11 Soups From Around the World To Try in LA
Take a global tour of the ultimate comfort food.
Winter’s coming, so let’s talk soup. Not only is it the perfect one-and-done meal, eating soup is basically like a hug in a bowl, not to mention its inherent healing properties for when you’ve got a winter sniffle. On those cold LA evenings (even East Coasters agree that our evening chill is nothing to scoff at), soup is the ideal way to warm up.
Practically every culture and cuisine has their own spin on this soul-warming dish. And with LA’s dining scene being about as diverse as they come, naturally that means a plethora of soup options are at the beck and call of Angelenos. With temperatures gradually nearing the dreaded low of 60 degrees (aka the West Coast version of a polar vortex) and days getting shorter, it looks like soup season is here to stay. So grab a spoon and hit up this list of eleven essential soups in LA:
Los Cinco Puntos
The dish: menudo
Folklore says that menudo is only sold on Saturday and Sundays because of its superpower ability to cure hangovers. Whether or not that’s the reason it’s sold on weekends, there is no denying its skill in undoing whatever damage you did to yourself the night before. But you don’t need a hangover to enjoy a bowl of menudo at Los Cinco Puntos: the broth is spicy, the right amount of greasy, and great for dipping their house-made tortillas in. Los Cinco Puntos is also known for their carnitas, so grab some tacos while you’re there.
How to order: Available on the weekends for in-store pickup.
The dish: spicy miso ramen
The wealth of ramen shops in LA are an obvious indication that Angelenos love this fatty broth-based soup. If all the options leave you overwhelmed, you can’t go wrong with the Granddaddy of LA ramen spots, Daikokuya. Their best-selling item is the rich and creamy Daikoku ramen, but there’s just something about their spicy miso. The pork broth soup comes with a spicy miso base, not too soft and not too chewy noodles, a half-boiled egg, sliced roast pork, bean sprouts, green onions, and bamboo shoots, somehow achieving the perfect combination of slurpy, crunchy, spicy, and savory.
How to order: Call 213-626-1680 for to-go orders; takeout and delivery via Ubereats, Caviar, Doordash, and Grubhub.
The dish: pozole
The #1 place to get pozole in LA is from a grandma. If that’s not an option, El Parian has you covered. What this unassuming spot in Pico-Union lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for with their food, and while they’re better known for their birria, the red pork pozole is coming for the crown. The broth is rich and they don’t skimp on the meat. It’s served with a tostada and the requisite lemon, onion, cabbage, and sliced radishes on the side, making it the perfect companion to a chilly day.
How to order: Available on the weekends for in-store pickup. Cash only.
The dish: Pho tái (rare beef)
We could buy drink this pho broth out of a mug and be immensely happy. The garlic, star anise, clove, and cinnamon complement each other perfectly with no flavor overpowering the other. The accompanying meat and noodles come together to make this a must-try bowl of pho, especially their pho tái (rare beef). If you want to venture outside of pho, try its spicier cousin, bún bò huế. It’s a great combo of tangy and spicy with hints of lemongrass.
How to order: Call 323-227-0758 for takeout orders; cash only.
The dish: Dana matzo ball soup
When you’re in the throes of a terrible flu (or the virus-we-won’t-mention), nothing brings you back to life quite like Wexler’s Deli’s Dana matzo ball soup. For legal reasons, we can’t officially endorse the soup’s miraculous curative qualities, but we can guarantee that the schmaltz and filling matzo balls will leave you feeling nourished.
How to order: Pickup and delivery via ChowNow, Grubhub, Caviar, Postmates, Seamless, Uber Eats, and Doordash.
The dish: yook gae jang
Yook gae jang is a substantial soup with flavor to match: its base is a spicy broth with shredded beef, egg, and green onions, plus a side of rice to add at your discretion, and assorted banchan that are perfect for nibbling in between spoonfuls of soup.
How to order: Call 213-383-3554 for to-go orders. Takeout and delivery via Postmates and UberEats.
Bang Bang Handmade Noodles Xi’an Street Food
The dish: Tingling cumin noodle soup
As the name implies, this filling soup tingles with spices, including aromatic cumin that is never overwhelming. Their noodles are freshly made onsite and topped with your choice of protein, house chili oil, fresh cabbage, green onions, and cilantro, plus fresh garnishes that add a crisp texture to the dish. Bang Bang frequently sells out of items and has a large (and deserved) social media following—trust us, it’s worthy of the hype.
How to order: Place takeout orders in advance through their website.
Taste of Tehran
The dish: Ash reshteh
This vegetarian-friendly Persian concoction of vegetables, beans, and noodles is generously spiced with fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley. The thick soup is then garnished with yogurt, caramelized onions, and fried mint. It’s commonly served during Persian New Year and special occasions, but it’s so good you may want to consider every day a special occasion.
How to order: Takeout and delivery via Chow Now, Grubhub, Postmates, Caviar, Seamless, and DoorDash.
Mayura Indian Restaurant
The dish: Rasam
One of our favorite Indian restaurants in LA, Mayura is a Culver City classic that specializes in Southern Indian food, specifically the Kerala region. Also referred to as “King Soup,” rasam is a powerhouse of health benefits. The vegan tomato soup is rich in vitamins and minerals and said to help aid in digestion, weight loss, and improve your skin. Not to mention a walloping dose of dried chilies, garlic, and tamarind, which are sure to cure any nasal congestion. Pick up an order of their garlic ginger onion naan to dip in the soup. We love any food that replaces silverware with carbs.
How to order: Available for delivery/takeout via Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats, ChowNow, EatStreet, and DoorDash.
Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine
The dish: Fish tea soup
Located in Leimert Park Village, Ackee Bamboo is an LA all time great known for their Caribbean dishes such as jerk chicken, ox curry, and their delicious fish tea soup. Every bowl comes with salted cod, seasonal vegetables, and a fragrant broth popping with aromatics like bonnet peppers. You’re going to want to order a side of their beef patties while you’re there.
How to order: Call 323-295-7275 for to-go orders or order takeover/delivery via Grubhub and Postmates.
The dish: Zaru udon
LA’s weather can be capricious. Sometimes mornings call for layers and by the afternoon you’re in shorts. Hence why soup season recommendations require a cold option. Enter Marugame Monzo’s zara udon. The Japanese soup comes with hand-pulled noodles that you can dip in a savory sauce with a slight citrus kick. It’s also served with tempura bits, green onions, garlic, and radishes that you can add to the sauce. A real choose-your-own-adventure meal.
How to order: Call 213-346-9762 for to-go orders or order takeover/delivery via Caviar, Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Seamless, and Postmates.