Since moving to Los Angeles, I have been to many restaurants. My roommate and I love to try out new places to eat, and through much trial and error, we have found quite a few spots that we find ourselves returning to again and again, especially with visitors. So I thought I would share my favorites with you, in case you are new to L.A., visiting, or just looking for a new place to try. The restaurants will be organized by price point, ranging from cheapest to most expensive. I'm going to do my best to give a rating to each one on a scale from $ to $$$$$.
1. Salsa and Beer
L.A. is known for having some pretty great Mexican restaurants, but this one is by far my favorite. My friends and I take all of our visitors here, either on their first or last night in town, because it is such a good time. The food is amazing, cheap, and served in huge portions. You will definitely have leftovers. You can also get some of the best margaritas I have ever had here, and they too are very cheap considering the drink prices in L.A. The only draw back to this place is that they don't take reservations, and it is super popular, (especially if there is a big sporting event on) so you could wait up to an hour for a table. But, there are plenty of seats at the bar for you to hang out at, and they serve you free chips while you wait. So I encourage you to not let a long wait turn you away, because I promise it is worth it!
11669 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Van Nuys / Lake Balboa
6740 White Oak Ave.
Lake Balboa, CA 91406
2. MidiCi Pizza
If you know me, it should come as no surprise that I had to include a pizza place on my list. And while MidiCi is not exclusive to L.A., I had never had it until I moved here. They have so many locations around the city that it is a great place to get a quick meal when I have people in town no matter where we are. For those who have never been, it is a make your own pizza restaurant, kind of like a Subway, but for pizza, and you get to pick whatever you want to put on it. They also have an amazing beer and wine selection, so make sure you check that out while you are there as well!
Locations: Various places in Los Angeles
3. Joan's on Third
Joan's on Third has some awesome breakfast and lunch options. They are also pretty quick with getting you your order, and it is a seat yourself place, so you can be there for as little or as long as you like. Their mac and cheese is to die for, and they also have the most delicious fresh fruit. And make sure you try some of their ice cream for desert, it is so good! I would definitly reccomend this one if you want a quicker option that still serves really good and fresh food.
8350 West Third Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
12059 Ventura Place,
Studio City, CA 91604
4. Aroma Coffee and Tea
Aroma is also a great place to go for a quick breakfast or lunch (although I have gone here for dinner as well). They have great service, and the food is amazing. It also offers so many different types of meals from salads and sandwiches, to burgers and tacos, so there will definitely be something for everyone here. It is located on a busy little street in Studio City, where you can also walk around before or after your meal.
Location: 4360 Tujunga Ave. Studio City, California 91604
5. Zinc Cafe
Zinc is located in the Arts District, which is such a fun area of L.A. with a lot to see and do. If you haven't caught on yet, I love places with pretty outdoor areas, and this one is no exception. It also has some very unique cocktail options, that are all very delicious, and a pretty wide selection on their menu. And a bonus for New Girl fans, the loft they use on the show is within walking distance from the restaurant, so make sure to check it out if you go here!
Location: 580 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tart is great for any time of day, and they offer a very wide selection on their menu. It also has beautiful outdoor seating, with a pool, and lounging areas. And, they offer a really fun deal that if you jump into the pool during your meal, you can get half off your bill. It also has some great drink specials, and is not too expensive. Lastly, it is right across the street from The Grove outdoor mall, so after your meal you can head on over there to do some shopping!
Location: 115 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
7. PUMP Restaurant Lounge
If you watch the show Vander Pump Rules, you already know this restaurant well. Or if you don't watch it, (like me), you may have never heard of it. But either way, it is a beautiful restaurant, with a great outdoor bar, and delicious food. I would definitely recommend going here later for dinner because the outside area is so beautiful at night when all the lights are turned on. Since it is kind of a hotter spot due to the popularity of the show, and the fact that it is sometimes filming here, you may have to wait a little bit for a table, and the food is a little bit pricier. But they give you good size servings, and the drinks are amazing, so don't let that turn you away!
Location: 8948 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
8. Mama Shelter Rooftop Bar
I had heard about this place before I even moved to L.A., and knew I had to try it. Mama Shelter is a rooftop bar that looks out over the city, and is filled with tons of fun lounge spaces and seating. And while the food is a little pricier, it is still pretty reasonable, and it is delicious! Also, if you want more meal options than what they offer on the rooftop bar, you can go to their downstairs restaurant which has an amazing selection on it's menu for any time of day.
Location: 6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
9. Malibu Farm Restaurant
So, this one is a little bit more on the pricier end, and I will admit that for some of the meals, the portions are not that big, so if you go here, you may want to order more than one dish. But despite this, I love going here for two reasons. The first is the view. The restaurant is mostly all outside, on a pier over looking a beautiful ocean view of Malibu, that you will probably not get from many other restaurants in the area. The other reason, is the drinks, they are delicous. In fact, my greatest recommendation for you if you are on a budget, would be to just go here for a few drinks and to hang out, you won't regret it!
Location: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
10. Ivory on Sunset
Ivory on Sunset is one of my favorite places to take people when they come out to visit. Again, it is pretty expensive, but the whole restaurant is stunning, and has these beautifully decorated windows that offer an amazing view of down town. However, especially if you are on a budget, I would recommend going to here for brunch instead of dinner. Their outdoor area is very photo friendly, so if you go during the day, you are likely to get some great pictures. Also, their brunch menu is fantastic, and they offer a great bottomless mimosa deal during brunch hours, so make you sure check that out!
Location: 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Bonus: The Habit Burger and Grill
The only reason I didn't include this one in my official list is because it is more of a fast food place than a sit down restaurant. But being that I know the CEO (my uncle) I had to give it a shout out! I know that it is common for people visiting L.A. to want to go to In and Out for burgers, but I'm extremely partial to The Habit as a better option for some really good fast food. They offer a much better selection on their menu, and the burgers are soooo good. Also, I'm obsessed with french fries (they are one of my absolute favorite foods), and I'm not lying when I say The Habit has some of the best ones I've ever had. And if you go, make sure to get a milkshake for desert, they are the best! The Habit has tons of locations all over L.A., so you should have no problem finding one if you want to check them out!
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