Good Eats in Los Angeles

Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Graham Bishai.

Grand Central Market ($)

317 S. Broadway; (213) 624-2378; grandcentralmarket.com; open daily 8am-10pm, shop hours vary

Call it the hipsterfication of the city food market. All you Instagram-basic, self-obsessed, millennials better get yer phone cameras ready for neon signs galore. This gigantic hall of diverse food vendors explodes with youthful energy, despite the fact that it’s a century old. Over the years, Grand Central Market has changed with its gentrified Downtown LA home. It used to serve mainly working-class Latinos, but its main customer base is much bougier and more white now. You can still get great pupusas and tacos, but you can also pay $8 for a gourmet PB&J, if that’s your jam.

Prices vary; some stalls cash only; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options; wheelchair accessible

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles ($)

1514 N Gower St.; (323) 466-7453; roscoeschickenandwaffles.com; open M-Th 8:30am-midnight, F 8:30am-4am, Sa 8am-4am, Su 8am-midnight

This restaurant has served chicken and waffles since 1975. How do you know it’s good? Just ask Snoop Dogg. Not convinced? Obama has given this restaurant his stamp of approval, you snob. Eager customers form lines around the block for Roscoe’s crispy, well-seasoned drumsticks and thin, buttery waffles. Drench your entire plate in maple syrup (yeah, you definitely didn’t mean for it to come out so fast—your secret’s safe with us) and crunch into that chicken. It’s simple, it’s unpretentious, and it feels just like home.

Chicken and waffles from $9; wheelchair accessible

Bruxie ($)

1412 3rd St. Promenade; (424) 268-9955; bruxie.com; open Su-Th 10am-9pm, F-Sa 10am-10pm

You’ve heard of chicken and waffles. But a chicken and waffle sandwich? And with a fried egg, cheese, and pickles? Whoa there. This fast-casual spot serves up unique takes on familiar favorites, like the inexplicably popular strawberry lemonade, which is great for washing down each gut-busting savory bite. Bruxie spills out onto Santa Monica’s flashy Third Street Promenade, just like the contents of your overstuffed sandwich. You’re not Bill de Blasio, so you can pull out a knife and fork. Although it is LA, so watch out for the paparazzi.

Chicken and waffle sandwiches from $10; wheelchair accessible

Milk Tavern ($$)

528 S Western Ave.; (213) 568-3770; milktavern.com; open M-W 2pm-11:30pm. Th-Sa 2pm-1:30am, Su 2pm-1:30am

You’ve seen the Facebook videos. Milk Tavern is your latest Instagrammable heaven: a cereal bar meets actual bar meets ice cream shop meets adult playground. Choose the breakfast cereal(s) you want blended into your ice cream. If that’s too basic for you, grab an ice cream-stuffed burrito or a rainbow grilled cheese, and wash that down with a champagne ice cream float. The portion sizes are hefty, so bring a friend to share. After all, who else will you will let you win in a game of ping pong? We’re not fooled by the booze in your ice cream—you have a lot of growing up to do.

Desserts from $6; wheelchair accessible

Original Farmers Market

6333 W 3rd St.; (323) 933-9211; farmersmarketla.com; open M-F 9am-9pm, Sa 9am-8pm, Su 10am-7pm

Go hungry. Or don’t, for the sake of your wallet. Originally a farmers market, Original Farmers Market is now a hubbub of comfort food stalls, with everything from the crêpes, ice cream, and doughnuts, to the downright absurd: espresso served in ice cream cone-shaped espresso cups. Fritzi Coop is known for its huge-ass chicken sandwiches stuffed with tater tots. Beyoncé called, and she needs more hot sauce for her bag. Just pop into Light My Fire, the hot sauce store selling hundreds of hot sauces, each with a crazy name and a heat rating. Bob’s Doughnuts serves up fresh baked happiness and delicious lemonade. Insert Beyoncé reference number two here. There’s plenty of places to sit and enjoy the happy energy radiating out from each bite.

Prices vary; some stalls cash only; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options; wheelchair accessible

The Poké Shack ($$)

79 Windward Ave.; (310) 804-5734 ; thepokeshack.com; open daily 11am-10pm

After a day in the Venice Beach sun, grab a bowl of fresh, delicious Poké. At the Poké Shack, they like it raw. That innuendo is theirs, not mine. Poké is a Hawaiian raw fish salad—just think deconstructed sushi with more toppings. The shack has casual counter service, customizable by pointing at what you like. Sit inside or out and admire the famous Venice sign out the door. If poké’s not your thing, grab an açaí bowl and fill up on delicious Technicolor fruit.

Bowls from $11; gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options available; wheelchair accessible

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