17 LA Restaurants Where You Can Actually Find Parking guide image


17 LA Restaurants Where You Can Actually Find Parking

Where to go when the parking situation is almost as important as the eating situation.

As a resident of Los Angeles, there’s a chance you spend more time in your car than you do on the couch, at your office, or with your supposed “loved ones”—and an alarming percentage of that time is probably spent circling the block for a space (or debating spending $12 on valet) when you're going out eat. Well, we’re here with relief: These are our favorite restaurants with easy, free parking, whether it's strip mall lots, metered street spots, or neighborhoods that don’t tow/ticket after 6pm. Because maybe Joni Mitchell got it wrong: sometimes, paradise is the parking lot.

The Spots

BCD Tofu House review image

BCD Tofu House


3575 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
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BCD is a the 24-hour soon tofu restaurant that’s served everyone from Academy Award winner Bong Joon Ho to hungover food writers eating “breakfast” at 4pm. It has two locations in Ktown, but the one on Wilshire Blvd. has its own private parking lot. This is a crucial distinction because there are few things more excruciating than trying to find free parking in Koreatown.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine review image

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine is one of the best places to eat in downtown Alhambra with a menu of incredible Indonesian/Singaporean dishes like laksa mee (spicy curry noodle soup) and nasi campur kalimantan (a mixed plate of Chinese sausage, BBQ pork, and fried chicken over rice). But best of all is the fact that they’re located right next to the First Street Parking Facility, which comes with four hours of free parking, and is perhaps the first parking structure in history to be rated highly on Google.

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We can think of several reasons why one should avoid the area around Third Street Promenade at all costs, but Tumbi is not one of them. This delicious Indian spot happens to have a great parking situation with huge public lots throughout downtown Santa Monica that are never full and are free for 90 minutes. They also have normal-sized parking spaces, so you won’t have to squeeze your RAV4 into a space meant for a Smart Car. 

The original Pasta Sisters in Pico-Arlington has a tiny strip mall lot that can lead to a battle royale-style showdown, but the second location in Culver City is a different story. Located in the Helms Bakery complex, this laidback Italian spot has a parking structure and plenty of inexpensive street parking that you can usually drive right into. Turn into Hutchison Ave. from Washington and you’ll find the small free parking structure inside the complex.

The Arts District is home to overpriced parking lots and endless circling, but its next-door neighbor (the Fashion District) has a dream parking situation. It’s a part of Downtown that almost completely empties out at night, so when you’re eating at Rossoblu you’ll be able to get a street spot and put the money you saved towards an extra bowl of pasta. That’s a win-win.

Guelaguetza review image




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Guelaguetza has great parking, but we’re not referring to its private lot where you pay a valet to park your car five feet away. Instead, this Oaxacan restaurant happens to have the rarest of things: easy street parking in Koreatown. Just turn off of Olympic and onto one of the side streets (try Irolo), and you should easily find a spot before making the quick walk towards some mole and mezcal flights.

Strip mall parking lots are good in theory, but in practice can be full and/or impossible to get out of without doing an eight-point turn. Luckily for us, the relatively spacious strip mall that’s home to Luv2Eat is neither of those things. You can pull in, park, and be at a table ordering jade noodles and papaya salad in under 10 minutes.

The Meet In The Middle Guide: Where To Eat When You’re Coming From Opposite Sides Of Town guide image

LA Guide

The Meet In The Middle Guide: Where To Eat When You’re Coming From Opposite Sides Of Town

The plentiful free parking at the Row DTLA makes up for the fact at night you have to navigate an industrial ghost town to get to your restaurant. But once you exit the multilevel parking structure, you’ll eventually come across signs of life hoarding around what’s currently our favorite spot here: Pizzeria Bianco. It makes delicious thin crust pizza in a breezy semi-outdoor dining space, and you don’t pay a dime for parking if you’re out in under two hours. 

Salazar gets a lot of praise for its beautiful, desert-like patio where you can sip tequila cocktails with an order of al pastor tacos. It’s definitely a relaxing place to catch up with someone or even take a date, and the easy street parking situation also helps keep a visit here as stress-free as possible. Turn onto nearby side streets like Fruitdale and Clearwater for some free street parking that’s only a two-minute walk away from this Sonoran-inspired spot.

There was a time when this counter-service spot in Silver Lake was the most hyped burger joint in LA. Long lines of Angelenos would zig-zag down the block for one of their crispy-laced smash burgers. These days, you won’t have to wait more than a couple minutes to place an order at the tiny window here. Finding a spot in their parking lot is usually a breeze, but even if you come on a busy day, there’s tons of street parking out front on Glendale Blvd.

Located just off the 405 in Lawndale, Al-Noor serves as proof that most of LA’s best food can be found in strip malls. This barebones family-run institution serves Indian/Pakistani staples like tikka masala, saag paneer, lamb korma that make other versions we’ve had taste like they’re missing something. Since most people place pick-up orders here, the big parking lot is usually never full. But you could always drop in for a sit-down meal after leaving LAX or whenever you get the uncontrollable urge to eat some piping hot garlic naan. 

We’ve written several love notes to Dino’s Pizza over the years, but those mostly have to do with ricotta-filled lasagna pizzas and its kitschy Burbank dining room that feels like you’re eating at someone's grandparents' fishing cabin. This love note, however, is about their spacious front parking lot—an amenity that’s not always a given, even in Burbank. If you stop in for lunch, you’ll have the place to yourself, but even at night when things are busier, most people are just there for pick-up, so spots open up quickly.

It might be expected that parking in the deep Valley is fairly non-competitive, but even by those standards, the lot at Brent’s in Northridge is downright palatial. The iconic Jewish deli is situated in a giant shopping center with rows and rows of open spaces. Yes, on weekends, things get a bit more crowded, but in the unlikely event you can’t find anything, go around the corner and park at Kohl’s. 

Little Beast in Eagle Rock might not have a designated parking lot of its own, but that’s no reason to sweat. Thanks to a quiet location at the end of Eagle Rock’s main drag on Colorado Blvd., there is copious amounts of street parking in every direction—even on Friday and Saturday nights when every couple in the area descends upon its twinkling patio for date night.

The stretch of PCH as it runs through Malibu is iconically gorgeous, but it’s also chaotic, congested, and filled with numerous restaurants where the only way to park is paying $20 for valet. Not at Reel Inn, though. This classic seafood shack has a massive, dusty parking lot that, even during peak weekend crush, will always have available spaces. And yes, it’s free. 

Much like the cast of Three’s Company, Kazunori, Uovo, and HiHo are a trio with tons of loyal fans. The three restaurant concepts are all local mini-chains run by the same team, and in Marina Del Rey, they are all conveniently located in a shopping complex that has marina-front views and a free parking lot (a rare combo in LA). Whether you choose lobster hand rolls, cacio e pepe, or a wagyu double cheeseburger, this location is a great option for a quick-in, quick-out lunch near the water.

When it comes to restaurants with ample free parking, Desano Pizza Bakery in East Hollywood is a poster child for the movement. The casual Neopolitan pizza spot is located in a former warehouse with a giant gated parking lot attached, which means there’s not just room to park your car, but also to host a community stage production of Macbeth or play a regulation-size street hockey game. Seriously, it’s huge. Oh, and the puffy, chewy-edged pizzas? They are great, too.

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