Best places to eat in Los Angeles
California produces some of the finest produce in the United States, and Los Angeles has long been its food capital. A new generation of chefs have shifted the focus from formal fine dining to a more down to earth experience, and brought experimental restaurants to areas that had once dropped off the map. Whether you want a food truck or crisp linen with all the frills, discover the best food in Los Angeles with this two-day itinerary.
Start your day off by picking up some cheese at the legendary Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, found 10-minute drive from Hotel Bel-Air, and 5 minutes from The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
Selling artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, wine, caviar, gift baskets, and custom-designed gifts (such as cheese wedding cakes), not to mention offering dinners, tastings, cheese and wine pairing classes and catering, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills is the epicentre of every cheese connoisseur’s universe.
From there, it’s about 15 minutes by car to chocoholic heaven at ChocoVivo.
Taking chocolate ‘from bean to bar’, ChocoVivo is an eco-chic venue offering dark chocolate products grown on its own plantation and roasted onsite. The chocolate is so true to its roots that it’s still ‘stone ground’, just the way the Mayans and Aztecs made it over 2,000 years ago.
For something a little fresher after the chocolate and cheese, 10 minutes in a car will take you to the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Founded in 1981, the Santa Monica Farmers Market attracts around 900,000 shoppers each year. With a mission to promote healthy eating and sustainable agriculture, it connects urban consumers to California’s farmland, with great results for both.
From the Farmers Market on Main Street, drive for 15 minutes to get to Farmshop.
Admired by residents and critics alike, Farmshop’s chef-owner, Jeff Cerciello, supports Californian artisans and organic growers. Visit the market to discover handcrafted cheeses and chocolates, charcuterie cured using traditional methods, wine, beer, condiments and more; honouring local is Farmshop’s raison d’être. In addition to the market, there’s also a bakery and a restaurant onsite.
Then it’s up into the hills above Malibu, with a 40-minute drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu Wines on Mulholland Highway.
Malibu Wines is comprised of acres of vineyards, picnic tables and a store. Open seven days a week, it holds wine tastings and serves wines by the bottle and mimosas by the glass, often to live music. If a large group is heading in its direction, the company is more than happy to organise catering, too. Book online to visit.
Then, get back in the car for the 40-minute journey to the Hotel Bel-Air or The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Start the second day of your food itinerary in Los Angeles with a strong coffee at Alfred, a 15-minute drive from Hotel Bel-Air, and 10 minutes from The Beverly Hills Hotel.
A neighbourly coffee shop on tree-lined Melrose Place, Alfred Coffee has attracted its fair share of celebrities since it was founded in 2013. Perhaps that is not surprising given its art-filled, tiled interior, hip attitude and serious baristas. People know its motto, ‘But first, coffee’ for miles around.
From here, it’s a three-minute walk to Mel & Rose.
Mel & Rose
This popular wine shop and café possesses fine wines, specialty goods, and Italian deli fare. Few guests leave without picking up one of Mel & Rose’s famous baskets, which range from wine and chocolate baskets, to beer and fruit baskets. They even do kosher and baby baskets, making it the perfect place to pick up a gift for someone back home.
Then it’s back in the car for a two-minute drive to Animal.
Located in the old Jewish district of Los Angeles, Animal is the New American eatery in Fairfax that captained the LA trend into meat-centric menus. It has a small, intimate, barebones interior and the bar is always crammed – but it’s popular because it’s the best at what it does. Animal is open for weekend brunch or daily for dinner.
Then it’s a three-minute drive to Joan’s on Third.
Joan’s on Third
The flagship store of gourmet market Joan’s on Third stocks everything you might need for an epicurean picnic, gift box or postprandial snack. There’s an extensive selection of cheese and charcuterie, freshly-baked pastries and breads, deli salads, cakes, jams, condiments, and more.
From Joan’s on Third, hop back in the car for a 20-minute drive to Bestia for dinner.
One of the most popular restaurants in Los Angeles, Bestia is a multi-regional Italian restaurant with an industrial interior, including a large copper bar where reservations are a must. With a menu featuring dishes like tortellini with brown butter and spinach, and veal tartare on toasted bread, this is the sort of place where comfort food meets thoughtful delicacy with very little fuss.
The Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel are then 25 minutes away by car.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.