Downtown Los Angeles Lunch

Hey folks. Any recommendations for lunch in downtown LA? I have a friend visiting from SF who works in the food industry and has asked me where we should dine. I feel like DTLA has soooooo many food options and I don’t know where to begin. What are your favorites? Not too $$$$, but willing to spend more than typical for lunch.

cheeseburger at belcampo in grand central market followed by a bang at:
little sister
orsa & winston
guerrilla tacos


Thank you. I was thinking Little Sister looked good, but I’ve seen mixed reviews. Maybe going to GCM is the best option, so there’s choices, but I’m not sure if he’s up for such a casual atmosphere.

GCM should definitely be a stop to at least look around, then you can go somewhere else for a more formal lunch.

I love Wood Spoon.

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Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse
Orsa & Winston

What does LA do better than SF?

Tacos! (Amongst other things)

Guerrilla Tacos would be good when it makes its rounds to a Arts District coffeeshop. Very unique. You bang it up with Tacos Quetzalcoatl with the best veggie tacos and lamb tacos (make sure to ask for the consomme!!!)
I believe Mariscos Jalisco has a Downtown truck, those shrimp dorado tacos are a LA must and while we are it get a tostada.

Those 3 taco places I consider the best of the best in the city. Maybe a night trip to South Central for the best carne asada and Mid-City for al pastor to fully appreciate our tacos.

Marugame Monzo for udon. Suehiro for homestyle Japanese comfort food. Daikokuya or Shin Sen for ramen. Kinjiro at night for one of the best izakayas in the city.

I know you said Downtown but Koreatown and Langers is a short Red Line ride. And Chinatown is a walk away or a short bus ride. Hard to ignore the best pastrami, the seemingly endless offerings of Korean, and one of the most diverse neighborhoods for food: Cantonese, New Orleans, Vietnamese, Nashville, Thai (LAX-C and E-Sea not Pok Pok lol), LA French Dips, U-Shape Diner Counter (I can’t be the only one here that likes Nicks), Merica’! Cheeseburgers, Hong Kong Western, fresh orange juice and jugos from a cart, fresh sugarcane juice.

Grand Central Market is a must for visitors.
Out of all the fancy coffee places I like G&B the best! The almond and macadamia nut ice latte is very good. The Fizzy Hoppy Tea is also a favorite. Or just ask the baristas to whip you up their favorites. I have always had wonderful service here.
Belcampo’s for a burger but your friend may have already had it up north.
I like Sticky Rice’s bbq chicken, always been moist and flavorful.
McConnell’s Sea Salt Cream and Cookies, get a scoop or two. I didn’t like Horse Thief. Saritas for a appetizer of pupusas if your friend has never had it. Eggslut, if the line is only on the side of the register, why not. If you are willing to wait grab a taco from the carnitas place, Las Morelianas, get it with all the off cuts. If you want a beer skip Golden Road and head next door to La Cita!

I also like Kazunori for a quick bite of handrolls.


You really love this city. It really is great. Some on this board could run with JGold when it comes to knowing and loving L.A.

I was vetoed on Daikokuya the other night. I got “The line will be too crazy. We’ll miss La La Land.” Instead we had a surprisingly delicious dine/LA at Cleo’s L.A. Live - report coming.

Still looking forward to @PorkyBelly’s fave Kinjiro. Maybe I’ll just have to go alone.

Good stuff @JeetKuneBao

Little Sister, Baco Mercat, Orsa & Winston. Maybe don’t eat at Clifton’s but it’s worth a detour to take a look.

I had some great stuff at Little Sister but read the reviews to know what to avoid.

Unfortunately none of these are downtown, but what does LA have that SF doesn’t?

  • Oaxacan and some other regional Mexican cuisines
  • Petit Trois: un-Americanized classic French bistro
  • Chi Spacca
  • Langer’s pastrami sandwich (five-minute Metro ride from DTLA)
  • Baroo (changed much with Kwang Uh on sabbatical?)
  • Xi’an Chinese

What does LA do better than SF?

  • sushi
  • Thai (Jitlada, Sapp, and Luv2Eat are a 20- or 25-minute Metro ride)
  • Japanese (short ride from downtown on Lyft)
  • Oaxacan and some other regional Mexican cuisines
  • Korean

We have great tacos here now but Guisados is great (don’t order the toreados, that’s a stupid gimmick).


Agree with sushi and Korean. L.A. Has a more mature history with these cuisines.

I think there have been Japanese and Korean restaurants in SF as long as there have been in LA. I think the key difference is that LA has much larger Korean and Japanese populations.


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There are too many choices to list. My favorite lunch place by far is Drago Centro, but I don’t think of it as a destination lunch. Often I take out-of-towners to Grand Central Market. Another lovely spot is the patio at Maccheroni Republic.

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Bumping for 2020… I am doing an informal DTLA lunch during a weekday with a friend. All cuisines, all budgets. My friend is on the healthy eating side (but OK with cheating if the food is worth it). Thanks in advance!

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yuko kitchen & soup bar

(with healthy eating in mind)

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Informal meaning casual or not business?

bumping this!

My office moved locations during the pandemic, and is now located right off Pershing Square. Does anyone have post-pandemic favored lunch time eating spots? I’m talking for a normal day, not necessarily business entertaining. There’s a pizza slice place on 6th that’s okay. I’ve had Pitchoun and Tender Greens as well, and no big complaints, but not particularly compelling, yet.

In addition, I’ll be purchasing my small team lunch tomorrow to eat in a space that does not have its own catering. (Also near Pershing) I’d like to keep it to $20-25/pp, and I’d really like to order in the morning for pick up or delivery. The Tender Greens suggestion has been met with derision. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

petite peso


Grand Central Market is only two blocks away.

Looking south of you, Colori Kitchen is one of my go-to’s in that area.