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A steaming bowl of beef pho at Pho Filet in South El Monte.
A steaming bowl of beef pho at Pho Filet in South El Monte.
Cathy Chaplin

20 Satisfying Soups to Keep You Cozy in Los Angeles

Matzo ball soup, Vietnamese pho, and clam chowder

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A steaming bowl of beef pho at Pho Filet in South El Monte.
| Cathy Chaplin

Feel that slight chill in the air? That’s fall in Southern California. There is only one food solution when reaching for a hoodie and a scarf, and that’s to warm up with a satisfying bowl of soup. From chowder to menudo and Cambodian noodle soup, here now are 20 of LA's finest to keep cozy this season, presented from north to south.

Added: Curry vegetable soup at Ackee Bamboo, seafood gumbo at Boujie Crab, wonton noodle soup at Pine & Crane, matzo ball soup at Daughter’s Deli, clam chowder at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe, Avgolemono at Papa Cristo’s Greek Grill, house special at Phnom Penh Noodle Shack, menudo from Mr. Menudo

Removed: Aush reshteh at Attari Sandwich Shop, Matzo ball soup at Greenblatt’s Deli (closed), Gumbo at Cafe Creole (closed), Pav bhaji at Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se (closed), La Abeja

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bone Broth at Bone Kettle

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At Pasadena’s Bone Kettle, beef bones are boiled with onions, ginger, garlic, and spices for 36 hours. Diners can add on brisket, sirloin, or even oxtails to the broth, but the soup is satisfying in and of itself.

Caldo verde at Natas Pastries

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Portuguese food doesn’t have much of a foothold in Los Angeles, but fans of the cuisine can find a slew of signature dishes at Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks. One particular speciality is caldo verde, the classic green Portuguese soup stuffed with potatoes, kale, and chorizo that’s perfect for a chilly Southern California evening.

Chicken paprikash at Parsnip

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Aracelly Flores and Anca Caliman cook up Romanian comfort food with a California point of view at Parsnip. The hearty chicken paprikash served over barley has a stick-to-your-bones quality to it, while a red cabbage slaw rounds out the richness. 

A bowl of Romanian soup topped with red cabbage.
Chicken Paprikash at Parsnip
Cathy Chaplin

Boat noodle soup at Pa Ord Noodle

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There are plenty of boat noodles in Thaitown, but Lawan Bhanduram makes the best bowl around. The broth, dark and murky from pig’s blood and fragrant of cinnamon and cloves, has a distinct funk to it, while the noodles can vary from simple rice sticks to short and wide strands depending on diners’ preferences.

Matzo ball soup at Daughter’s Deli

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Trisha Langer is the third generation of Langers who has her hand in the LA restaurant community. Her family opened the legendary Langer’s, but Trisha embraced her own approach to Jewish deli food, including a wonderful matzo ball soup that’s flavorful with a deeply rich broth.

Matzoh ball soup at Daughter’s Deli in Los Angeles, California
Daughter’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

Wonton soup at Pine & Crane

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Silver Lake’s fast-casual Pine & Crane maintains a relaxed vibe. Simply head in, order the wonton noodle soup, grab a table, and wait for the bowl filled with pork broth, shrimp wontons, and baby bok choi to arrive.

French onion soup at Petit Trois

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Is there anything more satisfying than diving into the thickly melted gruyere that sits atop every bowl of French onion soup at Petit Trois? Hidden beneath the layer of decadent cheese is a deeply flavorful beef broth and sweetly caramelized onions.

Knife-cut noodles at Hyesung Noodle House

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Hyesung Noodle House in Koreatown is the first overseas location of Seoul’s famed Hyesung Kalguksu. The chicken kalguksu brings together a rich, down-home broth with the restaurant’s signature knife-cut noodles. A slice of kimchi (traditionally stirred into the broth with additional red chile paste) adds a vinegary zip.

Kalguksu at Hyesung Noodle House, Los Angeles
Knife-cut Noodles at Hyesung Noodle House
Wonho Frank Lee

Sul lung tang at Han Bat Sul Lung Tang

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Long before bone broth was all the rage, Koreans were eating sul lung tang. Made of boiled ox bones, the cloudy white broth is livened with salt and plenty of green onions.

Pho at Pho Filet

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Linh Phuong Nguyen makes the best bowl of southern style pho at this worn-in restaurant straddling the border between Rosemead and South El Monte. While the filet mignon that comes standard with every bowl is a cut above the rest, it’s Ms. Nguyen’s unparalleled broth that distinguishes her product from the dozens of hawkers in town.

Ash reshteh at Taste of Tehran Restaurant

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This longstanding Westwood restaurant executes some of the city’s best Persian food, with an incredible ash reshteh stew. This traditional Persian soup combines fresh herbs, noodles, and beans garnished with caramelized onion, mint, then drizzled with yogurt.

Ash reshteh from Taste of Tehran in Westwood, California
Ash reshteh
Taste of Tehran website

Avgolemono at Papa Cristo's Greek Grill

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It’s easy to overlook avgolemono on the menu at Papa Cristo’s. This restaurant does so many things well, but this traditional Greek soup is so hearty, lemony, and silky with plenty of chicken. Grab a few spanakopitas, and it’s a perfect meal on a cool day.

Cow foot soup at Natraliart Jamaican Restaurant

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Enter through the small and tidy market and make your way to the front counter where owner Charles Forrester is at your service. There are over half-a-dozen soups available on the menu, but hone in on the cow foot soup for a rich and spicy bowlful of goodness.

Clam chowder at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe

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Founded in 1972, this legendary oceanside seafood stop has fed generations. Commercial fishermen own and operate Malibu Seafood, along with a seaside market to take the day’s fresh catch home. Always order the clam chowder in all its creamy goodness before taking it to the outdoor area and watch the surf come in.

Siete mares at Gloria's Cafe

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Gloria’s Cafe is famous for its seafood soup with fish, shrimp, squid, scallops, octopus, and crab legs. Every portion of the rich stew is generous enough to share.

Curry vegetable soup at Ackee Bamboo

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Before zeroing in on one item at Ackee Bamboo, ask for the specials. They might include a fish tea soup, but there is always the incredibly delicious and simple curry vegetable soup. The kitchen switches up the vegetables according to the seasons, but the flavors always right so right.

Pozole at Tamales Elena y Antojitos

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Offering green, red, and white pozoles made from pork head stock, consider Tamales Elena y Antojitos your friendly neighborhood pozoleria. For those avoiding animal products, the vegan elopozole is made with sweet corn.

Green pozole loaded with queso fresco, chicharrones, spices, chiles, avocado, shredded cabbage, chopped onions, and radishes at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Pozole at Tamales Elena y Antojitos
Wonho Frank Lee

Mr. Menudo

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This Bellflower strip mall newcomer is no slouch when it comes to the very-competitive menudo game in greater Los Angeles. Stop by soon (but beware the Sunday crowds) for steaming to-go orders of rich menudo made with love.

Seafood gumbo at Boujie Crab

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Boujie Crab owner Nickey McKnight might be a first-time restaurant owner, but she’s easily found a steady stream of diners who love her seafood-based Creole dishes. The gumbo is chock full of shrimp, crab, comes with or without sausage, and is challenging to finish in one sitting.

Seafood gumbo from Boujie Crab in Los Angeles, California
Seafood gumbo
Courtesy of Boujie Crab

House special at Phnom Penh Noodle Shack

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Open since 1985, the family-owned Phnom Penh Noodle Shack boasts plenty of options that include noodles and soup. But the house special takes sliced and ground pork, stomach, liver, shrimp, and noodles in a massive steaming bowl that’s sure to satisfy.

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Bone Broth at Bone Kettle

At Pasadena’s Bone Kettle, beef bones are boiled with onions, ginger, garlic, and spices for 36 hours. Diners can add on brisket, sirloin, or even oxtails to the broth, but the soup is satisfying in and of itself.

Caldo verde at Natas Pastries

Portuguese food doesn’t have much of a foothold in Los Angeles, but fans of the cuisine can find a slew of signature dishes at Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks. One particular speciality is caldo verde, the classic green Portuguese soup stuffed with potatoes, kale, and chorizo that’s perfect for a chilly Southern California evening.

Chicken paprikash at Parsnip

A bowl of Romanian soup topped with red cabbage.
Chicken Paprikash at Parsnip
Cathy Chaplin

Aracelly Flores and Anca Caliman cook up Romanian comfort food with a California point of view at Parsnip. The hearty chicken paprikash served over barley has a stick-to-your-bones quality to it, while a red cabbage slaw rounds out the richness. 

A bowl of Romanian soup topped with red cabbage.
Chicken Paprikash at Parsnip
Cathy Chaplin

Boat noodle soup at Pa Ord Noodle

There are plenty of boat noodles in Thaitown, but Lawan Bhanduram makes the best bowl around. The broth, dark and murky from pig’s blood and fragrant of cinnamon and cloves, has a distinct funk to it, while the noodles can vary from simple rice sticks to short and wide strands depending on diners’ preferences.

Matzo ball soup at Daughter’s Deli

Matzoh ball soup at Daughter’s Deli in Los Angeles, California
Daughter’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

Trisha Langer is the third generation of Langers who has her hand in the LA restaurant community. Her family opened the legendary Langer’s, but Trisha embraced her own approach to Jewish deli food, including a wonderful matzo ball soup that’s flavorful with a deeply rich broth.

Matzoh ball soup at Daughter’s Deli in Los Angeles, California
Daughter’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

Wonton soup at Pine & Crane

Silver Lake’s fast-casual Pine & Crane maintains a relaxed vibe. Simply head in, order the wonton noodle soup, grab a table, and wait for the bowl filled with pork broth, shrimp wontons, and baby bok choi to arrive.

French onion soup at Petit Trois

Is there anything more satisfying than diving into the thickly melted gruyere that sits atop every bowl of French onion soup at Petit Trois? Hidden beneath the layer of decadent cheese is a deeply flavorful beef broth and sweetly caramelized onions.

Knife-cut noodles at Hyesung Noodle House

Kalguksu at Hyesung Noodle House, Los Angeles
Knife-cut Noodles at Hyesung Noodle House
Wonho Frank Lee

Hyesung Noodle House in Koreatown is the first overseas location of Seoul’s famed Hyesung Kalguksu. The chicken kalguksu brings together a rich, down-home broth with the restaurant’s signature knife-cut noodles. A slice of kimchi (traditionally stirred into the broth with additional red chile paste) adds a vinegary zip.

Kalguksu at Hyesung Noodle House, Los Angeles
Knife-cut Noodles at Hyesung Noodle House
Wonho Frank Lee

Sul lung tang at Han Bat Sul Lung Tang

Long before bone broth was all the rage, Koreans were eating sul lung tang. Made of boiled ox bones, the cloudy white broth is livened with salt and plenty of green onions.

Pho at Pho Filet

Linh Phuong Nguyen makes the best bowl of southern style pho at this worn-in restaurant straddling the border between Rosemead and South El Monte. While the filet mignon that comes standard with every bowl is a cut above the rest, it’s Ms. Nguyen’s unparalleled broth that distinguishes her product from the dozens of hawkers in town.

Ash reshteh at Taste of Tehran Restaurant

Ash reshteh from Taste of Tehran in Westwood, California
Ash reshteh
Taste of Tehran website

This longstanding Westwood restaurant executes some of the city’s best Persian food, with an incredible ash reshteh stew. This traditional Persian soup combines fresh herbs, noodles, and beans garnished with caramelized onion, mint, then drizzled with yogurt.

Ash reshteh from Taste of Tehran in Westwood, California
Ash reshteh
Taste of Tehran website

Avgolemono at Papa Cristo's Greek Grill

It’s easy to overlook avgolemono on the menu at Papa Cristo’s. This restaurant does so many things well, but this traditional Greek soup is so hearty, lemony, and silky with plenty of chicken. Grab a few spanakopitas, and it’s a perfect meal on a cool day.

Cow foot soup at Natraliart Jamaican Restaurant

Enter through the small and tidy market and make your way to the front counter where owner Charles Forrester is at your service. There are over half-a-dozen soups available on the menu, but hone in on the cow foot soup for a rich and spicy bowlful of goodness.

Clam chowder at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe

Founded in 1972, this legendary oceanside seafood stop has fed generations. Commercial fishermen own and operate Malibu Seafood, along with a seaside market to take the day’s fresh catch home. Always order the clam chowder in all its creamy goodness before taking it to the outdoor area and watch the surf come in.

Siete mares at Gloria's Cafe

Gloria’s Cafe is famous for its seafood soup with fish, shrimp, squid, scallops, octopus, and crab legs. Every portion of the rich stew is generous enough to share.

Related Maps

Curry vegetable soup at Ackee Bamboo

Before zeroing in on one item at Ackee Bamboo, ask for the specials. They might include a fish tea soup, but there is always the incredibly delicious and simple curry vegetable soup. The kitchen switches up the vegetables according to the seasons, but the flavors always right so right.

Pozole at Tamales Elena y Antojitos

Green pozole loaded with queso fresco, chicharrones, spices, chiles, avocado, shredded cabbage, chopped onions, and radishes at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Pozole at Tamales Elena y Antojitos
Wonho Frank Lee

Offering green, red, and white pozoles made from pork head stock, consider Tamales Elena y Antojitos your friendly neighborhood pozoleria. For those avoiding animal products, the vegan elopozole is made with sweet corn.

Green pozole loaded with queso fresco, chicharrones, spices, chiles, avocado, shredded cabbage, chopped onions, and radishes at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Pozole at Tamales Elena y Antojitos
Wonho Frank Lee

Mr. Menudo

This Bellflower strip mall newcomer is no slouch when it comes to the very-competitive menudo game in greater Los Angeles. Stop by soon (but beware the Sunday crowds) for steaming to-go orders of rich menudo made with love.

Seafood gumbo at Boujie Crab

Seafood gumbo from Boujie Crab in Los Angeles, California
Seafood gumbo
Courtesy of Boujie Crab

Boujie Crab owner Nickey McKnight might be a first-time restaurant owner, but she’s easily found a steady stream of diners who love her seafood-based Creole dishes. The gumbo is chock full of shrimp, crab, comes with or without sausage, and is challenging to finish in one sitting.

Seafood gumbo from Boujie Crab in Los Angeles, California
Seafood gumbo
Courtesy of Boujie Crab

House special at Phnom Penh Noodle Shack

Open since 1985, the family-owned Phnom Penh Noodle Shack boasts plenty of options that include noodles and soup. But the house special takes sliced and ground pork, stomach, liver, shrimp, and noodles in a massive steaming bowl that’s sure to satisfy.

Related Maps