Love or hate Beverly Hills, the reality of existing in LA (whether you live here or are just visiting), is that at some point you will end up in the 90210. For one, all the doctors offices in the city are here, plus there’s nothing that soothes a romantic’s heart more than Rodeo Drive pilgrimage after watching Pretty Woman for the 75th time. Which means that eating in Beverly Hills is something we all have to face.
The thing is, eating in Beverly Hills isn’t cheap. While there are spots where a sandwich won’t cost you $20 (check out our Affordable Beverly Hills Guide for those), you’re more likely to be coming here for classic LA restaurants that lean towards the fancier side of things. Luckily, Beverly Hills might occasionally feel like the worst, but eating here doesn’t have to be.
After surviving a quick brush with closing in March 2020, Nate N Al remains an all-out classic and one of the few places in this part of town that actually feels authentic. Is this the best deli in LA? No. But come here a little hungover on a Saturday morning, order the bagel and lox and stuffed cabbage, gaze upon the most eclectic crowd in the neighborhood, and you’ll want to camp out here for the day.
There is no denying that Lawry’s Prime Rib is a major chain. But this 70-year-old steak house is a Beverly Hills original and a major right-of-passage in this town. Though the menu has expanded over the years, the move is still the standing prime rib and that famous spinning salad (yes, they actually spin it while they make it). If your parents are in town and you want to show them how far you’ve come in life, Lawry’s is your move. Save room for the Yorkshire pudding.
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This fancy Mexican restaurant is everything you want for a celebration - huge portions, gorgeous interiors, and lots of fun. The food here is made with an inventive flare, think short rib quesadillas covered in fresh herbs and crispy salmon skin chicharrónes, plus some of the best cocktails in the neighborhood. This is a great pick for birthdays, anniversaries, and whenever you pay your car registration on time and are feeling, like, really proud of it.
The night before we last-updated this guide, a friend who lives and works in Beverly Hills made it clear that she’s practically having a romantic affair with a sandwich shop on Little Santa Monica Blvd. They make their own focaccia, and the way the garlic mayo on the BLT oozes into that focaccia had apparently captivated her. That sandwich shop is called Bread Head, and we rushed over to try it for ourselves the next day. We too were swooned - not just by that BLT, but by the Waygu roast beef with stracchino and horseradish aioli. Two guys who used to cook at Trois Mec are behind the counter, and we recommend stopping by as soon as you can. Just know, they’re only open from 11-5 on weekdays, and unless you’re especially famished, you won’t need to order more than a half-sandwich.
This upscale soba shop likes to call itself the “pinnacle of noodle” - which, to be quite honest, we’re not really opposed to. At $20 a pop, they’re certainly not the cheapest bowl of noodles in town, but then again, you’re in Beverly Hills, baby. Our favorite is the #1, filled with chewy, house-made noodles, chashu pork, wontons, and a clear, umami-rich broth made with truffle and soy-based sauce that we’d happily drink out of a pint glass any day of the week.
Heard of Nobu? In a plain-looking building in the middle of La Cienega’s Restaurant Row, Matsuhisa is where the whole yellowtail with jalapeño empire began. The menu is huge, with everything from a big tempura section, to sushi, to all those signature Nobu dishes, but it’s all served in a setting that has none of the scene or pretension that you often find in Malibu. If you’re feeling rich, do the sushi or dinner (which includes hot dishes as well as sushi) omakase for a greatest hits parade.
Some people go to Sweetgreen twice a week, and others go to Dr. Sandwich twice a week. We’re in the latter camp, if that riddle was tricky. This kosher Mediterranean spot has two locations in the same vicinity, and while the newer one is more spacious and even a little glitzy, the original counter-service spot in a strip mall on Olympic is where you’ll find us on many a lunch hour. Choose between shawarma, kebab, schnitzel, sabich, or falafel, and retrofit it however you please on a pita, laffa, baguette, or as a plate. We mix it up, but the best deal is the plate - for under $20 you’ll have enough food for three full meals (and we’re known for finishing our food). The hummus here is creamy and unctuous, and you can top it with fresh roasted garlic cloves. Dunk your pita in there, top with carrot, beet, and/or cucumber salad, finish it off with your protein, and you’ve got a healthy, flavor-packed bite capable of turning your whole day around.
So much about Spago should make you hate it - it feels like a hotel restaurant, is insanely expensive, and has a crowd that’s a mix of visiting businessmen, important Hollywood people, and people who’ve lived in Beverly Hills since the ’50s. And yet, even in 2021, going to Spago is still one of the ultimate LA eating experiences. The menu manages to be half-Italian, half-Asian fusion, but what you’re really here for are the smoked salmon pizza and the spicy tuna hand rolls. The service also makes you feel like the king of the world, which you might actually have to be in order to pick up the check.
If you’re stuck in back-to-back meetings all day and don’t have time to drive over to the San Gabriel Valley, then Capital Seafood is the next best thing. This place is fancy without being stuffy, plus the service is super quick - and you’ll find every dim sum classic under the sun. Load up your lazy Susan with glistening shrimp har gow, turnip cakes, and steamed BBQ pork buns wrapped in a foam-like rice flour.
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Crustacean is one of those old, legacy restaurants that would be easy to write off, if the food weren’t so good. Their website is packed with photos of celebrities like Viola Davis and Margot Robbie, the dining room feels like a Las Vegas nightclub, and half of the menu is trademarked. However, they have a surprisingly killer lunch special, a three-course set meal for just $35 that includes truffle Wagyu burgers, turmeric glass noodles, and a heavenly coconut cake. Plus, those garlic noodles - super thick and coated in “Chef An’s secret sauce,” much like Cher’s performance in Moonstruck, they’re just as wonderful as everyone says.
This neighborhood Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills is certainly a scene, but not in the way you’d expect from a restaurant on N. Canon Drive. Generations of families gather around the same bowls of pasta they’ve been eating for decades, and large groups of friends who are all back in town for the holidays chug wine so they can actually fall asleep in their childhood beds. Being in Il Pastaio’s string-lit dining room is like being in that hometown restaurant where no matter when you look, you’ll see someone you know.
Located in a particularly glitzy part of Beverly Hills (right across the street from the Chanel store on Robertson), Sushi Tama serves high-quality sushi at somewhat reasonable prices, with nigiri hovering just under the $4 mark. Sadly, their chic, minimalist dining room is closed for the time being but, on the plus side, their patio has plenty of room for you to scarf down oyster shooters and accidentally spill soy sauce on yourself. Our go-to order here is the omakase sashimi - on our latest visit, that included buttery cuts of otoro, bright-orange ikura, and uni so creamy, we thought we might need to bust out a Lactaid.
Despite being run by the people behind Gwen, one of the best butcher shops/fine-dining restaurants in Hollywood, The Pie Room feels like a well-kept secret. Found in an unmarked, bright-green building on South Beverly Drive, it’s filled with a divine selection of puddings, tarts, and pies that can be purchased either by the slice or whole. The entire experience feels like a fever dream - you wander in off the street, the lights are dim and cool, a woman removes a slice of banana cream pie that you’ll later eat in the car, etc. The pies are properly creamy, made with real milk, sugar, and fat and taste like an absolute treat every time.
Just like most parts of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills has a Sugarfish. But because this is Beverly Hills, this Sugarfish one-ups the rest with Nozawa Bar out the back of the restaurant. Once you’ve walked past everyone eating their Trust Me’s, you’ll find a separate omakase-only spot with only two ten-person seatings a night, where you’ll be served 22 courses of sushi (they run the gamut from expected to adventurous). Don’t be late or ask for any changes to the menu.
It’s slightly wild that Si Laa is still relatively unknown outside of the local crowd, because this small family-run spot on S. Robertson is one of the better Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. The atmosphere inside is calm and somewhat romantic - your 3am pad thai throwdown spot this is not. But if you’re looking for excellent (and authentic) Thai food in a slightly upscale environment, Si Laa is your spot.
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We used to hesitate whenever a friend would suggest a Hillstone restaurant, because, well, there are multiple locations across 14 states, and all of them are kind of the same. But here’s the thing about Hillstone restaurants: they make a perfect martini, an incredible rack of ribs, and that fried chicken sandwich cut three ways is on almost every table for good reason. South Beverly Grill, a Hillstone restaurant on Beverly Drive, is no exception. We recommend sliding into a booth at this dark American spot when you’re ravenously hungry and looking to celebrate anything from an engagement to finishing out the workday.
The Farm of Beverly Hills
Is this the most exciting restaurant in the entire world? No. The Farm of Beverly Hills is an absolutely fine place to eat, a place where house-made turkey chili stands out on the menu and white tablecloths are draped over the tables, just to remind you of what neighborhood you’re in. This longtime lunch staple serves solid American food (our other favorites include the lamb burger and giant towers of ahi tuna), plus there’s always some mid-tier, C-list reality television star dining here.
When South Beverly Grill is too crowded and you don’t want to deal with all the drunk retirees, stop by Honor Bar, the addition very cleverly built out to serve to-go sandwiches to all the normal people who can’t spend two hours at lunch. Get the chicken sandwich or the classic burger - you won’t find a better one in Beverly Hills.
If you’re really into grilling but live in an apartment, Yazawa is for you. The only North American location of a global chain, Yazawa is yet another Beverly Hills Japanese restaurant, this time specializing in yakiniku, which means you’ll be cooking a whole lot of beef at your dinner table. You’ll probably be pressured into doing their set omakase option, but feel free to go rogue and order a la carte to get the cuts you actually want to eat.
Wally's Beverly Hills
Serious wine people love Wally’s for the huge wine store out back. Serious food people love Wally’s for the cheese counter inside. Beverly Hills people love Wally’s for the scene. Wally’s is a great wine shop/restaurant for after-work drinks - have multiple glasses of wine on the front patio and a carbonara pizzetta (which is really just a pizza) to go with it.
Mr Chow might have been at its coke-sniffing party peak in the 90s, but even though things aren’t as wild these days, the food is still really good. Your go-to orders should be the chicken satay, Mr Chow noodles, and green prawns, and if things are really serious, you’ll need to get a Beijing duck. The scene now is less cool kids, more tourists and BH locals celebrating some sort of occasion - probably a graduation.
Mulberry is an under-the-radar Beverly Hills classic. If you grew up in LA, you definitely came here with your soccer team after you won the championship to order a whole bunch of garlic knots and NY-style pizzas that were four times the size of your head. When you’re over the high-end restaurants that will cost you half a paycheck, Mulberry is a good bet for a solo slice at the bar, or spread out at a table for the soccer team reunion.
If The Godfather had been filmed in Beverly Hills, there would definitely have been a scene set in La Scala. This is a classic Italian spot, full of red booths, Shahs of Sunset, and quite possibly a late-night celebrity. And they’re all ordering one thing: Leon’s Chopped Salad, with as many additions (pepperoncini are mandatory) as possible. This is a classic BH lunch spot if there ever was one.