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Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Hickory burger at Apple Pan.
Matthew Kang

15 Essential Food Destinations Along LA's Epic Expo Line

Food finds within walking distance of Metro E Line stations running from Downtown to Santa Monica

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Hickory burger at Apple Pan.
| Matthew Kang

Who says you need a car to get to the beach in LA? The Expo Line (now called the E Line) is a straight shot from 7th and Metro Center in Downtown LA to Santa Monica. While the waves are certainly calling this time of year, it’s hard to resist the temptation of these 15 spots along the way. From kettle-fried chicken in Culver City to creme brulee crepes in Sawtelle Japantown, here now are 15 essential food destinations that are within walking distance from LA’s epic Expo Line.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (Downtown Santa Monica Station)

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One of Los Angeles’s best Italian sandwiches is by the beach in Santa Monica. Bay Cities brings an authentic Italian deli to Southern California with its full-service deli counter and cold salad bar. Home of “the Godmother,” the endearing name for an Italian sub that doesn’t mess around, Bay Cities is a can’t-miss off the Expo Line.

An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich.
An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich at Bay Cities.
Bay Cities

Millet Crepe (Sepulveda Station)

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Three words: Creme. Brulee. Crepe. This is the specialty item at Millet Crepe, a creperie in Sawtelle Japantown that rolls its crepes like an ice cream cone then fills it with custard, ice cream, or whipped cream. The creme brulee crepe is finished with a torch to crunchy, caramelized perfection.

Brian's Shave Ice (Sepulveda Station)

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On those peak hot summer days in LA, shaved ice straight to the mouth is the only thing that does the trick. At Brian’s Shave Ice, bold flavors combined with shaved ice make for the perfect summer treat. The filling options make it extremely difficult to pare down: Dole whip, adzuki beans, mochi, or ice cream. Thankfully, you don’t have to pick just one. Top it with a choice of syrup flavors and finish the whole experience with the special condensed milk sno-cap.

The Apple Pan (Westwood/Rancho Park Station)

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Get your classic diner fix at the Apple Pan, an institution in Los Angeles’s diner culture. Open since the ‘40s, the spot serves everything necessary for a good time: sandwiches, ice cream, and of course, pies. Inside, find quintessential red leather swivel chairs lining a vinyl bar with wood panel siding. Grab a friend and a slice of pie with ice cream for a guaranteed good time.

Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Hickory burger at Apple Pan.
Matthew Kang

Simpang Asia (Palms Station)

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Indonesian street food takes center stage at Simpang Asia, where the oxtail soup is always tender and the turmeric chicken is never dry. The fun space is bright and airy and the menu is extensive, serving Indonesian specialities such as lemper (sweet rice rolls with shredded coconut chicken) and baso malang (street cart beef ball noodle soup).

Super Domestic Coffee (Culver City Station)

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Home to one of the plushest cinnamon rolls ever baked, Super Domestic Coffee also serves up coffee, pastries, breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches, and toasts with a side of cute vibes. Operating from a tiny but mighty storefront, Super Domestic offers fun takes on classics such as the “Call Your Grandma” lox bagel or “The Attack!” breakfast burrito. The drinks are just as creative, including a dulce de leche matcha latte and yerba matte pour over.

Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken (Culver City Station)

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Kettle. Fried. Chicken. Need we say more? Every day is fried chicken day at Honey’s, where the art of kettle-frying chicken is alive and well. The chicken is tender on the inside and as crisp as can be on the outside. For the full experience, make sure to order buttermilk biscuits, coleslaw, and macaroni salad. Grab a picnic table out front and stay for a while.

Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Cathy Chaplin

Grand Casino Bakery & Cafe (Culver City Station)

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At this Argentine spot, diners can have their cakes, alfajores, and empanadas all in one place. On the full menu, find the chimichurri chicken plate and pascualina (savory tart). Peruse the market section to find Argentine specialties while waiting for orders.

Highly Likely Cafe (Farmdale Station)

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Highly Likely Cafe is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach. Perfect for brunches, lunches, and more, the open, airy spot serves a mean breakfast burrito and possibly the most beautiful avocado toast. Get comfy in a booth or soak in the sun at a patio table.

Earle's On Crenshaw (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

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From hot dog cart to full-blown restaurant, brothers Cary and Duane Earle share a bit of New York style to the LA links. Get hot dogs topped with a wide range of 17 condiments, from New York-cooked onions to ranch dressing. Since opening the first brick-and-mortar in 1992, Earle’s has expanded into burgers, sandwiches, and Jamaican patties. It even serves can’t-miss desserts such as banana pudding and sweet potato pie, but its mission of bringing community together remains the same.

Ackee Bamboo (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

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Stews, curries, and oxtails—oh my! Named after the national fruit of Jamaica, Ackee Bamboo in Leimert Park Village serves homemade Caribbean classics such as jerk chicken and curry goat in bright, colorful digs. Don’t skip the most tender plantains, Jamaican patties, and saltfish with callaloo. For vegetarians, the options are aplenty, spanning ackee plates and jackfruit platters.

Harold & Belle's (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

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From po’ boys to shrimp and crawfish étouffée, Harold & Belle’s brings more than just a bit of New Orleans to LA’s food scene. Going back three generations, the restaurant has been a cornerstone in Jefferson Park, serving up New Orleans classics in a cozy yet fine dining experience fit for any family gathering, friend celebration, or treat-your-self kind of night.

Chichen Itza (Jefferson/USC Station)

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Family-owned Chichen Itza specializes in Yucatan-style Mexican food to bring a bit of their food lineage to Los Angeles. The tamal colado, filled with achiote chicken and steamed in banana leaves, is tender and flavorful. For a full dinner to hunker down on, order the pollo pibil — bone-in chicken marinated in achiote, sour orange juice, and cooked in banana leaves, and served with rice, beans, pickled red onions, and tortillas.

Nimbus Coffee (Pico Station)

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It’s Harry Potter’s world — we’re just living in it. This is a statement of truth over at Nimbus Coffee, where the vibe transports you to a place of whimsy and wizardry. Escape to Nimbus for a bit and find menus for the “Adventurous Wizard” (Orange is the New Hex) or the “Basic Witch” (House Elf Brew).

Sonoratown (7th Street/Metro Center Station)

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If you’re a swear-by-corn-tortillas type of person, Sonoratown might offer up a worthy challenge to that belief. Named after the small community of Mexican immigrants settled in the area we call Chinatown today, the taqueria doles out Sonoran-style tacos spotlighting thin, flavorful flour tortillas made with lard. Nearly translucent, the tortillas are a perfect vehicle for perfectly grilled steak, chicken, tripe, or chorizo.

Tacos from Sonoratown.
Tacos at Sonoratown.
Matthew Kang

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Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (Downtown Santa Monica Station)

An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich.
An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich at Bay Cities.
Bay Cities

One of Los Angeles’s best Italian sandwiches is by the beach in Santa Monica. Bay Cities brings an authentic Italian deli to Southern California with its full-service deli counter and cold salad bar. Home of “the Godmother,” the endearing name for an Italian sub that doesn’t mess around, Bay Cities is a can’t-miss off the Expo Line.

An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich.
An open-faced Italian cold cut sandwich at Bay Cities.
Bay Cities

Millet Crepe (Sepulveda Station)

Three words: Creme. Brulee. Crepe. This is the specialty item at Millet Crepe, a creperie in Sawtelle Japantown that rolls its crepes like an ice cream cone then fills it with custard, ice cream, or whipped cream. The creme brulee crepe is finished with a torch to crunchy, caramelized perfection.

Brian's Shave Ice (Sepulveda Station)

On those peak hot summer days in LA, shaved ice straight to the mouth is the only thing that does the trick. At Brian’s Shave Ice, bold flavors combined with shaved ice make for the perfect summer treat. The filling options make it extremely difficult to pare down: Dole whip, adzuki beans, mochi, or ice cream. Thankfully, you don’t have to pick just one. Top it with a choice of syrup flavors and finish the whole experience with the special condensed milk sno-cap.

The Apple Pan (Westwood/Rancho Park Station)

Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Hickory burger at Apple Pan.
Matthew Kang

Get your classic diner fix at the Apple Pan, an institution in Los Angeles’s diner culture. Open since the ‘40s, the spot serves everything necessary for a good time: sandwiches, ice cream, and of course, pies. Inside, find quintessential red leather swivel chairs lining a vinyl bar with wood panel siding. Grab a friend and a slice of pie with ice cream for a guaranteed good time.

Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Hickory burger at Apple Pan.
Matthew Kang

Simpang Asia (Palms Station)

Indonesian street food takes center stage at Simpang Asia, where the oxtail soup is always tender and the turmeric chicken is never dry. The fun space is bright and airy and the menu is extensive, serving Indonesian specialities such as lemper (sweet rice rolls with shredded coconut chicken) and baso malang (street cart beef ball noodle soup).

Super Domestic Coffee (Culver City Station)

Home to one of the plushest cinnamon rolls ever baked, Super Domestic Coffee also serves up coffee, pastries, breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches, and toasts with a side of cute vibes. Operating from a tiny but mighty storefront, Super Domestic offers fun takes on classics such as the “Call Your Grandma” lox bagel or “The Attack!” breakfast burrito. The drinks are just as creative, including a dulce de leche matcha latte and yerba matte pour over.

Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken (Culver City Station)

Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Cathy Chaplin

Kettle. Fried. Chicken. Need we say more? Every day is fried chicken day at Honey’s, where the art of kettle-frying chicken is alive and well. The chicken is tender on the inside and as crisp as can be on the outside. For the full experience, make sure to order buttermilk biscuits, coleslaw, and macaroni salad. Grab a picnic table out front and stay for a while.

Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Honey’s Kettle fried chicken with fries and biscuits.
Cathy Chaplin

Grand Casino Bakery & Cafe (Culver City Station)

At this Argentine spot, diners can have their cakes, alfajores, and empanadas all in one place. On the full menu, find the chimichurri chicken plate and pascualina (savory tart). Peruse the market section to find Argentine specialties while waiting for orders.

Highly Likely Cafe (Farmdale Station)

Highly Likely Cafe is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach. Perfect for brunches, lunches, and more, the open, airy spot serves a mean breakfast burrito and possibly the most beautiful avocado toast. Get comfy in a booth or soak in the sun at a patio table.

Earle's On Crenshaw (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

From hot dog cart to full-blown restaurant, brothers Cary and Duane Earle share a bit of New York style to the LA links. Get hot dogs topped with a wide range of 17 condiments, from New York-cooked onions to ranch dressing. Since opening the first brick-and-mortar in 1992, Earle’s has expanded into burgers, sandwiches, and Jamaican patties. It even serves can’t-miss desserts such as banana pudding and sweet potato pie, but its mission of bringing community together remains the same.

Ackee Bamboo (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

Stews, curries, and oxtails—oh my! Named after the national fruit of Jamaica, Ackee Bamboo in Leimert Park Village serves homemade Caribbean classics such as jerk chicken and curry goat in bright, colorful digs. Don’t skip the most tender plantains, Jamaican patties, and saltfish with callaloo. For vegetarians, the options are aplenty, spanning ackee plates and jackfruit platters.

Harold & Belle's (Expo/Crenshaw Station)

From po’ boys to shrimp and crawfish étouffée, Harold & Belle’s brings more than just a bit of New Orleans to LA’s food scene. Going back three generations, the restaurant has been a cornerstone in Jefferson Park, serving up New Orleans classics in a cozy yet fine dining experience fit for any family gathering, friend celebration, or treat-your-self kind of night.

Chichen Itza (Jefferson/USC Station)

Family-owned Chichen Itza specializes in Yucatan-style Mexican food to bring a bit of their food lineage to Los Angeles. The tamal colado, filled with achiote chicken and steamed in banana leaves, is tender and flavorful. For a full dinner to hunker down on, order the pollo pibil — bone-in chicken marinated in achiote, sour orange juice, and cooked in banana leaves, and served with rice, beans, pickled red onions, and tortillas.

Nimbus Coffee (Pico Station)

It’s Harry Potter’s world — we’re just living in it. This is a statement of truth over at Nimbus Coffee, where the vibe transports you to a place of whimsy and wizardry. Escape to Nimbus for a bit and find menus for the “Adventurous Wizard” (Orange is the New Hex) or the “Basic Witch” (House Elf Brew).

Sonoratown (7th Street/Metro Center Station)

Tacos from Sonoratown.
Tacos at Sonoratown.
Matthew Kang

If you’re a swear-by-corn-tortillas type of person, Sonoratown might offer up a worthy challenge to that belief. Named after the small community of Mexican immigrants settled in the area we call Chinatown today, the taqueria doles out Sonoran-style tacos spotlighting thin, flavorful flour tortillas made with lard. Nearly translucent, the tortillas are a perfect vehicle for perfectly grilled steak, chicken, tripe, or chorizo.

Tacos from Sonoratown.
Tacos at Sonoratown.
Matthew Kang

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