Downtown Los Angeles is filled to the brim with restaurant choices – it seems like a new one pops up almost everyday. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or just looking for a new spot to grab lunch away from the office, here are our top 10 picks of places to grab an afternoon bite in DTLA.
Casa La Doña
800 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
It goes without saying that DTLA is flooded with taco spots, so it can be really hard for just any one taqueria to stand out. What makes Casa La Doña so special is their absolutely massive salsa bar – with nearly 20 different varieties from sweet, spicy and everything in between, there’s definitely something for everybody here. In addition to their excellent fresh salsa bar, they have a wide selection of aguas frescas and seafood options.
422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
In business since 1980, Sushi Gen is a staple of Little Tokyo’s collection of restaurants offering authentic Japanese cuisine. While this is a great spot to eat at any time of day, their lunchtime $17 sashimi platter is one of the best deals in the city. Show up before noon if you’re not looking to wait in line, and be aware that they’re currently closed on Sundays and Mondays.
727 N Broadway Unit 120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of the newest additions to the rapidly-expanding Chinatown neighborhood, Easy’s Burgers is a small window counter offering some of the best burgers in town (right next-door to the much raved about Howlin’ Rays). Founded by chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut fame, Easy’s presents a small menu of five different burgers (with optional add-ons), french fries and classic milkshakes. Like its neighbor Howlin Ray’s, it’s only open from 11am – 4pm, so get there early if you want to avoid the line and get in an order before they close.
Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
While it’s long been argued who was the actual originator of the French Dip sandwich, there is no denying that Philippe’s is a classic Los Angeles landmark. Located across the street from Union Station, Philippe’s is a traditional deli/cafeteria, offering Tuna Melts, Soups, and Salads, in addition to their authentic French Dip Sandwiches. Be sure to try their homemade hot mustard – it goes great on any of their sandwiches.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Grand Central Market)
Housed in the famous Grand Central Market, Wexler’s is a new take on the traditional Jewish deli, offering old-school favorites like Corned Beef, Pastrami on Rye, Tuna Melts, and of course Bagels and Lox. Like any real deli, you can also buy house-smoked meats and fish by the pound, and they also offer large party platters for catering your next event.
421 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Opened by the same chefs and partners behind Sugarfish and Sushi Nozawa, Kazunori Sushi is a new offshoot that exclusively specializes in temaki sushi, also known as hand rolls. With several set meals ranging from $11 for 3 hand rolls to $23 for 6 hand rolls (as well as the ability to order a la carte), Kazunori is an affordable way to enjoy delicious, fresh sushi from the Sushi Nozawa restaurant group.
419 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
There’s been at least a couple excellent Filipino eateries that have cropped up in recent years, and RiceBar is one more to add to that small but reputable list. Offering authentic Filipino heirloom recipes, RiceBar serves up a small but tasty menu of rice bowls dishes with traditional ingredients, many of which are flown in from the Philippines. This small “hole in the wall” only offers a bar of 7 seats, so it might be best either go in at off-hours or phone in your order to-go.
727 N Broadway Unit 117, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Restauranteur Roy Choi is known for his founding of several accomplished LA restaurants (Kogi, A-Frame, and POT, to name a few), and Chego is no exception. Sharing flavors with his popular Kogi BBQ Taco truck, Chego offers rice bowls and other dishes that successfully combine Asian and Mexican ingredients. Originally located in West LA, this popular Chinatown location shares space with several other prominent eateries (Howlin’ Rays, Scoops, and Easy’s Burgers). Chego is closed on Mondays.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA (Grand Central Market)
Everybody loves a good breakfast sandwich, and Eggslut aims to make the best possible breakfast sandwiches ever. Using locally-sourced breads, meats, and cheeses, Eggslut has several different available variations on the traditional comfort food, served up all day (or at least until Grand Central Market closes).
Zinc Café & Market
580 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
This popular Orange County-import (originally from Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar) now has a well-welcomed home in the downtown Arts District. With an exclusively-vegetarian menu, Zinc offers farm-fresh dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to traditional café fare and fine wines and spirits. What makes Zinc stand out though, is its courtyard/garden ambience, making it the perfect place to enjoy a drink or light meal out in the sunshine.
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