Large and colourful Los Angeles boasts mouthwatering dishes from around the world, from celebrity chefs to burger joints, here are the top 10 things to try
Rubbing elbows with celebrities at cutting-edge restaurants, or munching down on some West Coast favourites at a classic diner, trendy Los Angeles has got you covered. Eating healthy has never been so easy either – as the epicentre of health-conscious living, LA boasts an abundance of juice bars, vegan-friendly restaurants and organic farmers’ markets that are sure to satisfy the most health-conscious diners.
Burger and fries
It would be a sin to come to LA without trying a juicy cheeseburger and fries from the state’s cult burger chain, In-N-Out Burger. Bonus points if you order your meal “animal style,” the popular “secret menu” term that refers to a hearty topping of melted cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand Island dressing.
Where to try: In-N-Out Burger (various locations in LA)
With an entire district dubbed “Little Tokyo,” it’s no surprise that Los Angeles is known for its myriad of delicious sushi options. Celebrity-chef owned Nobu is a favourite among many of LA’s high-profile stars (you’re likely to spot a Kardashian), while much-loved local chain Sugarfish is renowned for its high-quality traditional sushi.
Where to try: Head to the Little Tokyo district or try Nobu (903 La Cienega Blvd) or Sugarfish (various locations)
Perhaps best enjoyed from inside a baseball stadium, hot dogs are a North American staple. LA has taken the humble hot dog to a whole new level, with fast food joints throughout the city each offering their unique and tasty version of the American classic.
Where to try: Pink’s Hot Dogs (709 North La Brea Ave) is a historic roadside spot that’s famous for its chili cheese dog – a frankfurter piled high with melted cheese, beef chili and onions.
French dip sandwich
Said to be the accidental creation of restaurant-owner Philippe Mathieu in 1918, the tasty sandwich has its roots in Southern California. The lip-smacking meal consists of meat stuffed between a gravy-dipped French roll, topped with cheese and served with a variety of sides.
Where to try: Philippe The Original (1001 North Alameda)
Whether it’s warm burritos served from a taco truck or chargrilled carne asada from a sit-down restaurant, it’s no secret that LA offers some of the best Mexican cuisine in the United States.
Where to try: For an upscale and modern take on Mexican cuisine, head to Broken Spanish (1050 South Flower St). Or pick up cheap, mouthwatering street tacos at the El Chato Taco Truck (5300 West Olympic Blvd).
A poultry delight, this dish involves a breaded chicken breast that is coated in a thick tomato sauce and then covered with a variety of cheeses, including mozzarella, parmesan and provolone.
Where to try: Dan Tana’s (9071 Santa Monica Blvd) homely restaurant has been open since 1964 and offers a classic take on the iconic chicken parm.
An internet legend, Sqirl’s ricotta toast has caused a stir among the Instagram community. People wait in line outside this quirky cafe for a taste of their thickly sliced brioche toast that’s smothered in homemade ricotta and topped with a selection of colourful jams – a truly delicious way to start the day.
Where to try: Sqirl (720 Virgil Ave #4)
While LA is known for its multitude of healthy eateries, dessert-lovers fear not. With plenty of old-school diners and modern pie shops, the city possesses some of the best places to try this quintessential American dessert.
Where to try: The apple pie at Jones Hollywood (7205 California State Route 2) is often proclaimed the best in the city. The Apple Pan (10801 West Pico Blvd) has been serving up the dish at its classic diner counter since 1947.
Wine is the official drink of California, and the state offers some of the world’s best. If you don’t want to travel all the way to the vineyards in Napa Valley or Orange County, you can head to one of the picturesque wineries in LA to sip the delicious drink.
Where to try: Take in the scenery and taste local wines at Malibu Wine Safari (32111 Mulholland Hwy), or head downtown for a tasting at San Antonio Winery (737 Lamar St).
Juice/smoothie from a juice bar
The sound of a blender crushing locally-produced fruit and vegetables is never far away. The city that popularised juice cleanses is filled with tons of juice bars that are focused on healthy organic drinks and smoothies.
Where to try: Moon Juice (2839 Sunset Blvd), Pressed Juicery (various locations), and Clover Juice (342 South La Brea Ave) all offer some of the best smoothies and juices in the city.