Downtown LA is packed with buzzy, in-the-moment restaurants, classic fine dining destinations, and comfortable staples. From long-time veteran restaurateurs and flashy celebrity chefs to their more modest tradesmen neighbors, DTLA has attracted a wide range of culinary leaders enticed by the opportunity to push epicurean boundaries and explore new concepts in one of the most interesting dining destinations on the Best Coast.
Have a look at five of Downtown LA's most notable and nosh-able.
GIZMO'S CEREAL BAR
Sugarfit, I'll Admit
Cereal? But I can get that anywhere. Hold onto your spoons soldier, this isn't just your run-of-the-General-Mills breakfast cereal. Gizmo's Cereal Bar has taken the morning staple to creative new heights with a dazzling range of sugar-driven wonders like The Captain Bowl – all six of the current Cap'n Crunch variants in one bowl. What!?!? It's cereal anarchy down here, and breakfast junkies will be over-clocking their CPUs (cereal processing units) as they flood their 'grams with photos of mind-boggling amalgamations of confection and chaos. Lookout! (Saturday morning cartoons not included).
Likelihood of sharing counter space with a live-streaming Topher Grace: 17%
Tacos Get Elevated
In DTLA, there's always time for tacos - even if it isn't Tuesday. Countless blog posts, articles, and reviews have been written on our favorite tortilla-driven delicacies, and choosing a "favorite" taco joint is akin to choosing a faith. We're not here to debate; we just want a kick-ass taco served by nice folks without having to wait in line. Independently owned, Chicas Tacos serves up healthy versions of Southern California street tacos made with organic ingredients and which are "wrapped in love." You'll find all your standards here but they will taste way better than you are expecting. From standard-but-not-standard steak tacos to the shareable Deep Dish Taco and popular party/office spread (the aptly named Fiesta Box), Chicas Tacos will satisfy even the most finicky taco cravings and may just become your new go-to DTLA spot. Don't fill up on chips!
Chances of catching Dax Shepard cleaning spilled salsa off his Stan Smiths: 9%
Keep Coffee Local
Found on a bustling corner on 7th Street's Restaurant Row, across the alley from The Los Angeles Athletic Club, Installation Coffee is a tiny local coffee shop with outsized impact. This small, friendly caffeine depot sits on one of the busier streets of DTLA and is a welcoming place for a world-class coffee. Known for its affable baristas and non-chain vibe, this diminutive-yet-mighty spot delivers precision coffee drinks to DTLA residents in the know. Having a rough day? Pop in for their flagship 50/50 – a tasty blend of high-quality coffee and cacao beans – and watch your worries fade away. This isn't your hurry-up, hurry-up, hurry up caffeine spot so don't expect to race in and out with a "ya basic" coffee. Installation is proud to be the only place in DTLA serving the premium coffees from Ventura's Beacon Coffee – exclusive beans and blends which are "responsibly sourced, thoughtfully roasted." So, do yourself a favor, grab some space by the window, and watch the action in the heart of Downtown with one of the best cups of coffee in DTLA..
Odds of seeing a distracted Jennifer Connelly scroll through selfies while in line: 50/50
Knives with a View
After a week of casual eats and re-purposed left-overs, it's time to elevate your dining game to something more refined. Perched on the 71st floor of the glimmering InterContinental LA Downtown is this top-rated, top-tier steakhouse which boasts French-inspired spins on the classic American steakhouse and has garnered rave reviews from its inception. Anchored by advanced interpretations of standards like New York Strip and Filet Mignon, La Boucherie also boasts an intriguing array of charcuteries and fromages bolstered by a sprawling, hand-picked wine list of over 1,200 delectable types. Special occasion? Reserve a Starlight Booth, enjoy a brilliant sunset, then gaze out at the dazzling city lights while highly trained staff anticipate your every need. With vertiginous views, refined ambiance, and dedication to steak-craft, La Boucherie easily rises above the rest.
Odds of sitting next to Post Malone and watching him take forever to choose the just right steak knife: 7-1
THE NOMAD HOTEL, LOS ANGELES
A Brunch Better Traveled
What was a fun, innocent way to combine a couple meals into a lazy hang-out is now basically dining combat drenched in cheap bottomless mimosas. The NoMad Hotel, Los Angeles steers clear of this quagmire and delivers a more refined experience designed for the discerning bruncher. This popular Downtown destination brings the same high-style flair and fine-tuned care to the brunch menu as it does to its popular dinner and lunch offerings, featuring delicate and delicious choices, such as the lemon-poppy pancakes with whipped ricotta and blueberries and the wild mushroom, spinach, and goat cheese omelet. Yes, yes…Of course you can still get the requisite bubbles, but you'll be treated to more advanced varietals befitting the cuisine. As a bonus, you'll dine under the meticulously restored 1920's Italianate ceiling, surrounded by an understated opulence that can't help but to elevate flavors and heighten senses.
Chances of noticing that LA Kings superstar Anže Kopitar just snuck in the back door: 3%
Faced with myriad options, your greatest dining challenge will likely be having to choose. Lucky for you, we have a comprehensive restaurant guide.