Chinatown is one of the oldest and most culturally significant neighborhoods in LA, home to Union Station, LA State Historic Park, and countless family-run restaurants and businesses that’ve been around for generations. Over the past few years, the neighborhood has also become a bastion for new and innovative dining, thanks to a proliferation of restaurant incubators, takeout windows, and underground dinner parties. Combine it all, and you have one of the most exciting dining landscapes in the city. Here are 35 of our favorite spots, all of which are available takeout and/or delivery.
Lasa started out as a pop-up in the Far East Plaza, became a full restaurant in 2017, and is now one of our favorite spots in the neighborhood. The family-run spot serves fantastic Filipino comfort food like lechon kawali (twice-cooked pork belly), sinigang chicken wings, and veggie pancit. That said, no order is complete without some condensed milk ice cream for dessert. Pick-up is available through their website and delivery on most major apps.
Opening just in July, Katsu Sando is one of the newest spots in all of Chinatown, but we have a feeling this tiny sandwich shop is going to be in the neighborhood for quite a while. Inspired by the convenience stores of Japan, their menu is filled primarily with on-the-go katsu sandos (the menchi katsu is our current favorite), egg salad sandwiches, and a few larger curry plates. If you’re looking for a quick lunch in Chinatown, keep Katsu Sando front of mind. Takeout only.
Located inside the Far East Plaza, Thien Huong is one of the old-guard restaurants in a complex famous for having some of the most exciting new spots in town. The phở and bun bo hue are our usual go-tos, but it’s tough to have a bad meal at this Chinatown classic. Call (213) 626-0764 for takeout.
Howlin’ Ray’s hardly needs an introduction at this point, but we’ll give one anyway. This tiny Nashville hot chicken spot started as a simple, order-at-the-counter cafe inside the Far East Plaza and has grown to become one of the most recognizable restaurants in Los Angeles - and arguably America. During quarantine, they’ve transitioned into a delivery-only model, which means you no longer have to wait in line all afternoon to get some.
Not to be confused with the Chinese sitcom iPartment, this no-frills spot on Broadway serves an extensive menu of classic Chinese-American dishes, such as moo shu pork, beef with broccoli, and orange chicken. Open for nearly 50 years, Chinese Friends has also amassed quite a loyal following online - if you ever need a dose of Something Nice, just check out the reviews on their Yelp page.
Open since 1977, Yang Chow is a classic Chinatown restaurant known for dishes like garlic eggplant, cold sesame noodles, and its famous slippery shrimp - an original dish consisting of deep fried shrimp in a ginger-vinegar sauce. They also have locations in Pasadena and Canoga Park. Call (213) 625-0811 for takeout.
Despite the proliferation of great taco shops in Downtown these days, Mexicali still ranks among our favorites. The vampiro is a garlic-accented quesadilla that’s a thing of legend – particularly when topped with a fried egg – and the cachetada is a skinny, crispy tostada dressed with a chipotle aioli. Even the nachos, topped with chorizo, chicken, and carne asada, are excellent. There might be hotter taco names out there these days, but Mexicali is still one worth paying a visit to. Takeout and delivery available on most major apps.
While better dim sum exists down the road in the SGV, if you’re in Chinatown with a heavy dim sum craving, Tian’s will certainly do the trick. The shrimp dumplings, steamed BBQ pork buns, and egg custard tarts are all standouts. Call (213) 680-3888 for takeout, delivery available on most major apps.
Open only since 2017, East Garden is a big Chinese restaurant located in a strip mall off Hill St. The menu is full of dishes like cashew chicken and beef with broccoli, but we recommend concentrating on dishes like chicken in lotus leaf (our favorite thing here) instead. Takeout and delivery available on most major apps.
Located on the second floor of the Far East Plaza , Lao Tao serves fast, affordable Taiwanese street food that’ll make even your at-home lunch hour a far more relaxing occasion. Our go-to order is a bowl of beef ban mien (dry) and two orders of the popcorn chicken - one for now, one in a few hours for “late lunch.” Order here for both takeout and delivery.
Philippe The Original
There are a few places around town that claim to be the inventor of the French Dip, but it doesn’t matter, because Philippe The Original is the best of them all. The classic deli has been open since 1908, and though they have solid food across the board (get the mac salad as a side), your order must always include one thing - the double dip beef (wet). Important: Be sure to order a jar of their spicy mustard for $5 as well. It’s an essential condiment not just for the sandwich, but everything else you eat this week. Call (213) 628-3781 for takeout, delivery available on most major apps.
In a neighborhood with no shortage of great phở options, this unassuming shop on Broadway still serves some of our favorite đặc biệt, fried spring rolls, and Vietnamese iced coffee around. Bowls (well, takeout containers now) overflow with vermicelli noodles, brisket, meatballs and fresh herbs, and rumor has it, their elixir-like broth can cure even the worst of hangovers. Not speaking from personal experience, of course. Call (323) 227-0758 for takeout and delivery. Cash only.
They’ve only been open for a few months, but this Far East Plaza butcher shop has already made a name for itself as one of the heaviest-hitters in LA’s burger game. Founded by Filipino-American chef Alvin Cailan (who also created Eggslut, if you’re familiar), Amboy’s impressive menu includes everything from near-perfect smashburgers to hard-to-find cuts of meat, and the best fries in Los Angeles. Seriously. Amboy is available for pick-up, order through their website.
With locations in Westwood, Arcadia, USC, and Irvine, Qin West has built a mini SoCal empire serving rich, hearty noodle soups. We like the beef shank and rice noodle-filled Guilin soup a lot, but on rainy days, the thick handmade noodles in the liang pi warm our souls the quickest. Call (213) 687-1063 for pick-up.
Burgerlords has been around for a five years now, but if you haven’t been back recently, you should. Why? Because as of July, they’ve switched to an entirely vegan menu. Their burger is entirely original (no Impossible patties here) and everything from the shakes to the sauces are meat and dairy-free. Both takeout and delivery are available.
Eastside Market Italian Deli
We love Eastside Market because even after 85 years, this Italian deli still somehow remains a local’s secret. The sandwiches coming out of here are the messy, old-school, red sauce variety that are hard to find elsewhere in LA. The #7 (roast beef, pastrami, and cheese) is probably our favorite, but if you’re feeling ambitious, the D.A. Special (sausage, meatball, roast beef, and pastrami) is your one way ticket to an at-home power nap. Both takeout and delivery are available.
Located on an industrial stretch of Main St., Mae Ting’s Coconut Cakes is a Thai street vendor selling everything from papaya salad to pork skewers to tom yum soup. But as the name suggests, you’re here for the kanom krok (coconut cake). Crispy on the outside, but hot and gooey on the inside, they’re a perfect treat for just about any occasion - and that includes yet another night of sitting on your couch waiting for new TV shows to come out. Open on weekends only, call (323) 632-2071 for takeout.
The upscale Korean restaurant is offering pre-ordered meals for pick-up Friday through Sunday from 3-6pm. The menu changes weekly, but you can generally expect marinated meat kits, fried chicken specials, and plenty of to-go cocktails. Ordering goes live every Monday at 3pm, so set a reminder now.
As you probably guessed from their name, L.A. Brisket specializes in smoked meat. From hefty sandwiches made with caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, and their titular brisket to baby back ribs, consider this your one-stop-shop for all things barbecue. Available for pick-up.
Nick’s is an ancient, greasy spoon diner and the kind of place that makes you realize LA is a much different city than most people realize. Now, cruising up to their U-shaped counter and listening to regulars argue about Eisenhower is admittedly a big part of the experience here, but since that’s not an option right now, just call in an order for takeout or delivery - (323) 222-1450. Whether you’re in the mood for biscuits, omelettes, or their famous ham, Nick’s is always the move after accidentally finishing that bottle of wine by yourself last night.
Ord & Broadway is a tiny fusion cafe that specializes mostly in casual Filipino food that works great for a quick lunch. Think lechon kawali, lumpia, as well as Korean-leaning dishes like bulgogi tacos and gochujang hot wings. They’re also open daily at 9am, making it a great breakfast option as well. Takeout and delivery available here.
Like its name implies, Suehiro Mini is smaller than their flagship Little Tokyo location, but that’s pretty much where the downsizing ends. You can expect the same kind of soul-saving Japanese comfort food, like tonkotsu ramen, fried yakisoba noodles, and chicken katsu curry, a.k.a. the culinary equivalent of a forest bath or finally paying off all your parking tickets. Call (213) 947-3106 for takeout, available online for delivery.
This top-tier sandwich shop probably doesn’t need an introduction, but here’s one anyway (it’s literally our job). Named after NPR personalities, the sandwiches at Wax Paper marry the distinct worlds of “stuff between sliced bread” and “listener-supported public radio” to create inventive original subs like the Larry Mantle, which comes with herb bologna, pickled peppers, and a snowcap-like covering of grated pecorino pepato, or the Ophira Eisenberg, a sweet-and-salty ’wich made with black forest ham, shaved green onions, and a honey-walnut aioli so good, we need an entire season of Serial to investigate it. Available for takeout and delivery.
Phở Saigon Republic is a casual Vietnamese restaurant with an extensive phở menu (there are 27 varieties), vermicelli bowls, and some of the strongest coffee you’ll find outside of Westminster. Call (213) 485-0074 for pick-up or order here for delivery.
Golden Lake Eatery is a family-run Cambodian restaurant with a massive menu that includes everything from fish porridge to beef lok lak, as well as some Chinese specialties, too. Almost everything falls below $12, making it one of the most affordable dinners in the neighborhood. Both takeout and delivery are available.
Lately is a casual, all-day cafe serving everything from breakfast burritos and chicken bowls during the day to meatball subs and street tacos at night. The menu certainly covers a lot of ground, but luckily, everything is quite tasty. Call (213) 285-4323 for pick-up, delivery available on most apps.
My Dung is a tiny banh mi shop in the heart of Chinatown and home to our favorite Vietnamese sandwiches in the neighborhood. There are eight or so versions on the menu, ranging from grilled pork to pate, but if you can’t decide which one you want, just get a few - they’re only $3.50. Call (213) 617-7094 for pick-up. Cash only.
With three locations throughout the city, this Vietnamese restaurant has become somewhat of a mini-chain, and is another great option whenever you’re in the mood for phở. Their menu has a few different versions of the rice noodle soup, like phở tom made with shrimp or the oxtail-heavy phở đuôi bò, but we prefer to keep things simple and just get the phở tái (rare steak). Call (213) 626-8345 for takeout, online delivery also available.
If you have a super-keen eye (or, like, just read the side of their building), you might recognize this restaurant from its role in the seminal 1998 film, Rush Hour. But unlike most big shots from that time, Foo Chow’s star power hasn’t dimmed a single watt - their current takeout menu is filled with unique dishes like stir-fried fresh squid, sauteed jellyfish in a sweet and sour sauce, and bean curd and oyster soup. Call (213) 485-1294 for takeout, online delivery also available.
Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine
Open since 1965, this old-school Chinese restaurant is a certified neighborhood institution, known for their unique mix of traditional Cantonese dishes and modern Chinese-American fare. You can order everything here from Peking-style pork chops to kung pao chicken to youtiao, or Chinese fried dough, depending on your mood and hunger level. Call (213) 629-2812 for takeout.
Full Moon House is a Chinese seafood restaurant where every day is a celebration. Especially with 200+ items on the menu. We love the Hong Kong-style clams, sliced abalone, and lobster served in black bean sauce. Call (213) 537-0792 for takeout, online delivery also available.
Part Cajun deli, part market, nothing soothes the quarantined soul quite like an order from Little Jewel of New Orleans. Their menu is absolutely stacked with fantastic NoLA-style specialties like beignets and spicy Creole jambalaya, so ordering here can sometimes feel a little (read: a lot) stressful. So we’ll make things simple: Get the catfish and oyster po’boy. This monster of a sandwich comes properly dressed with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and pickles, and is served on a perfect, crusty loaf of French bread. You’re welcome. Call (213) 620-0461 for takeout, online delivery also available.
Won Kok understands an ancient, essential truth - that there’s no such thing as a bad time for dim sum. Open daily from 9am-9pm, this fast-paced Cantonese restaurant is here to provide you with all of the BBQ pork buns, shrimp har gow dumplings, and bright yellow custard tarts needed to revive your tired, sleep-deprived quarantine body. Call (213) 613-0700 for takeout, online delivery also available.
Located on the Broadway side of the Far East Plaza, Kim Chuy specializes in the coastal cuisine of Chiu Chow, or Chaozhou, a city in the eastern part of Guangdong Province. Their signature soups are made with everything from fried wontons to pork offal, and come with your choice of either egg, crispy, rice, or vermicelli noodles. Self-restraint not included. Call (213) 687-7215 for takeout, online delivery also available.