Local dishes in Los Angeles range from unique Californian classics to universally beloved Tex-Mex, western, and domestic fare from all over the country. If there's one thing Angelinos love to do, it's eat, and this is a foodie destination with offerings from French dip to California pizza, California rolls, and avocado toast. Whether you're looking for a basic burger and fries or you want something to cool off, in L.A. they find a way to put their local stamp on your favourite dishes.

    If you're looking for good eats in L.A., you can find great food and great restaurants around every bend. Check out some of the best local dishes in Los Angeles.


    Cheeseburgers and Fries

    Grab a bite of quintessential American fare

    Cheeseburgers and fries have been quintessential American fare for as long as we've had diners, drive-ins, and fast food, and in L.A. you can find them on every block. Not all cheeseburgers are created equal, however. Some are your basic quarter pound of beef with American cheese, while others offer unique takes and toppings like peanut butter and even avocado.

    In L.A., some of the most popular burger joints include Daglas Drive-In in the San Fernando Valley and Bill's Burgers in Van Nuys. If you want to try your burger with a knife and fork, head for Petit Trois le Valley in Sherman Oaks, where craft burgers take on a whole new dimension.



    Grab a Tex-Mex classic, L.A. style

    Tacos are a Tex-Mex classic, and in L.A. they come in all shapes and sizes, with toppings ranging from basic beef and cheese to avocado, sour cream, and various salsas. From sit-down Mexican restaurants to food trucks and street carts, this city has a vibrant taco scene. Angelinos consider themselves taco experts, and here you'll find them with everything from seasoned beef to classic barbacoa and even unusual fillings like lamb, moronga, and pancita.

    Some of the most popular taco vendors in L.A. include Barbacoa Estilo Atotonilco El Grande city centre, Barbacoa Estilo Chihuahua in Arleta, and Tacos Los Palomos in Winnetka. From al pastor to barbecued, L.A. has the taco for your taste.


    Chilli Cheese Hot Dog

    Try snappy, spicy fast food on the beach

    A chilli cheese hot dog, or just a chilli dog, is a favourite among Angelinos with snappy franks, spicy chilli, tonnes of cheese, onions, and speciality toppings. Naturally, here in L.A., the city puts its own stamp on everything, and many hot dog stands, drive-through restaurants, and even sit-down restaurants offer their take on dogs with chilli. Few things are as good as walking along the beach munching on a dog slathered with chilli, cheese, onions, and mustard.

    For your straight-up chilli dog, check out Cupid's in Winnetka or Larry's in Burbank. For fried chilli dogs East Coast-style, check out Fab Hot Dogs in Reseda. For a historic staple, check out The Hat, with spots up and down the 210.


    Pastrami Sandwich

    Enjoy a timeless Jewish deli classic

    A pastrami sandwich is a timeless classic no matter where you go, and they're a staple of local delis, burger joints, and dedicated pastrami shacks across the city. This sandwich has gone from a Jewish deli staple to a widely loved classic of American cuisine. If you haven't had pastrami, it's beef brisket brined, spiced, smoked, chilled, and steamed for a truly unique flavour.

    For good pastrami in L.A., head for The Hat, a mini-chain restaurant based in Alhambra but found all up and down the 210. You can also hit up the speciality Johnnie's Pastrami in Culver City, which has served it up for decades. The Original Rinaldi's in El Segundo is an eclectic spot with great pastrami.


    Ice Cream Sandwich

    Enjoy an L.A. take on a dessert classic

    The ice cream sandwich has become an iconic response to L.A.'s artisanal small-batch ice cream scene, with delicious, simple, nostalgic flavour that's ideal for hot days on the beach. Many dessert spots across L.A. put their own spin on this basic but tasty classic, from traditional takes to more creative and artisanal ones. Ice cream sandwiches here are made with everything from cookies to macarons, cakes, and even churros.

    Diddy Riese on Broxton Ave has served up from-scratch cookie ice cream sandwiches for over 20 years. Afters Ice Cream in Pasadena offers crazy options like blue ice cream smashed between doughnuts. Coolhaus in Culver City offers unusual flavours like fried chicken and waffles, and adult alcoholic ice cream sandwiches.


    French Dip Sandwich

    Try a true L.A. original signature sandwich

    A French dip sandwich is quite literally an L.A. original, having been invented in city centre L.A. in the early 20th century, and it's the city's signature sandwich. If you haven't tried a French dip, it's thin-sliced, slow-roasted beef with cheese, horseradish, and a soft bun, which you dip into hot au jus before each bite. Each restaurant puts its own spin on it. Some use onions, while some have different types of buns. Over the past 110 years or so, infinite varieties have cropped up. For the best, however, you still want to go for the original.

    Two restaurants in L.A. lay claim to the original: Philippe's on Alameda Street and Cole's on East 6th Street.


    California Roll

    Try a Japanese-American fusion roll

    A California roll is arguably one of the most iconic dishes in L.A., a California take on traditional sushi that's just as delicious, but without raw fish. A California roll is makizushi rolled inside-out (rice on the outside) with cucumber, crab, and avocado. Normally the rice is sprinkled with toasted sesame or tobiko. Each restaurant has its own take on this California classic. They're also available vegan-style, which makes it a popular dish among the vegetarian set.

    Some of the best spots in L.A. include Sushi Katsu-ya in Studio City, Murakami Sushi on Melrose Avenue, and Hama Sushi on East 2nd Street. For something different, check out the "Hand Roll Bar" at KazuNori on Gayley Avenue.


    Cobb Salad

    Try a Brown Derby main dish salad

    A Cobb salad is a gigantic garden salad designed to be eaten as a main dish, typically featuring greens, tomato, bacon, fried chicken, eggs, avocado, chives, and blue cheese. It's often dressed with a red wine vinaigrette, and what sets it apart from other salads is that it's not mixed together. Rather, the ingredients are arranged in neat rows for you to mix or eat separately as you like. This salad was invented by the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, which still serves the original today.

    Aroma Coffee and Tea in Studio City serves up a popular variation. James' Beach in Venice has a solid Cobb and offers vegetarian versions. The Magic Castle in West Hollywood is another option.


    California-style Pizza

    Eat a personal pizza, celebrity chef-style

    California-style pizza is a single-serving small pizza that melds New York thin crust with California toppings like egg, avocado, and a wide range of others. One storey goes that chef Ed LaDou tried toppings ranging from prosciutto to goat cheese, truffles, mustard, ricotta, pate, and red pepper in the early 1980s to take advantage of the newly created "California cuisine" French-Italian fusion. Later, California Pizza Kitchen and Wolfgang Puck took it to the mass market and it became a phenomenon.

    In L.A., you can find California pizza in just about every Italian restaurant and pizzeria. Some of the most popular are Pizzeria Mozza on Highland Avenue, the original California Pizza Kitchen in Beverly Hills, and Spago in Beverly Hills.


    Avocado Toast

    Try the dish that defines 'California-style' eats

    Avocado toast is an iconic Los Angeles and California dish that has become so popular that "California style" has come to colloquially mean "put avocado on it." The best avocado toast, however, has a lot more than just avocado spread and includes things like crème fraîche, pickled onions, tomatoes, chives, radish, and a wide range of other toppings designed to enhance the flavour of this health-food staple.

    Different takes on avocado toast are as varied as people and restaurants, and you can find it in everything from local diners to avant-garde fine dining establishments. Some of the most popular include Zinc Cafe in the Arts District, All Time in Los Feliz, and Verve Coffee Roasters in the Arts District.

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