16 Stellar Los Angeles Spots for Lunch, Fall 2016

In Los Angeles, lunch is a verb. People lunch with their friends, lunch with their business partners, and take midday meetings over arctic char salads near the beach. That’s why there are endless options for dining well in the middle of the day, from high-end business spots to low key options with speedy service and a reduced price point. LA’s got it all.

So what do you really want out of a midweek daytime meal? Probably something relatively quick, with no impossibly long wait times or high barrier to entry. Something fun, maybe a little classy, with great food and a drink (or two) if you want it. A restaurant that serves the kind of food — thoughtful salads, housemade breads, quality seasonal fare — you’d not only want to eat yourself after a long work week, but food you’d be happy to recommend to an out of towner who needs a nice sit-down spot in the middle of the day.

Here now, some of the best places for lunch in Los Angeles, from heady bread and roasted meat destinations in Venice to sunny Koreatown rooftop hideaways that are perfect for lingering. Presented, of course, in alphabetical order.

1 B.S. Taqueria

This fantastic taco spot in Downtown is colorful and fun, making it an ideal place to meet with coworkers or even a casual get-together. Chef Ray Garcia’s tacos are arguably the best in town at the moment, especially at a place where you can sit down and order a beer or cocktail. The clams & lardo are what everyone is talking about, but the sauteed chiles toreados, carnitas tacos, and even desserts are stellar.

514 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

2 Baroo

Fermentation darling Baroo does a very un-brisk lunch business, but that’s okay. You’ll forgive the slowish (at times) service once you grab a bowl of beautifully realized grains and a strong tepache.

5706 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 819-4344

3 Bäco Mercat

Josef Centeno is a food whisperer, turning vegetables and odd flatbreads into something spectacular, right before your eyes. His first solo magic trick was Baco Mercat, and it remains among his most impressive, particularly for a Downtown crowd that knows what it wants — and fussy ain’t it.

408 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-8808


Roy Choi’s upstairs dining hall at the Line Hotel might be the best looking lunch spot in L.A., if only for its terrific green house. The food has a soft spot for vegetables, so opt for the roasted vegetables, cobb salad, or braised and charred leeks. For something meatier, the wagyu burger or shrimp po’ boy are there for you.

3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 368-3030

5 Dune

Relative Atwater Village newcomer Dune hits high marks as a casual option with outdoor seating that doesn’t skimp on the details. Stop in for the city’s best falafel, with a side of just about everything else from the truncated menu.

3143 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039

6 Fishing with Dynamite

Fishing With Dynamite remains a seafood staple along the coast, a Manhattan Beach mecca for casual coastal dining. Perfect for lingering with a crisp glass of wine during a late afternoon lunch (the place opens in the late morning and continues on through the evening), this place offers a rich distillation of California dining culture, all in a shoebox-sized space.

1148 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 893-6299

7 Gjusta

Committed diners can rest assured that possibly the best lunch on the Westside awaits at Gjusta, with pitch-perfect smoked fish, pies, sandwiches, and pastries for dessert. If you haven’t been to Gjusta, make it a point to get there early, and dine under the sun in the back. Just bring sunscreen or a hat.

320 Sunset Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 314-0320

8 Jon & Vinny’s

Shook and Dotolo already have dinner hits on their hands with the likes of Animal and Trois Mec, but their newer baby Jon & Vinny’s may be its best lunchtime bet yet. Full of Italian-American classics wrapped in lots of blonde wood, the nearly round-the-clock restaurant is one of the city’s hottest places for a midday meal.

412 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 334-3369

9 Langer’s Deli

There may be no better lunch in Los Angeles than a pastrami sandwich from Langer’s — particularly because the restaurant doesn’t do dinner. Stuffing yourself inside one of the Westlake restaurant’s booths for a casual lunch with friends (especially the out-of-town kind who haven’t experienced the icon yet) is a rite of passage for Angelenos citywide.

704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050

10 Milo and Olive

This Westside classic has some of the most reliable fare in Santa Monica, with farm-fresh ingredients and sharp cooking coming from the open kitchen. The pizzas are shareable, the pastas are rich, and the salads are impressive despite their humble stature on the menu. Don’t leave without picking up a few loaves of bread or a cookie from the front.

2723 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA, 90403
(310) 453-6776

11 Night + Market Song

Silver Lake can’t stop enjoying Kris Yenbamroong’s Thai street cooking, packing the colorful Song nightly. For lunch, the pared down menu is less impacted but still a hit, from the fried chicken sandwich to the mixed lunch plates — all of which can be served with the young chef’s esoteric list of (mostly French) wines.

3322 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 665-5899

12 Petit Trois

Ludo Lefebvre keeps trying to perfect the walk-in bistro concept, and their 24-some seater on Melrose might be lifted right out of Paris. Order the omelette if you haven’t tried it, but move onto things like the beef tartare, confit-fried chicken leg, moules frites, and even the Au Cheval-inspired burger. Just remember that it’s counter-seating only.

716 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 468-8916

13 Pizzeria Mozza

Packed nearly every day, this casual spot on the corner of Highland and Melrose is a boisterous place to meet up with office workers or a quick meeting. Though it tends to get loud and tables can be hard to nab, the pizzas, salads, apps, and desserts are all destination-worthy.

641 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101

14 République

All-day monster Republique is as noisy as they come during lunch, with lines snaking out the door for Marge Manzke’s pastries and Walter’s daylong breakfast options. Add in rotating salads, simple sandwiches, and one of the city’s best overall burgers, and lunch inside this tall, glass-framed space is a no-brainer.

624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(310) 362-6115

15 Szechuan Impression

Szechuan Impression may be best enjoyed for lunch, when the lines are smaller and the food just as tasty. Bring friends or co-workers for the feast, as plate after plate “leg-crossingly yum” beef brisket soup and hou dao dumplings hit the table. If you can swing a trip to the SGV midweek, you’ll save yourself hours of waiting on the weekends.

1900 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 283-4622

16 The Sycamore Kitchen

Sycamore Kitchen is Karen and Quinn Hatfield’s summery ode to the bounty of Los Angeles, a reminder that the pleasures of this city can often be found on a shaded patio, just off the street, eating a pastry alongside your farmers market salad. Often imitated to great effect, this La Brea staple remains at the top of their game in a very crowded field.

143 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-0151

Source: Eater LA