Late-Night Eats in Los Angeles
Los Angeles certainly has a reputation for hosting parties 24 hours a day, but things actually shut down relatively early compared to cities like New York and Las Vegas. Restaurants typically close by midnight and bars and clubs call it a night around 2 a.m., but after a night out on the town, there are delicious options for tackling late-night munchies.
One of the most popular fast-food restaurants on the West Coast has to be In-N-Out Burger. The bright white setting with red and yellow accents populated with equally cheerful employees has a short menu of burgers, french fries, and shakes made with fresh ingredients that locals have turned to again and again. The drive-thru lines can be long, but the service is sped up by employees standing outside taking orders, ensuring your meal is ready by the time you reach the window.
One of the reasons In-N-Out Burger has become popular is its not-so-secret secret menu that has spread by word of mouth. If meat is not your thing, opt for a grilled cheese which has all of the same toppings as a cheeseburger but without the patty. Single and double burgers are already on the menu, but In-N-Out will let you add up to four patties to a burger. Asking for your meat to be "mustard-grilled" will add a perky mustard flavor to the meat. "Animal-style" is a popular order where extra cheese, secret sauce, grilled onions, and pickles can be added to any burger or fries. (Tip: It is probably best to order fries well-done when getting them topped animal-style so that they don’t get soggy.) And for the carb-conscious, you can order a burger "protein-style," meaning it is wrapped in lettuce.
101 Coffee Shop, open from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., is a retro diner with a self-described Southern California twist located right off the 101 freeway on Franklin Street. The restaurant is attached to a Best Western. Step inside and you’re immediately transported to the 1970s, with low lights, Formica, and leather furnishings and fixtures. The menu offers everything from breakfast burritos and wraps to sandwiches and hamburgers, and there are vegan and vegetarian options to keep all sorts of appetites satisfied. Be nice to your waiter — they may be a struggling actor now, but in a few years they could be famous.
Popular Brazilian restaurant Bossa Nova is open late and also offers delivery until 4 a.m. at some locations. With outposts in West Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Hollywood, Bossa Nova satisfies late night hunger at mid-range prices. One of the most popular menu items is coxinha, a fried Brazilian treat stuffed with chicken and cheese. There are other Brazilian delicacies, like fried yucca, a great alternative to french fries; paõ de queijo (cheese bread ); and abacaxi, a pulled pork sandwich that is a popular late-night offering in Rio de Janeiro.
Popular New York hot dog shop Papaya King brought its offerings to Los Angeles in 2011. The bright orange and yellow restaurant in Hollywood is open until 3 a.m. In addition to soft drinks, Papaya King serves a variety of tropical juices like mango, coconut, and papaya. The store rotates all of the flavors except for the papaya juice, which is permanent. Papaya King happens to be the entrance for the Hollywood hot spot called The Sayers Club. An unmarked yellow door guarded by a bouncer leads to an ultra-hip lounge reminiscent of a comfortable living room that promises a variety of live entertainment along with pricey drinks.
If you spend enough time going out in Los Angeles, you will undoubtedly run into a "street meat" vendor. These independent vendors sell bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with onions and peppers. The smells of salty hot dogs and smoky bacon are unavoidable and tempting, but be sure to load up on antacids for the inevitable heartburn that comes from multiple nights of late-night feasting.