Los Angeles is undoubtedly one of the best foodie cities in the country. From Mexican, to Vietnamese, to food truck fare, they’ve got it all and it’s all sooooo good.
Since you can’t possibly get to every restaurant in the area, I narrowed it down to the top 50 things you need to eat in LA before you die, in no particular order.
I mean it. Get to ’em all.
1. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich at Diddy Riese
Be prepared to wait, cause these are the most epic cookie sandwiches in LA.
2. Short Rib Tacos at Kogi BBQ Food Truck
Kogi BBQ began the food truck movement and the Korean Mexican taco movement. We will forever be indebted to you, Kogi.
3. Ramen at Daikokuya
The flavorful broth and long squiggly noodles makes this the best ramen in town, fo sho.
4. Any Waffle at Bru’s Wiffle
Bru’s gets crazy with their waffles. If your aim is a sugar rush, they’ve got you covered with their chocolate waffle party and Nutella stuffed French toast. If savory is more your style, the waco (waffle taco) is where it’s at.
5. Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at MILK
You will die and go to heaven (if you’re lucky) after you have a macaron ice cream sandwich from MILK. These are to die for.
6. Fish Tacos at Ricky’s Fish Tacos
Ricky’s sets the bar high for fish tacos in the area – the little truck even has awards to prove it.
7. Chili Burger at Original Tommy’s
It’s in the name: World Famous Hamburgers. Best part about Tommy’s? It’s open 24 hours a day. You know what that means: drunk noms.
8. Cheese Rolls at Porto’s Bakery
This little Cuban bakery is worth the drive to Burbank. As long as you order a cheese roll and a potato ball, you’re doing it right.
9. Popcorn Bacon at Black Hogg
This is the gastropub of all gastropubs. The popcorn bacon is ten times better than any fried food you can get at the fair.
10. Any Hot Dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs
Pink’s is one of those places that everyone has to go to. They are best known for their chili dogs, but no matter what you order, I promise it will be the best dog you’ve ever had.
11. Fresh Strawberry Donut at The Donut Man
A whole glazed donut, sliced 3/4 of the way, then stuffed with fresh strawberries. Check that ooey gooey yumminess.
12. Fennel Sausage Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
Thank youuuuu, Mario Batali. Sit at the bar and watch your pizza being made right in front of you. The fennel sausage is the way to go. Oh, and finish off with a butterscotch budino cause, why not?
13. French Dip Sandwich at Philippe’s
Philippe’s is a classic in LA and their French dip is beyond juicy.
14. A Slice of Pie at The Pie Hole
The Mexican Chocolate and Earl Grey pies are the most raved about flavors at this hole in the wall. Just shut your pie hole and try it.
15. Panwich at Humble Bee
You get a little bite of everything with this sandwich. Did Humble Bee just reinvent breakfast? You’ve gotta get there and try it.
16. Fish and Chips at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market
Some of the best fish and chips that aren’t from the UK. You keep doin’ you, Malibu.
17. Black Sesame Cream Puff at Pâtisserie Chantilly
These creamy puffs are always sold out by the early afternoon. Get there early and you won’t be disappointed.
18. Fried Chicken Biscuit at Free Range
Take the time to track down this truck (hint: they’re at the Melrose Farmer’s Market every Sunday) cause their chicken sandwiches just can’t be beat.
19. Buffalo-Style Cauliflower at Mohawk Bend
If you go to Mohawk Bend and don’t order the buffalo style cauliflower, did you even go at all? Just order it.
20. Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
You can’t call yourself a Dodger fan if you’ve never had a Dodger Dog (and everyone from LA is a Dodger fan).
21. Baked Crab Hand Roll at Katsuya
There is nothing on the Katsuya menu that isn’t delish, but the baked crab hand roll def takes the cake. Or the creamy rock shrimp.
22. A Fully Topped Donut at California Donuts
Sugar OVERLOAD. From the blueberry Cinnamon Toast Crunch donut to the Homer Simpson sprinkle donut, you’ll definitely leave with a buzz.
23. Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
If you’ve never had chicken and waffles before, this is the place to try ’em. Simple, but done the right way.
24. Pastries at Bottega Louie
Not that the food isn’t good, but the pastries are better. They are known for their macarons, but any pastry in their case is gonna be damn good.
25. Hickoryburger at The Apple Pan
Apple Pan is an old-fashioned diner dishing out their famous burger slathered in BBQ sauce (no, not just any barbecue sauce, HICKORY barbecue sauce). Adding a slice of apple pie (a la mode) as a side wouldn’t hurt.
26. Bone Marrow Flan at CUT
Yeah, it sounds weird but it’s the best appetizer, let alone dish, on the menu.
27. Tamales at Mom’s Tamales
LA is known for their Mexican food and this is where you can get the most authentic (and fully stuffed) tamales in town.
28. Lobsta Roll at Lobsta Truck
Lobster rolls are hard to come by in LA, but the Lobsta Truck does it right. Pay extra for extra lobster meat and save room for a whoopie pie. You’re very welcome.
29. Kimchi Fried Rice at Republique
This dish will give you the spice you’ve been looking for. It even has a poached egg on top. Best American Korean restaurant in LA.
30. Kahlua Pig Egg Rolls from North End Caffe
This Triple D feature is the perfect balance of creamy and crispy. And where else are you going to get to try something like this? Just try ’em.
31. Pho Baguette at East Borough
The Vietnamese version of a French dip – pho-king genius. Dip, eat and repeat.
32. Mac and Cheese Pizza at Pizzanista!
Pizzanista! might not have the best pies in LA, but you’ve gotta try their macaroni and cheese pizza. You will be living your wildest dreams.
33. Sausage at Wurstküche
Get crazy and try their rattlesnakewurst (or anything else on their gourmet and exotic menus) and pair it with one of their Belgian or German craft beers. Best sausage in LA, hands down.
34. Bacon, Egg and Cheese at Eggslut
Generous amounts of bacon on a brioche bun. A cold brew coffee on the side makes the line well worth the wait.
35. Espresso Shot in a Waffle Cone at Alfred Coffee and Kitchen
Okay, you can’t always drink your coffee from a waffle cone, but it’s worth it to try it one time. Let it melt for a second and you’ll get some of the chocolate in your expresso. WIN.
36. Burnt Brioche Toast and Pesto Sorrel at SQIRL
This place is so hipster I can’t even deal, but it’s the place to be for brunch in LA. The burnt brioche toast and pesto sorrel are fresh, inventive, and insane.
37. Stuffed Tortillas at Gloria’s Cafe
Put anything in Gloria’s tortillas and it is going to be awesome.
38. Gnocchi Malfatti at The Factory Kitchen
Order the gnocchi, you will not regret it.
39. Kaya Toast at Mud Hen Tavern
Kaya is a coconut jam and this is the best place to get this snack (besides Singapore). Just check that yolk.
40. Omakase from Sushi Roku
Omakase means “I leave it in your hands,” and you’re gonna be glad you did. Chef Jiro knows what’s up.
41. Spaghetti Meatballwich from The Carving Board
Hey, NYC, I see you with your ramen burger, but watch out cause we’ve got the spaghetti meatballwich. Don’t ask questions, just sink your teeth into your favorite pasta dish, sandwich-style.
42. Braised Artichoke from Picca
This artichoke is ridiccculous. Tender, buttery, and yummmmay.
43. Godmother from Bay Cities
Salami, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, provolone, mortadella, lettuce, olive mix and Italian dressing all stuffed in between a freshly baked roll. I think this sandwich speaks for itself.
44. Smoked Salmon Pizza from Spago
YUM. Wolfgang Puck, you have made a legendary pizza. Shocker.
45. Tuna Tartare from Chaya
Chef Tachibe actually invented tuna tartare at Chaya, so it’s clearly gonna be one of the best things you can eat in LA.
46. Crescent City Fried Oyster Po’Boy from The Little Jewel of New Orleans
This is Chinatown’s hidden gem. After one po’ boy you’ll be coming back every single day… but then you’ll end up weighing 300 pounds so continue at your own risk.
47. #19 from Langer’s Deli
Want a kickass sammie in LA? Head to Langer’s and get the #19, their recommended signature.
48. Half Chicken Dinner from Dino’s Chicken & Burgers
The marinade on Dino’s chicken is bomb. Make sure to get the fries AND coleslaw (even if you’re not a fan).
49. Plantain Empanadas from Border Grill
Susan Fenniger and Mary Sue Milliken know how to kill the modern Mexican food game. The plantain empanadas are a fan fave, but everything on the menu is killer.
50. Animal Style from In-N-Out Burger
Cause an LA list is NOT complete with In-N-Out.