Metro’s L line connects much of Los Angeles County east of the 2 Freeway. In between Azusa and East LA, there’s a wide range of scenery, architecture, and, of course, food destinations. From the tenderest boba in Pasadena to fresh, handmade tortillas in Boyle Heights, take a trip on the Gold Line to feast on these 15 sights and cuisines within a mile of the train station.Read More
15 Delicious Stops Along LA’s Metro Gold Line
Hop aboard the Metro L line for Vietnamese spring rolls, Mexican taquitos, and so much more
Marugame Monzo (Little Tokyo/Arts District Station)
Whether it’s hot udon for cold days or cold udon for hot days, head to Marugame Monzo for some of the best handmade udon in the city. At the Little Tokyo location, grab a seat at the window to watch the chefs roll and cut noodles and prepare to be mesmerized. Note: Little Tokyo/Arts District Station is closed until late 2022 but accessible by shuttle from LA Union Station or Pico/Aliso Station.
Hop Woo BBQ & Seafood Restaurant (Chinatown Station)
The late chef Lupe Yening Liang named his restaurant Hop Woo because he wanted it to be a place of gathering. In Chinatown, where so many different cultures have crossed paths over the years, Hop Woo serves up classic Chinese dishes with a trilingual menu spanning Chinese, English, and Spanish. It’s a rarity to spot kung pao de pollo anywhere else.
Cielito Lindo (Union Station)
Some moments just call for a crispy, crunchy taquito. Nestled in Olvera Street near Downtown, Cielito Lindo can’t be missed with its bright, yellow sign and red lettering. The taquitos are best enjoyed slathered in avocado sauce and eaten in the plaza with a mariachi band playing nearby.
Philippe The Original (Union Station)
A special sandwich experience in Los Angeles isn’t far away at Philippe The Original, which has long claimed founder’s rights over one of the most unique sandwiches: the French dip. Stuffed with one’s choice of meat and dipped into juices from the roasting pan, this sandwich is savory with a capital S.
Phở 87 (Chinatown Station)
Spend an afternoon at Phở 87 and leave smelling like spices for the rest of the day. While the restaurant’s koi pond could be an attraction on its own, its menu offers giant bowls of Vietnamese phở or vermicelli. The bún bò Huế is also one to keep an eye out for, complete with blood cubes and pork feet.
Un Solo Sol (Mariachi Plaza Station)
Who says vegans can’t have fun? At Un Solo Sol, blasts of flavor are married with fresh ingredients to produce vegan specials such as shiitake mushroom “al pastor” tacos or enchiladas stuffed with tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach. Don’t skip the pozole on one of those rare LA rainy days.
Birria Los Socios (Indiana Station)
Birria Los Socios started as a food truck before opening its Boyle Heights brick-and-mortar in December 2020. Birria, a Mexican stewed meat with chile peppers, traditionally eaten as a soup, gets the taco treatment where the meat is stuffed into shells, dipped into the broth, then deep fried to a crisp. Feeling frisky? Go for the birria pizza.
Los Cinco Puntos (Indiana Station)
Thick, handmade tortillas are calling at family-owned Los Cinco Puntos. It’s also a good thing the tortillas are sturdy because they’re then topped with the choice of meat, pico de gallo, guacamole, and nopales (cactus). The tacos are not for the faint of heart — bring a moist towelette or two to clean up the aftermath.
Mason's Dumpling Shop (Highland Park Station)
Mason’s Dumplings offers inventive meat-free options such as the vegan ginger chicken bun and vegan dumplings stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, bean curd, cabbage, glass noodles, and shallots. Order the dumplings pan-fried for that golden, crisp bottom.
The Munch Company (South Pasadena Station)
Is there anything more beautiful than the cross-section of a wonderfully layered sandwich? At the Munch Company, layering is an art form when it comes to putting together all the perfect parts of a sandwich. Feeling fancy? Grab a turkey, fig, and brie. Or opt for something fresh and go with the hummus and veggie.
Two Kids Coffee (South Pasadena Station)
A day in LA just isn’t complete without an iced coffee or iced matcha. Two Kids Coffee in South Pasadena offers a minimalist ambiance for a relaxing breather. On a weekend morning, don’t sleep on the breakfast burrito. Located next door is Prospect LA, a culinary bookstore full of “rare and well-done” cookbooks.
Cha Redefine (Memorial Park Station)
No transit adventure should be without a good boba stop. First off, don’t be intimidated by the menu at Cha Redefine. From milky concoctions to fruity refreshers, the tea offerings have something for everyone. To truly indulge, get the mint mojito latte. For something simpler, go with a peach oolong cha.
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Paper Rice (Memorial Park Station)
Heading to the park with some rolls from Paper Rice sounds really good right about now. Each one comes with a crispy egg roll shell that’s been rolled up and deep-fried to add that extra crunch. The shop also makes banh mi with lemongrass chicken, soy-garlic tofu, or charbroiled Vietnamese sausage.
Café Cultura (Azusa Downtown Station)
Brunch gets a delectable Mexican twist at Cafe Cultura, where Churro waffles, tres leches pancakes, and breakfast tortas take the main stage. Mouth already watering? Don’t forget to grab a concha (or two) for the road.
Heidar Baba (Allen Station)
Also known as the House of Halal Persian Kabob, Heidar Baba is a family-run spot with a menu that could take days to get through. The kebab plates come perfectly charred with fire-roasted peppers and tomatoes on the side. While kebab is the main attraction here, the ghormeh sabzi is a can’t-miss with its finely chopped parsley, leeks, spinach, green onion, and cilantro sauteed with red kidney beans and steak.