When finding the best foods to indulge in, Los Angeles is a culinary haven. From fresh seafood to vibrant ethnic flavors, the city offers a mouth-watering array of options to fill your stomach from the suburbs to downtown. There are no wrong choices here when you visit this city on the West Coast. These are just some of the options we highly recommend you try while traveling here.
1. Mexican Food
It’s no surprise that Los Angeles takes great pride in its extraordinary Mexican food scene. Renowned for its rich and diverse flavors, LA Mexican cuisine is a combination of tradition, innovation, and cultural fusion.
From the sizzling street tacos bursting with tender meats, freshly homemade salsas, and fragrant herbs and spices, to the mouthwatering enchiladas smothered in luscious mole sauce, every bite celebrates Mexico’s culinary heritage. LA is filled with enough authentic taquerias, birrerias, and family-owned establishments that it will be hard to pick just one.
From San Gabriel Valley down to Orange County, each is adding its unique touch to the vast array of iconic dishes. Whether it’s the perfectly crafted guacamole, the zesty ceviche, or the crispy churros dusted with cinnamon, LA Mexican food tantalizes the taste buds and transports you to the culinary heart of Mexico without ever leaving the city.
2. Asian Food
Los Angeles has a thriving Asian community, including the always-popular Koreatown, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo. There is an endless array of delicious options to explore.
For a taste of Korean cuisine, savor some delicious bulgogi or spicy kimchi at one of LA’s many Korean BBQ joints. Savor the mouthwatering flavors of tender sushi rolls and sashimi at trendy Japanese izakayas, or indulge in the fiery heat of Szechuan-style mapo tofu at beloved Chinese eateries.
Thai curry houses, Vietnamese pho shops, and Filipino bistros also contribute to LA’s Asian food legacy, showcasing the region’s incredible culinary heritage. Spend part of your summer here enjoying the many Asian food festivals, such as the 626 Nightmarket. The foodie scene here never fails to deliver a gastronomic adventure that leaves diners wanting more.
The seafood offerings in Los Angeles are the epitome of culinary perfection, which is no wonder being so close to the California coast.
You will find fresh catches almost daily and flavors that transport your taste buds straight to the coastal shores. From succulent shrimp to delectable crab and fish.
Whether you savor a mouthwatering lobster tail dipped in garlic butter or indulge in a platter of perfectly seasoned fish tacos, each bite introduces you to a symphony of flavors.
LA’s seafood scene combines the richness of traditional seafood dishes with a more modern twist, offering innovative preparations that push the boundaries. With its vast selection of seafood restaurants, the coastal cuisine is a must for seafood lovers. And you may have the opportunity for some worthwhile panoramic views of the ocean while you eat.
4. Food Trucks
LA has become synonymous with delicious and diverse culinary experiences, and the food truck scene is no exception. These rolling kitchens on wheels have taken the city by storm, offering a vibrant tapestry of flavors on every corner.
From Korean BBQ tacos to gourmet burgers, and from spicy Indian curries to mouthwatering lobster rolls, LA food trucks have it all. They offer an incredible fusion of international cuisines, often prepared by talented and passionate chefs.
The best part? The experience is not just about the food, but also the vibrant atmosphere created by the buzzing crowds. LA food trucks have truly become a culinary sensation, adding a new dimension to the city’s vibrant dining landscape.
There are weekly food truck events scattered around Los Angeles where you can spend your afternoon or evening just sampling dishes from each truck. Sometimes this comes with live music and arts and crafts to make it a family fun event.
Italian food has become increasingly popular here and consistently stands out, paying homage to traditional flavors of the Italian peninsula while embracing contemporary techniques.
From the iconic red-checkered tablecloths of charming family-owned trattorias to the sleek modern bistros, the city boasts a plethora of authentic Italian eateries.
They have even built Eataly, an Italian-specific shopping store for all your Italian cooking needs. This is the best place for specialized varieties of pasta, herbs and spices, cooking oils, sauces, and of course choice cut meats.
Delight your palate with classic Neapolitan pizzas, adorned with delectable toppings like creamy burrata, fresh basil, and zesty San Marzano tomatoes. Savor the rich, homemade pasta dishes, whether it’s the silky smooth fettuccine Alfredo or the hearty lasagna layered with velvety ricotta. Indulge in delectable offerings like tiramisu or cannoli, expertly crafted by skilled pastry chefs.
LA’s Italian food scene showcases the artistry and passion of its talented chefs, making it a haven for Italian cuisine enthusiasts.
As a very health-conscious and fitness-centric city, this is a vegan and vegetarian hotspot of food, and popular for all plant-based enthusiasts. Every location of innovative restaurants, food trucks, and cafes, has focused more on this type of cuisine.
From trendy cafes serving up colorful smoothie bowls and avocado toast to gourmet eateries offering creative plant-based dishes, there is something to satisfy every taste bud.
LA’s vegan food scene is not limited to just salads and tofu. It presents a vibrant array of plant-based burgers, tacos, pizzas, and even vegan sushi. With its emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, LA exemplifies how vegan food can be both delicious and sustainable.
Whether you are a seasoned vegan or simply looking to try something new to add to your weekly menu, LA offers an unparalleled selection of vegan delights that will leave you craving more.
7. German Food
The ever-popular bratwursts and sauerkraut has made its way here to several German-inspired restaurants. Other traditional dishes like pretzels, rye bread, and stews such as goulash and sauerbraten showcase the German love for hearty and homemade meals.
Compliment these with some classic pilsners to make it an enjoyable night. Don’t forget about the delectable desserts like Black Forest cake and strudel, which tantalize the taste buds with their sweet and indulgent flavors.
Whether you’re a carnivore or have a penchant for pastries, German food will surely leave you craving for more. Prost!
8. Danish Food
You might be surprised, but you can sample Danish food while in Los Angeles if you are up for taking a day trip to Solvang. This town wholeheartedly embraces the love of Danish cuisine and style. It creates a warm and cozy atmosphere with dishes that are going to nourish both your body and soul.
From iconic open-faced sandwiches known as smørrebrød, topped with an array of savory ingredients like pickled herring, cold cuts, and tangy remoulade, to the savory and comforting dish of frikadeller, delicious meatballs often served with potatoes and creamy gravy. This may be out of your way but definitely worth the trip to come enjoy these delights.
From many years of personal experience as a local, we recommend if you are going to be in the city to visit the Grand Central Market. This is the perfect location in the heart of Los Angeles that combines nearly all of the different kinds of food you may want to try in one location.
It is an especially popular marketplace destination for both tourists and locals so it does get crowded. The vibrant atmosphere is contagious and you will be smelling all the different aromas to make your stomach grumble.
Once you finish here you can spend your leisurely time walking around the city. This is an absolute must-visit destination for food lovers.
You will find plenty of helpful food guides, and recommendations from friends and family who have visited before, or maybe you just want to explore and pick your own at random.
Perhaps you will find a hidden gem of the perfect meal that will keep you coming back again and again. Just embrace all the good quality food here and keep your mind open to trying something new. After all, you are on vacation.
Bio: Nick from The World Overload
Nick is the founder of The World Overload, a personal travel blog. From here he shares his and other world travelers’ personal experiences, popular cultural events, trip itineraries, and suggested destinations for every world-traveling enthusiast. Nick wants to experience the most of what this world has to offer and hopes to bring you into this as well. He has been to over 30 countries and continues to travel 2-3 times a year while working his full-time job and side hustles. Follow Nick from The World Overload on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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