We here at DTLAer used to have issues with walking out of restaurants in Downtown LA that simply weren’t up to snuff. DTLA 101 is your list of DTLAer-approved restaurants and bars worthy of your time and money. From dive bars to celebrating your friend’s overnight cryptocurrency success, DTLA 101 runs the gamut of the myriad food and drink selections Downtown LA has to offer.
With our apologies to The Slanted Door (RIP), here’s this month’s list:
- Spread Mediterranean Kitchen – Grab a seat at the bar during lunch and enjoy one of the best bangs for your DTLA buck in what can easily be made into a healthy meal.
- Pour House Wine Bar – A low key spot in the Arts District that offers one of the strongest happy hours anywhere in town. Pro tip: The Lambrusco and stinky cheese plate are always on point.
- Strada – Delicious sandwiches and sand-brewed coffee are just a couple of the many reasons why Strada is simply one of the most charming places in Downtown LA.
- The Mighty – The Hatfields’ all-day eatery is serving up some of the tastiest rotisserie chicken in the 213 and that butter lettuce salad will have you returning for lunch on a weekly basis.
- Howlin’ Ray’s – G.O.A.T. ‘Nuff Said.
- Medidate Coffee – A recent addition to the Historic Core that’s already winning over the masses with its weight-loss inducing date seed coffee that provides a natural energy boost.
- Boomtown Brewery – A massive, fun space with plenty of quality beer options that makes for the perfect spot for after-work drinks.
- Bar Mateo – Deftly executed cocktails in a fun, casual atmosphere that’s sure to enjoy increased foot traffic as a pre or post Bavel destination.
- Golden Road Brewing – An off-the-radar Dodgers pre-game spot inside Grand Central Market where the pub pretzel and Right Said Red Ale will have you forgetting the early season struggles of the boys in blue in no time.
- Impresso – This sleepy South Park coffee shop’s lavender latte is simply springtime in a cup.
- Bavel – It ain’t Bestia just quite yet, but the Malawach might be chef Ori Menashe’s most remarkable dish to date. Can’t snag a reservation? Bavel keeps the bar seating limited to walk-ins only.
- Palikao – A unique and healthy option focusing on couscous bowls that stands out thanks to incredible flavors brought to life by chef Lionel Pigeard.
- Hama Sushi – Some of the freshest cuts in town fashioned in a classic manner by OG sushi masters. Pro tip: Ask to have shrimp heads added to your miso soup if you order the sweet shrimp sushi.
- Sari Sari Store – Delicious Filipino rice bowls from Margarita and Walter Manzke inside Grand Central Market. Everything on the menu is worthy of your time and money, but perhaps nothing more so than the breakfast sandwich.
- Majordomo – Expect Jonathan Gold to be seated one table away and the Baby King himself to be working the room at what’s currently the hottest restaurant in town, and perhaps country.
- Everytable – Located near the entrance to the Metro at the Bloc, this local franchise offers filling and incredibly reasonable fare that’s actually good for you.
- Apotheke – Literally across the street from Majordomo, the cocktails here are certainly notable, but the outdoor vibes are by far the best Downtown LA has to offer.
- Guisados – We could eat the breakfast tacos here every single day, but that would make for a boring Instagram account.
- Funculo – Housed in Corporation Food Hall on Spring Street, this fast casual Italian spot might make the best meatballs in Downtown LA. The custom pasta bowls are also a strong choice.
- Cow Cafe – There are plenty of restaurants that offer avocado toast and iced match lattes, but this comfortable neighborhood eatery just does it better.
- Broken Mouth | Lee’s Homestyle – You won’t go wrong ordering anything on the menu at Broken Mouth, but the spam musubi is what will keep you coming back to this Fashion District Hawaiian cafe.
- The Urban Oven – Almost hidden behind the escalator leading to the lower of the Bloc, The Urban Oven makes up for a less than ideal location with a variety of memorable pizza offerings that are made to order.
- Bar Ama – Not much beats chips, queso, and a margarita at the bar here. Except maybe their puffy tacos.
- NoMad Lobby – Delicious burger, desserts & cocktails in one of the most beautiful spaces in town.
- Eko Eats – Sneaky good Korean bone broth, excellent customer service, and one of the fastest turnarounds on Postmates in DTLA.
- Birdies – Slings fried chicken sandwiches at a level just a notch below Howlin’ Ray’s but there’s never a wait. Some of the most innovative and Instagram-friendly donuts anywhere in the city.
- Fresh Order Grill – Portion size is no joke here and Chef Al Greene is masterful at bringing out flavor in the simplest of dishes.
- Rossoblu – One of the most all-encompassing dining experiences in Los Angeles that highlights the wonders of Northern Italian cuisine. Be sure to arrive early in order to grab a drink at the bar before dinner.
- Manuela – Quality brunch and cocktails housed in a truly unique venue. An even stronger value with the use of the locals gold card.
- Bernadette’s – Conjures memories of basement drinking at the coolest kid in high school’s house, but with way better beer and wine.
- IL Bambino – Completely off the radar casual Italian that eats like a vastly more expensive meal.
- Sakana Sushi Lounge – Approaches the freshness seen at the likes of Sugarfish and KazuNori, but with a more innovative menu at a digestible price point.
- Little Bear – A neighborhood spot that isn’t trying to be more than the burgers and craft beer it humbly serves. The kind of place where you can just saddle up to the bar alone on a Tuesday afternoon and comfortably nurse a drink.
- Colori Kitchen – Make a reservation or prepare to wait; delivery packaging is A+.
- The Water Grill – Sit at the raw bar and stick to things that haven’t been cooked.
- Sonoratown – Co-owner runs the cash register. Best Mexican in DTLA.
- barcito – Sit at the bar and share everything that you order. Not sure about that wallpaper.
- ERB – Best burger in town and some of the coolest vibes in the city. Bonus points for its social media.
- Factory Kitchen – Prosciutto. [drops mic]
- Braazo Pizza – Sneaky good delivery pizza and calzones. Comfortable booths too.
- Le Petit Paris – Go for happy hour. Mindbogglingly large space with several bars.
- Best Girl – Eclectic yet approachable menu. Solid raw bar and occasionally host themed nights (announced via email).
- PYT – Can make a fat guy crave vegetables. Also has strong non-veggie options. And dat dessert doe.
- KazuNori – Go off hours and enjoy one of the best bangs for your hand roll buck.
Want to suggest a spot for June’s list? Give us a shout at dan [at] dtlaer.com