Guy Fieri is unmistakeable: bleach-blonde, spiky hair coupled with his black goatee, his sunglasses flipped over the back of his head, and his chubby, yet lovable face (though he does suspiciously look like a hedgehog…). The host of the hit Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri gallivants around the country from restaurant to restaurant, pulling up in his red sports car in order to taste the best of the best. Although he never happens to stumble across horrible restaurants (shocking!), he manages to represent small, mom-and-pop shops who do produce excellent grub. Check out Guy’s pick hits for where to eat in the City of Angels.
1. Baby Blues BBQ
Look no further for the ultimate North Carolina-style BBQ at this Venice smoke shack where diners pile in for a taste of the most luscious pulled pork and other reasonably priced plates.
Must try: Pulled pork, ribs, BBQ, Triple-X sauce with roasted hot peppers
2. Beer Belly
Craft beer isn’t the only reason to stop at this modestly-priced Koreatown gastropub, where they boast crazy good duck fat fries in the cool urban-industrial space.
Must try: Duck fat fries, duck French dip, spicy chicken wings
3. Bludso’s BBQ
Rib lovers flock to this hole-in-the-wall Compton location, which is nothing more than a window and a waiting area, for genuine Texas BBQ take-away.
Must try: Ribs with spicy BBQ sauce
4. Brats Brothers
Looking to introduce gourmet bratwurst, ranging from elk to alligator to venison, to the people of California, owners Roland and Peter set up shop at this Sherman Oaks joint where it’s a party any day of the week.
Must try: Sausages, truffled cheesesteak empanadas, duck confit pot pie
5. Chili John’s
The oldest, continuously running restaurant in Burbank (in the biz for 65 years!), Chili John’s specializes in real Texas-style chili at a good price.
Must try: Texas style chili, chili dogs, chili tamales
6. Don Chow Tacos
Chinese-Latino fusion comes together in Don Chow’s taco truck where kung pao chicken tacos and meat-stuffed, masa-wrapped in corn husks tamales are the norm.
Must try: Tacos, chimales (Chinese-Mexican tamales)
7. Eastside Market Italian Deli
One of the last remaining Italian delis in Downtown Los Angeles, Eastside Market is considered a landmark, boasting hot sandwiches and the best pastrami around town.
Must try: D.A. Special (sausage, meatball, roast beef and pastrami sandwich)
8. Fab Hot Dogs
Fab hot dogs elevates the ordinary dog into a whole other universe, offering a huge variety of fairly priced franks and the best spicy relish.
Must try: Deep fried hot dogs, burritos, sweet and spicy onion relish
9. Gloria’s Cafe
Serving up authentic Mexican and Latin American grub, Gloria’s Cafe features amazing guac and tortillas, plus Gloria will greet you at the door with a smiling face.
Must try: Stuffed tortillas, carne adobada
10. Jay Bee’s Bar-B-Q
Jay Bee’s may just be a small shack, but their BBQ sandwiches are to die for. Good luck finding parking though, since the lot is super small.
Must try: BBQ sandwiches, ribs
11. Mambo’s Cafe
Cuban food lives up to high standards at this Glendale joint where rice and beans and ceviche shine.
Must try: Pork, ceviche
12. Mom’s Tamales
Tamales are done right at this hole-in-the-wall, family-style joint delivering the best tamales (and they’re pretty cheap, too!).
Must try: Tamales, chile relleno
13. Nickel Diner
Decadent desserts, like the housemade bacon-maple doughnuts, take the cake at this affordable, vintage downtown diner.
Must try: Mac and cheese, fried catfish, doughnuts
14. North End Caffe
Family owned and run, North End Caffe dishes out its famous Kahlua pig egg rolls which unsurprisingly leaves the restaurant crowded, but they’re totally worth the wait.
Must try: Italian pasta, Kahlua pig egg rolls, pasta carbonara
15. Patrick’s Roadhouse
Right off the Santa Monica beach, Patrick’s Roadhouse features pretty good breakfasts and diner food, but what it’s really known for are its quirky antiques hanging from the ceiling.
Must try: Governator’s special breakfast
16. Polka Restaurant and Catering
Polish cuisine meets a mom and pop dining experience where authentic pierogis shine.
Specialty Dishes: Pierogis, stuffed cabbage, goulash, nalesniki (crepes)
17. The Golden State
Revelatory burgers and incredible sweet potato fries keep diehard fans coming back at this moderately priced restaurant with amazing owners and staff.
Must try: Pulled pork sandwich, grass-fed lamb burger
18. The Oinkster
Can’t-beat pastrami and pulled pork sandwiches have the hipsters waiting in long lines at this always busy, cheap joint featuring a stellar patio and craft beers.
Must try: BBQ pulled pork with Carolina sauce, Oinkster pastrami sandwich
19. The Park’s Finest
Filipino-inspired BBQ and unique beers are stars at this easygoing, cheap restaurant featuring communal tables to create a familial atmosphere.
Must try: Ann’s cornbread bibingka, BBQ