The weather, the traffic, and lots of tourists are typical for Los Angeles, but food in the City of Angels is anything but predictable. The variety is endless; head to Glendale for Middle Eastern, Central L.A. for Korean, East L.A. for Mexican, and Studio City for Japanese. Dishes are just as diverse, but there are a few that most Angelinos crave when away from their home base. Here's our list of our most nostalgic dishes:
1. Avocado Everything
California has over 5,000 avocado growers throughout the state. Cool California breezes and fertile sun-kissed soil create an ideal climate to grow avocados. Fresh California avocados are in season from spring to fall and L.A. chefs use this fruit for much more than guacamole. They are a versatile ingredient and Los Angeles restaurants use them for both savory and sweet dishes including avocado toast, eggs baked in avocado, deep fried avocado, avocado ice cream, and avocado soup.
2. Diddy Riese
Fresh baked, made-from-scratch warm cookies for only 50 cents (and $4.50 per dozen)? Only in Los Angeles can you find Diddy Riese. This Westwood tiny bakeshop serves oatmeal, chocolate chip, white chocolate, sugar, and other varieties of cookies as well as affordable brownies (75 cents), ice cream ($1.50 per scoop), and ice cream sandwiches ($2).
3. Dodger Dogs
Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, it’s worth it to head to Dodger Stadium to taste the team’s signature hot dog. Created in 1962, fans can get the 10-inch frankfurter either steamed or grilled and wrapped in a steamed bun. Hand crank dispensers provide relish,o onions, and ketchup, and Morehouse and dijon mustards are also available.
Founded in Baldwin Park in 1948, this chain known for their eye-catching yellow arrow logo keeps it simple, inexpensive, and delicious. The menu includes only four choices — hamburger, cheeseburger, double-double, and fries, plus some basic shakes and beverages. In-N-Out was the first hamburger stand in California to utilize the drive-through window, and today you can eat inside, eat outside in your car or on the patio, or enjoy the take-out option and really be in-and-out in no time.
5. Phillipe’s French Dip
Opened in 1908 in DTLA, Phillipe The Original invented the French dipped sandwich and they still make it better than just about anyone. There’s long communal tables, sawdust on the floor and carving stations to order turkey, ham, pork, lamb, and beef sandwiches. Phillipe also serves great side dishes including cole slaw, chili, potato and macaroni salads, and bright pink hard boiled eggs pickled in beet juice.
6. Porto’s Bakery
Opened in 1975 in Silver Lake, Porto’s Bakery serves Cuban-style pastries, sandwiches, and tamales. Today, they have two large locations in Glendale and Burbank. Favorites include mango mousse cake, chorizo pies, ham and pork Cuban sandwiches, cheese rolls, ham croquettes, and any of the many beautiful pastries.
For many Angelenos, tacos are the signature dish of their city, and it’s hard to find another place where they are so prevalent and so consistently good. Culver City’s Don Chuy’s tacos are on the smaller side but are packed with chorizo, carne asada, and chicken and are only 99 cents. Add a Tecate beer for only $2 and a great meal can be enjoyed for about $5. Those who love fish tacos can head to La Playita Siete Mares in Silver Lake for $1 fish or shrimp tacos. You should also check out our ranking of the country’s best, as many of them reside in L.A.