Dining out in Los Angeles offers visitors more than the stereotypical kale salads and burrito vending machines that make the news. Los Angeles is home to many world-class restaurants that serve diners of all budgets memorable, mouthwatering courses.
There’s plenty to do in Los Angeles— and all that sightseeing will make you hungry. Stop by some of the following restaurants to fill your tank for your LA travels. Let’s start with one of the fine places to eat in Los Angeles that is also a tourist attraction.
Los Angeles Grand Central Market
Come for the 1917 exterior and the exotic goods; stay for the delicious food. The city’s oldest, biggest public market, Grand Central Market offers a chance for you to take a look at some of the American fruits and veg and get a selection of travel snacks. But, that in itself is nothing to make it a true “foodie” destination. No, what makes the market appealing to gourmands from LA and elsewhere are the 20-some restaurants and food stalls that make the market and the streets around it a go-to centre for your lunch or afternoon tea-break.
One of the stand-out venues in the central market is Bäco Merkat, a foodie joint offering brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurant’s name comes from its signature flatbread sandwich, designed by the chef. Fusing traditionally Mexican flavours and ingredients with unusual Western and Eastern influences, the menu is fresh and surprising.
When you’re planning your Los Angeles adventure, don’t forget about sampling some Mexican food. It’s hard to find Mexican food done correctly outside of the North American continent, and while it’s easy to find good Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles, you’ll rarely come across a restaurant anywhere that’s as universally lauded as Guisados. Boasting an unusual 100 percent rating from TripAdvisor users, Guisados bowls diners over with its slow-braised pork, fresh tortillas and good service. A word of caution, however: if you’re not used to spicy food, go easy on the dishes marked with a red chili pepper. They aren’t kidding!
Guisados has two locations, one each in Boyle Heights and Echo Park, and another soon to open.
For something heartier and more stereotypically American, make a reservation at Bludso’s, a barbecue house whose ribs and brisket will have you ruminating on Los Angeles’s name. Its specialty is serving cuts on big platters to be shared amongst your group. This stop on your eating agenda will please the meat lovers in your party, as well as those looking for somewhere to start off your excursion into L.A. nightlife. Billing itself as a “bar-and-que” instead of just a “barbecue,” Bludso’s has a selection of cocktails and other alcoholic drinks to go along with your meal.
Hoping for something fancy? If you’ve got a special occasion to mark or just feel like splashing out while on holiday, Mélisse offers top-notch French cuisine in Santa Monica. It has received two Michelin stars and has been voted one of the Top 40 restaurants in the United States by the Gayot review guide.
Mélisse offers a tasting menu, paired with vintages from the restaurant’s extensive wine library. It’s open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Good Girl Dinette
Los Angeles enjoys the cultural influences of a large Asian population, one result of which is the Good Girl Dinette. This Vietnamese-Western fusion restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in the form of sandwiches, pot pies and baked goods side-by-side with rice porridges, spring rolls and pho.
Good Girl Dinette is open daily except Mondays.
Craft Los Angeles
Part of the Craft family of restaurants that has locations in New York and Las Vegas, Craft Los Angeles offers a fine-dining experience in the American tradition. Craft offers lunch and dinner to its guests, with the option of a chef’s tasting menu with optional wine pairing in the evening. A popular spot for local Angelenos going on a date or celebrating a landmark like a family birthday, Craft gets especially good reviews for its steaks.
If you don’t feel like a full meal but want to experience the restaurant’s upscale yet laid back ambiance, Craft’s bar also offers a range of snacks, small meals and cocktails.
Whether your budget per plate is in the tens or the hundreds, Los Angeles offers visitors a huge range of worthwhile restaurants. Don’t settle for fast food while you’re in LA — make sure you keep up your refined palette at these fine establishments.