The heart and soul of Glendale is its Armenian community, though it’s not the exclusive dining option for the standalone city. Since settling in the region in the late 1970s, Glendale residents have fostered a tremendous culinary scene with a diverse diaspora of influences, ranging from Greece and Iran to Vietnamese and Peruvian. Rounding out the dining gems in the Jewel City are beloved stalwarts like Porto’s Bakery and Damon’s Steak House. here now, 15 essential restaurants to try in Glendale, California.Read More
15 Fantastic Glendale Restaurants Worth Checking Out
Beloved Cuban pastries, diverse Armenian specialties, and a classic Tiki steakhouse
1. Monta Factory
Pasadena’s Monta Factory opened a second more service-oriented outlet in Glendale a few years ago. The menu is mostly the same (and that’s a good thing), with little beef dumplings served with four sauces, salmon burgers, and cheesy sue-beoregs.
2. Chick Next Door Hot Chicken
Upstart hot chicken spot Chick Next Door comes from chef Steven Velichnian, who does accessible Nashville-style treats from a former neighborhood burger spot along Chevy Chase and Glenoaks. The sliders are a highlight, with crispy tenders and ample comeback sauce held together by plush Portuguese-style buns. There’s plenty of local hot chicken competition, but this one stands out.
3. Skaf's Lebanese Cuisine
With locations in both North Hollywood and Glendale, it’s no wonder people flock to this Lebanese eatery known for its garlicky falafel, hummus, and shawarma. The prices are affordable and the service is friendly, too.
4. Damon's Steak House
Tiki-inspired steakhouse Damon’s has stood the test of time on Brand Boulevard. Opened in 1937, the somewhat kitschy restaurant serves up solid cocktails, reasonably priced steaks, grilled chops, and even fish and chips.
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5. Porto's Bakery & Cafe
Since opening in 1982, Cuban bakery Porto’s has become an essential part of the community. Diners are happy to wait for the better part of an hour to get their hands on potato balls and guava pastries. The sandwiches are pretty solid too, like the medianoche and pan con lechon.
6. Carousel Restaurant
It’s all about the mezze, a serious spread of hot and cold appetizers, at this three-decade-old Lebanese institution. Greg and Rose Tcholakian opened the original Carousel in a Hollywood strip mall in 1984 serving kebabs, vegetarian specialties, and traditional dishes. In 1998, the couple’s son opened the swankier Glendale outlet, which allowed for an expanded menu, live entertainment on weekends, and a moodier ambiance.
7. Lola's Peruvian Restaurant
Opened in 2007, Lola’s Peruvian is a Glendale staple. Slightly removed from the busier part of Brand Boulevard, Lola’s serves up traditional lomo saltado, ceviche, chicken a la brasa, and ice-cold Inca Cola or Peruvian beer to wash everything down.
8. Raffi's Place
When the craving hits for heaping plates of grilled kebabs and fragrant basmati rice, beloved Persian-Armenian specialist Raffi’s Place is the go-to spot. No one leaves hungry after a meal in the pleasant indoor-outdoor space. This is one of the better places to dine with a large party.
9. Zhengyalov Hatz
Zhengyalov hatz, the restaurant’s namesake flatbread, combines 15 types of minced greens and herbs, including spinach, beetroot leaves, scallions, cilantro, onion, and sorrel. It is a regional specialty from the Republic of Artsakh. Other than the namesake dish, the restaurant has a walnut-laced take on baklava worth ordering.
10. Glendale Phở Co.
This longtime Glendale Vietnamese restaurant has all the classics of vermicelli noodles, steaming hot pho bowls, crispy cha gio egg rolls, and banh mi. A trusty place for Vietnamese favorites when it feels to far to go to SGV or Little Saigon.
11. Katsuya Glendale
Katsuya has a lot of hats to wear, with a large part of the menu serving stellar sushi, but also Nobu-esque composed dishes meant to appeal to Americana at Brand’s wide dining audience. Mostly the place succeeds, thanks to an upscale vibe and plenty of outdoor seating for prime people watching.
12. Din Tai Fung
Americana at Brand gained a huge notch thanks to Din Tai Fung, the reliable and popular dumpling restaurant that originated in Taiwan (serving Shanghai-style fare). Glendale’s outlet is as good as one can expect for modern Chinese food but with a modern ambience.
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13. Mini Kabob
LA’s tiniest kabob shop also happens to be among its strongest, thanks to the Martirosyan family who run the place like their home kitchen, but somehow even better. Order up the grilled chicken, hummus, and eggplant caviar for a complete homestyle meal.
14. Elena's Greek Armenian Cuisine
As its name implies, this Glendale institution offers both Greek and Armenian specialties. Start with an order of rice and spice-stuffed grape leaves to go along with the complimentary lentil soup, before moving on to platters of barbecued lamb chops or grilled quails.
15. Dinah’s Chicken
A classic fried chicken spot that actually invented the paper bucket as a takeaway container, Dinah’s has been immortalized on film in Little Miss Sunshine, but the place was actually famous in Glendale first. The fried chicken meals are a feast for the family, using a classic Southern approach.
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