Where to Stock Up and Dine Out During LA's "Carmaggedon"

The best places to get your fill during a gridlocked weekend

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Any Angelenos left in the city of angels this weekend are facing the mother of all traffic jams. From Friday evening to 5 a.m. Monday morning, the iconic (and perpetually packed) 405 freeway will… close. From the 101 freeway to the north and the 10 freeway to the south, the freeway will be shut (in both directions) for the entire weekend. Called “Carmageddon,” it is nearly impossible to convey the fear this has stricken into the hearts of LA denizens. Think: traffic doomsday. But, just because traffic will come to a screeching halt this weekend doesn’t mean Angelenos are stuck under house arrest, eating canned tuna, and trying to remember what the sun looks like. 

If you’re afraid that it will look like The Day After Tomorrow outside, stock up on gourmet snack foods from some of LA’s most delectable markets. Joan’s on Third, Monsiuer Marcel, and Bottega Louie (pictured) will ensure your kitchens are fully equipped with satisfying and mouth-watering morsels. Let everyone else fend for themselves. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Christy Fu)

Restaurants in LA are aware that they could be facing a pretty empty weekend, so any souls willing to brave the car-pocalypse (couldn’t resist!) should book a table at Providence for their five-course tasting menu (at $70 per person), which extends through July in honor of their 6th anniversary. Wilshire Restaurant is offering a 4-course “405 Sig Alert” dinner for $40.05 per person, while Drago Centro is offering 20% off your entire dinner bill from Friday to Sunday if you mention “Carmaggedon” when you book.

Snag free appetizers all weekend at Brentwood Restaurant, or head to Tavern for cleverly priced $4.05 cocktails and wines, $10 grilled cheese, and $1.01 chocolate chip cookies. Wine Expo is knocking 40.5% off your wine bar bill Friday through Sunday (not to mention discounts in the store) and Vertical Wine Bistro has $5 beer and wine flights all weekend.

Taste is offering all day happy hours on Saturday and Sunday for those who choose to battle the traffic in a cab or the passenger seat. Culver City’s Rush Street is hosting the ultimate beat-the-traffic “beach party” with a clambake and summer drink specials.

Any weekenders blithely unaware of the traffic madness hitting the city should book their three-night stay at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica (pictured). For a nightly rate of, you guessed it, $405, guests get a deluxe room, a $75 dry cleaning credit, and a “to go” breakfast on Monday morning. Then, stop into the Beverly Hilton for poolside spa treatments at a discounted rate of $40.50. Their Trader Vic’s lounge is offering $4.05 draft beers and Mai Tai’s during happy hour through the weekend. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/zingersb)

The Eat Real Festival is still on as planned, celebrating fresh, local, and tasty LA street food (with free admission) at the Helms Bakery on July 16th and 17th. Grab sweet eats from Crepe’n Around, The Hungry Nomad, and the Nom Nom Truck for only $5 a plate.

So hang in there, LA. While the gridlock may foil dreams of driving around all weekend, we think these options are a pretty decent escape route.