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Destination guides > North America > USA > West Coast > California > Los Angeles > Eating & drinking

Los Angeles

Eating & drinking

Los Angeles doesn’t have a reputation as a culinary hot spot when compared with other major cities, but that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy good value food. Any city this size is bound to offer plenty of great eating options and LA has its far share of iconic eateries, although in LA these places to eat are spread over a vast suburban area.

We have tried to keep these listings confined to the areas where you are most likely to visit such as Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.

The French dip sandwich, sometimes called a beef dip, is a Los Angeles original that consists of a beef sandwich dipped in beef jus. Two restaurants claim to have invented the French dip sandwich, including Philippe the Original (1001 N Alameda Street, Los Angeles; metro Union Station bus 76 (MTA; stop: Alameda/Main); DASH B (LADOT; stop: Alameda/Ord); open 6am-10pm daily) in Chinatown and Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet (118 East Sixth Street, Los Angeles; bus 720, 721, 753 (MTA; stop: 6th/Main); DASH D (LADOT; stop Main/Seventh); 20, 26, 33, 35, 51, 52, 55, 60, 92, 333, 352, 335, 355 (MTA; stop: Main/7th), open Mon-Wed 11.30am-10pm, Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-1.30am, Sun 11am-10pm) in downtown LA’s Historic Core on the same block as Stay on Main.

Although the east coast is better known for its delicatessens, Los Angeles does have a few that are worth visiting including Canter’s (419 North Fairfax Avenue, West Hollywood; bus 217, 218 (MTA; stop: Fairfax/Oakwood); DASH Fairfax (LADOT; stop: Fairfax/Oakwood); open 24 hours) in West Hollywood near the Orbit and Banana Bungalow hostels, which is popular with rock stars and show business personalities. Like similar delis in New York, Canter’s does great pastrami sandwiches, but it is also noted for its Monte Cristo sandwiches and its waffles.

Another West Hollywood institution is Pink’s Hot Dogs (709 N La Brea Avenue, West Hollywood; bus 10, 48, 212, 312 (MTA; stop: La Brea/Melrose); open Mon-Thu 9.30am-2am, Fri-Sat 9.30am-3am, Sun 9.30am-2am). LA’s most famous hot dog stand is popular with film stars and unique in having its own car park attendant. It gets mixed reviews with some people finding it a bit overrated, but it is still a must if you’re staying in West Hollywood.

The Rainbow Bar & Grill (9015 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood; bus 2, 302, 305 (MTA; stop: Sunset/Hammond); open 11am-2am daily) on Sunset Strip is a famous LA rock music hangout although it is past its heyday. During its glory days regulars included Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Ringo Starr as well as members of Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Mötley Crüe and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe ate here.

When Snoop Dogg was showing David Beckham around LA in 2007, he took him to one of his favourite restaurants: Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles (1514 N Gower Street, Hollywood; bus 2, 302 (MTA; stop: Sunset/Gower); DASH Hollywood, DASH Hollywood/Wilshire (LADOT; stop: Sunset/Gower)). This soul food restaurant is an LA institution and the original Hollywood location is the best spot to try this unusual food combination.

Southern California has a huge choice of Mexican restaurants and is one of the world’s best places for authentic Mexican food outside Mexico.

El Coyote Cafe (7312 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles; bus 14, 37 (MTA; Beverly/Poinsettia)) is one of the city’s longest-running Mexican restaurants and is famous for its margaritas, which have been voted LA’s best by LA Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

The King Taco chain has around 20 restaurants in predominantly Mexican-American neighbourhoods with authentic Mexican food and drinks such as horchata, jamaica, and tamarindo. The original location is in Cyprus Park (1118 Cypress Avenue, Los Angeles (bus 68, 84 (MTA; stop: Cypress/Alice); open Mon-Thu 8.30am-11pm, Fri 8.30am-2am, Sat 8.30am-2.30am, Sun 8.30am-11pm). Other King Taco locations include: East LA (4504 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles; metro Maravilla; open Mon-Wed 7.30am-3am, Thu-Sat 24 hours, Sun 7.30am-3am) and San Pedro Street, just south of downtown LA (1951 S San Pedro Street, Los Angeles; metro San Pedro; bus DASH E (LADOT; stop: Washington/San Pedro); DASH KIng-East (LADOT; stop: Washington/Griffith); open Mon-Thu 8.30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-11pm, Sun 8.30am-10pm).

Another Mexican restaurant worth visiting is El Parián (1528 W Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles; bus 730 (MTA; stop: Pico/Union) metro Pico; open 8am-10pm daily) a few blocks west of the Staples Center.

Kogi Korean BBQ (follow on Twitter @KogiBBQ for the current location) operates four food vans that sell takeaway Mexican-Korean fusion food at various locations throughout Los Angeles. It has gained a fan base who follow Kogi on Twitter for news of the latest location and long queues can form outside Kogi vans at busier locations.

If you’re staying near Santa Monica or Venice Beach, you may want to eat at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (1517 Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica; bus 4, 704 (MTA; stop: Santa Monica/Lincoln), tideride (Big Blue Bus; stop: Broadway/7th); open Tue-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 9am-6pm) gets rave reviews for its delicious sandwiches. The Godmother sandwich is highly recommended.

Another must in Santa Monica is the Counter (2901 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica; bus 6, 8 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Ocean Park/30th Street); open Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11.30am-9pm), which is a popular spot for a burger. Their build-your-own-burger concept may lose some of its zing now that they are franchising with new locations popping up all over the place, but if you're going to eat a Counter burger it makes sense to eat at the original Santa Monica location.

Ask any Angeleno about their favourite burger chain and if it isn’t the Counter, then chances are they will rave about In-N-Out Burger. This burger chain keeps things simple by only having a handful of items on their menu, but also have a secret menu so you can ask them to make your burger ‘animal-style’ or ‘protein-style’. Their burgers are good – better than the average Burger King or McDonalds – but some people find them overrated and other chains like Carl’s Jr and Wendy’s make burgers that are at least as good. In-N-Out’s Hollywood (7009 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood; bus 2, 302 (MTA; stop: Sunset/Orange), metro Hollywood/Highland; open Mon-Thu 10.30am-1am, Fri-Sat 10.30am-1.30am, Sun 10.30am-1am) and Marina Del Rey (13425 Washington Boulevard, Marina Del Rey; bus 3 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Lincoln/Washington); open Mon-Thu 10.30am-1am, Fri-Sat 10.30am-1.30am, Sun 10.30am-1am) locations are the most convenient for most visitors to LA.

Diddy Riese (926 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles; bus 2, 20, 302 (MTA; stop: Le Conte/Broxton), 233, 761 (MTA; stop: Westwood/Weyburn); 1, 2, 3, 8, 11, 12 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Westwood Village); open Mon-Thu 10am-noon, Fri 10am-1am, Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-midnight) in Westwood Village is well-known for its ice cream sandwiches, which cost just $1.50. It is popular with students from nearby UCLA.


Supermarkets in Los Angeles include:



645 W 9th Street, Los Angeles

Metro 7th Street/Metro Center bus 493, 497, 498, 499, 699 (MTA; stop: Hope Street/9th Street); DASH C (LADOT; stop: Hope/Ninth); DASH F (LADOT; stop: Flower/Ninth)

Open 5am-2am daily


727 N Vine Street, Hollywood

Bus 10, 48, 210 (MTA; stop: Vine/Melrose)

Open 24 hours


5429 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

Metro Hollywood/Western bus 180, 181, 217, 780 (MTA; stop: Hollywood/Western)

Open 24 hours

Whole Foods Market

7871 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood

Bus 4, 217, 704, 780 (MTA; stop: Santa Monica/Fairfax

Open 7am-11pm daily


Whole Foods Market

6350 West Third Street, Los Angeles

Bus 16, 217, 218, 316, 780 (MTA; stop: Third/Fairfax); DASH Fairfax (LADOT; stop: Third/Fairfax)

Open 7am-11pm daily



2627 Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica

Bus 3, 8 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Lincoln/Ocean Park)

Open 6am-11pm daily


13401 Washington Boulevard, Marina Del Rey

Bus 3 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Lincoln/Washington)

Open 6am-11pm daily


910 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice

Bus 2, 3 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Lincoln Boulevard/California Avenue)

Open 6am-2am daily

Whole Foods Market

2201 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica

Bus 2 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Wilshire/22nd Street)

Open 7am-10pm daily


225 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice

Bus 2 (Big Blue Bus; stop: Lincoln/Rose)

Open 7am-10pm daily

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