Los Angeles is an incredible city full of culture. In my opinion, Angelenos are the definition of West Coast "cool." They're trendy and they're always on the pulse of whatever is hip and fun in every part of life, from beauty treatments, to street style, to food. So when I moved out to this bustling city, I made it my own personal mission to try some of the most iconic foods in L.A. so I could learn how to be a true Angeleno. (It's safe to say it was a success.)
From towering poke bowls to delicious vegan bites, L.A. has no shortage of interesting — and of course, Instagrammable — food and restaurants. West Coast chefs from both gourmet restaurants and street stands truly create fun, memorable dining experiences for everyone. I've been to a street taco stand that makes its own corn tortillas from scratch, and I've also been to breakfast at Jean-Georges where the fruit plate was piled high with tropical delights.
Experiencing life as a foodie in L.A. is something truly special. Regardless of if you live there or you're just visiting, you should definitely make an effort to try all of these iconic foods. Your taste buds and tummy will seriously thank you.
1. Poke Bowls
I have always loved poke bowls, but the best ones I've ever had by far are the ones I've eaten in L.A. From major chains to quaint mom and pop restaurants, there are too many solid poke options to be able to enjoy them all in a lifetime. My personal favorite is Poké Home in North Hollywood. It isn't too far from my apartment, the fish is always super fresh, and its delivery on Postmates is speedy.
2. Taco Trucks And Street Tacos
There are at least 10 taco trucks and street stands less than a five-minute drive away from my apartment, and each of them is fantastic. If you're not from a city that has a lot of street food — food that is literally made in pop-up tents on the sidewalk and in parking lots — it might be a little intimidating at first. But once you taste the goodness of a street taco, your life will be forever changed in the best of ways.
3. French Dip
L.A.'s obsession with French dips is the real deal. Locals are divided between Philippe's and Cole's (I don't have an opinion yet because I haven't tried either), though I can safely say every French Dip I have enjoyed in L.A. has been beyond delicious. If you're in the Valley, I highly recommend heading to The Fat Dog and trying its version.
4. Vegan Eats
In my opinion, there's truly no better city to try out vegan food than L.A. Some menus are completely vegan, dairy-free, and/or gluten-free, but you would never even notice the difference because the food tastes so good. If you're someone who has any dietary restrictions, the sky really is the limit for you in L.A.
5. Açai Bowls
I honestly didn't understand the hype behind açai bowls until I had one in L.A. There's something about spooning into a giant smoothie bowl with chunks of real fruit in it that makes you feel trendy, Instagrammable, and full all at once. My favorite place in North Hollywood recently closed, but the good news is that places that serve açai bowls are everywhere in L.A. so I'm sure I'll find a new spot.
From my experience, chefs in L.A. ramen restaurants experiment with different flavors and toppings so that your dining experience is different every time. My current favorite is Tatsu Ramen (you order your food on iPads, which is always fun), but I've never had a bad bowl of ramen in L.A. so I'm down to try wherever.
7. Coffee Or Tea From Alfred
I know I talk about Alfred Coffee and Alfred Tea Room a lot, but I really do believe it's the best. I always appreciate how much thought goes into their decor and ambiance at each location. But even more than that, I love that their tea is actually so yummy.
I don't drink coffee, but I'm an avid tea drinker, so everyone recommended I go to an Alfred Tea Shop when I got to L.A. I was not and have never been disappointed with my experience there. I'm a frequent customer for life.