Feel that chill in the air? Or maybe a sprinkle of rain? Welcome to winter in Southern California. The colder weather means there is only one food solution when reaching for a hoodie, knitted hat, and scarf, and that’s to warm up with a satisfying bowl of soup. From spicy beef noodle soup to chicken paprikash, here now are 19 of Los Angeles's finest to keep cozy this season, presented from north to south.Read More
19 Satisfying Soups to Keep You Cozy in Los Angeles
From Korean-style matzo ball soup to spicy beef soup noodles, the best spots for comforting, brothy bowls in LA
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.
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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.
Lemon Poppy Kitchen
Glassell Park’s Lemon Poppy Kitchen works a varied menu of Eastern European options (think parsnip, feta, and beyond) with LA musts like vegan pozole, tacos, and salads. The not-so-sleeper hit has to be the chicken paprikash, a spicy soup with lots of tomato, onion, and pepper that’s layered through with braised chicken thighs and served with toasted focaccia.
Spicy beef noodle soup at Dai Ho Restaurant
Dai Ho’s spicy beef noodle soup is a thing of beauty. The Taiwanese staple dish is imbued with a deep red hue and lots of rich, stewed beef. The noodles give chew and the braised greens are earthy enough to stand up to the heat. This is one of LA’s best soups, period. Cash only.
Wonton noodle soup at Tam's Noodle House
With a pristine broth and plump wontons, this basic noodle soup doesn’t taste so simple upon first sip. Served piping hot and within minutes of ordering, this Hong Kong cafe continues to draw a bustling lunch crowd eager for this bowl and other Cantonese favorites.
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.
Wonton noodle soup at Pine and Crane Silverlake
The simple side order of wonton soup shows the whole Taiwanese ethos of owner Vivian Ku’s enduring Silver Lake restaurant, with a second location sprouted conveniently in Downtown Los Angeles. Topped with fresh bok choy and sporting a clear pork broth, the juicy shrimp wontons and chewy noodles fill out the affordable bowls. In Downtown, it can be ordered without noodles.
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.
Tta-roh gukbap at Sun Nong Dan Western Ave.
Most people come here for the huge stone platters of braised galbi jjim but those in the know order the soups, especially the tta-roh gukbap, which uses seasoned cabbage and tender chunks of brisket in a flavor-packed beef bone broth. Great with a side of warm rice and some simple kimchi, this is an underrated variety of Korean soup.
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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.
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.
Laksa at Cassia
The laksa hits most tables at Santa Monica’s Cassia, and for good reason. The bright orange shareable soup is hefty with seafood bits and rice noodles, and it does not skimp on the spice or the coconut base. This is a thicker, richer soup that’s perfect for when the temperatures really take a nosedive out by the beach.
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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.
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.
Matzo ball soup at New York Deli
Sporting a huge single matzo ball around a nicely seasoned chicken broth, this $10 soup from a longtime South Bay Jewish deli is substantial enough to share for two or big enough to satisfy one for lunch. The soup also has some pieces of carrot, noodles, and chicken to help round it out.
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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.