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A Downtown LA skyline view at Leña restaurant in Downtown.
The dining room of Leña in Downtown LA.
Wonho Frank Lee

18 Superb Downtown Los Angeles Restaurants

Where to eat LA’s central business and cultural district

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The dining room of Leña in Downtown LA.
| Wonho Frank Lee

There’s much to eat in the heart of Downtown LA — the official city center that spans from Bunker Hill to South Park and the Historic Core. The area caters to a mix of urban dwellers, businesses in the Financial District, and visitors to Crypto.com Arena, L.A. Live, Peacock Theater, and the L.A. Convention Center. The result is a colorful dining scene that includes upscale and affordable options, along with plenty of spots to help fuel big nights out. Here are 18 outstanding places to eat in Downtown Los Angeles.

Note: For restaurants in the Arts District, see the Essential Arts District map; for restaurants in Chinatown, check out the Essential Chinatown map; and for delicious things to eat in Little Tokyo, check out this guide.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

San Laurel

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Renowned chef José Andrés doesn’t mettle with the formula at the Conrad hotel’s San Laurel, a restaurant perched high above Grand Avenue across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Most nights, the place gets packed for pre-theater diners and monied folks who can handle the high prices. But those looking for a polished, thoughtful meal with Spanish influences should look no further than this grown-up dining room. The tasting menu is a good option for those who pine for the days of Andrés’s Bazaar and Saam restaurants in Beverly Hills, offering tremendous views of the open kitchen.

A Spanish-style preparation of shrimp with garlic in olive oil.
Gambas al ajillo at San Laurel in Downtown.
Matthew Kang

Former French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s nearly decade-old restaurant serves beautifully executed modern American dishes, like Ora king salmon tartare with tamaki rice, spinach bucatini with bacon and clams, and grilled petrale sole with yeasted beurre blanc. In this part of Bunker Hill, it’s hard to think of a more elegant place for a cocktail at the bar or a romantic date night

Badmaash

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Downtown’s Bollywood-meets-pop-art gastropub serves modern takes on Indian classics. Founded by chef Pawan Mahendro and sons Nakul and Arjun, Badmaash translates to “naughty,” with a menu that reflects both the brothers’ Indian heritage and childhood in Toronto with dishes like chicken tikka poutine.

Spread from Badmaash
Badmaash
Facebook

Kwang Uh and Mina Park of Baroo fame opened Shiku inside Grand Central Market in 2021, with a menu of quality Korean home cooking at affordable prices. One can never have a bad meal here; just order the fried chicken or deep-fried pyogo mushrooms, or the dorisak of popular proteins like LA galbi, andong soy-braised chicken, or kimchi-braised pork belly.

Sarita's Pupuseria

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This long-standing Grand Central Market vendor specializing in pupusas fills the griddled Salvadoran staple with traditional ingredients like beans and cheese, the classic loroco and cheese, and a range of meats. Don’t sleep on the substantial breakfast plates or fried yucca topped with crispy chicharron.

Salvadoran pupusas at Sarita’s Pupuseria
A pupusa from Sarita’s.

Downtown LA’s Niku X is all about excess with a focus on yakiniku (Japanese grilled meats). Chef Shin Thompson, who had a lengthy career in Chicago including Furious Spoon ramen and Michelin-starred Bonsoirée, helms the upscale restaurant on the second floor of the Intercontinental Hotel serving flaming tomahawk steak tasting menus on one side, and an 11-course yakiniku tasting on the other. Either will run a pretty penny, but expect extravagant and well-cooked meat from start to finish.

Caviar with uni at Niku X restaurant in Los Angeles.
Caviar dish with uni from Niku X.
22 Black Box

Orsa & Winston

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Josef Centeno’s restrained Downtown LA restaurant features a reasonably priced $125 five-course tasting menu that balances finesse and quality of ingredients. With food influenced by Japanese and European flavors, Orsa & Winston is the place that captures a specific kind of fine dining that doesn’t feel too stuffy or unapproachable, and it seems the Michelin guide agrees, continuing to award the restaurant with a star year after year.

Leña at Sendero

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The huge 24th-floor dining complex at Sendero exhibits chef Kevin Luzande’s varied influences, from the more casual seafood spot Corteza to the formal-leaning Argentine-style steakhouse Leña. Both offer incredible views of Downtown and beyond. Beef fans will love Leña’s various prime and wagyu offerings, while those looking for a balanced meal can expect polished starters. Try the wagyu beef carpaccio with black truffles or opt for chori-pan stuffed with chorizo, cauliflower escabeche, chimichurri, and aged cheddar.

Leather banquette seating at Leña restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
Dining room of Leña at Sendero.
Wonho Frank Lee

The Exchange

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Consider the Exchange inside the Freehand hotel a sneaky Downtown hit. The intimate dining room serves Israeli and other Levantine-inflected dishes from talented chef Narita Santos, who isn’t afraid to pepper in global influences. The results are well-crafted, seasonally appropriate food that pops with flavor. The restaurant’s quirky ’70s-inspired decor keeps the vibe loose.

An overhead look at a big round table with fried fish at center and colorful plates surrounding.
Dishes from the Exchange at the Freehand in Downtown.
The Exchange

Holy Basil

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Downtown LA kiosk Holy Basil is serving some of the best Thai street food in the city. This Historic Core gem is somewhat of a revelation for Thai food fans, serving everything from cold hand-pressed tofu, to gorgeous tom yum, green curry, and fried noodles. Check out the Thursday to Saturday seafood specials.

Sonoratown

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Sonoratown is easily one of the top taco spots in town, serving smoky grilled meats atop perfect flour tortillas in this busy Downtown shop. Order the chivichanga with shredded beef and wonder why something so delicious isn’t available in every neighborhood in town. Those in the know order the costillas burrito (chopped grilled beef steak) with extra diced poblano chiles.

Sonoratown’s flour tortilla taco with guacamole salsa on top.
Sonoratown.
Farley Elliott

Pine and Crane

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LA’s most popular Taiwanese restaurant opened its Downtown location in 2022. It’s a blend of the Silver Lake original location and owner Vivian Ku’s Joy in Highland Park, with a menu that features daikon rice cakes, fan tuan, thousand-layer pancakes, pan-fried buns, beef rolls, and lots of noodle and rice dishes. It’s the ideal neighborhood restaurant for South Park denizens with service from breakfast through dinner.

A sunny semi-shaded patio at daytime.
The patio at Pine and Crane in Downtown.
Matthew Kang

Maison Kasai

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No one knew what to expect from a lavish rendition of teppanyaki, but Joshua Gil, an accomplished fine dining and modern Mexican chef, has pulled off something that balances one of LA’s flashiest dining experiences with top-quality preparations. Maison Kasai operates as one of multiple restaurants inside Level 8, an eye-catching production by Mark and Jonnie Houston. Maison Kasai weaves traditional teppanyaki elements of steel-top grilled meats and seafood with one of the best Benihana-inspired fried rice finishes anywhere. Expect plenty of opportunities to post Instagram gold.

Joshua Gil finishes a lobster dish with a cloche at Maison Kasai.
Joshua Gil cooks lobster at Maison Kasai.
Andrea d’Agosto

Qué Bárbaro

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Ray Garcia’s South American-inflected grill restaurant stands as the most everyday but still date night-worthy destination inside Level 8, an impressive nightlife and eating spot at the AC/Moxy hotel complex just across from Crypto.com Arena. Here, Garcia starts the meal with a skillet of molten cheese and tomato, finishing with grilled picanha and shrimp. The cocktails are stellar too.

A hand holds bread over a long pull of griddled cheese in a pan at new Que Barbaro in Los Angeles.
Provaleta at Qué Bárbaro.
Andrea D’Agosto

Caldo Verde

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LA restaurant veterans Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have another hit on their hands with Caldo Verde. Located on the ground floor of the Proper Hotel, the restaurant explores the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula, particularly Portugal, while never losing its California essence. The caldo verde (the restaurant’s namesake dish) — arrives in a cauldron brimming with sausages, seafood, potatoes, and kale — comforts like few stews can. If time allows, sneak in an expertly made cocktail at Dahila Lounge next door.

Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Rossoblu

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Steve and Dina Samson’s enduring Northern Italian restaurant continues to prepare some of the best, well-rounded cooking in the city. Rustic wood-fired dishes complement the incredible handmade pasta like the lobster risotto with mascarpone and English peas. It’s all served inside one of the most impressive high-ceiling dining rooms in the city.

Tagliatelle with a beef-and-pork ragu at Rossoblu in Downtown.
Tagliatelle with a beef-and-pork ragu at Rossoblu in Downtown.
Rossoblu

Pizzeria Bianco

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Famed Phoenix chef Chris Bianco has taken a while to figure out his exact setup in Los Angeles, but it seems both the pizzeria and nearby Pane Bianco have settled into their respective rhythms. The pizzeria serves Bianco’s wood-fired pizzas with light Italian appetizers and sides, while Pane Bianco serves New York City-style slices, square slices, and sandwiches. Expect excellence all around, with simple but fresh ingredients prepared in a minimalist fashion.

The industrial dining room, adorned with paintings by Chris Bianco’s father, at Pizzeria Bianco.
Pizzeria Bianco Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kato remains a destination for its elegant, Taiwanese-influenced tasting menus. Reservations are hard to score, plus there’s a $275 price tag ($170 for the bar tasting menu) for dishes like A5 strip loin grilled and served with potatoes, black garlic, and braised tendon in a beautiful, understated dining room. Given its recent ascension back to the top of the Los Angeles Times “101 Best Restaurants” list and its continued Michelin star rating, it’s clear the critics have anointed Kato as one of the best places to eat in the city.

Tile fish with basil at Kato in Downtown.
Tile fish with basil at Kato in Downtown.
Wonho Frank Lee

San Laurel

Renowned chef José Andrés doesn’t mettle with the formula at the Conrad hotel’s San Laurel, a restaurant perched high above Grand Avenue across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Most nights, the place gets packed for pre-theater diners and monied folks who can handle the high prices. But those looking for a polished, thoughtful meal with Spanish influences should look no further than this grown-up dining room. The tasting menu is a good option for those who pine for the days of Andrés’s Bazaar and Saam restaurants in Beverly Hills, offering tremendous views of the open kitchen.

A Spanish-style preparation of shrimp with garlic in olive oil.
Gambas al ajillo at San Laurel in Downtown.
Matthew Kang

Otium

Former French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s nearly decade-old restaurant serves beautifully executed modern American dishes, like Ora king salmon tartare with tamaki rice, spinach bucatini with bacon and clams, and grilled petrale sole with yeasted beurre blanc. In this part of Bunker Hill, it’s hard to think of a more elegant place for a cocktail at the bar or a romantic date night

Badmaash

Downtown’s Bollywood-meets-pop-art gastropub serves modern takes on Indian classics. Founded by chef Pawan Mahendro and sons Nakul and Arjun, Badmaash translates to “naughty,” with a menu that reflects both the brothers’ Indian heritage and childhood in Toronto with dishes like chicken tikka poutine.

Spread from Badmaash
Badmaash
Facebook

Shiku

Kwang Uh and Mina Park of Baroo fame opened Shiku inside Grand Central Market in 2021, with a menu of quality Korean home cooking at affordable prices. One can never have a bad meal here; just order the fried chicken or deep-fried pyogo mushrooms, or the dorisak of popular proteins like LA galbi, andong soy-braised chicken, or kimchi-braised pork belly.

Sarita's Pupuseria

This long-standing Grand Central Market vendor specializing in pupusas fills the griddled Salvadoran staple with traditional ingredients like beans and cheese, the classic loroco and cheese, and a range of meats. Don’t sleep on the substantial breakfast plates or fried yucca topped with crispy chicharron.

Salvadoran pupusas at Sarita’s Pupuseria
A pupusa from Sarita’s.

Niku X

Downtown LA’s Niku X is all about excess with a focus on yakiniku (Japanese grilled meats). Chef Shin Thompson, who had a lengthy career in Chicago including Furious Spoon ramen and Michelin-starred Bonsoirée, helms the upscale restaurant on the second floor of the Intercontinental Hotel serving flaming tomahawk steak tasting menus on one side, and an 11-course yakiniku tasting on the other. Either will run a pretty penny, but expect extravagant and well-cooked meat from start to finish.

Caviar with uni at Niku X restaurant in Los Angeles.
Caviar dish with uni from Niku X.
22 Black Box

Orsa & Winston

Josef Centeno’s restrained Downtown LA restaurant features a reasonably priced $125 five-course tasting menu that balances finesse and quality of ingredients. With food influenced by Japanese and European flavors, Orsa & Winston is the place that captures a specific kind of fine dining that doesn’t feel too stuffy or unapproachable, and it seems the Michelin guide agrees, continuing to award the restaurant with a star year after year.

Leña at Sendero

The huge 24th-floor dining complex at Sendero exhibits chef Kevin Luzande’s varied influences, from the more casual seafood spot Corteza to the formal-leaning Argentine-style steakhouse Leña. Both offer incredible views of Downtown and beyond. Beef fans will love Leña’s various prime and wagyu offerings, while those looking for a balanced meal can expect polished starters. Try the wagyu beef carpaccio with black truffles or opt for chori-pan stuffed with chorizo, cauliflower escabeche, chimichurri, and aged cheddar.

Leather banquette seating at Leña restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
Dining room of Leña at Sendero.
Wonho Frank Lee

The Exchange

Consider the Exchange inside the Freehand hotel a sneaky Downtown hit. The intimate dining room serves Israeli and other Levantine-inflected dishes from talented chef Narita Santos, who isn’t afraid to pepper in global influences. The results are well-crafted, seasonally appropriate food that pops with flavor. The restaurant’s quirky ’70s-inspired decor keeps the vibe loose.

An overhead look at a big round table with fried fish at center and colorful plates surrounding.
Dishes from the Exchange at the Freehand in Downtown.
The Exchange

Holy Basil

Downtown LA kiosk Holy Basil is serving some of the best Thai street food in the city. This Historic Core gem is somewhat of a revelation for Thai food fans, serving everything from cold hand-pressed tofu, to gorgeous tom yum, green curry, and fried noodles. Check out the Thursday to Saturday seafood specials.

Sonoratown

Sonoratown is easily one of the top taco spots in town, serving smoky grilled meats atop perfect flour tortillas in this busy Downtown shop. Order the chivichanga with shredded beef and wonder why something so delicious isn’t available in every neighborhood in town. Those in the know order the costillas burrito (chopped grilled beef steak) with extra diced poblano chiles.

Sonoratown’s flour tortilla taco with guacamole salsa on top.
Sonoratown.
Farley Elliott

Pine and Crane

LA’s most popular Taiwanese restaurant opened its Downtown location in 2022. It’s a blend of the Silver Lake original location and owner Vivian Ku’s Joy in Highland Park, with a menu that features daikon rice cakes, fan tuan, thousand-layer pancakes, pan-fried buns, beef rolls, and lots of noodle and rice dishes. It’s the ideal neighborhood restaurant for South Park denizens with service from breakfast through dinner.

A sunny semi-shaded patio at daytime.
The patio at Pine and Crane in Downtown.
Matthew Kang

Maison Kasai

No one knew what to expect from a lavish rendition of teppanyaki, but Joshua Gil, an accomplished fine dining and modern Mexican chef, has pulled off something that balances one of LA’s flashiest dining experiences with top-quality preparations. Maison Kasai operates as one of multiple restaurants inside Level 8, an eye-catching production by Mark and Jonnie Houston. Maison Kasai weaves traditional teppanyaki elements of steel-top grilled meats and seafood with one of the best Benihana-inspired fried rice finishes anywhere. Expect plenty of opportunities to post Instagram gold.

Joshua Gil finishes a lobster dish with a cloche at Maison Kasai.
Joshua Gil cooks lobster at Maison Kasai.
Andrea d’Agosto

Qué Bárbaro

Ray Garcia’s South American-inflected grill restaurant stands as the most everyday but still date night-worthy destination inside Level 8, an impressive nightlife and eating spot at the AC/Moxy hotel complex just across from Crypto.com Arena. Here, Garcia starts the meal with a skillet of molten cheese and tomato, finishing with grilled picanha and shrimp. The cocktails are stellar too.

A hand holds bread over a long pull of griddled cheese in a pan at new Que Barbaro in Los Angeles.
Provaleta at Qué Bárbaro.
Andrea D’Agosto

Caldo Verde

LA restaurant veterans Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have another hit on their hands with Caldo Verde. Located on the ground floor of the Proper Hotel, the restaurant explores the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula, particularly Portugal, while never losing its California essence. The caldo verde (the restaurant’s namesake dish) — arrives in a cauldron brimming with sausages, seafood, potatoes, and kale — comforts like few stews can. If time allows, sneak in an expertly made cocktail at Dahila Lounge next door.

Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Related Maps

Rossoblu

Steve and Dina Samson’s enduring Northern Italian restaurant continues to prepare some of the best, well-rounded cooking in the city. Rustic wood-fired dishes complement the incredible handmade pasta like the lobster risotto with mascarpone and English peas. It’s all served inside one of the most impressive high-ceiling dining rooms in the city.

Tagliatelle with a beef-and-pork ragu at Rossoblu in Downtown.
Tagliatelle with a beef-and-pork ragu at Rossoblu in Downtown.
Rossoblu

Pizzeria Bianco

Famed Phoenix chef Chris Bianco has taken a while to figure out his exact setup in Los Angeles, but it seems both the pizzeria and nearby Pane Bianco have settled into their respective rhythms. The pizzeria serves Bianco’s wood-fired pizzas with light Italian appetizers and sides, while Pane Bianco serves New York City-style slices, square slices, and sandwiches. Expect excellence all around, with simple but fresh ingredients prepared in a minimalist fashion.

The industrial dining room, adorned with paintings by Chris Bianco’s father, at Pizzeria Bianco.
Pizzeria Bianco Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kato

Kato remains a destination for its elegant, Taiwanese-influenced tasting menus. Reservations are hard to score, plus there’s a $275 price tag ($170 for the bar tasting menu) for dishes like A5 strip loin grilled and served with potatoes, black garlic, and braised tendon in a beautiful, understated dining room. Given its recent ascension back to the top of the Los Angeles Times “101 Best Restaurants” list and its continued Michelin star rating, it’s clear the critics have anointed Kato as one of the best places to eat in the city.

Tile fish with basil at Kato in Downtown.
Tile fish with basil at Kato in Downtown.
Wonho Frank Lee

Related Maps