Despite all that’s transpired during the pandemic, L.A. is still host to one of the most innovative, exciting and diverse food scenes in the country. Brick-and-mortar restaurants, Instagram pop-ups, street vendors and food trucks: No matter the form, you can find amazing food in a city whose reputation is built as much on off-the-beaten-path tacos and pop-ups as it is on fine dining-trained chefs making quick work of farmers’ market produce and mainline access to the top-notch Pacific seafood.
At its core, L.A.’s restaurant scene thrives on diversity, resulting in genre-bending formats and cuisines that have given rise to some of the country’s best omakase restaurants, fine dining institutions and strip mall hidden gems. Our experts scour the city for great eats and great insider info. We value fun, flavor, freshness—and value at every price point. We update our list regularly to reflect changes in menu offerings, style of service, new locations and the ever-changing pulse of the city’s food scene. If it’s on the list, we think it’s awesome and worth the hype, wait and money —and we bet you will, too.
September 2022: After months of visits and plenty of heavily considered thought, we’ve recently re-ranked our Best Restaurant picks and added a few old-but-new faces: Damian, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Sushi Gen, Luv2Eat Thai Bistro, Maude and Nozawa Bar. In the interest of greater transparency amid rising inflation, we’ve added prices to our tasting menu listings—so you can make the best dining decisions for you (and your pocketbook).
We’ve also highlighted the sibling restaurants of République (Bicyclette and Manzke), the relatively new Mother Wolf (instead of Felix, our previous pick), Pizzeria Mozza (Osteria Mozza and Chi Spacca) and Bestia/Bavel (Saffy’s on Fountain) in their listings to better reflect the collective impact of these chefs on the current dining scene.
Though L.A. County and the City of L.A. have both dropped indoor vaccine and mask mandates, we’ve still kept our outdoor dining and takeout-friendly callouts on our list.