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Don’t-Miss Dishes in Los Angeles

From Koreatown favorites to downtown’s glitzy dining, Los Angeles food is as diverse as it comes. See what's on the menu.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Vermont travel writer Jen Rose Smith covers adventure, remote places, and traditional cuisine from a home base in the Green Mountains. Her articles have appeared in National Geographic Adventure, American Way, Nexos, Condé Nast Traveler, Backpacker, AFAR, Rolling Stone, USA Today, and Outside Online.

From Koreatown favorites to downtown’s glitzy dining, Los Angeles food is as diverse as it comes, and you could spend a lifetime exploring the city’s essential flavors. Bounce between neighborhoods to sample the highlights, whether you’re chasing the perfect taco or trying for Hollywood’s hottest table.

Tacos

Foto: fivetonine / Shutterstock

You can’t—and shouldn’t—miss tacos in Los Angeles, a starring attraction at top-end restaurants and casual food trucks alike. Some of the very best are also the simplest, just a hot corn tortilla wrapped around tender meat, a scattering of herbs, and sauce.

Korean Barbecue

Foto: Kit Leong / Shutterstock

Koreatown draws hungry Angelinos with bowls of bibimbap, tangy kimchi, and plates of barbecued meat rich with smoky flavor. There’s plenty of buzz at dinner, but it’s also a favorite for light-night eats when the bars close.

French Dip Sandwiches

Foto: mjsomerville / Shutterstock

Legend has it this juicy sandwich—which is served alongside a dipping bowl of hot broth—was invented in downtown Los Angeles. In true Angelino style, it’s been adapted countless times, with versions filled with everything from turkey to Korean barbecue.

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Foto: padelphoto / Shutterstock

A street vendor all-star, the bacon-wrapped hot dog is an emblem of old school Los Angeles. Get the treat—sometimes called a dogo—piled with chiles and onions for the classic experience.

Pupusas

Foto: mario jacobo / Shutterstock

Griddled corn cakes stuffed with everything from melted cheese to braised meat, pupusas are found on roadside grills and at pupuserias around the city. They’re a delicious legacy of Los Angeles’ vibrant Salvadoran community.

Ramen

Foto: K321 / Shutterstock

Hearty bowls of brothy noodles are beloved here, with options that include traditional recipes and ultrainnovative modern versions. Great ramen restaurants are sprinkled throughout Los Angeles, so find the closest one and grab your chopsticks.

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