The Best Restaurants In Inglewood
A few soul food institutions, one of LA's only Somali restaurants, and the rest of our favorite places to eat in Inglewood.
Inglewood might just be the most famous neighborhood in South Central LA. Legends like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg have written songs about it, it borders LAX, and a couple of massive venues now call this area home. What’s even more impressive is the sheer number of great restaurants packed into this historic neighborhood. Some have been around for decades and others are still pretty new, but this guide is dedicated to our all-time favorites. From classic soul food spots and healthy cafes to destination restaurants for Somali and Belizean cuisines, these are the places you should be eating at in Inglewood.
photo credit: Garrett Synder
There are tons of fusion restaurants in LA, and truthfully, most of them make us wish we’d stayed home—but Two Hommés is different. This refreshing West African-Latin spot serves mash-up dishes that are wholly original without getting gimmicky. Formerly a pop-up, this casual sit-down operation is located in a colorful, brick-walled space on La Brea that used to house Comfort LA. Expect to share huge portions of fluffy Ghanaian jollof rice topped with BBQ jerk salmon, passion fruit ceviche that glows in the sunlight, and berbere-dusted chicken bites that will inspire you to spruce up your spice cabinet. Drop in for a date night, Sunday brunch, or whenever you’re in the mood to try something new, but not too complicated.
photo credit: Stephen Mastrocola
When the frantic pace of city life feels like too much, head to Sunday Gravy. The all-white, brick-walled space in Inglewood feels like a trendy hangout in an old-school Italian restaurant’s body. And the comforting food coming out of the kitchen is exactly the kind of stuff you'd want for dinner on a lazy Sunday. From spaghetti and meatballs to a chicken parm sandwich, the red sauce classics here are masterful. But Sunday Gravy also takes the classic Italian dishes we know and love to glorious new heights with their weekend-only specials, like white lasagna with creamy spinach and mushrooms. Just be sure to get here early before they sell out.
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Coni’Seafood isn’t just one of the best restaurants in Inglewood, it’s one of the most essential dining experiences in all of LA. The Mexican seafood spot on the southern tip of the neighborhood is definitely a bit more expensive than other restaurants in the area, but that’s the price you pay for some of the freshest seafood in the city. You can’t go wrong with any of the ceviches or aguachiles, but the marlin tacos and whole snook need to hit the table, or you can’t actually tell your friends you came here.
Banadir Somali Restaurant
Banadir Somali is a family-run restaurant just south of downtown Inglewood and a community institution. The bare-bones space feels like you’re in the basement of a neighborhood rec center, and everybody inside is treating it as such. Big groups gather around large tables, eating massive platters of tremendous Somali food. Goat is the house specialty here, and it’s so packed with flavor it’ll ruin most other versions of goat you’ve ever had. If you arrive around 11am, you’ll be able to order from both their breakfast and lunch menu, which is ideal, because the shakshuka, ful (bean stew), and crepe-like anjero bread is just as good as the goat.
photo credit: Matt Gendal
Carnitas El Artista
The name of the game at Carnitas El Artista is Michoacan-style carnitas—tender, slow-fried chunks of pork that are beautifully crisp and bronzed along the edges. You’ll find excellent pork shoulder carnitas at this father-and-son operation, but El Artista also goes whole hog by mixing in other cuts, from pork ribs and chicharron to lengua and cabeza. Whether you go with their hefty tacos, a torta, burrito, quesadilla, or big plate of chilaquiles as your carnitas vessel, you’ll catch serious aromas of garlic and lime rising up from the caramelized meat. For our money, you won’t find a more memorable carnitas experience west of the 110.
Blessed Tropical Jamaican Cuisine
Located directly across the street from the new SoFi Stadium, Blessed Tropical is a family-run Jamaican restaurant that serves jerk chicken worth driving long distances for. The portions are massive, prices are affordable, and even if you order several different things, you can be in and out in under 20 minutes. And no matter how good the jerk chicken is, let us be clear—you should definitely be ordering other things on the menu, too, from marinated oxtail that falls off the bone to a spicy goat curry we’ll happily eat alone in our car before going back to work.
Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen
With two locations in Inglewood (and one in Crenshaw), Dulan’s is an LA soul food staple. You order cafeteria-style, choosing from big hot plates full of things like oxtails, smothered pork chops with gravy, and fried chicken. You can’t really go wrong regardless of what you choose, but our go-to is the fried chicken combo that comes with two sides and cornbread. The wing, leg, and breast you get are hot, crisp, and very juicy, and go well with a helping of collard greens and corn and okra. We also highly recommend the macaroni and cheese—they bake it in a sheet pan, so there are plenty of crispy, cheesy edges.
photo credit: Eugene Lee
Pann’s in Ladera Heights is one of those places where you walk in and instantly feel like you’ve time traveled—or at least stepped onto a movie set. The 60-something-year-old diner is an LA institution, complete with red leather booths, a long line of bar stools, and a classic neon sign. It’s a midcentury masterpiece filled with regulars having midweek mimosa brunch, and the retired dudes sitting near you might just be reminiscing about LA’s 1984 Olympics. Between 8am and 3pm daily, you can drop in for a stack of hotcakes, biscuits and gravy, or a tuna melt with housemade onion rings. The main draw here is the retro atmosphere, but the fried chicken wings are some of the best we’ve had in the area.
The first thing you notice walking into this family-run Belizean restaurant is that it’s a miniature party. Whether you’re here for a quick lunch, a family dinner, or a karaoke event, expect Little Belize to be crowded, festive, and always a great time. As far as the food goes, start with the panades (fried masa stuffed with hash fish) and garnaches (crispy tortillas topped with fried beans, tomatoes, and onions), and end with either chicken or oxtail stew. Both are immensely savory, but it’s the fried plantains on the side that you’ll be talking about—and eating—on the way home.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
Jerusalem Chicken is among the rare breed of fast-casual places that’ll still be on your mind the next day, week, or year. Run by the same family who started the local mini-chain Orleans & York (which happens to have a location right next door), this chicken shop is one of the few Palestinian restaurants in the city. They serve a range of pita sandwiches, falafel plates, and excellent chicken dishes in a tiny View Park-Windsor Hills strip mall. Here, chicken isn’t just the safe order—it’s the head honcho. Our go-to is either the Siti's Original or Emsakhan Chicken plate, both large enough to share.
Emma Habesha Restaurant
Inglewood’s Emma Habesha is among the best Ethiopian spots in the city. Our favorite dish here is the special kitfo—minced raw beef—which is served with a super-spicy butter, Ethiopian cottage cheese, and fantastic braised collard greens. The vegan platter is also very good— it includes five different kinds of vegetables, including some excellent green beans, and a lentil stew. It’s great for a fun lunch with your coworkers, or as a casual date night. No matter when you’re there, be sure to end your meal with their fantastic coffee service.
Karuba's Yardy Kitchen
This Jamaican spot on Centinela is a popular place for takeout dinner and lunch in Inglewood. You’ll find a crowd of people who work nearby coming in to get their fix of saltfish or jerk chicken. Their jerk chicken combo plate is our go-to move here every time. It’s definitely spicy, but the roast plantains and rice and beans on the side balance it all out nicely. Be sure to order the oxtails, too. They’re fantastically tender, fall right off the bone, and come in a thick, fragrant gravy that we always scoop up with a spoon when we’re finished.
Mutiara Food & Market
Mutiara is a family-run Burmese restaurant and one of the most affordable spots in Inglewood. Whether it’s a giant plate of mee goreng (spicy fried noodles), lamb curry, or some of the best beef rendang we’ve eaten in LA, almost everything on Mutiara’s menu falls under $12. The majority of the menu is available all week, but if you’re able to stop by on the weekends, you’ll be treated to incredible specials like rice noodle fish soup and tea leaf salad which are easily our favorite things on the menu.
Simply Wholesome is one of the most crowded spots in View Park-Windsor Hills. It’s a health food grocery store with a restaurant inside and a huge patio outside, where you can enjoy smoothies, burgers, and vegetarian tacos. Those smoothies are the reason we’re here most often: they come out quickly, and are packed with fresh fruit, ice cream, and coconut. If you’re having a full meal, though, the turkey burgers are your best bet. Both because they’re good, and because they come with Simply Wholesome’s killer French fries, which are somewhere between a thin fry and a steak fry, and perfectly golden-crisp.
A meal at Veronica’s feels like you’re eating inside someone’s house, not an actual restaurant. The simple space has a few scattered tables and a grainy TV in the corner, but what it lacks in objective charm, it more than makes up for in tremendous Nigerian food. Whether you’re familiar with the cuisine or not, your first order of business here needs to be the egusi. It’s a rich, fragrant stew made from dried melon seeds, pumpkin leaves, palm oil, onions, and your choice of protein on top. We usually do a mix of chicken and goat, with a giant ball of fufu (pounded yam and plantains) on the side.
The Serving Spoon
Walking into this classic diner on Centinela is like walking into the center of the neighborhood. You'll find families, big groups of friends, and solo diners who have been coming every week for 35 years, all clamoring to get The Serving Spoon’s Southern breakfast into their stomachs. No matter what day of the week you come, expect a wait, but on the other side of it are tremendous plates of fried catfish, chicken drumettes, and our favorite waffles in town. If you can, snag a seat at the counter to be treated to pleasant conversation with the waitstaff.
Stuff I Eat
Inglewood isn’t the best neighborhood to eat in if you’re a vegan, but luckily, Stuff I Eat is picking up a lot of the slack. This all-vegan restaurant in the heart of Market Street is one of the most popular restaurants in the neighborhood, with lunchtime crowds to prove it. The menu leans mostly Tex-Mex, with everything from breakfast burritos to an enchilada pie, but our favorite dish is the soul food platter, complete with yams, mac and cheese, kale greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread, and BBQ tofu. If the spicy chili is on the specials board, order that, too. Also, they have an amazing theme song, which you can hear on their site.
With all due respect, the newest Jon & Vinny’s location in View Park just over the border from Inglewood is just like the other Jon & Vinny’s locations. It’s got the same Swedish sauna-inspired interior, a similarly annoying parking situation, and a lively dinner crowd to match. If you’re looking for a South LA spot to eat with someone who collects Jordan 1s or obsesses over Joe Rogan, this is it. Drake and Future dominate the restaurant’s aggressively loud playlist, so you’ll probably have to yell your order at the server. But when dishes like their spicy fusilli and crunchy little gem salad hit your table, it’ll all be worth it.