Sandwiches, donuts and tacos, oh my!
You could be forgiven for thinking that LA is all about fame and fortune, but in fact, Los Angeles is less about spotting a star than it is about the delicious and culturally diverse food options available everywhere you look. From the gooey gooiness of an iconic strawberry donut to some mozzarella-smothered pork ribs, we’ve put together a list of the must-try foods in LA that are guaranteed to not only ignite your inner foodie, but have you going back for seconds ( and then thirds).
1. French Dip Sandwich, Philippe’s in Downtown Los Angeles
This tasty treat is an absolute must due to its unique taste and the fact that it was originally created as an accident. Yes, you read that right. In 1918, a French chef accidentally dropped the roll he was making onto some cooked beef drippings and had to make a new one, but the customer was in a hurry. In short, the customer took the sandwich, ate it, enjoyed it, and came back the next day for another! Traditionally made with roast beef on a French roll, this sandwich is the most popular item at Philippe, with the deli selling up to 3,000 of them a day.
2. birria tacos, Birrieria San Marcos in North Hills
If you’re looking for the best authentic Mexican food in Los Angeles, look no further. The crunch, the mess and most importantly the flavor is what sets these tacos apart. Hailing from the state of Jalisco in Mexico, birria is a traditional stew that combines flavors like beef, garlic and thyme, but when it was introduced to LA, birria was made into a taco. As it turns out, taking the juicy, tender birria meat and placing it in a fat-dipped tortilla before tossing it on the pan for frying was a genius move, and locals and tourists alike can’t get enough of them. To bring them to bucket-list status, birria tacos are served with the consommé from the stew, which you can dip your tacos into for a whole new, taste-bud-tingling experience.
3. Ice cream sandwich, Mashti Malone’s in Hollywood
When you think of which country has the best ice cream, you don’t immediately think of Persia, but when it comes to ice cream in LA, you should always think of Mashti Malone’s. Located in Hollywood, this quaint ice cream parlor specializes in offering Persian ice cream in a variety of unique flavors like cucumber and lavender and is characterized by its creaminess and stretchability. If you want the full experience, order the ice cream sandwich; saffron rose water ice cream, sandwiched between crispy waffles and rolled in salty pistachios. Have we died and gone to ice heaven?
4. Strawberry Donuts, The Donut Man in Glendora
Let’s be real for a second, these aren’t delicious donuts, but they look and taste great. Attracting people from all over California, these strawberry donuts were first created in 1974 to showcase local produce and consist of airy and crispy donuts filled with fresh strawberries, then topped with homemade strawberry jelly. But be sure to plan ahead, as these treats are only available from February to September, making them almost as hard to come by as a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. No wonder it’s up there when it comes to being one of the must-try foods in LA.
5. Pizza, Elio’s Wood Fire Pizza in Echo Park
Making pizzas out of an old Chevy Silverado, Elio’s Wood Fire Pizza offers a taste of Italy right in the heart of Los Angeles. Located in the same Echo Park parking lot every night, this mobile pizzeria serves light and chewy pizza with all your favorite toppings, including cheese, sausage, peppers and more. Perfectly blistered in the way only the best wood-burning pizzas are, these tasty slices are not only worthy of being at the top of the food you must try in LA, but are also one of its best kept secrets.
6. Ice cream, Wanderlust Creamery in Atwater Village
Wanderlust Creamery is the very best in artisan ice cream, offering ice cream flavors inspired by the owner’s travels around the world, the places still to be explored, and childhood memories. With signature flavors like Sticky Rice + Mango and Passion Fruit Cocoa, and special monthly flavors like Hawaiian-inspired Butter Mochi, your palette and sense of wanderlust will never be disappointed.
7. Japanese egg sandwich, Conbi in Echo Park
Japanese-style sandwiches have undoubtedly taken the food world by storm, and those from Japanese café Konbi are no different. Named 2019 restaurant of the year by food publication Bon Appetit, this tastebud-pleasing spot specializes in three different flavors: the omelette sandwich, the pork and eggplant katsu sandwich, and the most popular, the egg salad sandwich. Perfectly Instagram-worthy, these sandwiches taste even better than they look, and that’s really saying something.
8. Breakfast burrito, Lowkey Burritos in Los Angeles
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but thanks to the breakfast burritos from Lowkey Burritos in Los Angeles, they can also be the tastiest! With a pop-up food truck running around LA, Lowkey Burritos rose to fame by posting a breakfast burrito on their Instagram page that went viral for how juicy and delicious it looked. Serving burritos in their signature crunchy, cheesy blanket, this must-try breakfast option provides the perfect wake-up call.
9. Cheesy Pork Ribs, Mister Bossam in Koreatown
Everyone knows that if you want the best Korean food in Los Angeles, you go to Mister Bossam’s, and if you want to taste their specialty, you order the cheesy pork ribs. Ideal for sharing with a group of people, this flavorful dish is finished at the table, so you have time to appreciate the full experience (and to stare at the tender pork and melted mozzarella cheese before you start eating it). This popular spot, which prides itself on offering comfort food the Korean way, should not be overlooked. Seriously.
10. Waffle sandwich, Bruxie in Santa Monica
If fried chicken and waffles are your thing, then Bruxie in Santa Monica is definitely your kind of place. A must-visit for their huge selection of waffle sandwiches, this place will get your taste buds dancing at the thought of devouring some of the best Southern food in Los Angeles. With choices that include breakfast sandwiches as well as gourmet and dessert options, this mouth-watering fast food restaurant truly has it all.