overnight, and they come out perfectly juicy and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. There’s nothing better than watching a perfectly tender piece of brisket fall apart at the slightest touch. The sides at Moo’s are not to be ignored, especially the steamy chili and crisp coleslaw.
While you may not be thinking about Texas barbecue when planning out your Los Angeles trip, a stop at Moo’s for their brisket is certainly worth considering. Just know, like Franklin’s in Austin, there is almost always a line on Saturdays and Sundays queuing up for a taste of this brisket.
2118 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Smoked Salmon Pizza from Spago
While staunch foodies and hipsters may balk at the thought of visiting a celebrity chef’s restaurant, the fact is that Wolfgang Puck's Spago is as essential to the Los Angeles food scene as any food truck or deli. This restaurant is the culmination of SoCal’s obsession with fresh ingredients and stylish presentation. Puck has been prodigious with his contribution to LA’s feed scene, but one dish truly stands apart from the rest. The Smoked Salmon Pizza, like many other iconic kitchen creations, was a happy accident. Late one night, Puck ran out of bread, and needed somewhere to put some slices of perfectly smoked salmon. With a slathering of garlic chili oil and a smear of dill creme fraîche, the pizza has plenty of flavors to savor, especially when combined with the smoke of the salmon. All of this is presented on a perfectly baked and charred house pizza crust that Spago is famous for. It’s one of the best pizzas in Los Angeles and easily one of the most interesting.
Address: 176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Korean BBQ at Pearl River Deli
Koreatown and Chinatown are the true restaurant hot spots in Los Angeles. While these vibrant neighborhoods have rich histories and strong communities, they have also become destinations for local and traveling foodies. Every week, there’s a new hole-in-the-wall discovery or trendy spot that’s garnering rave reviews from blogs and newspapers. One of the stalwart restaurants serving the neighborhood for years is Pearl River Deli, or “PRD.” Their Cantonese and Korean BBQ menu features legendary plates like their crispy pork belly and rich char siu.
Everything is delicious, so you can be confident if you choose from their rotating list of specials or one of their classics. And, while you're in the area, don't forget to explore one of the best food neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
935 Mei Ling Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012
No. 19 Special Pastrami Sandwich from Langer’s Deli
To the surprise of New Yorkers, the iconic hot pastrami sandwich is a bi-coastal deli classic, with one of the best in the country being served at Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles. Hand-sliced pastrami is piled sky-high atop freshly-baked crispy rye bread and served with Russian dressing and Swiss Cheese. Langer’s sources its meat from a Burbank deli and steams the cured beef for hours before adding the famous peppery crust that gives the tender meat such an unmistakable flavor. In classic deli fashion, a snappy dill pickle is served on the side. The whole sandwich is enough to split with someone, but there’s a good chance you won’t want to share!
Langer’s has done such a good job replicating the New York deli that the countless East Coast transplants in Los Angeles consider this their go-to spot for a taste of home.
704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Pho from Little Sister in Downtown Los Angeles
The blistering Southern California heat rarely inspires cravings for a steamy bowl of soup, but that’s what makes the pho from Little Sister’s popularity so impressive. There are two options for pho here: poached chicken and beef. The poached chicken pho has a lighter and tangy broth. The beef comes with a deep and rich broth and is served with short ribs, tendons, meatballs, and even a bit of oxtail. All pho is served with rice noodles, cilantro, mint, and the freshest Thai basil you’ll ever find. The result is a deeply satisfying bowl of pho that you’ll gladly slurp down, whether it’s 50 degrees or 110 degrees outside.
523 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Chilaquiles Plate at Tamales Elena y Antojitos
This family restaurant isn’t your run-of-the-mill taqueria serving run-of-the-mill Mexican food. This Afro-Mexican restaurant serves unique takes on classics like tamales, barbacoa tacos, classic street tacos, chicharrones, and more. Tamales Elena y Antojitos has also cultivated their legendary house molé sauce, which they use to flavor a variety of dishes. For a fancy brunch of a Mexican breakfast classic with unexpected flavors, opt for the indulgent chilaquiles plate. These handmade tortilla chips are tossed and sautèed in a red sauce and topped with fried eggs, avocado, black beans, sour cream, queso fresco, onion, cilantro, and avocado. It’s endlessly satisfying and the perfect meal to start your day!
This family restaurant also has one of the more inspiring stories and a quintessential LA one. Tamales Elena y Antojitos founder and owner Lorenzo started with simple food trucks before expanding his business to become one of the premier Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.
8101 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
With all of this feasting and snacking, you might want to look into taking one of the best hikes in LA and Southern California. Any Los Angeles trip is not complete without tracking down something tasty. Whether it’s weekend brunch in a ritzy Venice Beach bistro or a food adventure into the vibrant Koreatown neighborhood, one of the best things to do in Los Angeles is to find your new favorite dish at your new favorite restaurant. Just remember that you can stop by one of Bounce’s many luggage storage locations so you can drop the bags off before you embark on your culinary journey through Los Angeles!