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Get ready, because my friends and I ate LA. From $1.25 tacos to all-you-can-eat BBQ to the best ice cream, here are my top Los Angeles restaurants and foodie recommendations.
I am so excited to begin sharing more about my trip to LA. It was the first holiday I had taken with friends in a very long time and I like to think it was a success. We had quite an extensive list of Los Angeles restaurants we wanted to try prior to leaving (thanks, Buzzfeed).
Fortunately, we were able to tick quite a few places off of our eating bucket list. We ate very well during our time in LA and it’s one of the things we talk about most since returning. So I wanted to share where we ate in LA, to help you plan a foodie trip to the City of Stars.
Best places to eat in LA – fast food restaurants
When we first arrived in LA, it took us over an hour to get to our hostel on an airport shuttle. Having been up since 4 am, we were ravenous by the time we reached our destination. So we quickly dropped off our bags, got a bus and headed to Chick-fil-A on Sunset Boulevard. We had all heard about it but never tried it. We pulled up a seat in the area and I had the chicken nuggets with waffle fries. It was good, but I don’t think the fries were AS amazing as some Americans make them out to be. Sorry, guys. Don’t send me hate mail.
This was another fast food restaurant I had heard too much about but had never tried. Fortunately, In-N-Out just so happens to be across the road from Chick-Fil-A on Sunset Boulevard. Firstly, the drive-thru lane for dinner was insane. It went through the parking lot and onto the street. Secondly, I went normal with my order and just got a Double-Double meal. My friends went animal-style though and recommend it. I do see why people rave about In-N-Out. I thought it was better quality and tastier than McDonald’s.
Abbot’s Pizza Company
After a trek from the Santa Monica Pier to Venice and up to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, we were pretty ravenous. I think we were down the wrong end of the street as it seemed to be more boutiques and less food. But I had read good things about Abbot’s Pizza Company, so we checked it out. Their slices are a good size and on a thin base, which is my preference. They also do some pretty unique topping combinations too. I tried a slice of Popeye’s Chicken and I saw a lady order the salad pizza, which looked good.
Check out the other cities I recommend visiting solo in the States
The best ice cream spots in LA
Um, we ate a lot of ice cream in Los Angeles. Like, a scoop a day. It was like a gelato a day in Rome, but not 💁🏻♀️. Here is where we ate and our verdict.
Carmela Ice Cream
We walked past Carmela in West Hollywood on our way to LACMA, so had to stop for an afternoon treat. They had a small but cute shop front. They do have some unique flavours, like mint cacao nib and lavender honey. I chose the dark chocolate cacao nib and it was deliciously creamy and not too rich, which is just how I like my chocolate ice cream.
Salt & Straw
I had heard about Salt & Straw before because it began in Portland. Although I was going to try it when I visited Portland after LA, it happened to be on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, so we had it for dessert after lunch instead. Salt & Straw is known for their unusual, and salty, flavour combinations. Some on offer include roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate, and black olive brittle and goat cheese. I decided on the almond brittle with salted ganache. The almond brittle flavour was so good, but the ganache became too salty for me after a while. I know it’s known for its salty additions, but the pieces of ganache were too big and too salty.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
This wins the top ice cream spot in LA for me, because of the flavours and extras. We were able to get two “half” scoops for the price of one at the other places we sampled. But the half scoops were basically regular scoops, so it was good value for money. At McConnell’s, I had a chocolate peanut butter chip scoop and churros. The churros flavour was a limited release but it was the best tasting in LA. The cinnamon wasn’t overpowering and it honestly tasted like you were eating a churro. You’ll find it at in (a top foodie spot for sure).
Manhattan Beach Creamery
This was unfortunately probably my least favourite out of the four places listed. The ice cream wasn’t as creamy as I hoped. I also thought the combinations sounded good, like s’mores, but when I had a try it tasted nothing like s’mores and more like just vanilla. I ended up having the cookie dough. The Manhattan Beach Creamery store is very colourful though and has cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches too.
Remember, check out my guide for my favourite things to do in LA
More great Los Angeles restaurants
Eggslut is located inside Grand Central Market in downtown LA. We were there during the lunch rush and the line was quite long, but it moved quickly and we didn’t have to wait too long for our sandwiches. My friends can’t stop raving about Eggslut. They absolutely loved it. I had the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and it was delicious. The bacon was crispy, the egg was perfectly cooked, and it came with chipotle ketchup. We would all recommend stopping by here for breakfast or lunch during a visit to downtown LA.
Leo’s Taco Truck
We ate very well this day on the trip. Eggslut – McConnell’s – Leo’s Taco Truck. I should also point out that our Whatsapp group chat name is just three taco emojis, so we are slightly obsessed. My friend had heard about Leo’s $1.25 tacos through a Buzzfeed video, so we took an Uber to a random parking lot on Sunset Boulevard to try them ourselves for dinner. I sampled the chopped beef, chicken and their specialty: pork on a spit with a slice of pineapple.
There’s some seating in the parking lot and a servery where you can add some toppings and salsa. I couldn’t decide whether I liked the pork or chicken more as they were both so well-flavoured. I loved the addition of the pineapple with the pork, which worked so well together. In the end, I had five tacos, but if I lived in LA I would be eating there once a week, guaranteed.
This was the first restaurant we visited (on day four). Brewco is located just up the road from Manhattan Beach. The restaurant’s dining room was cosy and casual – just how I like it. My friends tried the coconut shrimp salad and a pasta dish. The coconut crumb was delectable. I had a special fish sandwich with curly fries on the side. This was actually one of the best seafood burgers I’ve ever had. It was so big I could hardly fit it in my hands, but it tasted so fresh. The fries were also super crispy, which is another favourite.
Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
Another Buzzfeed find, we visited Oo-Kook in Koreatown on our last day in LA. This is my top recommendation when it comes to Los Angeles restaurants. I had never had Korean BBQ before, but this place did an all-you-can-eat lunch special for $24 per person. It was expensive, but a good treat for our last meal in the City of Stars. My friend also said the price was reflective of the good quality meat we ate too. And did we eat some meat (there were so many ).
There’s beef brisket, which you should order first because the plate is huge. Then there’s short rib (highly recommend), duck breast, marinated chicken, shrimp, and a lot more beef. We ate the meat with a green salad, corn and cheese, rice and a lot of other Korean side dishes. In the end, we sat in their for about two hours and it was one of those unreal meals I will probably remember forever.
We. Ate. LA.
As you can see, LA was a damn good feast. We didn’t have a bad meal; instead, we had a lot of unforgettable ones. My friends’ top recommendations are Eggslut and Leo’s, while I did love Oo-Kook. Who would have thought? We had some other Los Angeles restaurants, food trucks, Shake Shack and doughnut shops on our bucket list. I guess that means we have to return and eat LA 2.0.
I also have to give a shoutout to my friend, Eric for all of the iPhone photos!
Before you go, check out these posts: my entire North America solo travel itinerary, where to visit in the United States alone, and a little San Diego guide, because you have to visit while in Southern California, right?