Beverly Hills looks like a city that no one actually lives in. Everything is clean, the houses are palaces, and all the clothing stores have exactly five items of clothing inside them. Most of the people you see out and about are here for appointments, auditions, or work lunches. And some people do live in Beverly Hills. Good for them.
Whether you’re passing through or you live what we assume is a fairytale existence in the city, you will inevitably find yourself needing lunch in the 90210. When that happens, you don’t have to resign yourself to eating at some overly fancy, mediocre restaurant full of people moving food around on their plates. Despite its appearance as a city that exists for show, Beverly Hills does have some good lunch spots. You can find them on this guide.
If there were a museum of Beverly Hills, it would be housed inside Nate ’n Al. The diner/institution is pretty much always filled with a cross section of the neighborhood, from gossiping rich people to bros FaceTiming their moms to vaguely recognizable TV actors. The food is decent but expensive (a thing you’ll experience at many places around here), but totally worth it if you want the best people watching experience around. Get the stuffed cabbage and the matzo ball soup.
You had to cross town and wait an hour for your doctor appointment, and now that it’s over, you want to reward yourself. Sugarfish is the easy answer, but it’s also the right one. Their sushi is always a good value, but that’s especially true in Beverly Hills, where you’ll pay at least double the price at most other spots. Stop in for a Trust Me Lite and experience emotional recovery in the form of their crab hand rolls.
Sasabune is like Sugarfish’s more prestigious older sister. It’s excellent sushi served in a slightly fancier setting - and there’s an omakase option if you feel like throwing down in the middle of the day. This is the place to go when your aunt wants to take you out somewhere fancy for your birthday/promotion/to guilt trip you about the fact you never stop by, but she also refuses to leave 90210.
Your friends are in town and they want the “LA experience.” You know that means they want to eat somewhere near Rodeo Drive and try to spot famous people. Take them to Bouchon, the restaurant clearly designed by someone who thought Paris didn’t look French enough. The food is pretty good, you’ll feel like you’re eating on a film set, and you’ll enjoy the crowd of agents, sleepy millionaires, and five-year-olds with better table manners than you.
You just found out your favorite celebrity couple’s dogs are getting a divorce - again. Time to grab a slice of pepperoni from Mulberry St Pizzeria and eat your feelings. This spot has actually good, cheap pizza that you can stuff into your mouth in the car while you look back on old instagrams of Scampi and Rosie and cry.
Your whole family is in town and you’ve been tasked with planning a celebratory lunch because your grandma goes to bed at 7pm. Book a reservation at Spago, one of the city’s fanciest restaurants that’s still serving a great Italian-ish menu. Your parents will be very happy with the white tablecloths and attentive servers, and you’ll be happy with the food.
You’ve been helping your cousin shop for her wedding dress for five hours and now you need a drink. Direct your group to Citizen, a cocktails and shared plates spot that is way more modern and cool-feeling than most restaurants around here. It can get crowded at night, but at lunch the outdoor patio is usually open and you can drink as much as you want while sharing some deviled eggs and a burger.
Lunch in Beverly Hills usually means you’re eating a salad or you’re eating a steak. There aren’t a whole lot of in betweens, so when something like the Flats comes along, it’s extremely good to know about. This place does flatbread pizzas, which might not sound super exciting, but the toppings are pretty interesting (think duck confit and something called pink lemonade mozzarella). Plus, the space is cool without trying hard.
The Polo Lounge might be the worst restaurant in all of Los Angeles, but if you find yourself hungry near the Beverly Hills Hotel, all is not lost. You can go to the hotel’s other famous restaurant, the more casual Fountain Room. It’s a small cafe with that leafy wallpaper you’ve seen on social media, and it has decent coffee, good pancakes, and a relaxed atmosphere that you’ll feel comfortable hanging out in for a while.
There are about 400 places to have a power lunch in Beverly Hills, and La Scala is the place to go if you want to win that new client business by pretending you’re in the mob. It’s the kind of dimly lit, classic Italian restaurant Tony Soprano would love, and when you sit down in one of those red booths, you will feel more powerful. While you’re here, you should order Larry’s chopped salad with peperoncini, and practice your unflinching glare.
This is probably the closest most people eating inside the Farm of Beverly Hills will ever get to a real farm. This restaurant is more about solid American comfort food and giant towers of ahi tuna than healthy/organic/local produce, but some of it is marginally healthy and the salads are some of the better ones around. And despite the fact that the crowd looks like the cast of every show on Bravo, the atmosphere is surprisingly laid-back, and you won’t usually have to wait for a table.
Chaumont Cafe is where you go if you need dessert either after or as your meal. Not only do they have affordable salads and sandwiches, but they also sell a range of personal-sized pastries and cakes and, more importantly, soft-serve ice cream in a croissant cone. The service here is fast, and the space makes for a good spot to sit and read, or get some work done, or wait for likes on your photo of your croissant ice cream cone.
You might have heard of South Beverly Grill, the Hillstone people’s very popular Beverly Hills outlet. When that’s too crowded and you don’t want to deal with all the drunk retirees, stop by Honor Bar, the addition very cleverly built out to serve to-go sandwiches to all the normal people who can’t spend two hours at lunch. Get the chicken sandwich or the classic burger - you won’t find a better one in Beverly Hills.
If you’re on your way to Urth Caffe right now, turn around and walk to Momed instead. We don’t care how much you miss Entourage, there’s a much less crowded and actually good Mediterranean place just a few buildings away. Momed has some of the best salads in Beverly Hills (which is saying something), but what you want is the khachapouri pride flatbread - with egg, cheese, olives, and a spicy soujok beef sausage. If you’re still going to Urth, we can’t say anything more to help you.
Mr Chow was the place to be in the ’90s, but it’s since dusted off the cocaine and grown up a bit. Now it’s more likely to be full of families celebrating a sweet 16 or a middle school graduation. Still, it’s a fun place to come if you want a taste of old-ish LA, or if you’re in the mood for some expensive Chinese food for lunch. The chicken satay and the fried rice are good options.