As home to the US movie industry, Los Angeles is known for Hollywood culture and its eclectic, artistic spirit, since it is the home of many artists, actors, and musicians. It is also one of the major destinations in California, featuring palm trees and beautiful neighborhoods. However, this city is also known for its unique Los Angeles foods!
What’s Special About Los Angeles Food?
Los Angeles food is distinctive because it represents the diversity of thought and culture in the city itself. If you get the chance to explore the city, you can find little microcosms of many cultures, such as Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Little Italy, and more!
With these diverse influences, it’s no wonder that the foods of Los Angeles often represent fusion cuisine, mixing two cultural backgrounds for a new culinary flare, such as Korean-Mexican fusion.
There is a pop-up, food entrepreneur spirit that permeates the Los Angeles food scene as well. Food trucks, pop-ups, and other quirky concepts are commonplace in the city. The diversity and innovation is one of the most exciting facts about Los Angeles for foodies!
The proximity to the ocean means the foods of Los Angeles often feature fresh, local ingredients. The city also has plenty of healthy food options, from vegan and vegetarian to gluten-free and organic to cater to the health-conscious population.
Most Famous Food Of Los Angeles
What food is Los Angeles known for? With new dishes and restaurants popping up all the time, it can be hard to say. That is why exploring the food scene is one of the most interesting things to do in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, In-N-Out Burger is so famous in California and synonymous with southern region in the state, you cannot count it out.
In-N-Out Burger is an iconic fast-food chain that is all around the United States. For one of the fun facts about California: In-N-Out Burger actually originated in southern California and thus has come to represent famous food in Los Angeles. This part of Los Angeles cuisine is known for its simple menu: made-to-order burgers, fresh-cut fries, and milkshakes.
Perhaps the most famous at In-N-Out is the Double-Double burger, with two beef patties, two slices of American cheese, and the normal fixings. If that doesn’t sound like your ideal Los Angeles food, don’t worry – ordering the not-so-secret “secret menu” at In-N-Out Burger will give you lots more options!
Fusion Tacos And Mexican Foods From Los Angeles
Carne Asada Tacos
If you’re looking for a beloved street food staple food Los Angeles is known for, grab some carne asada tacos! Carne asada tacos showcase thinly sliced, marinated, and grilled beef nestled in warm, corn tortillas to make a juicy, flavorful filling.
These are topped with onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, thus offering a nice balance of smoky, savory, and fresh flavors that make them an iconic choice among food in Los Angeles!
Guacamole And Chips
For a simple dish that showcases Mexican flare and local ingredients, look no further than guacamole and chips! Guacamole and chips are a classic appetizer, made from ripe avocados, seasoned with lime juice, cilantro, onions, and diced tomatoes. This combination of ingredients gives this Los Angeles food an awesome combination of textures and tastes.
This delightful dip is generally paired with crispy tortilla chips, for a nice crunch! It’s a popular snack among the foods of Los Angeles and definitely worth grabbing if you see some on the menu.
Kogi BBQ Tacos (Korean-Mexican Fusion)
This fusion taco epitomizes Korean-Mexican fusion in Los Angeles food! These tacos, which originated from the Kogi food truck, combine Korean and Mexican flavors for a unique experience. The tender, marinated Korean barbeque meats, such as galbi (short ribs) or bulgogi (beer), are wrapped in warm tortillas and topped with tangy slaw, spicy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
This combination of flavors results in a savory, sweet, and spicy mix that have raised this food from Los Angeles to popularity. It’s a street food sensation you should definitely try!
Al Pastor Tacos
Okay, so you know by now that tacos are one of the most popular foods in Los Angeles! Al Pastor tacos are another famous option. Inspired by Lebanese shawarma, Al Pastor tacos feature marinated, thinly sliced pork that is traditionally cooked on a vertical split.
This meat is then served on small corn tortillas and garnished with pineapple, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. This Los Angeles food innovatively mixes influences different cultures, creating a satisfying combination of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.
Foods In Los Angeles: Sandwiches & Bread
French Dip Sandwich
Sunny Los Angeles probably isn’t the first thing you’d think to pair with a French dip sandwich. However, this iconic sandwich is one of the foods from Los Angeles that originated there! Now, these sandwiches are available all over the city, with each restaurant offering their own twist.
On the basic level, a French dip sandwich is a soft bun with roast beef, cheese, and horseradish, dipped in a rich, flavorful broth immediately before eating. This sandwich is definitely part of Los Angeles cuisine and a classic you should try!
Avocado Toast With Poached Eggs
Although this brunch option is everywhere, it is an iconic option among the health-conscious foods of Los Angeles. Thick slices of artisanal bread come toasted to perfection and topped with mashed avocado, seasoned with salt, pepper, and lime. It commonly featured other ingredients, like poached eggs, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, and microgreens.
This gem among Los Angeles foods combines the best of fresh ingredients with visual appeal. If you’re in need of a breakfast or brunch dish, you really can’t go wrong with this popular Californian dish.
Ethiopian Injera And Doro Wat
Injera and Doro Wat is a delicious option in Los Angeles food, which offers an introduction to Ethiopian cuisine! Injera is a spongy, slightly sour flatbread with a dark color. This flatbread is often the base of Doro Wat, which is a rich chicken stew.
The combination of textures and spicy flavor of Doro Wat creates an amazing combination that showcases the best of Ethiopian cuisine. It is a sensory experience that is very popular among foodies and really highlights the diversity of Los Angeles cuisine.
Pastrami Sandwich (Langer’s Deli)
While you may not associate a Pastrami sandwich with the Los Angeles food scene immediately, this classic deli creation has a dedicated following in the city. It typically features thinly sliced, tender pastrami that is piled high on the rye bread. You can expect this sandwich to come with mustard, pickles, and occasionally melted cheese.
If you want to try one of the best Pastrami sandwiches, pop into Langer’s Deli, which is a local favorite! There really is no better place to enjoy this famous food in Los Angeles!
Asian Food In Los Angeles
This famous Los Angeles food is the perfect pairing of Japanese influences and California culture. A California roll is a traditional sushi roll, packed with cucumber, crab, and avocado, for fresh flavor.
If you’re more interested in the vegan and vegetarian places among Los Angeles foods, California roll adaptations are a favorite for plant-based eaters. While not the most classic Japanese food, this sushi roll is undeniably a California food!
Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl
This fun fish dish combines influences from Hawaiian cuisine and Japanese cuisine. A spicy tuna poke bowl comes with a base of sushi rice (or mixed greens), marinated spicy tuna, and other toppings to your liking! You can even customize this famous Los Angeles food with avocado, cucumber, seaweed, sesame seeds, and sauces!
This dish is emblematic of food in Los Angeles as it combines influences from two cultures and features fresh ingredients. If you want to get a different spin on Los Angeles fusion cuisine, pick up a spicy tuna poke bowl!
Boasting a rich and creamy broth, this Japanese noodle dish is a popular choice among foods from Los Angeles! The soup base is generally made from simmering pork bones for hours, creating a unique, milky broth that is just packed with immense flavor!
Additionally, this famous Los Angeles food features ramen noodles, tender slices of pork, marinated soft-boiled eggs, and various toppings. You can even customize your bowl to your taste, so make sure you try this delicious ramen experience while you’re in LA!
For a famous dish in Los Angeles inspired by Thai flavors, check out the Pad Thai! It features stir-fried rice noodles with a combination of ingredients like shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, eggs, and crushed peanuts. This Thai dish has become such a staple in Los Angeles foods!
Pad Thai is often seasoned with tangy tamarind sauce, giving it a unique blend of flavors from sweet and sour! If you’re in the mood for a heavier noodle dish, this should be an option among all the delicious Asian foods of Los Angeles.
Pho With Rare Beef And Brisket
This Vietnamese noodle soup offers yet another option among the delicious Southeast Asian foods of Los Angeles. Pho with rare beef and brisket is essentially a steaming bowl of aromatic broth filled with rice noodles, tender slices of rare beef, and succulent brisket.
Often accompanied by fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili peppers, this famous Los Angeles food will fill you up! The fun combination of textures and tastes will have any food lover happy, so make sure you give it a try!
For a standout gastronomic experience in the Los Angeles food scene, Korean BBQ is a popular option that really captures the community’s love for grilling and communal dining.
At Korean BBQ restaurants, guests typically cook their own marinated meats on tabletop grills and pair them with an array of sides like kimchi, pickled vegetables, and rice. It makes a delicious meal and a fun dining experience.
If you want more of these famous Los Angeles food flavors, consider taking a Downtown LA Food tour. These excursions often feature the cultural fusion cuisines and markets that are so popular in downtown Los Angeles.
Food In Los Angeles: Meat Dishes
Armenian Lule Kebab
Armenian food has also achieved its place among famous foods in Los Angeles, especially with the Lule Kebab. This beloved dish showcases the rich flavors and culinary traditions of the Armenian community. Made with seasoned ground meat, typically a mix of beef and lamb, the kebabs are shaped into elongated cylinders and grilled to perfection.
This classic dish is often served with warm pita bread, grilled vegetables, and flavorful sauces like tahini or garlic yogurt. Lule Kebab does justice to the diversity of Los Angeles food and definitely deserves a try!
Gourmet Bison Burger
If you’re a burger lover, look no further than this tasty food in Los Angeles. The gourmet bison burger is a standout for burger seekers, since it offers a unique taste experience. Made from lean, succulent bison meat, these burgers offer a rich and slightly gamey taste that sets them apart from a traditional beef burger.
Often served on artisanal buns and topped with gourmet ingredients like caramelized onions, arugula, and specialty cheese, the gourmet bison burger is a delicious choice that highlights Los Angeles food in both creativity and commitment to high-quality ingredients.
Healthy Options And Vegan Food In Los Angeles
Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
While meat tacos are a favorite food in Los Angeles, jackfruit tacos create a delicious option for vegans who want the same flavor experience! Jackfruit is a versatile fruit with a meaty texture, that is marinated and seasoned to create the delicious, savory filling desired.
This Los Angeles food comes in many different flavor profiles, but they are often served on warm tortillas with toppings like fresh salsa, avocado, and cilantro. These tacos offer a satisfying combination of flavors and textures that please vegans and taco enthusiasts alike.
Vegan Sushi Rolls
If you want to enjoy Asian flavors without meat or seafood, vegan sushi rolls will be your go-to food from Los Angeles. These vegan sushi rolls offer a twist on traditional sushi, catering to the plant-based segment of Los Angeles cuisine.
Typically featuring a creative substitution for fish, such as marinated tofu, tempura vegetables, or avocado, these vegan sushi rolls serve up a variety of textures and flavors.
Wrapped in nori seaweed and served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, vegan sushi rolls provide a satisfying, cruelty-free option for sushi fans of all kinds!
Acai Bowl With Fresh Berries
If you want something refreshing to cool you down, be on the lookout for an Acai bowl! Among the health-conscious culture of the city, acai bowls with fresh berries are a popular Los Angeles food. These bowls generally feature acai berries blended with fruits, topped with granola, coconut, and other tasty additions.
Because they are made primarily with fruits, this yummy treat is vegan-friendly! While this is a popular choice in Venice Beach, it is not the only Los Angeles food featured in Venice Beach. If you want a taste of acai, alongside a plethora of delicious tacos, consider taking a Venice Beach food tour while you’re in the area!
The city’s health culture may be tied in part to this famous food from Los Angeles: the Cobb Salad. The dish originated at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood in 1937, where the owner patched restaurant leftovers into a new salad creation. Traditionally, the salad features chopped chicken, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and bacon.
Although you can get a Cobb salad anywhere nowadays, this salad is part of what Los Angeles is known for. Make sure you give it a try in the city it was born in!
Iconic Drinks In Los Angeles
The Hailey Bieber Smoothie
In recent years, Los Angeles food has become famous for health-conscious smoothies made at the upscale grocery store, Erwhen. One of the most popular is inspired by model and influencer, Hailey Bieber.
The “Hailey Bieber” smoothie combines almond milk, collagen, frozen strawberries, avocado, dates, maple syrup, and more, for a treat named the “Strawberry Skin Glaze Smoothie.”
This food in Los Angeles definitely represents what Los Angeles is known for, in terms of its upscale price tag and health-conscious leaning. If this particular blend doesn’t sound like the hit for you, don’t worry – there are many smoothie options around the city!
Matcha Green Tea Latte
Matcha Green Tea lattes capture part of the beloved beverage scene in Los Angeles cuisine. These drinks are made from finely ground green tea powder and steamed milk, offering a unique and vibrant flavor profile that balances earthy and slightly sweet flavors. You can get this drink either hot or iced, though iced is popular during warm weather days.
You can expect this drink to come garnished with a light foam or matcha powder sprinkled into a cute design. It’s an instagram-worthy drink that also gives a kick of energy! The hip culture has made this a staple among the drinks and foods of Los Angeles!
As you take a break from exploring the key landmarks in California, indulge in a refreshing cup of Matcha Latte.
Desserts And Sweet Foods Of Los Angeles
Ice Cream Sandwich (Milk Jar Cookies)
If you find yourself in need of a sweet treat on a hot day, be on the lookout for an ice cream sandwich! This famous Los Angeles food comes in a plethora of options, with freshly baked cookies hugging premium ice cream in most cases. With flavors ranging from classic to inventive, you can go bold or enjoy a time-honored option.
Milk Jar Cookies is one of the most beloved bakeries in Los Angeles, known for its homemade cookies. These cookies make the perfect ice cream sandwich because they’re soft, chewy, and flavorful! Check out this tasty food from Los Angeles if you get the chance!
In a city that values health, you may be surprised to learn the popular foods of Los Angeles also features gourmet donuts! This delightful indulgence reaches new heights, by using unique flavor combinations, creative toppings, and artistic presentations. From a classic glazed donut to handcrafted designs with special ingredients, gourmet donuts are unique among the favorite foods in Los Angeles.
They are so popular and there are really too many specialty shops to just highlight one here. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on this indulgent treat, you can always take a Santa Monica donut tour and enjoy some good old comfort food with other fans!
FAMOUS FOODS IN THE US
Sampling Famous Foods In Los Angeles
The Los Angeles food scene is a melting pot of cultures, flavors, and influences, resulting in a diverse and eclectic array of dishes. From fusion tacos to vegan sushi rolls, you can find plenty of culinary treasures. So while you’re immersing yourself in all the fun, don’t miss out on the famous foods Los Angeles has to offer!