This post features the 9 best restaurants in Los Angeles but I’m not talking about Michelin star ratings or bougie dinner spots. These L.A. restaurants are mostly small, unassuming, spots that have stolen my non-expert, everyday foodie heart with one of their signature dishes!
*quick note: One of the restaurants is a little bit fancy but they also serve pizza so… balance?
I hope this lists helps you discover your new favorite foodie spot! Some recommendations are on the outskirts of L.A. but I know my fellow foodies don’t mind a drive if it ends with good food!
Best Pancakes – Cafe Vida
Location: 9755 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Forget about the traditional buttermilk pancakes you’re used to. Corn pancakes are the new MUST HAVE breakfast staple. This sweet, dense, and corn-bread-like flapjack is perfect alone or with Cafe Vida’s delicious breakfast potatoes.
Best Sushi – Sushi by H
Location: 480 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Order the Lava Stone (crispy rice + spicy tuna + sauce + avocado) or anything else because this is by far the best sushi in town! I recommend making a reservation unless you’re up for waiting 45-60+ minutes
Best Cocktails – Redbird
Location: 114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
I’m not a big drinker so the fact that I have a “favorite cocktail” place is HUGE. Redbird makes the freshest (freshly squeezed seasonal fruit) cocktails on the planet! Plus, they offer this amazing “Bartender’s Choice” option that allows you to get a drink custom-crafted to your palette. I usually start with something tart, sour, and mixed with tequila.
Best Pasta – Felix Trattoria
Location: 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
I’ve been to Italy, I’ve tasted the pasta, and no other restaurant has ever come as close to that fresh and authentic pasta experience as Felix! From texture to flavor, they get it oh-so-right! I recommend the Tonnarelli Cacio E Pepe. Their pizza is also delicious!
Best Deep Dish Pizza – Hollywood Pies
Location: 6116 1/2 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
I haven’t made it to Chicago, home of the deep dish pizza, yet but I have no doubt that Hollywood Pies is in the same league as some of Chicago’s best! This small pizza place doesn’t have a big dine-in crowd but they get tons of delivery orders! I’m a sucker for their unique crust! I would honestly eat it plain and be happy. You’ll need at least an hour for delivery and I recommend ordering their classic Chicago pizza!
Best Tacos – Taqueria Zavala
Location: 13665 Garfield Ave, South Gate, CA 90280
This is a bit outside of LA and literally a hole in the wall but OMG – best tacos ever! The tortillas are handmade and I swear that the masa they use for them is actual magic. The tacos are ridiculously affordable ($1.50) so leave some love in the tip jar to support this small business and their amazing cooks!
Best Ramen – (Hokkaido Ramen) Santouka
Location: 3760 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066
Over 2,000 Yelp reviews agree with my tastebuds! This unassuming ramen spot is inside of a Japanese market (Mitsuwa) and it’s the ultimate hidden gem. My favorite is the miso ramen but they are best known for their salt ramen.
Best Sandwich – Bay Cities Italian Deli
Location: 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
This deli is packed during lunch hours and after you taste one of their sandwiches, you totally understand why. Think classic, delicious, Italian sandwiches with a few creative options thrown in. My go-to is the “Spaniard” because it has chorizo and gruyere but the “Little Don Lorenzo” is also a top pick!
Best Chicken & Waffles – Bru’s Wiffles
Location: 2408 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
A perfectly crispy (skinless & boneless) piece of fried chicken on a fluffy, Belgian waffle is heaven for the tastebuds! I recommend the classic, Dwight’s Special plate for your first visit and then explore the rest of the menu which is also delicious!
Despite all of the delicious food I’ve had in the Los Angeles area, I’m still on the hunt for:
- Best Burger
- Best Mexican Restaurant
- Best Brunch
- Best Salad
- Best Dessert
- Best… Everything!
Are you ready to chow down?!
I hope you enjoyed hearing my take on the 9 best restaurants in Los Angeles. There are still a million places left to try but these are some of my favorites! Let me know if you decide to try any of them.
Also, if you have any favorite food spots that you think I should check out, let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to include your favorite dish so I can order it when I visit!