Where To Have A Big Group Dinner In LA

At these 16 spots, group dining isn't as stressful as you think.
Where To Have A Big Group Dinner In LA image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Let’s face it, no one likes planning a big group dinner. It’s tedious, complicated, and no matter how much discussion goes into it, you usually end up at a place nobody cares about anyway. Our suggestion? Take matters into your own hands and use this guide. These aren’t just restaurants large enough to accommodate your friends and family (for our purposes, let’s say more than six people), they’re places that excel at making big group dining an enjoyable experience.

These restaurants are generally easy to book, have menus that cater to all levels of pickiness, and won’t force you into some private room with a prix fixe menu you didn’t want. Big group dinners have never felt so easy. 


photo credit: Jessie Clapp


Virgil Village

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteBig GroupsFirst/Early in the Game DatesEating At The Bar
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When in doubt, izakayas are a good bet for big group dinners, and Budonoki is proof. The dimly-lit spot in Virgil Village has a fun, infectious energy that hits the second you walk through the door. Groups of friends huddle around tables snacking on shareable dishes like jidori chicken oyster skewers, bowls of wagyu yakisoba, and pineapple soft serve. Old-school Missy and Ja Rule blast over the speakers. This is the kind of place you could show up to half asleep and walk out ready to book a flight to Vegas. Plan your night out accordingly. 



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Not every group dinner equates to a splashy night out with friends who don’t go to bed until 3am. Sometimes it means meals with extended family from multiple generations. If that’s the case, make it easy and go to Carlitos Gardel. This old-school Argentinian steakhouse has been operating in the Fairfax/Melrose area for decades and is our go-to spot for giant platters of meat, never-ending red wine, and waitstaff who’ll probably recognize your grandparents from the grocery store. The indoor dining room has multiple big round tables, but if you’re rolling deep, snag a reservation on the string-lit back patio. 

If you’re looking for a kitschy, old-school dining experience that can fit  a bunch of friends and family, few places rival Damon’s in Glendale. The steakhouse/tiki bar has been around since 1937 and is the kind of place where unadulterated escapism is the chief attraction. Bamboo roofs cover the main dining room and fake tropical plants sprout from every corner. There’s a giant wooden canoe suspended over the tables. Everybody in your party will eat well-priced steaks, snack on crunchy coconut shrimp, and down mai tais and chi-chis like they’re going out of style (they’re not). 

Dining at Qué Bárbaro, a huge South American steakhouse inside the Level 8 development, is a Vegas-adjacent experience. To get in, you'll be escorted down a hallway of pulsing psychedelic lights and up to a jungle-like dining room on the eighth floor of the Moxy DTLA. Expect tropical greenery hanging from the ceiling, an open-flame grill shooting embers into the air, and a pool deck with a bar shaped like a giant carousel. The place is fun in a ridiculous way, with food that’s genuinely recommendable. Get some strong drinks and big platters of pollo a la brasa, prime beef tenderloin, and bone-in short rib. When dinner starts to wind down, head outside to the pool deck for continued extracurriculars.

In terms of inducing public headaches, spliting a check with a giant group is up there with Abercrombie’s cologne. Bludso’s—now with a second location in Santa Monica—makes it easy. Their party tray feeds 15 people, and comes with pounds of brisket, pulled pork, hot links, ribs, whole chicken, and a heap of sides for $360, or $24 per person. Now that we’ve done the math for you, you can focus on the important things, like the fantastic beer selection, or making sure you get a seat facing one of the TVs, so you have something to do when you get stuck between two conversations happening on either side of you. 

Located on the second floor of an old masonic lodge in Highland Park, Checker Hall works well for a big group for several reasons. The casual Mediterranean spot is massive and snagging a primetime dinner reservation is never too difficult a task. It's also equal parts bar and restaurant, meaning if some people in your group want to chill in a booth and eat branzino and whipped feta all night, while others gravitate toward cute strangers at the bar, everyone will walk away happy. 

photo credit: Jessie Clapp



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This outdoor restaurant in Santa Monica is located in a Bergamot Station parking lot, making it an ideal dinner spot when your group suddenly balloons from four people to seven. Snagging a reservation is definitely a smart move here, but with a set-up that includes large picnic tables and giant Santa Maria grills cooking meat, fish, and vegetables in front of you, the energy is very go-with-the-flow. If you want dinner to feel more like a neighborhood block party, head immediately to Le Great Outdoors.  

Loreto is an upscale Mexican restaurant in Frogtown that reminds us a lot more of a spot you’d eat at in the Arts District. The stunning warehouse space has a large wrap-around bar, an outdoor bar, two indoor dining rooms, and a patio that looks out over a park-like courtyard. Which is to say, bring as many people as you want. The menu is almost entirely mariscos, including a very shareable whole grilled fish of the day, which comes with a spread of salsas, beans, rice, and unlimited quesadillas. 

Two Hommés is the perfect place for a group dinner before a concert at The Forum. This West African-Latin fusion spot on La Brea feels like a nostalgic clubhouse: hit records by Anita Baker and Chaka Khan line the brick walls as music videos play on loop like some kind of MTV Live revival. Expect to share huge portions of fluffy Ghanaian jollof rice topped with BBQ jerk salmon, passion fruit ceviche that glows bright orange, and berbere-dusted chicken bites at a long picnic table. You can book a table in advance for up to eight people online, and book that eight-minute Uber ride straight to the venue after dinner.

We’ve been to Mírate several times now and we’re still not sure we’ve seen all of it. That’s due to the fact that this modern Mexican spot in Los Feliz is objectively massive. There’s an open-air courtyard, a second-floor patio, a bar area, the other bar area, and several main dining rooms (we told you it’s big.) All that means for your big group of friends though is you’ll almost always be able to snag a table, even last minute. Though the menu can be hit-and-miss, you’ll have a good time if you prioritize the taco arabes, churros, and any cocktail from the bar.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

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Between dim sum palaces and legendary Sichuan spots, the SGV is no stranger to big group dining experiences, but this area has never seen anything like Monarch. Walking into this maximalist Hong Kong-style cafe in Arcadia feels like you accidentally crashed the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The technicolored dreamscape includes tie-dye chairs giant circular tables, and a waterfall mosaic made from glass beads. Even the monogrammed dinner plates will have everyone in your group pulling out your phone. But it isn’t just vibes and aesthetics—the family-style dishes are delicious, too. We particularly love the salty, slippery egg crab fried fun, and the curry noodle with briny squid ink noodles.

As you might guess from the giant neon sign affixed to the building that shouts PASTRAMI, Johnny's—a longstanding late-night stand in West Adams that was revamped a couple of years ago—is a great destination for thick-sliced pastrami sandwiches on marble rye. But less apparent is that Johnny's is one of the best spots in the area to assemble a gaggle of hungry friends: There's a gorgeous patio in the back with enough room to seat a marching band, a menu that includes everything from matzo ball soup to crispy chicken sandwiches to banana cream pie, and a full cocktail bar next door where the fun people in your group can extend the evening if so inclined.

Ideally, you’d be able to host a big dinner with all your friends at home, passing around excellent-tasting potluck dishes everyone made themselves. Problem is, your best home seating option is a card table and you are all terrible at cooking. Head to Messob instead. This Ethiopian spot on Fairfax has round tables that are big enough that you all won’t be elbowing each other, and their family-style combo platters come out to under $20 a person.

Located on the southern edge of Koreatown, Guelaguetza is a massive Oaxacan restaurant and one of the biggest parties in the neighborhood. Whether it’s green, red, or black, this place is all about mole and you should come here with the expectation of eating a lot of it. There’s live mariachi music most nights of the week, and over 150 different kinds of tequila and mezcal. That said, the place is still very kid-friendly.

Open since 1981, this Westwood landmark is one of the oldest Persian restaurants in the neighborhood and a place you can walk into any night of the week to find first dates, family meals, and giant friend get-togethers all happening at the same time. We’d rank their tahchin, a baked basmati rice cake layered with yogurt, saffron, and barberries, as an essential dish of the neighborhood, and their curry stew isn’t far behind. Luckily with a big group, you’ll be able to try both, and then fill up the rest of your table with koobideh platters and shawarma. 

When it comes to finding a place for really big group dinners, Korean BBQ is always a good place to start. There are tons of options in Ktown, but you should go to Park's BBQ. The price point is a tad higher than others in the neighborhood, but the quality of meat is fantastic, and the atmosphere is festive without feeling like an off-the-rails college house party. The menu can be a little overwhelming at first, but as long as you stick to any of the combo platters on the back, no one goes home hungry.

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