You’re picking up a friend at LAX one night and their flight arrives late. You get out of work after finishing an exhausting project and you’d like to avoid punishing your stomach with Del Taco. You just won a Grammy or an Oscar or have simply been drinking your face off, and want to cap off your evening with something delicious.
Whatever the reason, you may at some point find yourself needing a meal after midnight in Los Angeles. And when you do, don’t panic. Not everything in town is closed. Here is an UPDATED list of some of our favorite L.A. spots to hit as the night grows old, divvied up depending on what you’re looking for.
Special Agent Dale Cooper would like the damn fine coffee and pie here, and so do we. We usually go for an omelet, turkey club, or a burger, but it’s the pancakes here that shouldn’t be missed. Heads-up to people in NELA neighborhoods: the Pasadena location has a back room with a fire pit and red leather booths, which is a particularly magical place to enjoy a patty melt. Open 24 hours.
A whimsical diner in the heart of Los Feliz that makes for marvelous people watching. The food ranges from decent to excellent, depending on what you order. We’re partial to the fried macaroni & cheese balls, and the breakfast sandwiches on fluffy brioche buns. The Jucy Lucy burger, while not cheese-filled like its Minneapolis namesake, is a top-notch cheeseburger in its own right. Open 24 hours for all your drunken needs.
An L.A. institution, Canter’s isn’t the best Jewish deli in town, but it’s certainly the most convenient. The late night crowd is a fascinating cross-section of Los Angeles residents. Fictional oddball characters that David Lynch or Charles Bukowski never got around to dreaming up seem to manifest here. As for the food, skip the burgers and stick to the deli fare, whether you’re in the mood for cheese blintzes, latkes, matzo ball soup, or a bagel and lox. Canter’s Reuben is a comforting greasy corned beef sandwich, but if you’re looking for full-on decadence, the Monte Cristo is everything you’ve ever wanted in a grilled turkey ham and cheese sandwich that happens to be served within French toast. Open 24 hours. Read our full review.
Seemingly out of the drunken mist, one of LA's best taco spots opened a new location right in the heart of the Weho. The arrival of Guisados delivers a late night option to a part of town that, unless you want a milkshake, leaves much to be desired. Open on weekends till 2am, head out just before last call to beat to rush and get your body and mind prepared for that taco sampler.
Most nights, around closing time at nearby bars, the line here stretches out the door. Is it because the bacon and eggs or pancakes are so wonderful? Not really, no. But The Pantry is a downtown L.A. institution. Open 24 hours.
It goes immensely under-the-radar that one of LA's best restaurants is also open late night. Open till midnight on weeknights and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, Jones is where you go to crawl into a booth, eat some pizza, drink a Peroni, and wait for the best dessert in town (the apple pie skillet) to arrive. This isn't your roll-in-after-last-call throw down spot. Come here after a nice night out with friends or a late rehearsal with the cast, and you'll be in late night Italian bliss. Read our full review.
Stout is a local fast-casual burger chain with a ton of excellent craft beers on tap. Note: Only their Hollywood location is open until 4 a.m. (Sorry Santa Monica and Studio City.) While the burgers are all very good (yes, we’ve tried each of them), we’re partial to the terrific “Morning After” burger, which arrives topped with a fried egg and bacon – dinner meets breakfast on a fluffy bun. Read our full review.
After midnight, finding a parking spot near this bordello-looking burger bar at the Roosevelt Hotel gets a lot easier. The choice of flavorful toppings and fancy cheeses help towards keeping this place as one of our favorite burgers in town, year after year. And open 24 hours. Also: spiked milkshakes.
It’s In-N-Out – and bringing a carful of friends through the drive-through here at midnight is a mitzvah, albeit an un-kosher one. After midnight is a great time to impress your friends by casting some In-N-Out secret menu sorcery, or just order yourself the Flying Dutchman, the least Instagrammable item at In-N-Out: two hamburger patties with melted cheese served unceremoniously on a sheet of waxed paper. Sure, it looks like a treat for a dog, but it tastes like a treat for anyone who appreciates unadorned meaty splendor.
It’s oddly satisfying to order your ramen via wall-mounted touchscreen tablet, especially after a night out. Skip the mediocre ramen burger and pork buns, and order the well-balanced creamy tonkotsu ramen or a rice bowl. Open till 2am during the week and 3am on weekends. Read our full review.
It's 2am, you're done popping Fireball shots down on Main Street, and you need food. Open till 3am every night of the week, La Cabana is a true Westside savior. Few places rival the vibe (that back patio gets rowdy in a hurry) and old-school Cali-Mexican cuisine quite like this 53 year-old staple. The El Verde burrito is a monstrosity and easily shared between two people, and their La Casa quesadilla is worth traveling to at any juncture of the sobriety scale.
Despite it's allure to the nightlife crowd, there's a disturbing scarcity of solid late night eats in the Arts District. Luckily, Wurstkuche makes up for it with its mild to wild sausages and a space large enough for the whole crew to find a seat. The lines can get long, and you're not entirely sure why there's a guy in the corner spinning David Guetta, but you're into it. And you're even more into those Belgian fries. Open till 2am every night. Read our full review.
There are a bunch of late night spots to choose from in Thai Town, but this is the reigning champ. You could certainly order pad thai, papaya salad or any of the curries here and leave perfectly happy. In addition to whatever you’re craving, you should be aware of their outstanding egg dishes: The salted radish omelet and the deep-fried egg salad are both superb. Open till 3am every night.
We're not here to convince you the Chinese food situation in LA proper has gotten better - it hasn't. But we are here to tell you that if you're craving Chinese food late at night on the Westside, your only move is Mao's Kitchen. The Venice Beach go-to is dishing out solid, approachable Chinese street food classics and we want all of it. Open till 3am on the weekends, they offer both delivery and take-out, but don't pass up the opportunity to get a little rowdy in their main dining room either - it's BYOB.
A bubbling cauldron of spicy tofu stew can be yours any hour of the day. Spooned over rice, it’s tasty stuff. If you’re really hungry, try ordering your soon tofu in combination with a hot stone bowl of bibimbap or a sizzling platter of galbi or bulgogi. Open 24 hours.
So you did the Hollywood thing and you did it hard. Now it's time to soak up all those lemon drops with some food. Hollywood caters pretty well to the drunk food crowd, but nothing quite beats the pilgrimage down Vine to Cactus Taqueria #1. What's essentially a stand in the middle of a strip-mall parking lot, Cactus has solid Mexican standards across the board, but for our money, we'll never pass up their #5 Burrito W/Meat. We couldn't tell whats in it, but you're already halfway done with it anyways. Warning: cash only. But open till 4am on the weekends.
Sure, it’s costly, but there’s nowhere else we know of in LA where you can you sit down to a rib eye and a lobster tail 24 hours a day. This might not be our favorite steakhouse in Los Angeles, but some of our most memorable late night dinners have taken place here. Don’t miss out on the insultingly overpriced cheeseburger which when ordered medium-rare is a delicious messy stunner.
When you’re craving cocktails after midnight accompanied by a lobster roll or charbroiled oysters, EMC’s got you covered. EMC offers a late night happy hour menu ‘til 2am on Fridays and Saturdays that’s full of delicious items at a lower-price than their regular menu offerings, including soft shell crab sliders, freshly-shucked oysters, and fried brussels sprouts.
There’s a menu at this old-school Culver City dive, but you’d be foolish to order anything other than their Pastrami French Dip. Leave your Langer’s comparisons at the door and just enjoy it for what it is, a French roll overflowing with thin slices of juicy pastrami. When your heart yearns for heartburn, Johnnie’s is there for you, always. Hours vary, but open on weekends till 3:30 am.
The line for Leo’s tacos stretches across the parking lot for a reason. Leo’s makes one of the better al pastor tacos in town. And their carne asada tacos here are tasty too. El Chato, Leo’s neighbor up the street on Olympic, is in our humble opinions and mouths, just as delicious, but Leo’s tends to be open a little later. We wouldn’t throw either out of bed. Ahh, tacos in bed. Yeah, we dream big. Open till 3am every night.
Easily the newest spot on this list, Birdies just earned its spot amongst the late night elite. Why? The excellent DTLA fried chicken and vegan downtown shop is now open 24 hours a day on the weekends, meaning no matter how late your downtown escapades go, Birdies has your back. And at no point after 3am do you turn down a spicy fried chicken sandwich. Bless us all.
After nearby bars close down for the night, the Silver Lake location of Garage Pizza can become quite crowded with people all trying to order a slice or two, so we usually take the pizza back to our car and use our trunk as a table. It’s a pretty tasty slice with a good chew to the crust. Open till 4am every night.
The service can be atrocious and the food is for the most part mediocre. So why even set foot into the House of Pies? It’s all in the name. After a movie or a concert, there’s nothing like ending the night with pie (try a cream pie, they’re better than the fruit ones). The clientele is a charming mix of hipsters, septuagenarians, scoundrels, former basic cable reality show stars, and creatures we suspect escaped from the Weta Workshop. Open till 2am every night.
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