Los Angeles invented the drive-thru back in the 1940s and has perfected the art ever since. Even though the pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way Angelenos dine, the city’s deep affection for convenience — food served fast and eaten behind the wheel — will never change. From Afro-Mexican pozole to Taiwanese snacks and lobster rolls, here now are 16 drive-thru restaurants going beyond burgers and fries in LA.Read More
16 Drive-Thru Restaurants Going Beyond Burgers and Fries in LA
Afro-Mexican pozole, Taiwanese snacks, lobster rolls, and more — all without stepping out of the car
1. Chuy's Tacos Dorados
Van Nuys’s Chuy’s Tacos Dorados serves hard-shelled tacos and other Mexican-American staples from a simple drive-thru right off Vanowen Street.
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2. Porto's Bakery and Cafe
It’s now possible to get one’s hands on crowd-pleasing guava pastries, potato balls, and tres leches cake without having to wait in line. Just order ahead on Porto’s website and schedule for in-car pick-up at all locations.
3. Ricchardo’s The Total Vegetarian
Pasadena, CA 91104
Located in the former Orean’s Health Express on North Lake Avenue, Ricchardo’s The Total Vegetarian serves vegan fast-food staples like nachos, nuggets, and hot dogs. The drive-thru is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
4. Casa Vega
At Casa Vega, staff carefully place food orders in the trunk or backseat of one’s car. Place orders online or by calling the restaurant directly, then pull up to the driveway off of Ventura Boulevard for pick-up.
5. Pete's Blue Chip
This Eagle Rock institution makes it possible to enjoy classic diner fare on-the-go. On the menu are grilled pork chops, all-day breakfast, club sandwiches, gyros, and more.
6. Habanero Mexican Grill
Mexican comforts reign supreme at San Gabriel’s perpetually busy Habanero Mexican Grill. The combination plates come with rice, beans, and salsa, along with a choice of protein or main course.
7. Boba Ave Express
Arcadia, CA 91007
For a boba fix anytime of day, there’s Boba Ave Express in Arcadia. The drive-thru is open until midnight and serves Taiwanese snacks like popcorn chicken, braised pork, and tea eggs in addition to dozens of drinks.
8. 7 Leaves Cafe
This Little Saigon import serves the best cafe sua da in town. Stop in for a cup of the creamy-sweet house coffee that’s spiked with sweetened condensed milk and served over ice. Also available are Vietnamese che desserts.
9. 1802 Roasters
For those in and around Cypress Park seeking a caffeine hit, head to 1802 Roasters for drive-thru and curbside pick-up daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
10. Joan’s on Third
Joan’s on Third is offering timed pickups in its back alley through the holiday season. Place orders ahead of time and swing by for the goods without having to leave your car.
11. The Donut Hole
Head to the Donut Hole in La Puente to drive through a giant replica of a doughnut while picking up a dozen or two doughnuts to bring home.
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12. Broad Street Oyster Company
For the swankiest drive-thru experience, head to Malibu for oysters, lobster rolls, and takeaway wine from Broad Street Oyster.
13. Maple Block Meat Co.
Maple Block’s COVID set up features both a drive-thru lane and a pick-up lot. Orders can be placed through a third party app or by calling the restaurant directly. Best of all, there’s free popcorn seasoned with everything rub for those waiting for their food.
14. Randy's Donuts
Take in tremendous views of Randy’s iconic doughnut while stocking up on raised glazes, maple bars, and apple fritters at the original location in Inglewood.
15. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
This new pozoleria from chef Maria Elena Lorenzo offers green, red, and white pozoles from La Costa Chica in Guerrero.
16. Shin Sen Gumi 2Go
In addition to Shin Sen Gumi’s signature ramen, the restaurant is offering yakitori, udon, and rice bowls from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.