Downtown Los Angeles is one of the most exciting and lively metropolises in the country. You’ve probably seen it in countless movies and TV shows because this part of California is famous for renowned art museums in the Arts District as well as culturally diverse areas like Little Tokyo and Chinatown.
What really makes Downtown LA so incredible in my eyes, however, is the absolutely unbelievable restaurant scene. No matter what you’re looking to eat in this bustling city, you can find it here.
633 W 5th St 71st floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Taking the number-one spot on my list is none other than 71Above, fittingly named for a restaurant that sits 700+ feet in the air. That’s right, 71Above is situated inside the US Bank Tower on the 71st floor, overlooking Downtown LA in all its glory.
The view is literally spectacular, but it almost pales in comparison to the cuisine that you’ll be experiencing. Depending on the time of year, 71Above offers different menus. I had the pleasure of dining during the Fall, so I ordered the grilled ribeye as my main course and it was simply divine.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Right off of South Broadway, right across from the Bradbury Building and next to the Million Dollar Theater, is a place called Grand Central Market that I think everyone needs to visit at least once during their time in Downtown LA.
Grand Central Market is actually a food court that’s been around since 1917 here in Downtown LA. It has since evolved into a vibrant hang-out with a wide assortment of food vendors to visit. You can get everything from bento boxes to fresh-baked breads and everything in between. There’s even a real cheesemonger in the market with all kinds of cheeses to try.
122 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
This next amazing restaurant is called Orsa & Winston and you can find this one off of West 4th Street next to the Continental Building, right around the corner from Regent Theater. This Asian-fusion restaurant is an absolute delight to visit for a night out to dinner.
Their menu changes often here at Orsa & Winston, but that just makes it all the more of an exciting experience in my opinion. They serve 5-course meals of artisan cuisine prepared by master chefs. The food looks like art when they bring it to your table, but it tastes even more beautiful.
208 E 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Sonoratown is the next place I would like to introduce to you, and if you’ve been there before, you’ll immediately understand why I had to include this restaurant. I love Sonoratown when I’m in the mood for some delicious Mexican food in Downtown LA.
This taqueria is fantastic and I cannot get enough of the food here. I usually go with a steak burrito, but there are plenty of other delicious options to choose from like quesadillas, tacos, chimichangas, and so much more. It gets kind of difficult to decide sometimes, so I tend to get a couple things to-go.
108 W 2nd St #104, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This next place is called BADMAAsh and it’s easily one of my favorite Indian restaurants that I’ve ever been to. You can find them on the corner of West 2nd Street and South Main Street, right down the street from Los Angeles City Hall and City Hall Park Center.
When you come to BADMAASH, I recommend starting with some of their homemade punjabi samosas. They even sell a samosa with butter chicken inside and it’s absolutely mind-blowing. When it comes to entrees, I love the tikka masala or the ghost chili lamb vindaloo. I highly recommend either of those.
222 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Now, I would like to talk about a new-American restaurant called Otium that’s located over off of South Hope Street inside The Emerson LA, right next to The Broad modern art museum and across the street from the Walt disney Concert Hall. I highly recommend coming here for an immaculate dinner before a show.
When you dine at Otium, you should really consider trying one of their specialty cocktails because they’re both strong and refreshing to sip on while you pursue the menu. For food, if you’re really starving, they serve a 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye steak that’s so juicy and tender that it melts in your mouth.
1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Just north of the Los Angeles Union Station and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is another one of my favorite Downtown LA restaurants called Philippe The Original.
This place is well-known and definitely well-loved around town, but it’s really easy to see why once you’ve been there. This historic deli serves up some of the most delicious sandwiches in the entire city, maybe the state.
The French dip sandwich is legendary from Philippe The Original, but there are plenty of other tasty subs to try that will keep you coming back to try more.
CITY MARKET SOUTH, 1124 San Julian St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
This next restaurant that I want to mention is called Rossoblu and you can find this place in the LA Outlet shopping mall off of San Julian Street nearby tons of other great places to shop. If you’re in the middle of a shopping spree here in Downtown LA, then this is the perfect place to stop for a break and refuel.
Rossoblu is Steve Samson’s Bolognese-inspired Italian restaurant that features some of the most delectable handmade pasta dishes and a wide assortment of quality bottles of wine to pair with them. If you’re in the area, definitely stop by Rossoblu.
422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Up next is Sushi Gen, a fantastic sushi restaurant here in Downtown Los Angeles that you can find right inside the Honda Plaza shopping mall off of East 2nd Street, just east of the gorgeous James Irvine Japanese Garden at JACCC.
What I love about Sushi Gen is that everything is so fresh and traditional that you would think you’ve stepped off the streets of LA and into a refined sushi spot somewhere in Japan. You can get everything from sushi to sashimi and anything else you can imagine that’s sushi-related, so if you’re craving the freshest sushi in town, this is where you should be headed.
107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Right next to the Ninth and Broadway shopping mall and The Orpheum Theatre is WoodSpoon, a unique Brazilian restaurant that you do not want to miss out on when going out to eat in Los Angeles. I simply love this place because they serve Australian wagyu picanha steak which is one of my favorites and the most popular cut of steak in Brazil.
Of course, they have many other options besides steak like a delectable seafood bowl, a lamb plate, and moqueca, a delightful seafood stew that is sure to satisfy when you want to enjoy some fresh fish and shellfish.
718 S Los Angeles St space A, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Now, for my favorite Thai restaurant in the area: Holy Basil DTLA. This place is amazing and I come here whenever I can. Surprisingly, for how delicious the cuisine is, Holy Basil is not as well-known as I would have expected, but that just makes it one more low-key gem in Downtown LA.
My all-time favorite dish from Holy Basil DTLA is their pad see ew. It’s such a wonderful combination of spices and flavors that I can’t get enough of it. Some other great choices are the pad kee mao and the Thai fried rice, if you’re looking for recommendations.
1320 E 7th St #126, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Just inside of ROW DTLA shopping mall off of East 7tth Street is an omakase-style, fine-dining Japanese restaurant called Hayato that provides an utterly mind-blowing culinary experience for its patrons. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough for when you want some refined Japanese cuisine in an upscale atmosphere.
I adore the omakase-style of service that Hayato offers. For those that don’t know, omakase essentially means that you entrust your meal to the chef who will then put together an assortment of dishes for you to try, so you might not know what you’re getting, but just trust the experts.
1725 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Right next to Los Angeles State Historic Park off of Naud Street is Majordomo, another new-American restaurant that serves up some unbelievably tasty cuisine in a laid-back, industrial-chic atmosphere that I think you’re going to love.
When you come to Majordomo, I suggest you give the pan-roasted, dry-aged ribeye a shot because when I had it, it absolutely melted in my mouth. Some other great options include the smoked whole plate short rib or the fried skate.
Majordomo also offers a wide range of craft cocktails to choose from that will accompany your meal perfectly so try one of those too.
419 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Petite Peso is a Filipino restaurant located inside the Jewelry Theatre Building LLC off of West 7th street that you should definitely visit for breakfast or lunch when you’re in the area. I always try to come here whenever I can because my favorite way to start the day is with one of their breakfast sandwiches.
I highly recommend a breakfast sandwich from Petite Peso, but they have some really delicious picanha steak and eggs and a breakfast burrito that’s just to-die-for. Whatever you do, make sure you grab a freshly-baked pastry before you leave Petite Peso.
907 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Last, but not least, is Manuela. This restaurant prides itself on serving up only organic ingredients in their food, some of which is even grown in-house. When you dine at Manuela, you know everything that went into your dish is of the utmost quality and freshness.
It’s hard to pick a favorite food from Manuela, but I’ve got to say the venison burger is unlike any other burger I’ve ever had and I cannot wait to go back for another. Check out Manuela off of East 3rd Street where you’ll find it surrounded by museums and art galleries.