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An overhead shot of red sauced grilled chicken atop fries in a takeout container.
Dino’s Famous Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

16 Quality Spots For Fast, Delicious Food in Los Angeles

Forget the usual fast-food, these are the local spots that combine speed and deliciousness all in one package

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Dino’s Famous Chicken
| Wonho Frank Lee

Los Angeles is where fast-food really took off, mainly due to cars, a desire for convenience, and inexpensive ingredients. Thankfully, Angelenos are starting to move past the mega chains like McDonald's and Jack in the Box in favor of smarter quick-service fare, particularly during (and likely beyond) the pandemic. So what is fast, local food? Think quick-service takeaways, speedy meatless burgers on the go, drive-thru spots for tamales, and grab-and-go items from regional markets. Forget the big boys: This is where to eat fast-food right now.

Removed: Bill’s, In-N-Out, Marugame Udon, Lucky Boy, BacoShop, The Habit, Oinkster, Shake Shack, LocoL, South City, Mason’s Dumpling Shop

Added: Tamales Elena, Chori-man, Vowburger, The Hat, Tozai

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Prime Pizza

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603 N Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 736-5120
Visit Website

Prime Pizza is busier than ever these days, owing to some positive Instagram attention and the world’s renewed love of all things sauce, cheese, and dough. The Burbank location has become a mainstay for local families, while the Fairfax shop still turns out slices on the quick, too.

A thin pepperoni slice being pulled away from the whole.
Prime Pizza
Prime Pizza

2. The Hat

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611 W Rte 66
Glendora, CA 91740
(626) 857-0017
Visit Website

It’s all pastrami all the time at the Hat, the Southern California staple that has grown to multiple locations across the region. From sandwiches to loaded fries to burgers topped with shaved pastrami, this is the place for that hearty LA-area fix.

3. Zankou Chicken

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5065 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-7845
Visit Website

This Southern California institution has been slinging high quality Mediterranean food sans freezers and microwaves for over 50 years. There are few more reliable spots that offer falafel sandwiches for such low prices.

4. VOWburger

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519 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 879-9925
Visit Website

Fairfax’s new-ish VOWburger is a lesson in simplicity. The plant-based shop just north of the main drag turns out some of the more reliable non-meat burgers in town, and don’t forget to add on one of their fried ‘chicken’ sandwiches, too.

5. Cassell's Hamburgers

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3600 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 387-5502
Visit Website

Koreatown’s Cassell’s is a history lesson in real time. Hanging signage recalls the longtime former location not far away, though today’s iteration inside the Hotel Normandie is a glossy reminder that times change. Thankfully the well-griddles burgers are as sturdy as ever, lovingly overseen by burger whisperer Christian Page.

Cassell’s cheeseburger with a round and pillowy bun on a red and white checkered paper.
Cassell’s
Wonho Frank Lee

6. Top Round Roast Beef

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1000 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 549-9445
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Where else in LA can one get curly fries, roast beef, and breakfast sandwiches all under the same orange roof? It’s all about convenience and comfort at Top Round, the tiny walk-up spot on the corner of La Brea and Olympic.

7. Dino’s Famous Chicken

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2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3554
Visit Website

Things don’t get much more efficient than at this Pico Blvd. takeaway grilled chicken spot, where styrofoam platters of scorched, marinated birds over thin-cut fries stack up faster than the customers waiting outside can snatch them.

A black grill as a hand reaches in to turn blackened chicken.
Grilling chicken at Dino’s
Wonho Frank Lee

8. Tozai Foods

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1326 Potrero Grande Dr
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 288-5124

From takeaway snacks to staple home goods, Tozai is the spot to be in Rosemead for all things Japanese food. The market/restaurant has long been a part of the area dining landscape, and still today turns out some of the better Japanese eats in town.

A customer waits for food inside of a small Japanese market lined with soy sauce on the shelves.
Tozai pre-pandemic
Farley Elliott

9. The Apple Pan

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10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 475-3585
Visit Website

It's quality forever at this Westwood burger shack, which (now under new ownership) has pivoted successfully to takeout during the pandemic, and now even accepts credit cards. The hickory and steak burgers are Midwestern-style classics, but Angelenos have adopted the burgers and pies here like their own.

Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

10. Los Cinco Puntos

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3300 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90063
(323) 261-4084
Visit Website

An East LA carnitas institution, Los Cinco Puntos has been turning out tacos and meats by the pound for decades. With no indoor seating, you’ll have to perch on the ledge outside, or better yet buy a bag of to-go tortillas and enjoy at home.

11. Loqui

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8830 Washington Blvd #104
Culver City, CA 90232

Loqui’s flour tortillas predate the city’s current craze. The restaurant’s original days as an SF-based Tartine pop-up have transformed into not just this Culver City staple stop, but a collection of restaurants that stretches from the Arts District now to Playa Vista.

An overhead shot of flour tortilla tacos in paper boats.
Loqui
Loqui

12. Earle's

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3864 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 299-2867
Visit Website

The former Earlez Grill operated for 25 years, and relaunched in early 2017 as Earle’s Grill. The Crenshaw location touts customized all-beef dogs, but has spicy links, and turkey dogs. The owners just added Beyond Meat as a vegan option, and there’s always the Jamaican patties.

A chili dog from Earle’s Grill
A super saucy chili dog
Farley Elliott

13. HiHo Cheeseburger

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1320 2nd St B
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 469-7250
Visit Website

HiHo Cheeseburger is a certified sensation, opening across Los Angeles with double-pattied wagyu burgers made for the masses. Don’t sleep on the fried chicken sandwich, either.

A double cheeseburger on a wooden table with lettuce on top.
HiHo Cheeseburger
Fried Chicken Sandwich Studios

14. Tito's Tacos Mexican Restaurant

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11222 Washington Pl
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 391-5780
Visit Website

This Westside taco spot makes tasty crunchy tacos and gut-busting bean burritos. Sure the wait can get long during prime hours (even now), but otherwise, it's an affordable meal on the go with a heavy dose of nostalgia.

Tito's Tacos Matthew Kang

15. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

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8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 674-3043
Visit Website

The city is currently in love with Tamales Elena’s new setup, a drive-thru window in Bell Gardens that offers tamales and small snacks on the go.

Banana leaf tamales from Tamales Elena.
Tamales Elena
Wonho Frank Lee

16. The Chori-Man

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2309 S Alma St
San Pedro, CA 90731
(424) 287-2414
Visit Website

San Pedro’s beloved Chori-Man turns out breakfast burritos and other hot foods in a flash, though an equal number of customers are likely coming for the takeaway meats too, all made and in house.

Chorizo breakfast burrito from The Chori-Man.
A chorizo-heavy breakfast burrito.
Farley Elliott

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1. Prime Pizza

603 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
A thin pepperoni slice being pulled away from the whole.
Prime Pizza
Prime Pizza

Prime Pizza is busier than ever these days, owing to some positive Instagram attention and the world’s renewed love of all things sauce, cheese, and dough. The Burbank location has become a mainstay for local families, while the Fairfax shop still turns out slices on the quick, too.

603 N Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505

2. The Hat

611 W Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740

It’s all pastrami all the time at the Hat, the Southern California staple that has grown to multiple locations across the region. From sandwiches to loaded fries to burgers topped with shaved pastrami, this is the place for that hearty LA-area fix.

611 W Rte 66
Glendora, CA 91740

3. Zankou Chicken

5065 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

This Southern California institution has been slinging high quality Mediterranean food sans freezers and microwaves for over 50 years. There are few more reliable spots that offer falafel sandwiches for such low prices.

5065 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

4. VOWburger

519 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Fairfax’s new-ish VOWburger is a lesson in simplicity. The plant-based shop just north of the main drag turns out some of the more reliable non-meat burgers in town, and don’t forget to add on one of their fried ‘chicken’ sandwiches, too.

519 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

5. Cassell's Hamburgers

3600 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Cassell’s cheeseburger with a round and pillowy bun on a red and white checkered paper.
Cassell’s
Wonho Frank Lee

Koreatown’s Cassell’s is a history lesson in real time. Hanging signage recalls the longtime former location not far away, though today’s iteration inside the Hotel Normandie is a glossy reminder that times change. Thankfully the well-griddles burgers are as sturdy as ever, lovingly overseen by burger whisperer Christian Page.

3600 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

6. Top Round Roast Beef

1000 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Where else in LA can one get curly fries, roast beef, and breakfast sandwiches all under the same orange roof? It’s all about convenience and comfort at Top Round, the tiny walk-up spot on the corner of La Brea and Olympic.

1000 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

7. Dino’s Famous Chicken

2575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
A black grill as a hand reaches in to turn blackened chicken.
Grilling chicken at Dino’s
Wonho Frank Lee

Things don’t get much more efficient than at this Pico Blvd. takeaway grilled chicken spot, where styrofoam platters of scorched, marinated birds over thin-cut fries stack up faster than the customers waiting outside can snatch them.

2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

8. Tozai Foods

1326 Potrero Grande Dr, Rosemead, CA 91770
A customer waits for food inside of a small Japanese market lined with soy sauce on the shelves.
Tozai pre-pandemic
Farley Elliott

From takeaway snacks to staple home goods, Tozai is the spot to be in Rosemead for all things Japanese food. The market/restaurant has long been a part of the area dining landscape, and still today turns out some of the better Japanese eats in town.

1326 Potrero Grande Dr
Rosemead, CA 91770

9. The Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

It's quality forever at this Westwood burger shack, which (now under new ownership) has pivoted successfully to takeout during the pandemic, and now even accepts credit cards. The hickory and steak burgers are Midwestern-style classics, but Angelenos have adopted the burgers and pies here like their own.

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

10. Los Cinco Puntos

3300 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90063

An East LA carnitas institution, Los Cinco Puntos has been turning out tacos and meats by the pound for decades. With no indoor seating, you’ll have to perch on the ledge outside, or better yet buy a bag of to-go tortillas and enjoy at home.

3300 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90063

11. Loqui

8830 Washington Blvd #104, Culver City, CA 90232
An overhead shot of flour tortilla tacos in paper boats.
Loqui
Loqui

Loqui’s flour tortillas predate the city’s current craze. The restaurant’s original days as an SF-based Tartine pop-up have transformed into not just this Culver City staple stop, but a collection of restaurants that stretches from the Arts District now to Playa Vista.

8830 Washington Blvd #104
Culver City, CA 90232

12. Earle's

3864 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008
A chili dog from Earle’s Grill
A super saucy chili dog
Farley Elliott

The former Earlez Grill operated for 25 years, and relaunched in early 2017 as Earle’s Grill. The Crenshaw location touts customized all-beef dogs, but has spicy links, and turkey dogs. The owners just added Beyond Meat as a vegan option, and there’s always the Jamaican patties.

3864 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008

13. HiHo Cheeseburger

1320 2nd St B, Santa Monica, CA 90401
A double cheeseburger on a wooden table with lettuce on top.
HiHo Cheeseburger
Fried Chicken Sandwich Studios

HiHo Cheeseburger is a certified sensation, opening across Los Angeles with double-pattied wagyu burgers made for the masses. Don’t sleep on the fried chicken sandwich, either.

1320 2nd St B
Santa Monica, CA 90401

14. Tito's Tacos Mexican Restaurant

11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90230
Tito's Tacos Matthew Kang

This Westside taco spot makes tasty crunchy tacos and gut-busting bean burritos. Sure the wait can get long during prime hours (even now), but otherwise, it's an affordable meal on the go with a heavy dose of nostalgia.

11222 Washington Pl
Culver City, CA 90230

15. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

8101 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Banana leaf tamales from Tamales Elena.
Tamales Elena
Wonho Frank Lee

The city is currently in love with Tamales Elena’s new setup, a drive-thru window in Bell Gardens that offers tamales and small snacks on the go.

8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

Related Maps

16. The Chori-Man

2309 S Alma St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Chorizo breakfast burrito from The Chori-Man.
A chorizo-heavy breakfast burrito.
Farley Elliott

San Pedro’s beloved Chori-Man turns out breakfast burritos and other hot foods in a flash, though an equal number of customers are likely coming for the takeaway meats too, all made and in house.

2309 S Alma St
San Pedro, CA 90731

Related Maps