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Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup in Los Angeles, California.
Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup.
Mona Holmes

20 Satisfying Soups to Keep You Cozy in Los Angeles

From a Korean-style Matzo ball soup to spicy beef soup noodles or tortilla soup

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Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup.
| Mona Holmes

Feel that chill in the air? Or maybe a sprinkle of rain? That’s fall in Southern California. The shift away from summer means there is only one food solution when reaching for a hoodie, knitted hat, and scarf. That’s to warm up with a satisfying bowl of soup. From Brazilian moqueca to tortilla soup, here now are 20 of Los Angeles's finest to keep cozy this season, presented from north to south.

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Lentil soup at Carnival Restaurant

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Open since 1984, this SFV staple has staying power because it does classic Lebanese dishes incredibly well. And while a simple dish, the lentil soup here packs a hearty and flavorful bite; it’s also deeply filling for its size.

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.

Boat noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop

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Boat noodles are plentiful throughout Los Angeles, especially in Thai Town. Head to Sapp and order one of three boat noodle dishes, including one with sliced pork, beef, or one that throws everything in from tendon to meatballs and sliced beef liver in a beautiful broth.

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.

Spicy beef soup noodles at Mian

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It’s difficult to make a bad move at any one of Mian’s four SoCal locations, but opt for the spicy beef soup noodles, which come with plenty of green onions and bok choy.

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.

Tortilla soup at El Cholo

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Next year, El Cholo will celebrate 100 years in Los Angeles. It’s still got that old-school feel while preparing some delicious dishes and house made tortillas. That includes El Cholo’s classic tortilla soup, a hearty bowl that always satisfies.

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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Don’t overlook the 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 terrific meal on a cool day.

Moqueca at Woodspoon

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There is something about moqueca, Brazil’s coconut-laden seafood stew, that brings such homey comfort. Chef Natalia Pereira spent years perfecting her version which leans traditional with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, and plenty of seafood in a bowl with white rice.

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.

Matzoh ball soup at Yangban Society

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Yangban Society’s chefs put their own spin on matzoh ball soup by taking their multi-cultural backgrounds using a Korean sujebi-inspired dumpling, schmaltz, and roasted chicken, with the flavors coming together to create the ultimate LA comfort soup.

Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup in Los Angeles, California.
Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup.
Mona Holmes

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 on it, but one constant is the incredibly delicious and simple curry vegetable soup. The kitchen switches up the vegetables according to the seasons, but the flavors are always on point.

Pozole at Tamales Elena

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Though the Bell Gardens location no longer remains, owner Maria Elena Lorenzo is still operating out of Watts. Go there to order her green, red, and white pozoles made from pork head stock. Consider Tamales Elena y Antojitos your friendly neighborhood pozoleria.

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.
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 in early (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 places sliced and ground pork, stomach, liver, shrimp, and noodles into a massive steaming bowl that’s sure to satisfy.

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Lentil soup at Carnival Restaurant

Open since 1984, this SFV staple has staying power because it does classic Lebanese dishes incredibly well. And while a simple dish, the lentil soup here packs a hearty and flavorful bite; it’s also deeply filling for its size.

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.

Boat noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop

Boat noodles are plentiful throughout Los Angeles, especially in Thai Town. Head to Sapp and order one of three boat noodle dishes, including one with sliced pork, beef, or one that throws everything in from tendon to meatballs and sliced beef liver in a beautiful broth.

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.

Spicy beef soup noodles at Mian

It’s difficult to make a bad move at any one of Mian’s four SoCal locations, but opt for the spicy beef soup noodles, which come with plenty of green onions and bok choy.

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.

Tortilla soup at El Cholo

Next year, El Cholo will celebrate 100 years in Los Angeles. It’s still got that old-school feel while preparing some delicious dishes and house made tortillas. That includes El Cholo’s classic tortilla soup, a hearty bowl that always satisfies.

Ash reshteh at Taste of Tehran Restaurant

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

Don’t overlook the 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 terrific meal on a cool day.

Moqueca at Woodspoon

There is something about moqueca, Brazil’s coconut-laden seafood stew, that brings such homey comfort. Chef Natalia Pereira spent years perfecting her version which leans traditional with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, and plenty of seafood in a bowl with white rice.

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.

Matzoh ball soup at Yangban Society

Yangban Society’s chefs put their own spin on matzoh ball soup by taking their multi-cultural backgrounds using a Korean sujebi-inspired dumpling, schmaltz, and roasted chicken, with the flavors coming together to create the ultimate LA comfort soup.

Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup in Los Angeles, California.
Yangban Society’s matzoh ball soup.
Mona Holmes

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 on it, but one constant is the incredibly delicious and simple curry vegetable soup. The kitchen switches up the vegetables according to the seasons, but the flavors are always on point.

Pozole at Tamales Elena

Though the Bell Gardens location no longer remains, owner Maria Elena Lorenzo is still operating out of Watts. Go there to order her green, red, and white pozoles made from pork head stock. Consider Tamales Elena y Antojitos your friendly neighborhood pozoleria.

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.
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 in early (beware the Sunday crowds) for steaming to-go orders of rich menudo made with love.

Seafood gumbo at 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 places sliced and ground pork, stomach, liver, shrimp, and noodles into a massive steaming bowl that’s sure to satisfy.

Related Maps