The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
In Los Angeles, you'll taste everything from modern food fusions to classic diners, roadside fruit stands, and global cuisine. Look to Beverly Hills for the A-List restaurants, and head downtown for a cheap, delicious meal from one of L.A.'s signature food trucks.
3455 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA
You’ll want to block off at least three hours of your day for a meal at n/naka, Los Angeles’s temple to the elaborate, multi-course traditional Japanese feast known as kaiseki. Chef-owner Niki Nakayama—one of the world’s few female kaiseki masters...
1147 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403, USA
Tucked away on Third Street since 1979, Michael’s is arguably the best-kept secret in Santa Monica—a Cheers-like stalwart for locals, who return to proprietor Michael McCarty’s inviting restaurant and bar regularly. It...
8474 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
Opened by two native Angelenos—award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and acclaimed sommelier Caroline Styne—Lucques specializes in fresh Mediterranean and California-style dishes. The restaurant's location on posh Melrose Avenue in West...
9043 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
Kris Yenbamroong opened Night + Market (and its sister eateries, Night + Market Song and Night + Market Sahm) with no formal chef training. But Yenbamroong grew up in his family's restaurant, and his Thai heritage is reflected in every dish on the...
2100 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
The Mexican food at Guisados is great simply because it doesn't try too hard. The owners, Armando de la Torre Sr. and Armando de la Torre Jr., aim to make every dish just how mom used to make it, and they succeed on every level. From humble...
720 N Virgil Ave #4, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
Since opening as a preserves shop in 2011 (and adding breakfast and lunch service in 2012), Sqirl has become an East Hollywood staple. The tiny space—only 800 square feet—invites crowds of hip Angelenos looking for a bright space for...
624 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
The largely French-inspired menu at Republique has more than a few surprises on it, like the generous selection of oysters and kanpachi crudo in Thai green curry and peanuts. The high ceilings, walls of windows, and loads of natural light...
2123 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA
When you first walk into Tatsu Ramen, you are greeted with iPad terminals. You choose your Ramen order and once you're done paying, you take a paper receipt to the wait staff. But that's just the beginning. The Wagyu Ramen Burger (only $8) is a...
863 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005, USA
Palsaik Samgyupsal, which means, "Eight Colors of Pork," is a divine discovery for a bacon lover like myself. Seriously, what can be better than a restaurant that specializes in flavored bacon? You can't help but salivate as marinated slices of...
9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
Like Five Guys in DC, Whataburger in Texas, and Shake Shack in NYC, In-N-Out is the West Coast burger joint for those in the know. It’s been a SoCal staple since it first opened in 1948 and has since developed a cult-like following...
8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
The bustling Joan’s on Third gourmet marketplace is a staple of the Los Angeles lunch scene. It is a revolving door of characters for which L.A. is known: celebrities, aspiring actresses, power moms, and entertainment industry executives. However,...
829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Fusing the trends of sushi and build-your-own grain bowls, Sweetfin in Santa Monica, has created a customizable poke destination that is convenient, cost effective and creative at its core. The Hawaiian raw fish dish traditionally combines cubed...
10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
When 800 Degrees Pizzeria opened in the neighborhood of Westwood, there was a line out the door for days. Since then, the build-your-own-pizza place has expanded to other L.A. locations in Santa Monica, Hollywood, Downtown, Playa Vista, and LAX,...
114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
Located inside the rectory building of the former St. Vibiana's Cathedral, Redbird pays homage to its historical walls by keeping decor simple and minimal. The patio outside was practically built for brunch, which features an impressively deep set...
5233 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
With a profusely sweating forehead, bright red face, and tears forming in the corner of his eyes, my guest continued to shovel chopsticks full of Crying Tiger Beef into his smiling mouth. The spicier the better at Jitlada, an authentic Southern...
6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA
Servers, somms, and chef-owner Nancy Silverton all swirl around Osteria Mozza’s centerpiece Mozzarella Bar, where small dishes of freshly imported mozzarella, ricotta, and burrata are plated with pairings like bacon or braised leeks. With...
25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
There is no better reward after a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains or a bike ride up the coast than to stuff your face with fresh fish at the fishermen-owned Malibu Seafood. Your order will most certainly change as you pass the fish market case...
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA
Husband-and-wife team Genevieve Gergis and Ori Menashe are behind Bestia, an Italian haven that consistently ranks high on local "best of" lists. The decor follows the name—which translates to "beast" in Italian—with its wall of...
6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
This restaurant is such an institution that it predates the city’s most iconic landmark—the Hollywood sign. In a way, Hollywood was born in Musso & Frank’s red booths, back when the famed boulevard was still a dirt road. The...
2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA
The strip of Sawtelle Boulevard between La Grange and Tennessee avenues is a hotbed of spots with unbelievable Asian cuisine, and Tsujita LA is no exception. The noodle house has two specialties: tsukemen and tonkotsu ramen. The former relies on a...
408 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
There is a first for everything and prior to dining at Bäco Mercat, I had never had spaghetti squash. Having tried it elsewhere since, I never want to have it anywhere else again. While spaghetti squash may not currently be on their rotating...
267 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA
You can't talk about cafés and coffee shops in Los Angeles without mentioning one of its most popular places: Urth Caffé. For an organic fix, there’s no better place. There are a number of locations throughout the city and...
8428 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069, USA
The flagship Alfred Coffee opened on picturesque Melrose Place in 2013. Since, the café has expanded to include locations in Brentwood and Silver Lake, as well as a Studio City location, an outpost in the hip Line Hotel in ever-evolving...
1050 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA
Chef Ray Garcia, a native Angeleno, is the chef and creative mind behind Broken Spanish, an upscale Mexican eatery in the heart of Downtown L.A. Here, the caracoles—snails—are slathered in mole verde and cooked with mushrooms and...
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant Spago is simple but delicious, serving classic California fare in a bright room of dark booths and white linen tablecloths. The seasonal dinner menu is split into three courses, plus a "From the Garden"...
516 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020, USA
3500 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA
Move over, Grand Central Market. There's a new food hall in Koreatown, and it's giving the longstanding downtown market a run for its money. Platform 35, located at the Wilshire/Normandie purple line metro stop, gave the area a major destination...
5359 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016, USA
Alta Adams's executive chef Keith Corbin didn't attend a culinary academy to earn his cooking stripes—instead, the Watts native spent hours on end whipping up dishes in prison while serving out a seven-year sentence for armed robbery. When...
220 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Known for its movie-themed decor and a selection of over 250 types of tequila, and beloved for its Mexican brunch, Casablanca Restaurant opened in 1980 with a menu of traditional and lesser-known Mexican entrees that it holds to this day. The...
512 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
"I am grateful" is just one of the ways you order lunch at Cafe Gratitude. "I am whole" is another; as is "I am glorious." Every dish on the menu has a name like this, and whether you're in the mood for gratitude (the community bowl with shredded...
3361 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005, USA
Ask anyone who lives from Central L.A. to Downtown where to go for steak, and we bet they'll all say the same: Taylor's. The steakhouse has been operating in the Koreatown area of Central L.A., just a few miles west of Downtown, since the '50s....
1850 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Retro diners from America’s golden years dot Los Angeles. Their original décor elicits nostalgic memories even in those too young to have them. A new wave of retro-inspired diners like 101 Coffee Shop, Fred 62 and Swingers have become staples for...
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
I’ll never forget my first time trying avocado toast. It was at the West Side’s quintessential brunch spot, Gjelina, while sipping rose with friends on the cozy sun-soaked back patio. I moved to Venice Beach three months later and...
3599 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
Verspertine isn’t so much a restaurant as an experience—a collaboration between chef-owner Jordan Kahn and architect Eric Owen Moss. The futuristic four-level structure, wrapped in undulating steel with glass walls and minimal design elements,...
8700 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
With A.O.C., which opened in 2002, chef Suzanne Goin and sommelier Caroline Styne have proven their uncanny ability to create not only an essential L.A. restaurant, but also one with true staying power. Although the Mediterranean-meets-Big Sur–...
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
As the name suggests, the best way to experience this Abbot Kinney stalwart is to order the three- or five-course family-style tasting menu—never written and unique for each table. While James Beard finalist chef Casey Lane’s...
5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA
Santa Barbara spot prawns roasted under a layer of salt. Nasturtium leaf tacos filled with scallop tartare. Gelée of littleneck clam and chorizo served in the clam shell. These are just a few of the delicacies guests might taste at...
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