My LA food guide
After spending two whole months (October and November) in Los Angeles last year I got quite familiar with a lot of amazing places to eat and as promised I finally have my post with recommendations ready for you! I have to say that there are sooo many amazing places we didn’t try (I already have such a long list for our next visit) and we tried so many meh (as in not in any way share worthy) places as well. We didn’t have a car during our stay (none of us have drivers licenses), which meant that we often just went to restaurants and cafés that were close to where we lived or whichever area we were exploring that day. It was rare that we would splurge on an Uber to go to a place to eat unless there were other things in the area that we wanted to do as well (we pretty much used Uber everyday though, cannot recommend it enough!), so that is why the list isn’t longer. I will update it the next time we go to LA though, let me know if you want me to share the list of places that I want to go – most of them are recommended by amazing readers, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably some pretty drool worthy places ;)
Restaurants, Cafés and more:
Café Gratitude is definitely one of my absolute favourites! It is a vegan place (and organic, yay!), but do not let that scare you if you are not vegan (I’m not either) or haven’t tried vegan food before. Haha I can recommend their super delicious “cheese”burger (top right photo) if you’re a bit skeptical of vegan food and do not want “bunny food” ;) Their food is absolutely amazing though and they have so many different options that there should be something for everyone – my little sister who wasn’t too keen on eating at a vegan place at first absolutely loved the place! I really liked the decor as well, it was minimalistic, but cosy – quite scandinavian actually. Café Gratitude has 3 different locations, but I have only been to the one in Venice Beach, so this mini review is based on that one :)
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
Sage is another of the vegan places we went to that I really loved and that I think other non-vegans would love as well. The place is located in a gorgeous New York’ish building and the inside is chic, modern and quite NY as well. They have so many options to choose from on the menu and everything looks amazing and the things I tried definitely tasted amazing as well! Their raw desserts are absolutely divine!! It’s in Echo Park so it was really close to where we live and it is 1 minute from both Lassens and Angulus salads that I recommend below.
Okay this one is probably my absolute favourite out of all the places in this post, it was definitely the place I went to the most times! Angelus Salads kinda looks like a junkfood place from the outside (and the insides aren’t much better, their decor is not what makes this place included on the list), so it actually took me quite a while to give this place a try even though it is located in Echo Park where we stayed. When I finally discovered that this place isn’t a junkfood place, but the most amazing smoothie and salad place, then I was SOLD! This is where I bought all the amazing superfood-filled smoothies, acai bowls, pitaya bowls and yummy salads that I constantly posted on instagram and snapchat while I was there! I absolutely LOVED the watermelon salad with mint, feta and balsamic vinegar + the acai and pitaya bowls, seriously so good!! And the best part is that you can add your superfoods of choice to the smoothies (they pretty much had all my favourites!!) or you can “build” your own smoothie, which is always great if you crave your own personal favourite flavour combo :D
Zinque is this really chic bistro and wine bar that has an amazing vibe, serves delicious food and where you get the best and kindest service – we always felt so welcome and well taken care of even though we crashed there for hours to have a working lunch or breakfast. It also has a great patio with light chains that I think would be the most amazing place to dine in the evening (we only went there during the day when it was light) + you can buy lots of delicious fresh pressed juices to go. I think there are several locations, but we went to the one in the arts district in DTLA.
Okay so this place I am actually not recommending for the food (it was okay, but nothing special), I am recommending it for the ambience – we were seated outside under the trees and the decor and the vibe of the place was just amazing! It is hard to describe, but this place is seriously something special (check out the photos right here), it almost felt a bit magical to dine in those settings or maybe I just had too many of their amazing cocktails ;) Haha while we definitely tried quite a few of those delicious cocktails, the place really was amazing though and the service was impeccable as well. We will definitely be going back there all dolled up (like the first time) to enjoy the ambience, the amazing cocktails and to rub elbows with some celebs – yep Lisa herself was there + a couple of actors/actresses ;) Haha the whole celeb thing is usually not something I care much about, but this place really gives you the LA/Hollywood experience and I think it is so much fun to be a part of for a night!
Bricks and Scones
This is such a great place to go to get work done, they have a nice patio where I loved sit and work on the blog (free wi-fi), but if you really need to concentrate and work/study, then they even have a study at the top floor where talking isn’t allowed and where everyone gets their own desk and lamp – how great is that?! :D Regarding the menu, I really like their smoothies (see the photo in the bottom right corner), salads, sour dough sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, but I have to admit that I didn’t try their famous scones ;)
The City Tavern
We hung out in DTLA quite a bit and FIGat7th were one of our go-to places since there are a lot of stores, restaurants, City Target (!!! best place ever!!) and much more in one place = super practical when you do not have a car + the Regal LA Live cinema (LOVE going to the movies) were in walking distance. In the bottom of FIG7th you find the City Tavern and while it is apparently mostly a place for beer enthusiasts and I do not like beer, then it is still one of the places I want to recommend because they have the most amazing veggie burger and brownie, we had the same thing all 3 times we went there, it’s that good! ;)
In N Out
In N Out is a fast food burger place, but it is nothing like McDonalds etc. – the food is made fresh right in front of you in the open kitchen and you can really taste that the quality is so much better! It is still really cheap though, I think we paid $3 for a burger. The selection is really small, but there’s a lot of “secret” things you can order that aren’t on the menu – like animal style fries, so good!! I had heard sooo much about In N Out from my little sister (she went to school in SF for a while), so my expectations were quite high, but I was not disappointed!
Fresh produce, grocery shopping, superfoods and more:
Lassens is probably the only place we went to more often than Angelus Salads, this place is pretty much heaven for health nuts! They had the largest selection of superfoods I have ever seen and so many different all natural skincare and beauty products + they also had a large selection of organic produce and pretty much all the groceries you need + those you did not even know you need (or that I even knew existed, seriously this place has everything!!) and the best part was that you could mix your own lunch/dinner boxes with salads, warm food etc. (perfect when you’re too lazy to cook, see the photo on the bottom row in the middle) + get freshly made smoothies/juices AND they had the most amazing vegan cakes and desserts, sooo good!!!!
While places like Lassens are absolutely AMAZING, then they’re also quite expensive so I can really recommend going to farmers markets to buy fresh produce as it will save you some $$$ – especially if you buy in bulk. Just look up which farmer’s market is closest to you, they’re all over LA, so you should be able to find one in the area where you stay.
Small ethnic grocery stores
I’m sorry if the term ethnic isn’t correct, but as you know english is my second language and I’m not quite sure what to call these little gems. Whatever the right term is you have to check out your local “ethnic” grocery stores and by ethnic I mean for example asian or hispanic grocery stores – they are amazing!! You will find so many products and produce that you have never seen before and the prices are the best, everything is SO much cheaper than elsewhere!!
I LOVE Target, as in LOVE IT!! Haha whenever I go into Target (even if I just need some almond milk) I come out with at least 4 full grocery bags, I mean this place is the best! You can pretty much find everything you need (and I mean EVERYTHING, not just food, but also clothes, beauty, furniture etc.) and even more that you do not need, but will end up buying anyways ;) I wish we had Target in Copenhagen! Target is more of a naughty food heaven – especially if you’re European like myself and not used to all those delicious (and unhealthy!) American options! – but they do have a growing organic selection and they are slowly starting to get more of the healthier options in general.
Whole Foods is kind of a must if you’re a health nut in LA, but I gotta admit that I didn’t really shop there much, since there sadly wasn’t one nearby and we didn’t have a car, so I went with Lassens as mentioned above instead.