Where To Eat And Drink In Los Feliz
Brazilian restaurants, minimalist cafes, and more.
Ask 100 people to define Los Feliz and you’ll get 100 different answers. First inhabited by First Nations people over 10,000 years ago, the charming Eastside neighborhood is now home to a vintage movie theater, dozens of brunch spots, and 24-hour diners. Technically speaking, its physical boundaries include much of Thai Town, Little Armenia, East Hollywood, and strips of Hyperion that are absolutely Silver Lake, so we’re defining “Los Feliz” as anything between Vermont and Hillhurst, give or take a few blocks.
And while you may disagree with our definition, you can’t disagree with the fact that for such a small area, there are a ton of excellent restaurants to choose from. Here are our favorites.
Nossa Caipirinha Bar
Half-Brazilian, half-Italian, this Los Feliz restaurant is a great example of how Italian cuisine influenced Brazilian cooking after waves of Italian migrants arrived in the late 19th century. Their fantastic roasted chicken, for example, dons a crispy golden skin after a 24-hour brine. There’s a ton of outdoor seating here—you’ll find a few charming sidewalk tables plus a huge patio off Hillhurst. Come here with a few friends, order a few pão de queijo, and a bottle of wine.
A lot of LA’s best restaurants feel like they were grown in the same test tube, and the result is a bunch of shiny, massive restaurants with six-part menus and $19 cocktails. Not All Time. A meal here feels like a friendly backyard potluck, except with much better wine. The menu is written big on a window, and we've yet to have a bad dish here. If you’re really going for it, order the 68-day dry-aged steak that they claim will feed two, but can probably feed a group of four. They also have some excellent sandwiches and a breakfast burrito, if you come by in the daytime.
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With its light wood, pretty food, and general kind-of-healthy-ness, Kismet looks like a place your out-of-town friends have seen all over Instagram. But it turns out it’s much, much better. This is an all-day Mediterranean restaurant where you can eat an amazing broccoli toast at lunch or a whole rabbit for two at night. We like it best for a laid-back but still excellent dinner.
For as small of a neighborhood as Los Feliz is, it’s home to a staggering amount of casual French sidewalk cafes. But all it takes one meal at Loupiotte to realize there’s always room for more. The daytime-only space on Vermont has exposed brick walls, mix-and-match wicker chairs, and tons of shelves filled with random knick-knacks. In short, it’s adorable, but not in a way that feels solely for social media. As for the food, it’s a fairly straightforward menu, featuring excellent dishes like a creamy polenta, pea and asparagus risotto, and a tomato tapenade sandwich you’ll go back for the next day.
Starting out as a pop-up in Silver Lake in 2019, Goldburger moved to Highland Park in 2020, then Los Feliz in 2021, in a sweet spot next to the movie theater. They serve the most substantial burgers in LA’s oversaturated smash scene. From their namesake “Goldburger,” which comes topped with American cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and their special garlic-mustard aioli, to the “LA Special,” loaded with thick cuts of pastrami, these are smashburgers that’ll keep you full well past dinner and possibly into breakfast the next day. Also, the properly seasoned and slightly spicy curly fries are not to be missed.
You know an Italian spot is good when actual Italians eat there. You know it’s great when the cast of The Sopranos eats there. Little Dom’s is that spot. Get the pancakes and breakfast pizza in the morning, or share some pastas and pies for dinner. The food isn’t as great as it once was, but it’s still a great neighborhood spot, especially for their weekly $25, three-course Monday Night Supper.
photo credit: Ray Kachatorian
When we saw Disney’s Encanto in theaters with our mom, we couldn’t stop crying. A meal at this Mexican restaurant on Hillhurst feels similar, but instead of crying, you’ll be chugging mezcal, and instead of being with your mom, you’ll be surrounded by local residents, young people grabbing a bite to eat before a movie, and a crowd that’s just generally having a good time. The menu is short and compact, full of crunchy caesar salads, lamb necks supplied by McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. next door, and sweet potatoes drenched in fermented hot sauce. Come here before a late-night showing at the Los Feliz 3, or stop in for a drink with a date or lover. It’s the kind of place that feels completely alive—a.k.a. exactly the kind of place Los Feliz needs.
Pinky’s is back, baby. After a year-long hiatus, the Los Feliz cocktail bar has returned with its sleek, turquoise tile walls and disco balls rotating at the speed of light. Every night from 7pm-2am, you’ll find a rotating list of DJs spinning everything from all-vinyl disco bops to ‘90s R&B. It’s kind of like a Miami nightclub here—flashy and in-your-face in the best way. Wear a slip dress and channel your best Elvira.
House of Pies
We get it. It’s fun to rag on House of Pies, like it’s some B-list science fiction movie from the ‘90s (hi there, Event Horizon). The service is terrible, your food may or may not come out in a timely manner, and some hack screenwriting teacher probably told you they like to do work here. However, when it’s 2am in the morning, you’ve just stumbled out of some bar or midnight showing at the Los Feliz 3, there’s really nowhere better to grab a cup of coffee or slice of room-temperature pie than this Vermont Ave. institution. Plus, there’s a hidden parking lot in the back.
Go Get Em Tiger
Can coffee shops make a great burger? Go Get Em Tiger makes the case for yes. Alongside pour-overs and cups of espresso, this Los Feliz third-wave superstar also serves an excellent burger. It’s thick with five ounces of meat, a slice of American cheese, caper aioli, a few pickles, and grilled onions, all atop a brioche bun. And with a gorgeous, idyllic patio out front, Go Get Em Tiger is a perfectly nice place to spend your lunch break, soaking in the California sun, and reading some book that’s been on your shelf for months.
The Best Burgers In LA
Sogo Roll Bar
Similar to spots like KazuNori and The HRB experience, Sōgo Roll Bar urges you to seize the fish, a school of thought known as “carp-e diem.” Bad fish puns aside, there’s lots of fun to be had at this Japanese restaurant, where you’ll find creative hand rolls made with albacore kari kari, snapper brushed with yuzu, and lobster flavored with lemons that tastes clean and bright. With a sizable wine, sake, and beer menu, it’s a wonderful place to bring a date, or come with a few friends and dissect the real-life relationships of everyone on the Euphoria cast.
Why is there always a line at this coffee shop? No matter what day it is, no matter what time it is, you’ll always find a sizable crowd gathered outside of Maru. This Los Feliz café is inspired by owner Jacob Park’s childhood growing up in a mountain temple in Korea, emulating the same tranquility through tasteful natural light and lots of wood. Come early enough, and you’ll be able to snag a pastry, like chocolate-filled croissants or matcha cake donuts. But even if you don’t, there are wonderful drip coffees, teas, and vanilla bean lattes to order.
Eastside Market Italian Deli - Los Feliz
One of our favorite sandwich shops, Eastside Market Italian Deli, expanded to a second location in Los Feliz at the end of 2021. 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, chicken parm sandwich comes slathered in salty marinara sauce, topped with melted provolone and parmesan, and served on a pillowy, house-baked sub roll. Get ready to be horizontal when you finish.
You spent today running around LA trying to find “that one dry cleaner” your boss needed you to pick up her shirt from, so tonight you need to at least feel like someone is catering to you. Go to Bar Covell, the wine bar/restaurant where all you have to do is give the servers a few adjectives about wine you like, and they’ll have you covered for the rest of the night. The food menu is small, but solid (especially the charcuterie plate). Bring a few friends, get some wine that magically fits all your taste preferences, and try to stop thinking about why your boss insists on getting her jackets cleaned in Arcadia.
Texas Forever. Or at least until 3pm, when this Tex-Mex spot closes it doors every day to everyone’s disappointment. Regardless of that massive error in business judgment, the migas, brisket tacos, and queso make this a can’t-miss spot in the neighborhood. There will be a line, but it moves quickly.
Best Fish Taco in Ensenada
All your friends are in Cabo this weekend, and you couldn’t get the time off. Stop hate-watching their social media posts and head to Best Fish Taco in Ensenada for your own mini-vacation. The spot on Hillhurst would fit right in in a small beach town somewhere—the space is small, with a dried-grass roofed patio, and friendly servers behind the counter. The fish tacos are indeed very good, and while they seem simple at first, just turn around and head to the salsa bar.
There’s a big sign greeting you as you enter this restaurant that says “there’s no place like Home.” We get the sentiment, but it’s also not entirely true: Home looks like pretty much every other nice neighborhood restaurant in LA. But it's great for doing work at, with plenty of tables, little nooks outside, and most importantly, outlets. The space is filled with lots of foliage and twinkly lights, the food is Italian-ish and affordable, and it’s always full of locals. Also, they do a good brunch.
Yuca’s is a classic. It’s been around since the 70s, and just about everyone agrees this tiny Mexican place is great—but good luck getting any consensus on what you should be ordering. Our favorite taco is the carne asada, there's also a great cochinita pibil, machaca, and carnitas. Although, they also do serve a pretty good burger too, a simple, diner-style version that comes wrapped in yellow paper and resembles something you'd eat at a bowling alley. There’s no bad order at this 10-seat little shack on the side of the road.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Mustard Seed Cafe
Voted the “Spot Most Likely to See That One Guy Who Was In That Thing And Oh Man, What’s His Name?,” Mustard Seed Cafe is a simple sidewalk cafe that serves a variety of breakfast and lunch options to the neighborhood’s cable TV stars, of which there are many. The menu includes lots of healthy options, don't worry.
Alcove Cafe & Bakery
Ah, Alcove Cafe & Bakery. If you could distill Los Feliz's hipster energy into a single place, it'd be Alcove. The all-day cafe has a charming, vaguely retro decor—menus are written on chalkboards, the patio outside can only be described as "whimsical," etc.—and mediocre food. Between the overpriced sandwiches, turkey chili bowls, and extremely sugary smoothies, nothing here is going to blow you away. But if you're looking for a very twee place to bring out-of-towners or to spend an afternoon at, there's almost nowhere better to go than Alcove.
Classic French food in a ridiculously quaint environment. Sure, sometimes the wait staff may act a little too French (like just plain ignoring you for a while), but if you’re in no hurry, a sidewalk table here is an ideal place for brunch, a massive latte, and excellent people-watching. It’s also not a bad choice for a last-minute date night in the neighborhood.