A List Of Some Of The Best Affordable Places To Eat In LA
If you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, my advice would be to eat at as many restaurants, food trucks, markets as you can. This city is absolute legendary when it comes to diversity in both culture and food. With towns such as Koreatown, Thai Town, Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, and Chinatown, you have endless food options. There are heaps of places to eat around this city, some more affordable than others. I made a list of all my favorite food in the city, all under $15, and super yummy.
**Disclaimer: Although some of this post contains sponsored links, all opinions are my own. **
If you have Instagram, I'm sure you've seen a million pictures of Chef Johnny's Howlin' Ray's. What started as a food truck years ago found its way to Los Angele's Chinatown at the Far East Plaza. Inspired by Nashville's hot chicken, chef Johnny got one thing right, heat. With five levels of heat, you will sweat, your lips will burn, you might need to wear light clothing, and drink plenty of water. Yes, it's that hot, even their "mild" is hot AF. Now that you know how spicy the chicken is, here's what you should order, the ''Hot Chicken Sando." Why, because it's the best chicken sandwich in LA, period. The hot chicken mixed with pickles, slaw and their very own "comeback sauce'' is the real deal, chicken so good make you wanna slap your mama ( sorry mom). If a sandwich isn't your thing, go ahead and grab some chicken wings or thighs with fries or slaw. For those who brunch, come here on either Saturday and Sunday for their chicken and waffles. Tip before your visit, go as early as you can. Lines are longer than the DMV and Trader Joe's combined, no lie.
Howlin' Ray's $$
I'll be honest with you, I don't know much about Thai town, nor have I eaten there. Then pops in Friends & Family by legendary pastry chef Roxanna Jullapat and husband, Daniel Mattern. Recently opened, Friends & Family is a cafe/bakery serving great breakfast, sweets, and coffee. This cafe has everything from steak and eggs, bagels, sandwiches, fried chicken and the most delicious olive oil fried eggs. These olive oil eggs are the most ordered off the menu for all the right reasons. What happens when you mix harissa, yogurt, chickpeas, and olives with eggs and grilled olive bread, you get the best breakfast in town. No seriously, Eater LA named Friends & Family the best brunch in LA. Best of all, it cost only $12. As for dessert, it's a must during your visit, remember, Roxanna is a magician when it comes to baking. We're talking scones, lemon/pound cake, ice cream sandwiches, and my favorite, strawberry rhubarb donut.
Friends & Family $$
Downtown LA has found a real gem with Astro Dooughnuts & Fried Chicken. Originating from DC, Astro Doughnuts made its way to the west coast and becoming one of 21 best-fried chicken restaurants in America by Thrillist. Search Astro on Instagram and discover what food porn is, you won't be able to contain yourself. When it comes to the menu, people mostly come for the fried chicken sandwich or pieces, which are great, who doesn't love fried chicken. Instead, I tried the Korean BBQ wings which I'm still dreaming about right now. I had them with their kimchi slaw which was divine, not to mention the tator tots that I haven't had since high school. Now let's talk about the doughnuts, which are mandatory during your visit. These fluffy doughnuts come in many flavors such as maple bacon, carrot cake, key lime pie and much more. I highly recommend both the maple bacon( because, bacon) and the mint oreo (pictured above).
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Smorgasburg LA is where you should be on a Sunday. What used to be Brooklyn based, Smorgasburg made its way to LA last year with some of the best food trucks around. Food markets and food trucks have been a favorite of mine for a while now, usually cheap and sometimes better than restaurants. I had the chance of trying a few vendors including this cajun buttered lobster from Lobsterdamus. If you're into delicious pork belly tacos with a buttery flaky shell, head to Goa Taco. For those who prefer to eat rice and shrimp out of a pineapple, Eat Shrimp Daddy is the best to ever do it.
A foodie list without Porto's should be a crime, Portos is my favorite bakery in all of LA. I can list a million reasons why its great and I still can't do it justice. The potato balls, the croquettes, the guava smoothie, the empanadas, and the list goes on. Portos always has a long wait, but trust me, it's worth it. At the moment, their only locations are in Glendale, Burbank, and Downey.
Portos Bakey & Cafe
Los Angeles should change its name to The City of Food Trucks, due to hundreds of food trucks parked around the city. Most Los Angeles locals have a favorite, whether it's an ice cream truck, tacos, or grilled cheese, they are everywhere. The best part about some trucks, mostly taco trucks, is that they stay open until late, perfect for the late night munchies. If you're into bagels or breakfast food, Yeastie Boys is bomb AF( pictured above). If you miss the truck, you can still buy their bagels at either Alfred's on Melrose Place, Stumptown or Dinosaur Coffee. When it comes to fried chicken sandwiches, Free Range LA is another local favorite.
The Grand Central Market is my go-to place when in Downtown. Besides being open every single day, it also has some of the best food around town. Most people come here for Egg Slut aka the best egg sandwich, the main reason why they always have the longest lines. My favorites at this market are both Ana Maria's (pictured above) with their carnitas tacos and of course Tacos Tumbras a Tomas for great Mexican food. You can easily spend a few hours here, with coffee at G&B, beer at Golden Road Brewery and ice cream at the one and only McConnell's. Just like any other popular place in LA, I wouldn't recommend a weekend visit to Grand Central, its absolute mayhem. For some vendors, you'll be waiting for some time. In some cases, you might find it hard to even get a seat.
Grand Central Market $$
At this point, I'm sure you've noticed how much I love eating at food markets. Located in The Grove, this market has over 20 vendors including Fritzi Dog, Bar 326 and The Gumbo Pot. One of my favorite places in this market is Singapore's Banana Leaf( pictured above). They have authentic and delicious meals usually served on a banana leaf. My other favorite, which also happens to be my favorite meat in all of LA is Pampas Grill. This pay by the pound Brazilian "Churrasco" is the perfect place for anyone who loves and appreciates perfectly grilled meat. If Pampas Grill is the slightest indication of how Brazilians season/grill meat, I think I know where my next travel destination is. Be warned, wait time at Pampas Grill can be up to an hour on weekends, I suggest going on a weekday.
The Original Farmers Market
Did I miss your favorite place, let me know and I'll be sure to visit next time.