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Gene Block , 74, the current and 6th chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles
Royce Hall at UCLA.
Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

15 Essential Restaurants in Westwood Near UCLA

The bustling area has a few gems worth checking out

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Royce Hall at UCLA.
| Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Never really known for its culinary scene, Westwood mostly caters to a captured audience of UCLA students, faculty, and staff, as well as the small number of corporate offices around the intersection of Westwood and Wilshire Boulevard. In addition, the neighborhood of Tehrangeles, a historic area of Persian restaurants, hits the southern edge of Westwood with a few kebab and dessert shops. However, this map mainly focuses on walkable eating establishments for anyone in Westwood Village or venturing from the UCLA campus (though, expect long walks for anyone going all the way to Wilshire Boulevard). Here now, are the 15 essential restaurants to try in Westwood Village and environs.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

STK Steakhouse

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This longtime steakhouse serves heaping dry-aged and wagyu chops alongside ample, butter-laden sides in a sleek dining room. Word on the street is that STK will be moving into a new location in Westwood Village, but until then, this location will operate inside the W Hotel. The prices here are pretty astronomical from a student’s perspective, so make it more of a celebration meal or a place to have the parents pick up the check.

STK
Steak with sauces from STK.
STK

Diddy Riese

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A student’s affordable snack paradise, this classic ice cream cookie spot serves custom build-an-ice-cream-sandwich for a few bucks until around midnight most nights. Expect long lines for these crumbly cookies.

Falafel Inc.

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Another affordable favorite for budget-conscious students, Falafel Inc. has a mission to use its profits for social enterprises, serving $4 falafel pita sandwiches, $5 bowls, and $4 seasoned za’atar fries in a quick-service model. Don’t expect world-class execution, but for the price, it’s hard to get a tastier meal in Westwood.

Falafel bowl at Falafel Inc.
Falafel bowl from Falafel Inc.
Falafel Inc.

Primo's Donuts Westwood Village

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The former Stan’s Doughnuts, a neighborhood institution, has been taken over by West LA’s Primo’s Donuts, keeping an affordable, local fritter shop in Westwood Village. The buttermilk doughnuts are Primos’ famous flavor, with a cake-like interior and ample, golden brown glazed exterior.

Colorful donuts from Primo’s Donuts in Los Angeles.
Colorful donuts from Primo’s.
Primo’s

Northern Cafe Dumpling House

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Northern Cafe was one of the first San Gabriel Valley restaurants to expand this far west, serving noodles, dumplings, and cumin lamb plates that pack a flavorful punch at reasonable prices.

Cumin Lamb at Northern Cafe
Cumin Lamb at Northern Cafe
Joshua Lurie

The Boiling Crab

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Though chain Cajun seafood boil restaurants aren’t utterly unique, the Westwood branch of the Boiling Crab spans a huge corner space and satisfies the craving with heaping plastic bags of shrimp, crawfish, potatoes, corn, and more in varying levels of spice. Bring a crew and dig in with your fingers.

Boiling Crab Westwood
Boiling Crab in Westwood.

Lamonica's NY Pizza

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Opened for over 40 years, this classic Westwood pizzeria serves some of the most authentic New York City-style pizza in Los Angeles with pies and slices ready to be reheated for a crisp, cheesy bite.

Violet Bistro

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One of Westwood’s true hidden gems, this classic French bistro serves a tight menu of classics, including steak frites, seared duck, and chocolate-covered profiteroles. The adorable back patio is the place to be when the weather is nice, and the front bar works great for solo diners looking to get to know a few locals. Opened for just over three years, Violet’s charm makes it Westwood’s real date night destination.

Chocolate covered profiteroles on a bistro plate at Violet Bistro.
Profiteroles from Violet Bistro in Westwood, California.
Matthew Kang

Espresso Profeta

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This beloved espresso shop in Westwood has been an unsung Hollywood hero, hosting segments of everything from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David. The coffee, powered by Seattle’s traditional bold roasted Espresso Vivace, hews to a mid-aughts, Italian-influenced style.

Elysee Bakery & Cafe

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Opened for decades in Westwood, this charming French bakery and cafe serves beautiful pastries, light salads, and easy sandwiches for the student and faculty crowd. Elysee works as a decent place for a study break, coffee date, or sweet afternoon snack.

The famed Chez Panisse chef Alice Waters brought on longtime collaborator and chef David Tanis to helm the kitchen at her first foray into Los Angeles. Lulu’s menu reads similar to her Berkeley original, with elemental, seasonal produce served without too much in the way of adornment inside one of Los Angeles’s most underrated art museums, the Hammer.

Smoked salmon appetizer at Lulu in Westwood.
Smoked salmon appetizer at Lulu in Westwood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Tulsi Indian Eatery (Westwood)

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Tulsi is a fast-casual Indian spot where most dishes are under $10 and the menu’s worth a thousand words. The dishes represent a range of Indian cuisines across Southern, Northern, and Western India, including arguably the best Gujarati food Los Angeles has to offer. Try the undhiyu, a 10-vegetable medley with sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant, yam, coconut, and more. It’s a Gujarati staple that is at once bitter, sweet, salty, and savory, and it’s not easily found in LA.

An overhead shot of a thali combination steel tray with a variety of Indian foods.
An overhead shot of a thali combination steel tray with a variety of Indian foods.
Tulsi Indian Eatery

Emporium Thai

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Operated by one of the members of the family that also runs Jitlada in Hollywood’s Thai Town, Emporium is one of West LA’s most respected Thai restaurants, serving stellar saucy wings, yellow or green curries, and of course, wok-fried noodle dishes like pad see ew and pad Thai.

A white bowl showing a yellow curry sauce noodle dish.
Yellow curry from Emporium Thai.
Emporium Thai

Attari Sandwich Shop

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While the koobideh and chicken kebab sandwiches are invariably popular at this classic Iranian sandwich shop, the beef tongue sandwich is the hidden gem of the menu, with crunchy lettuce and plump tomato slices surrounded by a plush baguette.

Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

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Floral Persian ice creams are perfumed with saffron, rosewater, pistachio, and other traditional flavors at this longtime Westwood dessert shop.

Persian-style ice cream at Saffron & Rose in Westwood.
Persian-style ice cream wafer sandwiches from Saffron & Rose.
Saffron & Rose

STK Steakhouse

This longtime steakhouse serves heaping dry-aged and wagyu chops alongside ample, butter-laden sides in a sleek dining room. Word on the street is that STK will be moving into a new location in Westwood Village, but until then, this location will operate inside the W Hotel. The prices here are pretty astronomical from a student’s perspective, so make it more of a celebration meal or a place to have the parents pick up the check.

STK
Steak with sauces from STK.
STK

Diddy Riese

A student’s affordable snack paradise, this classic ice cream cookie spot serves custom build-an-ice-cream-sandwich for a few bucks until around midnight most nights. Expect long lines for these crumbly cookies.

Falafel Inc.

Another affordable favorite for budget-conscious students, Falafel Inc. has a mission to use its profits for social enterprises, serving $4 falafel pita sandwiches, $5 bowls, and $4 seasoned za’atar fries in a quick-service model. Don’t expect world-class execution, but for the price, it’s hard to get a tastier meal in Westwood.

Falafel bowl at Falafel Inc.
Falafel bowl from Falafel Inc.
Falafel Inc.

Primo's Donuts Westwood Village

The former Stan’s Doughnuts, a neighborhood institution, has been taken over by West LA’s Primo’s Donuts, keeping an affordable, local fritter shop in Westwood Village. The buttermilk doughnuts are Primos’ famous flavor, with a cake-like interior and ample, golden brown glazed exterior.

Colorful donuts from Primo’s Donuts in Los Angeles.
Colorful donuts from Primo’s.
Primo’s

Northern Cafe Dumpling House

Northern Cafe was one of the first San Gabriel Valley restaurants to expand this far west, serving noodles, dumplings, and cumin lamb plates that pack a flavorful punch at reasonable prices.

Cumin Lamb at Northern Cafe
Cumin Lamb at Northern Cafe
Joshua Lurie

The Boiling Crab

Though chain Cajun seafood boil restaurants aren’t utterly unique, the Westwood branch of the Boiling Crab spans a huge corner space and satisfies the craving with heaping plastic bags of shrimp, crawfish, potatoes, corn, and more in varying levels of spice. Bring a crew and dig in with your fingers.

Boiling Crab Westwood
Boiling Crab in Westwood.

Lamonica's NY Pizza

Opened for over 40 years, this classic Westwood pizzeria serves some of the most authentic New York City-style pizza in Los Angeles with pies and slices ready to be reheated for a crisp, cheesy bite.

Violet Bistro

One of Westwood’s true hidden gems, this classic French bistro serves a tight menu of classics, including steak frites, seared duck, and chocolate-covered profiteroles. The adorable back patio is the place to be when the weather is nice, and the front bar works great for solo diners looking to get to know a few locals. Opened for just over three years, Violet’s charm makes it Westwood’s real date night destination.

Chocolate covered profiteroles on a bistro plate at Violet Bistro.
Profiteroles from Violet Bistro in Westwood, California.
Matthew Kang

Espresso Profeta

This beloved espresso shop in Westwood has been an unsung Hollywood hero, hosting segments of everything from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David. The coffee, powered by Seattle’s traditional bold roasted Espresso Vivace, hews to a mid-aughts, Italian-influenced style.

Elysee Bakery & Cafe

Opened for decades in Westwood, this charming French bakery and cafe serves beautiful pastries, light salads, and easy sandwiches for the student and faculty crowd. Elysee works as a decent place for a study break, coffee date, or sweet afternoon snack.

Lulu

The famed Chez Panisse chef Alice Waters brought on longtime collaborator and chef David Tanis to helm the kitchen at her first foray into Los Angeles. Lulu’s menu reads similar to her Berkeley original, with elemental, seasonal produce served without too much in the way of adornment inside one of Los Angeles’s most underrated art museums, the Hammer.

Smoked salmon appetizer at Lulu in Westwood.
Smoked salmon appetizer at Lulu in Westwood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Tulsi Indian Eatery (Westwood)

Tulsi is a fast-casual Indian spot where most dishes are under $10 and the menu’s worth a thousand words. The dishes represent a range of Indian cuisines across Southern, Northern, and Western India, including arguably the best Gujarati food Los Angeles has to offer. Try the undhiyu, a 10-vegetable medley with sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant, yam, coconut, and more. It’s a Gujarati staple that is at once bitter, sweet, salty, and savory, and it’s not easily found in LA.

An overhead shot of a thali combination steel tray with a variety of Indian foods.
An overhead shot of a thali combination steel tray with a variety of Indian foods.
Tulsi Indian Eatery

Emporium Thai

Operated by one of the members of the family that also runs Jitlada in Hollywood’s Thai Town, Emporium is one of West LA’s most respected Thai restaurants, serving stellar saucy wings, yellow or green curries, and of course, wok-fried noodle dishes like pad see ew and pad Thai.

A white bowl showing a yellow curry sauce noodle dish.
Yellow curry from Emporium Thai.
Emporium Thai

Attari Sandwich Shop

While the koobideh and chicken kebab sandwiches are invariably popular at this classic Iranian sandwich shop, the beef tongue sandwich is the hidden gem of the menu, with crunchy lettuce and plump tomato slices surrounded by a plush baguette.

Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

Floral Persian ice creams are perfumed with saffron, rosewater, pistachio, and other traditional flavors at this longtime Westwood dessert shop.

Persian-style ice cream at Saffron & Rose in Westwood.
Persian-style ice cream wafer sandwiches from Saffron & Rose.
Saffron & Rose

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