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A makeshift drive-thru at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
A makeshift drive-thru at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
[Official Photo]

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

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A makeshift drive-thru at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
| [Official Photo]

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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chuy's Tacos Dorados

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14557 Vanowen St
Van Nuys, CA 91405
(747) 264-1662
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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.

A tray full of tacos.
Chuy’s Tacos Dorados
Farley Elliott

2. Porto's Bakery and Cafe

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3614 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 846-9100
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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

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817 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 765-9638

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

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13301 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-4868
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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

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1701 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 478-9022
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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

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9003 E Fairview Ave
San Gabriel, CA 91775
(626) 286-1914
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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

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1437 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 641-8090

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

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151 N Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 782-7775
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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

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1206 N, Cypress Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 352-8805
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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

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8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-2285
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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

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15300 Amar Rd
La Puente, CA 91744
(626) 968-2912
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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.

12. Broad Street Oyster Company

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23359 CA-1 #3874A
Malibu, CA 90265
(424) 644-0131
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For the swankiest drive-thru experience, head to Malibu for oysters, lobster rolls, and takeaway wine from Broad Street Oyster.

Broad Street Oyster Company
Broad Street Oyster Company
Farley Elliott

13. Maple Block Meat Co.

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3973 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 313-6328
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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

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805 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 645-4707
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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

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8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 674-3043
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This new pozoleria from chef Maria Elena Lorenzo offers green, red, and white pozoles from La Costa Chica in Guerrero.

Green pozole from Tamales Elena y Antojitos in Bell Gardens being held.
Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
Wonho Frank Lee

16. Shin Sen Gumi 2Go

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1695 Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 532-0728
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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.

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1. Chuy's Tacos Dorados

14557 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 91405
A tray full of tacos.
Chuy’s Tacos Dorados
Farley Elliott

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.

14557 Vanowen St
Van Nuys, CA 91405

2. Porto's Bakery and Cafe

3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

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.

3614 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

3. Ricchardo’s The Total Vegetarian

817 N Lake Ave, 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.

817 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104

4. Casa Vega

13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

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.

13301 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

5. Pete's Blue Chip

1701 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

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.

1701 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

6. Habanero Mexican Grill

9003 E Fairview Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91775

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.

9003 E Fairview Ave
San Gabriel, CA 91775

7. Boba Ave Express

1437 S Baldwin Ave, 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.

1437 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

8. 7 Leaves Cafe

151 N Garfield Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

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.

151 N Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801

9. 1802 Roasters

1206 N, Cypress Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90065

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.

1206 N, Cypress Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90065

10. Joan’s on Third

8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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.

8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

11. The Donut Hole

15300 Amar Rd, La Puente, CA 91744

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.

15300 Amar Rd
La Puente, CA 91744

12. Broad Street Oyster Company

23359 CA-1 #3874A, Malibu, CA 90265
Broad Street Oyster Company
Broad Street Oyster Company
Farley Elliott

For the swankiest drive-thru experience, head to Malibu for oysters, lobster rolls, and takeaway wine from Broad Street Oyster.

23359 CA-1 #3874A
Malibu, CA 90265

13. Maple Block Meat Co.

3973 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

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.

3973 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230

14. Randy's Donuts

805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

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.

805 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301

15. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

8101 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Green pozole from Tamales Elena y Antojitos in Bell Gardens being held.
Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
Wonho Frank Lee

This new pozoleria from chef Maria Elena Lorenzo offers green, red, and white pozoles from La Costa Chica in Guerrero.

8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

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16. Shin Sen Gumi 2Go

1695 Artesia Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248

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.

1695 Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248

Related Maps