The Best Places To Eat & Drink Near LA Live guide image


The Best Places To Eat & Drink Near LA Live

All the best restaurants and bars within walking distance of LA Live and Arena.

Say what you will about LA Live or the infamously rebranded Arena (you'll always be Staples Center in our hearts), but it might be the only place on Earth where you can watch four different pro sports teams, a Jaden Smith concert, a 4-D movie, and whatever it is that goes on at “Xbox Plaza.” Which is to say, there’s a good chance you will end up here for something. And while there are plenty of absolutely fine establishments on-site, sometimes you want something a little better than a chain restaurant. And for those times, we created this guide. Here are the best places to eat and drink when you’re around LA Live.


photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Pine & Crane  imageoverride image

Pine & Crane DTLA


1120 S. Grand Ave. Unit 101, Los Angeles
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The moment you walk into Pine & Crane, you'll feel a little better. Maybe it’s because of the high ceilings or the fact that you can feel the breeze from the patio traveling through the open-air dining room. Either way, it’s a pleasant place, and it’s great for when you want to eat an assortment of Taiwanese dishes before or after a big event. This place is also counter-service, so it’s pretty casual, and it doesn’t get too busy at night due to it being mostly known as a breakfast/brunch spot.

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Fixins Soul Kitchen



open table

Located next door to The Novo, Fixin’s Soul Kitchen serves the best soul food in DTLA. The dining room feels like one big sports bar, but there’s also a side patio for anyone who prefers peace and quiet while eating deep-fried comfort food. Come to this massive corner restaurant for dishes like shrimp and grits, black-eyed peas, and pork chops smothered in roux brown gravy and pickled onions. Be sure to make a reservation for brunch if you don’t want to wait an hour or two for your table.

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It would be difficult to dine at Mastro’s without spending at least $100 per person, but the glitzy downtown location is perfect for a pre-show splurge. They have a huge menu of premium cut steaks and seafood platters that could please just about anyone, and you can enjoy them in a grand ballroom right across the street from L.A. Live. Even if you don’t have a reservation, you can easily grab a table in the walk-in-only bar area right up front. And be sure to end your meal with a couple of bites of their infamously gooey butter cake.

This casual rooftop at The Wayfarer hotel isn’t the most glamorous terrace in DTLA, but it does work well for a last-minute group meal near L.A. Live. Perched on the 24th floor, it's got skyline views, comfy booths, and a tiny pool that’s basically just for looks. Most people come here to drink tropical cocktails, and while we don’t usually follow the crowd, the bright-colored drinks here are actually pretty good. We’re also fans of the solid all-day menu, which involves some small share plates, raw dishes, and a few entrees like a thick bacon cheeseburger and Thai peanut noodles.

photo credit: Paize Productions (Paisley Zerr)

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Cafe Fig

Perfect For:Walk-Ins

Cafe Fig is a fun, all-day Mediterranean restaurant on the bottom floor of DTLA's Hotel Figueroa where you'll find hanging vine chandeliers. It's got a huge menu featuring everything from cauliflower bites to grilled chicken gyros, along with cocktails that all cost around $17. Drop by for a casual sit-down meal with your friends, and share a mezze platter before a Laker game.

With locations everywhere from the Bahamas to Dubai, Katsuya has become the universal symbol of “see and be seen” sushi. But despite its somewhat smothering presence throughout LA, it's still a solid choice for sushi enthusiasts—especially if you’re looking for a nice, sit-down dinner just a few steps away from the Microsoft Theater and Crypto Arena. The massive restaurant has plenty of space for groups, but you should definitely book a reservation ahead of time for event nights.

Open since 1924, and probably serving USC’s hungry students for almost just as long, The Original Pantry Cafe is a DTLA landmark. While it’s no longer open 24/7, you can still eat here during breakfast and lunch most days of the week. It’s also very tiny, and the wait for a table can be long on Sunday mornings. The good news is, once you're finally inside, you'll eat diner food with just the right mix of salt, grease, and sugar to calm your nerves.

If you don’t mind a short walk under the 110, head to Cecilia's Caribbean Cuisine for dishes like ackee and saltfish, organic escovitch snapper, and curry chicken patties. This casual spot on W. 11th Street specializes in halal Caribbean food—they're one of the only restaurants in the city to do so—and they also serve a wide range of vegan options. There’s usually a live DJ spinning reggae jams and people drinking beers on the patios, so expect your meal here to feel like an island dance party.

Sonoritas, an upscale taqueria with DTLA and Sawtelle locations, does two things well: serve some of the best flour tortillas in town, then use them to wrap excellent burritos filled with things like grilled salmon, shrimp, and even grilled filet mignon if you’re feeling fancy. The tacos here are good, too, but not all are created equal. The Sonoran-style asada is best, just make sure to get them on the imported flour tortillas over the corn ones. If you’re here before an event, grab a table in their spacious dining room and sip a hibiscus margarita before heading across the street to LA Live.

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