12 Best Downtown LA Restaurants To Eat At In 2023 (+ What To Order)

From welcoming new cultural institutions to hotels, residences, museums, and of course, a lot of stellar restaurants, Downtown LA has seen substantial growth over the last decade. The restaurant scene here is now more exciting than ever, with a good balance of old-time classics and newbies, which means you’ll never be disappointed no matter what you crave.

So, here are the 12 best downtown LA restaurants you should be eating at during your next visit to the city’s main cultural and business district.

1. Rossoblu

Grilled Trout | Photo credits: Rossoblu

Inspired by the Italian city of Bologna, Rossoblu serves authentic Italian cuisine, with a menu that pays homage to the chef/owner’s childhood memories and heritage. With a huge mural in the main dining room, an exclusive chef’s cellar, an all-gold bar, a heated and covered garden, handmade pastas, wood-grilled entrees, and family-style servings, this place easily sits among the best.

The star of the menu here is Anna’s Minestra Nel Sacco. This is a parmesan dumpling dish, made traditional bolognese style, swimming in a light and delightful broth/soup. This is the kind of dish that will warm your soul any day!

Their Braised Pork Meatballs make an excellent starter. Presented in skewers, the meatballs are juicy and flavorful, and the single slice of garlic pizza bianca you get on the side makes the dish come to life.

The restaurant’s signature dish – Olympia’s Tagliatelle – will blow your socks off! Unlike any typical pasta dish that comes covered in sauce, this one is relatively drier, and this makes the al dente pasta shine, and also lets you enjoy the beef and pork chunks in their true flavor.

From Rossoblu’s grill, one must-try dish is Ilario’s Grigliata. You get a HUGE 20oz. Bone-in pork chop and housemade sausage along with a few other charred accompaniments. Apart from the fact that this one dish is enough to feed an entire family, we are obliged to mention that everything on the plate tastes astounding.

What to order: Anna’s Minestra Nel Sacco, Braised Pork Meatballs, Olympia’s Tagliatelle, Ilario’s Grigliata

Address: 1124 San Julian Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Photo credits: AIR FOOD L’appart

L’Appart is a Parisian eatery that will make you feel like you’ve flown to Paris to have a wonderful culinary experience in an intimate Parisian apartment. In addition to traditional French fare, the menu also features French-fusion with inspiration from regions like the Middle East and North America.

There’s no doubt that you should begin with L’Appart’s French Onion Soup (La Soupe a l’oignon). This traditional soup tastes exactly how it should, and is absolutely irresistible.

One of the restaurant’s hit dishes is the Duck Confit (Le Confit de Canard). Served with honey mustard sauce, poached pears, and pickles, the duck is tender and juicy, and the meat’s saltiness pairs well with the sweetness of the sauce. There’s a high chance that you’ll lick your plate clean!

The Bceuf Bourgignon is a classic dish where you get chunks of tender beef, easily falling apart after being simmered for hours in a rich red wine sauce. While this stew is incredible on its own, the gnocchi it comes with absorbs all the goodness from the sauce and tastes fantastic along with the meat.

L’Appart also serves a mouthwatering Le Croc Monsieur. The French country bread is soft and crusty; it sandwiches intense and juicy serrano ham, and comes topped with old-fashioned bechamel – indulgence at its best!

What to order: La Soupe a l’oignon, Le Confit de Canard, Bceuf Bourgignon, Le Croc Monsieur

Address: 130 E 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

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3. Bar Amá

Photo credits: Bar Amá

An absolute crowd-pleaser in DTLA’s food landscape, Bar Amá serves Tex-Mex comfort food, reimagined. Among the many high-end restaurants dominating the locale, this is a place where you could feel comfortable, relax, and enjoy good food with good company. 

Bar Amá’s Puffy Tacos are so popular and satisfying that people start craving them after tasting them for the first time. The highlight is the fluffy, crispy shells, which can make any topping taste delicious. As the restaurant’s signature dish, you cannot leave without trying these.


The Tex-Mex Queso is a must-try. It is so delicious and flavorful that you’ll end up dipping everything in it. 

Chile Relleno, or stuffed pepper, is a Bar Amá favorite. Stuffed with cheese and batter fried, the chili is still light and crispy, not too greasy, and tastes lovely.

This place has some messy yet amazingly delicious dishes, one of which is Mom’s Green Chicken Enchiladas. This gorgeous mess is creamy, cheesy, comforting, and mouth-wateringly delicious.

Cauliflower & Pesto is an excellent vegetarian dish. The cauliflower has a nice char to it, and is roasted beautifully to achieve a light caramelization but still has a bite. The creamy pesto with lime, cilantro, and cashews is zingy, nutty, and fresh.

What to order: Puffy Tacos, Tex-Mex Queso, Chile Relleno, Mom’s Green Chicken Enchiladas, Cauliflower & Pesto

Address: 118 W 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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4. The Palm

Pappardelle Bolognese | Photo credits: The Palm

With the first restaurant of the chain opened in 1926, The Palm is a time-honored gathering place that has been handed down for generations. The restaurant is known for its steak, lobster, and other seafood preparations – nothing fancy, just old-fashioned, straightforward preparations done right, and served in a clubby setting by professional waiters.

Of course, you have to try one of their aged steaks. You get to choose your favorite cut of meat and pair it with a sauce and toppings of your choice.

A favorite is the Center-cut Filet with brandy peppercorn sauce. The steak at The Palms always comes perfectly melt-in-the-mouth cooked, and the sauce has an incredible depth of flavor along with some heat.

As for the sides, you’ll love their Creamed Spinach and Italian Herb Hand-Cut Fries.

The Lobster Bisque is creamy, velvety, and rich, and comes with plenty of sweet and succulent lobster meat.

The Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is juicy, flaky, and tasty. It has genuine crab meat for the most part, and not too much breading, which lets you appreciate the freshness and sweetness of the crab. The creamy and slightly tangy and sweet beurre blanc is the perfect accompaniment to the crab cakes.

What to order: Center-cut Filet with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce, Creamed Spinach, Italian herb Hand-Cut Fries, Lobster Bisque, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

Address: 1100 S Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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5. 71Above

Photo credits: 71Above

Located in the heart of DTLA, 71Above serves seasonal modern American cuisine. Apart from the cool and lively main dining room, there is also a casual bistro-style SkyLounge and a bar for dining. Wherever you choose to dine, you get to be mesmerized by 360º panoramic views of the surroundings.

For your first course, start with the light and refreshing Hiramasa Crudo. This is a simple and elegant dish that showcases the fresh seafood and seasonal produce beautifully, letting the fish shine, along with a slight kick with the addition of habanero.

They also serve this AMAZING Crispy Octopus, which comes very well-prepared, well-flavored, and well-cooked. 

Young Chicken – served with strong and earthy tahini, and smoky and aromatic smoked tomato jus, the chicken is extremely juicy and tender, and everything on the plate plays really well together.

The Guava Granita is a sweet, zingy, and vibrant dessert to complete your meal.

What to order: Hiramasa Crudo, Crispy Octopus, Young Chicken, Guava Granita

Address: 633 W 5th Street 71st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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Photo credits: 825southhilldtla

Woodspoon is a Brazilian kitchen in Downtown LA that has been operating for more than a decade. The restaurant’s menu has influences from Indian, European, and African cuisines, and the place is simple, rustic, and stylish with a casual and laid-back vibe, where anyone would love to hang out.

No matter how many times you order, one dish at Woodspoon that you wouldn’t get bored of is the legendary Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie. With a perfectly flaky crust, and filled with delicate and crunchy hearts of palm, roasted corn, and olives, this could easily become your favorite pot pie in LA.

If you’re dining as a group, we’d suggest you get the Mix Plate. It has five different types of dumplings/croquettes you can taste – potato croquettes, coxinha (Brazilian chicken croquettes), kibe (ground beef and mint croquettes), pastel (Portuguese shrimp and coconut dumplings), and bolinho (Brazilian cod croquettes).

Nope, there’s no picking a favorite because every single version tastes good.

Moqueca is a Brazilian seafood stew that you must try at Woodspoon, after the Chicken Pot Pie, of course. This coconut-based stew is rich, luscious, slightly spicy, and comes packed with loads of seafood including clams, mussels, and prawns.

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What to order: Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie, Mix Plate, Moqueca

Address: 107 W 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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7. Strada Eateria & Bar

Photo credits: Strada – Eateria & Bar

A new addition to Downtown LA’s restaurant scene is Strada Eateria & Bar, an art-forward eatery that imports flavors from South America and Europe for their made-to-order dishes. With an outdoor terrace, stylish decor, and live music, this is one of the most happening dinner destinations in the neighborhood.

With the Ceviche de Peru, Strada serves the best ceviche in the whole of LA. This surf dish is made with wild Alaskan cod, and all the essentials of a good ceviche; but, the star is the liche de tigre (available upon request), which makes a statement with its citrusy-spicy flavor.

The Nomad Sandwich is all things delicious. Sandwiched between toasted ciabatta bread are juicy pork belly, fatty and spicy gypsy bacon, creamy and zesty chipotle aioli, cheese, avocado, pickle, and tomato. The sandwich is super well-balanced, and every bite is hearty.

You can get this sandwich in pizza form as well. The Gypsy Meadow pizza has all the elements of the Nomad Sandwich and tastes equally delicious.

They also serve a Vegan Ceviche, made with mango, avocado, chile, and more, which tastes absolutely refreshing and flavorful.

What to order: Ceviche de Peru, Nomad Sandwich, Gypsy Meadow pizza, Vegan Ceviche

Address: 825 W 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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8. Hill Street Bar & Restaurant

Photo credits: Hill Street Bar

Holding on to a firm spot in the historic core of DTLA, Hill Street is a resto-bar that serves modern American cuisine. The menu here is eclectic, and the space is bright, warm, cozy, and always bustling.

The Charcuterie Plate at Hill Street comes highly recommended. With a balanced mix of cured meats, cheeses, breads, nuts, and more, this is a fun appetizer that is best enjoyed shared.

Served in a warm, soft, and buttery parmesan bun, the Hill Street Burger can be ranked among the top 5 in LA. The patty is thick and juicy, the bacon adds a salty sweetness, and the combination of gruyere and blue cheese adds a distinct flavor to the burger. 

The Braised Short Rib comes perfectly prepared. Along with the generous portion of the tender meat, you also get creamy and tangy horseradish cream, and sweet kabocha squash puree, all of which are coated by natural jus, which enhances the entire dish.

Buttermilk Crispy Chicken and Chicken Pesto Melt are two other exceptional sandwiches you can get at Hill Street Bar & Restaurant.

What to order: Charcuterie Plate, Hill Street Burger, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken sandwich, Chicken Pesto Melt sandwich, Braised Short Rib

Address: 200 S Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Photo credits: HATCH Yakitori + Bar

A popular lunch spot in Downtown LA, HATCH celebrates yakitori (Japanese skewered chicken), which is the focal point of most dishes served here. This high-end modern Japanese grill combines bold Californian and authentic Japanese flavors to create memorable dishes using premium ingredients.

The Chicken Meatball Yakitori is unique, warm, and juicy; the egg yolk and tare dip on the side is sweet and savory, much like teriyaki sauce, and makes the perfect sauce to dip the meatball into.

The Pork Belly Yakitori has tender pieces of pork belly, rendered to perfection, with caramelized edges, and melt-in-the-mouth meat. The salty, citrusy, and spicy yuzu kosho makes the pork shine even more.

Ever tried Black Fried Rice before? HATCH has a very good version of the dish, one with slightly crunchy rice, without too much oil or umaminess hitting you on the palate, and working great with the restaurant’s yakitoris.

The Black Chicken Karaage is super crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, and the black garlic ranch dip on the side is creamy and delicious.

What to order: Chicken Meatball Yakitori, Pork Belly Yakitori, Mushroom Party Yakitori, Black Fried Rice, Black Chicken Karaage

Address: 700 W 7th Street Suite G600, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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10. Maccheroni Republic

Photo credits: Maccheroni Republic

One of the longest-standing Italian places in Downtown LA, Maccheroni Republic is like the one favorite movie you never get tired of watching; no matter how many times you come back, you can rest assured that you’ll be served quality food. Apart from the food, what attracts people here is the simple homey ambience and friendly service.

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All of the restaurant’s pastas are handcrafted daily in-house using organically grown and sustainable grains. Therefore, no matter which pasta dish you choose, you will taste quality and love in the very first bite.

Their Agnolotti Di Ossobuco has a flavor profile, unlike anything you probably have had before, pinky promise! The agnolotti themselves are quite prominent in size, and the succulent braised veal shank and charred marrow make for a rich filling. The veggie-forward salsa verde and balsamic have a nice contrast and make the dish taste as good as it is unique.

The Bianchi E Neri pasta is another super delicious creation on Maccheroni Republic’s menu. This is a bowl of black and white thin vermicelli pasta tossed with shrimp, wild mushroom, and roasted pancetta in a cream sauce. It is every bit decadent, and a must-order dish every time you come back.

If you like your pasta sauce spicy, try the Linguine Ai Frutti Di Mare. Again a seafood pasta dish but with a spicy tomato sauce. This is most definitely a filling plate of pasta, one that’s enjoyable till the last bite.

Not to forget, the Tiramisu here is top tier, best of the best!

What to order: Agnolotti Di Ossobuco, Bianchi E Neri, Linguine Ai Frutti Di Mare, Tiramisu

Address: 332 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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11. SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa

Photo credits: SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa

From sushi king, Sushi Nozawa or Kazunori Nozawa, SUGARFISH is an LA sushi chain, with multiple locations in the city, offering a one-of-a-kind sushi dining experience. The menu features different Trust Me (omakase-style) options as well as a wide range of a la carte sushi, sashimi, rolls, and more.

If you’d like to try a bit of everything the chef has to offer, or just have a big appetite, you could choose from one of the Trust Me menu options. If you choose the a la carte route, consider these suggestions:

Tuna Sashimi – subtle and refreshing with a buttery texture. Dip it in the ponzu to add a distinct umami flavor to your sashimi.

Unagi Sushi – rich, savory, meaty, and rich umami flavor. The sweet and salty eel sauce will make you want more.

Toro Hand Roll – fatty and delicious tuna wrapped in fresh seaweed.

The Nozawa-style Shrimp nigiri with toasted sesame is as great as it sounds.

What to order: Trust Me options, Tuna Sashimi, Unagi Sushi, Toro Hand Roll, Nozawa-style Shrimp nigiri

Address: 600 W 7th Street, #150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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12. Pizzeria Bianco

Photo credits: Pizzeria Bianco

With a wood-burning oven inhabiting the room, Pizza Bianco is a hugely popular Phoenix pizza chain that has finally made its debut on the West Coast. From their signature New York-style pizzas to focaccia sandwiches, salads, and small plates, this place never ceases to amaze.

Try Pizza Bianco’s Green Slice once, and you’ll forever be a slave! With spinach-cream sauce as its base, this pizza tastes pleasantly fresh, with a light and crisp crust, evenly melted cheese and no oiliness whatsoever.

The Red Slice has a tangy, tart, and sweet tomato sauce base and is topped with a house cheese blend, which comes melted into rich, cheesy, and stringy perfection. The crust, again, is fresh, crispy, airy, and light.

The Sonny Boy is a slightly elevated and bolder version of the classic Margherita. The addition of soppressata and olives adds a rich saltiness to the pizza, which is balanced by the creaminess of the fresh mozzarella.

If you’re ready to try something unique in a pizza, go with the Rosa. Topped with red onion, rosemary, parmigiano, and pistachios, this is a badass pizza that tastes wonderful.

What to order: Green Slice, Red Slice, Sonny Boy, Rosa

Address: 1320 E 7th Street #100, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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For more unique and diverse culinary experiences, visit Long Beach and try out these best Long Beach restaurants.

How We Create Our “Best” Lists

All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.

Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.

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