Did someone say food? Whether you’re visiting Los Angeles for the first time or you’re back to experience the City of Angels once more, don’t forget to add these deliciously diverse food joints to your list and of course — bring an appetite!
If you haven’t already figured out, LA is a melting pot of culture that manifests itself in all kinds of ways — the nature parks, the arts, and of course… the food. This cosmopolitan city has got to be one of the most exciting and diverse cities in America for food and drinks.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise though. After all, LA is home to people from more than 140 countries, which would inadvertently shape the culinary scene in more ways than one.
So from delicious Cuban pastries to Philippino-inspired tipples, we’ve rounded up our shortlist of must-visit food and drink establishments around LA. Don’t forget to bookmark these locations before your next visit to build your very own essential Los Angeles foodie guide!
1. Porto’s Bakery
Image credits: Secret Los Angeles
We may have plenty of Cuban-inspired establishments here in Singapore, but nothing beats experiencing the taste of the real deal. Porto’s is a family-run bakery that has been operating out of Cali for nearly 60 years and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
While there are plenty of sweet and savory options on its roster, the must-trys include their guava-and-cheese strudel that’s equal parts flaky, fruity, sweet, and savory, and their potato balls, a fail-proof mix of mashed potatoes, ground beef and all sorts of spices — if you’re a fan of the humble croquette then you are in.for.a.treat.
While there isn’t a fixed time for Porto’s (why should there be?), we think that their bakes are especially perfect for when you’re setting off on a road trip, in-between meals, and after a night out.
Operating Hours: 6.30am – 8pm daily
Address: 315 N. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
(They have 5 other outlets citywide!)
Find out more about Porto’s Bakery to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
Image credits: Guisados
When a restaurant is named after the very dish it creates, you know it is bound to be amazing. Case in point? Guisados, a nod to the taco de guisado, is a dish this restaurant chain has mastered to mouthwatering perfection.
Known for its braised homestyle filling and its homemade tortillas, Guisados specializes in 17 tacos and 2 quesadillas — which is a tasty dilemma, especially for a tourist on a mission. Our recommendation? The Steak Picado, where flank steak is simmered with green bell peppers and bacon, and the Tinga de Pollo, a shredded chicken breast option braised with tomatoes, chorizo, and chipotle.
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat: 8am – 9pm, Sunday: 9am – 9pm
Address: 2100 East Cesar E. Chaves Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033
(They have 6 other outlets citywide)
Find out more about Guisados to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
3. Bludso’s Bar and Que
Image credits: Bludso’s BBQ
Sure, the BBQ joints in LA may not reach Texan standards, but Bludso’s is one of the rare few that serves up authentic and delicious barbecued meats.
Bludso’s specializes in the full works — think fall-off-the-bone ribs, brisket that’s charred to perfection, collard greens, sweet and savory cornbread, peach cobbler… the list goes on, and we are drooling. Fair warning: expect a long queue and go as early as you can. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this restaurant sells out early!
Operating Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 9pm, Sat & Sun: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Address: 609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Find out more about Bludso’s Bar and Que to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
4. SK Donut & Croissant
Image credits: SK Donut & Croissant
Are you ready for some of the best donuts in your life? Let SK do its thing. Having been in the business since 1989, you can expect nothing short of perfection in its recipes and flavours.
While you can choose from a variety of flavours, we would recommend the glazed old-fashioned for a taste of the OG and their Strawberry Custard Skronut because we love a little decadence. No matter what you choose, walking into this shop will have you feeling like a child on Christmas morning.
In fact, this establishment was just voted #2 in a list of top 100 donut shops across the US. If that doesn’t speak volumes of its quality, we don’t know what will!
Operating Hours: Wed – Fri: 5.30am – 7pm, Sat & Sun: 5.30am – 9pm. Closed on Mondays
Address: 5850 West 3rd Street Suite #A, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Find out more about SK Donut & Croissant to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
Image credits: Time Out
If you’ve been keeping tabs on some of the most exciting restaurants in LA, then Bavel would have definitely come up once or twice. As the second restaurant to the folks behind the famed Bestia, Bavel moves away from the Italian classics and dabbles in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Image credits: Los Angeles Magazine
Once you settle down into this cozy and chic space (that’s if you manage to get a reservation), you can expect to be spoilt for choice — think hummus with duck ’nduja, slow-roasted lamb neck shawarma, and a delicious ocean trout Crudo. If you’re planning a visit, we’d recommend going hungry. The portions here can get pretty insane, but what’s there to complain about that, right?
Operating Hours: 5pm – 11pm daily
Address: 500 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Find out more about Bavel to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
6. Han Bat Sul Lung Tang
Image credits: TripAdvisor
If you had to pick one restaurant in the whole of Korean Town for a meal, let this be it. The Sul Lung Tang, or ox bone soup, is comfort food at its finest, and the lovely folks at this joint have definitely mastered the art of the milky and flavourful broth.
The menu is simple (as with all epic food joints), and all you need to worry about is what protein to add to your soup. We’d recommend the full works, but if innards aren’t really your thing, opt for the beef brisket. Don’t forget to mix your soup with the condiments provided because that’s what is going to bring out the full flavour of your broth. Enjoy with a side of rice and kimchi. Oh, the simple pleasures of life.
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat: 7am – 9pm. Closed on Sundays
Address: 4163 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Find out more about Han Bat Sul Lung Tang to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
7. Blu Jam Cafe
Image credits: Postmates
We love IHOP and Denny’s as much as the next person does — after all, who wouldn’t want to chow down on diner-style fare-like breakfast fry-ups, pancakes, and omelets?
Enter: Blu Jam Cafe, a slightly more upscale yet cozy establishment that has made a name for itself across the city. We live for their Crunchy French Toast, where brioche and cornflakes come together and are grilled to perfection, as well as their Morning Hash, a delicious mix of all the works — think grilled potatoes, scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, and toast.
Operating Hours: 9am – 2pm daily
Address: 7371 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (They have 6 other outlets citywide)
Find out more about Blu Jam Cafe to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
8. Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles
Image credits: Hangry Alice
Until the borders fully open up, many of us are still left craving for a little bit of Japan. Thankfully, LA is home to some of the most authentic Japanese dishes thanks to its huge Japanese population.
This Tokyo-import specializes in Tsukemen, or cold dipping noodles, and has a rich and umami-packed broth that is reminiscent of what you may find in Japan. Order the classic Charsiu Tsukemen for the ultimate indulgence. But if dipping noodles isn’t your cup of tea (or bowl of noodles for that matter), they have plenty of options like traditional ramen (with vegan options!) and rice bowls too.
Operating Hours: Mon – Fri & Sun: 11am – 10pm, Sat: 11am – 10.30pm
Address: 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Find out more about Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
9. Lucky Boy Burgers
Image credits: Eater LA
Amongst the In-And-Outs and Wendys of the land, a few smaller, unpretentious joints deserve a shout, like Lucky Boy.
There’s nothing more comforting than a big juicy burger, a side of fries, and a milkshake. But at Lucky Boy Burgers, they’ve gone beyond that. The most popular menu item is their breakfast burrito, which is filled with eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage, and cheese before they‘re wrapped snuggly in a toasted tortilla. It’s the perfect hangover cure, and an affordable pick-me-up that’ll keep you full for hours.
Operating Hours: 6am – 12am daily
Address: 640 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105
Find out more about Lucky Boy Burgers to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
10. Genever Bar
Image credits: Genever LA
Bars may be dime a dozen here in Los Angeles, but we love a good Asian and female-run establishment that walks the talk!
Image credits: Genever LA
Genever sits in the historic Filipinotown and specializes in creating Gin-based cocktails that use locally-sourced ingredients, and of course, products that are unique to The Philippines. Expect concoctions that use housemate fish sauce, Lambanog, pork jerky, and calamansi pilsner — yes, you read all of that right.
Operating Hours: Tues – Thurs & Sun: 6pm – 11pm, Fri & Sat: 6pm – 12am. Closed on Mondays
Address: 3123 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Find out more about Genever LA to curate your own Los Angeles foodie guide
Ready To Eat Your Way Through LA?
When traveling, it can be tempting to forego local eats in exchange for convenience and comfort. But we think that the best way to truly explore and understand a city is to eat like a local and explore every nook and cranny of what the foodie scene has to offer.
With that said, some establishments don’t always accept cashless payments. So to ensure you still get the most bang for your buck at the ATMs, don’t forget to make use of your YouTrip Card to enjoy wholesale exchange rates, zero admin fees, and overall peace of mind when you’re travelling.
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