19 Must Eat Dishes in Los Angeles

True food fanatics, or as many prefer the famed term of “foodie”, know that the melting pot of food options in Los Angeles is particularly special and separates itself from many cities in the world. Whether you live or are visiting the city of angels, with this list of 19 plates you must eat in L.A. you will know why these dishes have large followings all across L.A. county. Keep in mind the list presented is in no particular order and is a glimpse into the extensive L.A. food scene.

CHORIZO BREAKFAST BURRITO – COFAX COFFEE SHOP

Address: 440 N Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Although fairly new to food and coffee game, The Cofax Coffee Shop has received much attention for their acclaimed breakfast burrito launched in 2014. With slow-smoked potatoes prepared at their sister restaurant Bludso’s Bar & Que, its safe to say Angelinos crowd this place for their daily coffee and burrito fix.

Image via LA Mag

HICKORY BURGER – APPLE PAN

Address: 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Born in 1947 and used as a model for the popular burger brand Johnny Rockets, The Apple Pan is a Los Angeles staple when it comes to burgers. Some goes as far as to claim it is the best burger in America. While it may, or may not, the Hickory Burger is known for its smoky classic flavor.

Image via Hungry in LA

STRAWBERRY DONUT – THE DONUT MAN

Address: 915 E Rte. 66, Glendora, CA 91740

The Donut Man has been serving scrumptious donuts in Southern California for over 45 years since it opened in 1972. Its best known for its famous strawberry stuffed donuts, due to its high quality ingredients and overall excellent customer service. Don’t worry, this place is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Image via Static1.Squarespace

GODMOTHER – BAY CITIES ITALIAN DELI & BAKERY

Address: 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Godmother deli sandwich is perhaps the most popular Italian sandwich in all of L.A. Who can possibly resist eating a freshly baked bread roll with a combination of meats, cheese and pickles? They don’t call it the Godmother for nothing! It’s a sandwich you won’t be able to refuse.

Image via The Fabliss

FRENCH DIP SANDWICH – COLE’S

Address: 118 East 6th Street, Downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90014,

Its hard to tell what came first, the chicken or the egg and the same goes for restaurants in L.A. claiming to be the “originators” in their specific dishes. However, the battle between Cole’s and Philippe’s for best French Dip goes back a long time, maybe even to their openings in 1908. Who’s the best? Well, that’s up to you to find out

Image via Lucky Peach

FRENCH DIP SANDWICH – PHILIPPE’S

Address: 1001 North Alameda, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Offered in a variety of meats from roast beef to lamb leg and turkey, this sandwich is served on a freshly baked French roll dipped in natural roast gravy and topped with Swiss, American Monterey Jack or Blue cheese. As mentioned before, its up to your taste buds to do the judging between Cole’s and Philippe’s.

Image via Philippe’s

SLIPPER SHRIMP – YANG CHOW

Address: 819 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

A fried shrimp covered in a sweet and spicy garlic sauce is this iconic dish located in the heart of the famous Los Angeles Chinatown. Run by the Chow family, the place opened its doors in 1977 and will probably never close them as Angelinos, tourists and all shrimp-lovers continue to flock to this L.A. gem ordering this famous dish. Perhaps it being featured on the Food Network might have something to do with it?

Image via An Immovable Feast

SHORT RIB TACOS – KOGI FOOD TRUCK

Address: Location varies.

Since their 2008 launch the famous Kogi BBQ taco truck revolutionized the way most viewed and ate street food in L.A.– especially tacos. Enter the praised short rib taco. This L.A. favorite is served on two homemade corn tortillas, double-caramelized Korean barbecue, salsa roja, cilantro-onion-lime relish and a Napa Romaine slaw tossed in a chili-soy vinaigrette. Chef Roy Choi’s iconic tacos quickly grew as an L.A. must.

Image via CBS Local

WHOLE SNOOK (PESCADO ZARANDEADO) – CONI’S SEAFOOD

Address: 3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303

Get a taste of south of the border without having to pay for the expensive travels and experience the authentic taste of Acaponeta, Nayarit in Inglewood. The Whole Snook, or Pescado Zarandeado, is butterfly-grilled served with a house sauce, homemade tortillas and caramelized onions.

Image via Flickr User Wally Gobetz

MOLE – GUELAGUETZA

Address: 3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

With six moles on the menu from their traditional, James Beard award-wining Mole Negro to Mole Rojo and Verde, if you’re a mole aficionado and happen to be in L.A. this might be a place you should consider visiting. Eating at this authentic Oaxaca restaurant in Korea town should be at the top of your food list.

Image via Guelaguetza 

TAQUITOS – CIELITO LINDO

Address: 23 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Nestled on Olvera Street, Cielito Lindo is one of L.A.’s oldest and beloved restaurants operating since 1934. Full of rich history and an amazing avocado sauce, the taste of these taquitos are sure to have you asking for more! Don’t believe the hype? Just check out the lines outside the small restaurant filled with everyone from tourists to police officers.

Image via Tasty Chornicles

CLASSIC CHILI CHEESE DOG – PINK’S

Address: 709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

What was once a hot dog pushcart, owned by Paul and Betty Pink 77 years ago, eventually turned into the L.A. landmark it is today. Known for its famous Chili Cheese Dogs, Pink’s has become an L.A. staple and been the “it spot” for hot dog lovers for everyone from celebrities to the L.A. locals. Not a bad way to spend $4.95.

Image via Serious Eats

LA WOMAN PIZZA – JON & VINNY’S

Address: 412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

A thin crust pizza with a thick layer of California crescenza cheese and mustard flowers with tomato sauce, loads of Burrata and basil leaves. Dubbed to be any pizza eater’s favorite by Pulitzer-Prize winning food critic Jonathon Gold, this wood fired pizza will have you asking for seconds…of course you’ll have to buy a whole other pie.

Image via Bonappetit

FRUITS – LA FRUIT STANDS

Address: Location varies.

L.A. residents have the luxury of having fruit stands all across the city. They can be found near parks and outside most establishments. A fresh bag of fruit can be less than a few steps away depending on where you live. For less than $5 you can get a mixed bag of fresh jicama, mango, watermelon and plenty of other fruits topped with chili powder and lemon– a nice pick-me-up on these scorching summer days.

Image via KCET

DODGER DOGS – DODGER STADIUM

Address: 1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dodger Dogs are an L.A. tradition to say the least. No game is complete without a Dodger Dog and all Angelinos know it, even if they’re not the best hot dogs in the city, we still eat them with pride. It’s tradition and tradition is respected, especially at a baseball game.

Image via National Hot Dog and Sausage Council 

BACON WRAPPED HOT DOGS – L.A. STREET DOGS

Address: Location varies.

Known as “danger dogs”, these bacon wrapped grilled hot dogs topped with mayo, mustard, ketchup and sautéed onions with a grilled green chile poblano pepper make for the perfect meal, especially during those late night outings. Find them in DTLA usually after a big event. The smell enough will serve you as a map to this treasure.

Image via The Amateur Gourmet

CHICKEN & WAFFLES – ROSCOE’S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES

Address: 1514 N Gower St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 and more locations

Who could resist golden fried chicken and crispy waffles? Comfort food made a home in the heart of L.A. ever since Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles made a name for itself as the premier soul food chain. Many come for the name, but everyone stays for the food, because although it is a strange combo, there wouldn’t be a Roscoe’s without the chicken and waffles.

Image via Random Meal of the Day

CHILI CHEESE BURGER – THE ORIGINAL TOMMY’S HAMBURGER

Address: 2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057 and more locations

Tommy’s is how L.A. was introduced to the Chili Burger in 1946. Fast forward to today and L.A. is still introducing new ways to incorporate chili with various dishes. It began on a stand on the corner of Beverly and Rampart Blvd. where hungry Angelinos get their daily chili fix as thousands flock to the original location. Stop by and get a chili cheeseburger or two!

Image via Trip Que

PORK XIAO LONG BAO (SOUP DUMPLINGS) – DIN TAI FUNG

Address: 1108 S. Baldwin Avenue Arcadia, CA 91007 and more locations

With four locations in the greater LA area, its no wonder why Din Tai Fung opened more locations after people heard about the amazing soup-stuffed dumplings served here. Known as the signature dish, Din Tai Fung offers various dumplings on the menu consisting of shrimp, pork, chicken, sticky rice, fish and more. Although the wait may be long, it is more than worth it to get a chance to sample these dumplings.

Image via Serious Eats