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Runyon Canyon Park, Hollywood Hills
Alex Millauer/Shutterstock.com

Where to Eat Near LA's Best Hiking Spots

Time to refuel after burning calories in the hills and mountains of Los Angeles

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Runyon Canyon Park, Hollywood Hills
| Alex Millauer/Shutterstock.com

Los Angeles is almost as obsessed with hiking as it is with food. This city of freelancers, working actors, and the independently wealthy means trails from east of Pasadena to Angeles National Forest to far-away Malibu are always crowded with athletic types looking to squeeze in some sunshine and fitness.

Thankfully a big hike doesn't have to come with a small meal around Los Angeles, as there are countless places to grab a great bite right at the base of many of the city's most famous trekking stops. From healthy-minded cafes below Griffith Park to deep woods roadhouses meant for a beer and a hot dog, these are some of the best places to catch a meal near a few of LA's favorite hikes.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Los Liones: John's Garden

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After taking in the sweeping views of the California coastline at the top of Los Liones hiking trail, there’s no better way to reward those hard working muscles than with a behemoth of a sandwich at John’s Garden. Just a short drive away, enjoying a meal in the sunny courtyard of Malibu Country Mart with fellow hikers and a swarm of Pepperdine students makes for an idyllic afternoon meal. —CC

Runyon Canyon: Aroma Sunset Bar and Grill

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What is perhaps the sceniest hike in LA (and no doubt the most Instagrammed), Runyon Canyon is is a mecca of dog walkers and quasi celebrities. A handful of those hikers wind up at Aroma Sunset at the bottom of the hill, refueling with Mediterranean-leaning plates in the expansive indoor/outdoor space. —CC

Griffith Park: Mustard Seed Cafe

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While most folks might rep the Trails Cafe as the best place amongst the trees of Griffith Park, a better meal can be had just down the way at Mustard Seed. A popular Los Feliz stop for healthy-ish fare (though Jeni's ice cream is across the street, so be careful), Mustard Seed has the right menu to make the hike feel like it's really going to pay off. —FE

Eaton Canyon: Mint Leaf Indian

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Pasadena Indian favorite Mint Leaf is primely located just south of the entrance to all that Eaton Canyon and its many hikes have to offer. Don't let the upscale decor and white tablecloths fool anyone; this is a spot for down-home Indian food served by friendly staff — and hiking clothes are perfectly acceptable. —FE

Horse Flats (Angeles National Forest): Newcomb's Ranch

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Newcomb's Ranch may well be the most popular roadside restaurant in all of Los Angeles County. The place is absolutely smothered with road warriors (from cyclists to motorcycle riders to car enthusiasts alike) on weekends, but still manages to turn out a menu of cold beers and easy-eating snacks like hot dogs and burgers. —FE

Mt. Baldy: Mt Baldy Lodge

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The Mt. Baldy Lodge is far from haute cuisine. If anything, the aging dining room leans intently the other way, with a casual menu for day-trippers and hikers to nosh on before or after a big day climbing mountains. It makes for a wonderful wilderness pitstop with hearty, enjoyable food — or the perfect snack spot before a meal further down the hill in the San Gabriel Valley. —FE

Chatsworth: The Munchbox

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After a day of bouldering, rock climbing, or just hiking under the warm deep Valley sun, a stop at Munch Box is all but required. Stop by the timeless stand to refuel with a chili cheeseburger and a soda, the perfect meal to gain back all those precious calories lost during exercise. —FE

The Munch Box

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area: Hayden

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After roaming around Kenneth Kahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills, skip over to Culver City’s new Hayden for a set of Spanish-style convervas served with thin toast slices and a generous portion of sauce gribiche. Pair that when oysters and wine by the glass, and it’s the perfect way to recuperate for a day under the sun. —MK

Hayden Katie Gibbs

Malibu Creek: Lily's Malibu

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Malibu locals love Lily's Cafe for its breakfast burritos, but they're just as perfect for anyone passing through to spend a day traversing the greater Santa Monica mountains. Whether hitting the beach for a long seaside hike or heading up into the scrub brush to catch old relics from the MASH show set, a detour to Lily's is always worth it. —FE

Lily's Cafe

Echo Mountain: El Patron Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

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It's hard not to notice El Patron in Altadena. The triangular building has neon wrapping and sports big menus filled with wet burritos, churros, and buckets of inexpensive beer, making it not only an easily-identifiable destination for locals but also a great stop for a rich meal after pushing a group of friends to the lofty heights of Echo Mountain nearby.

Bridge to Nowhere: City Cafe

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One of LA's most famous hikes is the Bridge to Nowhere, a slog that ultimately drops day-trippers out onto a fully built bridge in the mountains that, predictably, goes absolutely nowhere. It makes for a stunning view (and is often packed with adventure seekers taking full advantage of the bridge's height), and is the perfect backdrop for a conversation to be had later over a great steak, pizza, and/or glass of wine at nearby City Cafe in Azusa.

Deukmejian Wilderness Park: Byblos Mediterranean Bakery

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Heading out to Deukmejian Wilderness Park, tucked above La Cresenta? The semi-hidden hiking trail goes deep into the local mountains with fantastic vistas of the foothills and greater Los Angeles below. Afterwards, opt for some Lebanese-style pizzas, lahmajune, kebabs, and more at this family-run restaurant along Foothill Blvd. —MK

Byblos Med
Byblos Mediterranean Bakery, La Crescenta
Joshua Lurie

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Los Liones: John's Garden

After taking in the sweeping views of the California coastline at the top of Los Liones hiking trail, there’s no better way to reward those hard working muscles than with a behemoth of a sandwich at John’s Garden. Just a short drive away, enjoying a meal in the sunny courtyard of Malibu Country Mart with fellow hikers and a swarm of Pepperdine students makes for an idyllic afternoon meal. —CC

Runyon Canyon: Aroma Sunset Bar and Grill

What is perhaps the sceniest hike in LA (and no doubt the most Instagrammed), Runyon Canyon is is a mecca of dog walkers and quasi celebrities. A handful of those hikers wind up at Aroma Sunset at the bottom of the hill, refueling with Mediterranean-leaning plates in the expansive indoor/outdoor space. —CC

Griffith Park: Mustard Seed Cafe

While most folks might rep the Trails Cafe as the best place amongst the trees of Griffith Park, a better meal can be had just down the way at Mustard Seed. A popular Los Feliz stop for healthy-ish fare (though Jeni's ice cream is across the street, so be careful), Mustard Seed has the right menu to make the hike feel like it's really going to pay off. —FE

Eaton Canyon: Mint Leaf Indian

Pasadena Indian favorite Mint Leaf is primely located just south of the entrance to all that Eaton Canyon and its many hikes have to offer. Don't let the upscale decor and white tablecloths fool anyone; this is a spot for down-home Indian food served by friendly staff — and hiking clothes are perfectly acceptable. —FE

Horse Flats (Angeles National Forest): Newcomb's Ranch

Newcomb's Ranch may well be the most popular roadside restaurant in all of Los Angeles County. The place is absolutely smothered with road warriors (from cyclists to motorcycle riders to car enthusiasts alike) on weekends, but still manages to turn out a menu of cold beers and easy-eating snacks like hot dogs and burgers. —FE

Mt. Baldy: Mt Baldy Lodge

The Mt. Baldy Lodge is far from haute cuisine. If anything, the aging dining room leans intently the other way, with a casual menu for day-trippers and hikers to nosh on before or after a big day climbing mountains. It makes for a wonderful wilderness pitstop with hearty, enjoyable food — or the perfect snack spot before a meal further down the hill in the San Gabriel Valley. —FE

Chatsworth: The Munchbox

The Munch Box

After a day of bouldering, rock climbing, or just hiking under the warm deep Valley sun, a stop at Munch Box is all but required. Stop by the timeless stand to refuel with a chili cheeseburger and a soda, the perfect meal to gain back all those precious calories lost during exercise. —FE

The Munch Box

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area: Hayden

Hayden Katie Gibbs

After roaming around Kenneth Kahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills, skip over to Culver City’s new Hayden for a set of Spanish-style convervas served with thin toast slices and a generous portion of sauce gribiche. Pair that when oysters and wine by the glass, and it’s the perfect way to recuperate for a day under the sun. —MK

Hayden Katie Gibbs

Malibu Creek: Lily's Malibu

Lily's Cafe

Malibu locals love Lily's Cafe for its breakfast burritos, but they're just as perfect for anyone passing through to spend a day traversing the greater Santa Monica mountains. Whether hitting the beach for a long seaside hike or heading up into the scrub brush to catch old relics from the MASH show set, a detour to Lily's is always worth it. —FE

Lily's Cafe

Echo Mountain: El Patron Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

It's hard not to notice El Patron in Altadena. The triangular building has neon wrapping and sports big menus filled with wet burritos, churros, and buckets of inexpensive beer, making it not only an easily-identifiable destination for locals but also a great stop for a rich meal after pushing a group of friends to the lofty heights of Echo Mountain nearby.

Bridge to Nowhere: City Cafe

One of LA's most famous hikes is the Bridge to Nowhere, a slog that ultimately drops day-trippers out onto a fully built bridge in the mountains that, predictably, goes absolutely nowhere. It makes for a stunning view (and is often packed with adventure seekers taking full advantage of the bridge's height), and is the perfect backdrop for a conversation to be had later over a great steak, pizza, and/or glass of wine at nearby City Cafe in Azusa.

Deukmejian Wilderness Park: Byblos Mediterranean Bakery

Byblos Med
Byblos Mediterranean Bakery, La Crescenta
Joshua Lurie

Heading out to Deukmejian Wilderness Park, tucked above La Cresenta? The semi-hidden hiking trail goes deep into the local mountains with fantastic vistas of the foothills and greater Los Angeles below. Afterwards, opt for some Lebanese-style pizzas, lahmajune, kebabs, and more at this family-run restaurant along Foothill Blvd. —MK

Byblos Med
Byblos Mediterranean Bakery, La Crescenta
Joshua Lurie

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