Los Angeles is a food lovers dream come true for it is a paradise for every taste, every budget and every occasion. We dived into this shimmering ocean of diverse eats and were rewarded with several gems, all of which will be divulged right here in this LA dining guide. Read for a complete list of our gastronomic adventures and do try to hit a few of these spots in this dining guide for a lip smacking memorable experience. As is our usual practice while traveling, we tried to stay off meat as much as possible and focused more on veggies and meatless meals. So vegetarians and vegans, you have plenty of choices in in this dining guide. For more on Los Angeles, here is an excellent Los Angeles itinerary by a local for things to do in this beautiful city.
A) DINING GUIDE FOR BREAKFAST
From unpretentious, no fuss standard, hearty morning fare at Fiddler’s bistro and Cafe Vida (Culver City) to the hep and happening flavors of Sqirl and Cafe Republique, we savored it all. Because of the holiday season, the lines were shorter at the latter two insanely popular joints, and for that we were immensely thankful. If you are in town for longer, do check out Faith&Flower as well as Viviane.
Fiddler’s Bistro (vegetarian options available)
Simple standard breakfast, generous portions, just the way you’d want your morning to start.
Sqirl (vegan friendly)
Sqirl is the new favorite kid on the LA food blog and for good reason, lots of creative ideas in a bowl that are rich in flavor. Think of lightyears ahead of the eggs and bacon and do not forget to order in their brioche toast, which is a slice of heaven in your mouth.
Cafe Vida (vegan friendly)
Fuss free, mostly vegetarian food and a killer juice bar, need I say more? A gem in the heart of Culver city where you might find yourself if you are in the mood for some studio touring.
Republique (vegan friendly)
On trend and extremely stylish, this bistro is the toast of the town and a hot favorite for Los Angelinos. Arrive between 9-10AM for brunch and you will manage to evade the long line snaking out of the cafe (late risers galore in LA). Go for the jugular..err, the southwestern waffle or better still, the yummy shakshuka! Bold colors infused with amazing flavors-food at its creative best!
B) DINING GUIDE FOR LUNCH
Lunch was all over town as we zipped from Grand Central Market in Downtown LA (Savita’s pupusas and Bombo) to Gjelina on Abbott Kinney Blvd at Venice to the insanely popular Pizzeria Mozza. All of them are must visit gastronomical stops, all of them will scream happy your tummy. Guaranteed-carnivores and herbivores alike.
Grand Central Market LA (lots of vendors, lots of choices, all yummy)
Once you enter this buzzing market place, you will immediately get a feel of the pulse that is quintessentially LA. Crowded with hungry lunch goers with dozens of vendors to appease them, Savita’s pupusas and Bombo for seafood are two solid spots that will do the trick.
Gjelina (a gem of a find near Venice Beach, vegan friendly)
Skip the nasty touristy joints on main street and head straight to Abbott Kinney Blvd, where Gjelina awaits you with long lines and famished lunch goers. Do not shy away from a seat at the communal table because you want to get a grab of that sinful coconut curry ASAP! Great food and great wine, a must visit!
Pizzeria Mozza (your one stop destination for the slices LA goes gaga over, vegetarian options available)
Good old thin crust Californian Pizza, solid in taste and with zero frills. The squash flowers with tomato and burrata was to die for! Reservations recommended for this wildly popular spot.
C) DINING GUIDE FOR MID-DAY CRAVINGS
Mid afternoon snacks to late night cravings, anything qualifies as happy hour if that involves wolfing down sugary treats. And, wolf down we did starting from sinful donuts (California donuts in Korea town) to silky smooth pies (Pie Hole, Downtown) to lip smacking ice-cream and paletas at Mateo’s frutas y paletas.
D) DINING GUIDE FOR DINNER
Dinner was a crazy miss-mash of the high and low-fancy James Beard nominated Pok Pok serving zany Thai cuisine to Tijuana style tacos made diligently in a vacant parking lot behind a tire shop, the trendy Broken Spanish gaining new grounds in LA influenced Mexican cuisine to Chego, renegade chef Roi Choi’s (of Kogi BBQ fame) sit and eat spot whipping up a storm in Rice bowls.
Pok Pok LA (vegetarian options available)
Broken Spanish (vegetarian options available)
Chego (Vegetarian option available, vegan if you choose to skip the fried egg)
Tire shop taqueria (sadly, nothing vegetarian here). Their Champurrado (Mexican drinking chocolate made with masa flour) is to DIE FOR.
Final verdict: LA knows its way to one’s heart via the stomach and has unpretentious delicious cheap eats giving the more upscale spots a run for their money. Add in the amazing ethnicity and there is something for everyone that I have tried to include in this LA dining guide. Our biggest regret was not being able to visit the famous food trucks (LA has a bustling food truck scene) such as Mariscos Jalisco or Kogi BBQ (the latter is credited to have started the food truck revolution in the city via its kimchi tacos) but we still managed to hit a few high notes in our four day visit. Los Angeles is a must visit city for all food lovers and you won’t be disappointed with these recommendations in this mini dining guide. Do visit my other LA post here for more travel inspiration.
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