18 Essential Jewish Delis and Israeli Restaurants in LA
From plant-based Israeli to classic Jewish delis, here’s where to get LA’s essential Jewish cuisine, including legendary institutions and creative newcomers.
At this point it’s a familiar trope to suggest that restaurants are hubs of connection, community, and cultural exchange—but sometimes there’s a kernel of wisdom in those old saws, and once in a while it’s nice to be reminded of them. Especially with the recent wave of antisemitism in the news, it might be a good time to reconnect and exchange some culture with LA’s thriving Jewish community.
That community is comparatively large and varied, from the longstanding Orthodox Jewish population in Hancock Park and La Brea to the eclectic and casual Reform groups in Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and including two separate areas each deservedly known as the Kosher Corridor—along Pico-Robertson and Ventura Boulevard, respectively. LA’s Jewish restaurants reflect that diversity, with vintage Jewish-American delis, playful modern twists on the form, and also a strong segment of Israeli cuisine with Mediterranean and Levantine influences. From Santa Monica and Beverly Hills to the Valley, these are 18 of our favorite Jewish restaurants in town:
Amit Sidi doesn’t usually call her kitchen a vegan one, she prefers to refer to it as a “vegetable kitchen,” to highlight the fact that she doesn’t use any pre-packaged sauces or fake industrial meats. But her Israeli street food pop-up B’ivrit is nonetheless entirely vegan, with no animal products to be found in her killer Falafel, Cauliflower Shawarma, and Lentil Arayes. Sidi has regular pop-ups at 4100 Bar and Smorgasburg and occasionally bounces around to other bars in Northeast LA, and her long-term goal is to open the kind of hole-in-the-wall falafel joint that she misses from back home in Israel. This city should be so lucky.
How to book: Follow on Instagram for pop-up dates, or DM for catering or private dinners.
The tradition of single-dish specialist restaurants is long and storied in LA, from the al pastor at Leo’s Tacos to the Dak Galbi at Mapo Galbi, but to find a specialist that serves literally one thing is a little more surprising. But the new Sephardic Jewish pastry shop Bo.Re.Kas serves only one dish, the eponymous borekas, with a variety of vegetarian fillings like spinach and cheese or potato and brown butter. The certified Kosher pastries are shattering and flaky, served with a pickle, egg, tomato pulp, and a perfectly punchy schug.
How to book: Walk up or call 818-688-4588 to pre-order.
If you ate a meal at Mazal without doing any background research, you could conceivably finish your dinner before realizing you haven’t had a speck of meat. The vegetarian Israeli restaurant doesn’t make a big deal out of its meat-free status, instead they simply bombard you with vegetables, salads, spreads, and snacks, a parade of plates like punchy Moroccan Carrots, Cauliflower Salad, Brussels Sprouts roasted and tossed with house harissa, and a whole head of Charred Broccoli. Flavors run spicy and just a little playful, as in their Black Sesame Tahini, described on the menu as “emo sesame tears.”
How to book: Reservations available on OpenTable.
Habayit may be best known as the only Kosher restaurant west of the 405, but that reputation sells it short—your first thought should be of their falafel, loose-packed, fried a crispy golden, and studded with herbs. The rest of the menu is no afterthought either, full of kebab shop classics executed at a high level. The shawarma, kabobs, and Israeli salads are perfect, and don't miss the impressive soup selection or the whole section dedicated to schnitzel.
How to book: Walk in, order over the phone at 310-479-7173, or for delivery through all the apps.
The first thing you notice when your food arrives at Ta-Eeem is the sheer size of things—one order of shawarma or pargiot lands with enough food for two or even three meals. But eating at Ta-Eem is not a volume play alone, they make some of the very best Israeli-style grilled meats in town. And that’s before you load up with salads, pickles, and their brilliantly sharp schug and harissa. Don’t miss the fluffy, fresh-baked pita, which is reason enough for a visit and the perfect vehicle for all that flavor.
How to book: Walk in or order ahead over the phone at 323-944-0013.
When you think Kosher cooking, a Crunchwrap Supreme is not the first thing that comes to mind. But Chef Lenny Nourafchan is bringing his creative Kosher cooking and his background in fine dining to fun California-Mexican fusion food at Lenny’s Casita. You can get tacos and burritos with fillings both classic (carne asada, fajita-style veggies) and modern (smoked brisket, confit beef cheek), and there are also Chicken Chorizo Sliders, Short Rib taquitos, and elote-style Corn Ribs.
How to book: Reservations available on Waitly, order for takeout online.
Mort & Betty’s
For vegans that miss the comfort of deli classics like lox, pastrami, and corned beef, Mort & Betty’s is here for you. The plant-based kitchen is cooking up your faves and putting their spin on things, like a Black and White Cookie with tahini and potato latkes featuring house-made probiotic dill pickles with cashew Russian dressing.
How to order: Orders can be made online through their website and picked up at Craft Kitchen or Smorgasburg in DTLA where they also have a pop-up. Delivery available through Locale Market.
Admittedly not a deli, but this Highland Park favorite deserves a spot on our list. Belle’s serves up your usual suspects of bagel flavors, plus limited-edition Jewish delights like Matzo Brei topped with parsley, dill, and fried shallots, and house-made Hamantaschen pastries filled with raspberry rose jam, poppy seed Earl Grey, and chocolate hazelnut. You’ll find the classic bagel and schmear and bacon, egg, and cheese options on the menu, as well as standouts from their newish Jewish menu, like a Loxsmith that comes with lox, crispy salmon skin, radishes, dill, pickled fennel, and beet cream cheese. They also sling specialty bagels with non-traditional toppings, like a recent Cacio e Pepe creation.
How to order: Walk-up or order through their website for pickup or delivery through Caviar.
Daughter’s has become a fast favorite since opening in 2018, thanks in part to its pedigree: owner Trisha Langer’s parents own, well, Langer’s, which means there’s no question she knows her way around pastrami. The menu also includes house-made tuna, egg salads, and a sweet noodle kugel. The sweet and spicy chicken schnitzel sandwich with a panko-crusted chicken breast, coleslaw, Muenster cheese, pickles, and a sweet and spicy aioli sauce smashed between a brioche bun is another crowd favorite.
How to book/order: Walk in or order delivery online.
Wexler’s founder Micah Wexler has been interested in food forever, literally theming his Bar Mitzvah tables with recipes he had created. He’s used those skills for one of the best house-smoked fish plates in the city, and a host of other fun takes on deli classics. The MacArthur Park sandwich, for example, is Wexler’s homage to Langer’s #19 sandwich, but done with his own interpretation of pastrami—smokier than most and cut thick in-house, with a sharply peppery crust.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery via ChowNow.
Famous Labels Deli
Famous Label’s was a ‘70s institution that returned after a decades-long hiatus to its original location in an amazing feat of real estate kismet. The menu is stacked with everything from omelettes to homemade blintzes to matzo brei. They’ve also got a “Famous Mexicatessen” section of the menu where you’ll find chicken fajitas, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery on delivery apps.
Charlie's Kosher Delicatessen
This counter-service hole in the wall is a decades-long favorite on Pico, with a completely kosher menu that features house-cut lox and classic staples including chopped liver and chicken schnitzel. Don’t sleep on their soup menu, which includes classic matzo ball alongside minestrone, mushroom barley, and borscht.
How to book/order: Walk on in or order takeout and delivery from GrubTools.
Nate 'n Al Delicatessen
Generations of Angelenos have gone meshugganah for this old-school deli, which, for more than 60 years, was run by a single family before being saved from closure during the pandemic by legendary music couple (and longtime fans) Shelli and Irving Azoff. Their knishes and kosher dogs are great; the Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel and Matzo Ball Soup are legendary.
How to book/order: You can always walk in; they also have online ordering on Toast.
Art's Delicatessen & Restaurant
With Jerry’s shuttered due to the pandemic, Art’s—which has been blasting Valley kids with carbs since 1957—has become the East Valley’s #1 spot for noodle kugel to sky-high pastrami sandwiches. Here, breakfast is served all day, appetizers come with a side of bagel chips, and deli items are offered by the pound, ranging from pastrami, corned beef, and salami to hand-sliced lox, natural smoked cod, and smoked whitefish, to cheeses, salads, breads and bagels, soups, dressings, and desserts, with specialties like cheese blintzes and meat knish.
How to book/order: Walk-in, call 818-762-1221 or order via ChowNow for takeout, and order delivery via UberEats and other apps.
Langer's has been next to MacArthur Park since 1947, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing. That is thanks in large part to the #19, a massive pastrami sandwich with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing that has won justifiable fame across the country. With pastrami and rye bread this good, though, you may be better off with the pure simplicity of the pastrami on rye alone, with a gentle smear of mustard if you’re so inclined.
How to book/order: You can wait in the line or order delivery via all of the big partner apps.
The perennial, flagship 24-hour favorite on Fairfax has been around nearly as long as its octogenarian servers, and was once known as much for its pastrami as it was for being the hangout spot for Guns N' Roses (owner Marc Canter even wrote a book about the band's early days based on his experiences with them). The attached Kibitz Room is not only one of our favorite local dive bars—it’s also a great spot to catch small bands on the rise, and if you’ve been drinking there all night, the dense Matzo Ball Soup is a great way to give yourself a base before you Uber home.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery online.
Owned by the same family since the '60s, Brent’s is known for their cheese blintzes, Stuffed Kishka, and for their Black Pastrami Reuben, one of few pastrami sandwiches in town that can legitimately rival Langer’s. The pastrami is particularly peppery, served on high-quality grilled rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, a messy, indulgent monster.
How to book/order: Walk in or select a location and order takeout online.
Factor's Famous Deli
This massive West LA landmark has been around since 1948, and has been run by the same family since 1969. It's got an enormous menu to go with its huge space, with everything from a daily sausage to chicken fajitas to goulash, but no matter what, make sure you get a side of latkes with your order—they’re perfect.
How to book/order: For big groups, call for a private room, otherwise walk in for tables or order pickup and delivery from Toast.