As the 4th of July weekend descends upon us, it's time to think about what makes American food, well, American. In the end, it boils down to fast food and simple fare that might draw inspiration from other parts of the world, but ultimately came into popularity because of the expansive, industrial growth of America through the last century. With a slant toward older establishments that have been doing what they do for decades, here are the 18 best All-American bites around Los Angeles, just in time for the holiday.Read More
The 18 Best All-American Bites in Los Angeles
1. Burgers at Bill's Hamburgers
Van Nuys, CA 91411
Always get the double cheeseburger with all the fixin's at Bill's. Possibly the best old-school roadside burger in town, though it's a little bit of a trek to the Valley.
2. Hot Dogs at Skooby's
Simple hot dogs done right in the heart of Hollywood. Always good after a show nearby.
3. Pies at Du-par's
The pies at Du-pars are all made in house and made with love. Grab a whole one on the way out or just enjoy one a la mode in the coffee shop that's pure Americana.
4. Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken
One of the best examples of fried chicken in L.A. The chicken is brined well and fried to a perfect crisp. Don't forget the biscuits and honey!
5. Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ
While there are plenty of newer barbecue joints around town, the 1970's weirdness of Dr. Hogly Wogly's is something that's the perfect way to experience a time when America was simpler and happier.
6. Crunchy Tacos at Tito's Tacos
Line up outside (or go inside to skip it) and enjoy surprisingly good old school crunchy tacos made with shredded meat and bright orange cheese. And don't miss out on that excellent salsa with crunchy chips.
7. Pancakes at The Original Pantry
The pancakes here are thick yet fluffy, and probably as wide as a 45. Together with maple syrup and whipped butter, there are few things that are as satisfyingly simple.
8. Smash Burgers at PierBurger
These simple imitation Shake Shack burgers actually hold up. The potato buns are plush and the patties are seared to perfection. Don't miss out on the shakes either.
9. Buffalo Wings at Hot Wings Cafe
Buffalo wings were not invented in L.A., but the best version in town might be at this simple eatery on Melrose (and Glendale, and other spots around town). Load up on about 10 wings per person and have a party.
10. Mac & Cheese at Bay Cities
Sure, everyone gets the Godmother sandwich, but that's an Italian sub. Instead, opt for the mac & cheese, which is American as apple pie.
11. Steaks at Musso & Frank Grill
Mad Men did one of their wrap parties here, if that's any indication to how patently American this place is. Opt for one of the steaks, grilled on the super-hot grill in the dining room, and find a perch on the counter to see it happen.
12. Banana Cream Pie at The Apple Pan
Banana cream pie. Get it, call it a day. The steakburger is straight out of Ohio, for those homesick transplants.
13. Chili Cheese Fries at Carney's
Chili cheese fries inside of a re-purposed train car. God bless 'Merica.
14. Pepper Steak at Dal Rae Restaurant
This classy mid-century restaurant is the right place to throw on that vintage suit or cocktail dress and have a night on the town in...Pico Rivera of all places. The pepper steak is a winner.
15. French Dip at Philippe the Original
The french dip was invented here. And sawdust lines the ground. And crowds never stop. And coffee is like 10 cents. Ahh, America.
16. Corned Beef Hash at The Grill on the Alley
Jonathan Gold says the corned beef hash is the thing to get at The Grill, where Hollywood powerhouses still nosh over martinis during lunch.
17. Plate O' Pickles at Nate 'n Al Delicatessen
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Sure, Langer's is amazing. But there's something about Nate 'n Al and that wonderful plate of pickles that's so reassuring. Plus, Larry King might be a few tables over.
18. Donuts at Randy's Donuts
The Simpsons and countless films have made the massive donut on top of this shop iconic. But the doughnuts themselves are actually some of the best in town.