LA's 11 best grown-up versions of your favorite childhood snacks

Los Angeles

LA's 11 best grown-up versions of your favorite childhood snacks
LA's 11 best grown-up versions of your favorite childhood snacks

Barton G. Los Angeles

You're an adult, which means you can't sit around all day eating Ding Dongs, and corndogs, and Fruit Roll-Ups, but you CAN totally sit around eating... grown-up versions of Ding Dongs, and corndogs, and Fruit Roll-Ups! Here're 11 places that do those, plus basically every other awesome junk food you ate as a kid. Remember, just because Vince Vaughn says you’re all growns up, doesn’t mean you have to eat like you are.


Barton G. (address and info)
West Hollywood
Having once given toasters a noble purpose and you a massive sugar high before school, the mighty Pop-Tart has received a savory, white-tablecloth reboot at Barton G.’s LA food carnival. Packed with Maine lobster (?!?), Gruyere, and Pernod Mornay sauce, these fancy phyllo pastries are served in a retro toaster with a side of Tabasco hollandaise, because yes.

Semi Sweet Bakery

Ding Dongs

Semi Sweet Bakery (address and info)
The red velvet Ding-a-Lings (good name) at this Downtown trove of refined classics will take you back to when you used to gleefully stuff Ding Dongs in your face with reckless abandon. Layers of fluffy red velvet cake are mortared together with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with crunchy chocolate pearls, and sealed by an outer layer of magical Valrhona chocolate.

Plan Check

Fruit Roll-Ups

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (address and info)
Whether you tore off pieces, wrapped them on your finger, or just rolled ‘em in a ball for one bite, Fruit Roll-Ups likely held a coveted place in your lunch box. Now you can relive that stretchy goodness once again with the savory ketchup and Sriracha leathers that top the burgers at one of our favorite spots in K-town: Plan Check. Just be sure to order 'em on the side if you want to actually make your fingers sticky.

Okrumong L.A. 002

Shaved ice

Okrumong (address and info)
Maybe you got your summertime sugar fix from snow cones or Italian ices (both totally legit), but if you were lucky enough to grow up with a shaved ice cart nearby then you’ll definitely dig this frosty/fluffy bowl of heaven. Okrumong, one of K-town’s favorite new sweet spots, serves up a colorful variety of shaved ice with classy golden bowls and spoons. Pro-tip: top it with a side of sweeter-than-they-sound red beans.

Superba Food and Bread


Superba Food + Bread (address and info)
You could always count on Snickers to satisfy you during those important moments in your life: recess, Halloween, 10 minutes ago. And now, at this new-ish Venice café and bakery, you can get your nougat-y fix like an adult with the Superba Candy Bar, a fancy redux decked out in chocolate mousse, Marcona almonds, caramel, and sea salt. 

Saint Martha


Saint Martha (address and info)
Because the flavor explosion of Jacked Enchilada Supreme Doritos isn’t enough for your adult palate, this newly minted K-town bistro has you covered for not-childhood. They’ve reinvented your favorite crunchy, orange-y snack as crisp seaweed "Doritos", which you’ll use to scoop up delicious uni tataki and avocado mousse. Just like when you were five... right?


Hostess CupCakes

Lark Cake Shop (address and info)
If you’re willing to overlook the missing squiggle of white frosting on top, the chocolate mousse cupcake at this Silverlake bakery is willing to overlook your grown-up face. Once you bite into the dense chocolate cake and discover a familiar whipped cream filling, you’ll both come to an important understanding, which is that you'll definitely be ordering a dozen more.



Acabar (address and info)
Brilliant was the person who first said, "yeah, I should totally bring these marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars over to that roaring bonfire". Brilliant-er is the mastermind behind the decadently re-imagined Gimme S’more, an artful sprawl of chocolate crèmeux, candied cocoa, graham cracker crumble, and marshmallow ice cream.

Sydney Yorkshire/Bread & Butter PR


The Must (address and info)
This wine-stocked Downtown eatery brings the classic after-school special to a new level with the addition of a dark chocolate ganache dip to their grilled brioche sammy of peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and bananas. And no, we won’t trade you ours for a PB&J.

Old School Eatery


Old School Eatery (address and info)
Whether you hit up Hot Dog On A Stick after school or eagerly awaited the county fair for the deep-fried pleasure of a c-dog, this new Pasadena retro spot brings you back to the good ol’ days with house-made corndog "lollipops" served with quality mustard. And yes, they pair perfectly with their, uh, Bacon Cronut Burger. Yeah, that.


Astronaut ice cream

Firefly (address and info)
Studio City
This Studio City favorite's Beautiful Disaster dessert wouldn't stand up on the space station, but it's out of this world anyways: scoops of brûléed coffee and chocolate sherbet are splattered on a stone slab where shards of sugar cone smash open to reveal little pearls of chocolate awesomeness.

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Danny Jensen is currently in a sugar coma. Find him at @dannyseamus on Twitter.

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1. Barton G 861 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Best known for some of its sweet treats, Barton G. delivers a miniature cart of churros to your table -- teamed with spicy hot chocolate and rolled in sugar and spice (Szechuan pepper, star anise, cloves, cinnamon) these fried fritters pack some serious heat. As a whole, the spot specializes in all that is whimsical. From the magical realism of their decor to their use of each plate as a canvas, time spent at Barton G is as full of satiation as is it inspiration.

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2. Semi Sweet Bakery 105 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

Just as its name suggests, this Downtown bakery delivers the decadence of baked goods without going over the top with oversaturated sugar. Pastry chef Sharlena Fong spends every morning in her small blue shop whipping up cookies, miniature cakes, a couple of breakfast sandwiches, and -- most notably -- her signature Ding-A-Lings, essentially a next-level Ding Dong made with fluffy cake, creamy frosting, and chocolate ganache shells.

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3. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar 351 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (West Hollywood)

This sophisticated gastropub -- with a few locations across Los Angeles -- is acclaimed for its burgers, whiskey, and craft beer. The namesake Plan Check burger, topped with pickles, onions, and Americanized dashi cheese, is famous for its layer of Ketchup Leather, which is a square of dehydrated tomato paste that melts over the patty like a layer of cheese. Plan Check’s comfort food vibe makes for a hip and social ambience, complemented by tall communal tables and plenty of bar seating.

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4. Okrumong 3801 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

Okrumong, one of K-town’s favorite sweet spots, serves up a colorful variety of shaved ice with classy golden bowls and spoons. Pro-tip: top it, in traditional Korean style, with a side of red beans.

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5. Superba Food + Bread 1900 S Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 (Venice)

Spearheaded by Bread and Pastry Director Carlos Enriquez, Superba is a bright and spacious spot offering up treats from an everything croissant (!) to kouign amann to avocado toast on house-baked bread. Don't roll your eyes just yet -- the avocado toast here is actually some of the best in the city. No matter what you put on Superba's bread, you'll find yourself craving more after each bite, so be sure to take some home with you. And don't forget to pick up a Nutella banana pop tart and a bag of bombolini, too.

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6. Saint Martha 740 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005 (Koreatown)

The guys from TART and Farmer’s Daughter opened up this resto in Koreatown. It's got a great wine selection, seasonal brews, and awesome eats.

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7. Lark Cake Shop 3337 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Silverlake)

This Silver Lake bakery uses Dutch cocoa powder and California butter to bring you the best in baked goods. Not to be missed: the chocolate mousse cupcake. Dense chocolate cake with a whipped cream filling: need we say more?

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8. Acabar 1510 N Stanley, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (Hollywood)

Nosh on modern-Moroccan eats -- lamb meatballs with hummus & marmalade, 'tails from the Picca folks -- at this luxe, loungey Hollywood resto.

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9. The Must 117 Winston St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

The Must is... a must (sorry, we had to). Sign up for their pork pie, delicious French fries, and delicious tater tots. You won't regret it.

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10. Old School Eatery 975 N Michillinda Ave, Pasadena, CA 91107 (Pasadena)

This Pasadena retro spot brings you back to the good ol’ days. Their house-made corndog “lollipops” are served up with quality mustard and pair quite nicely with the bacon cronut burger. Yeah, you heard right.

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11. Firefly Studio City 11720 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

This laid-back, Studio City bar is most famous for stirring up its very own infused alcohols (think jalapeño-pineapple tequila, apple-vanilla-cinnamon bourbon), which the bartenders happily use to concoct custom cocktails. Dinner eats include gussied up American classics, like free-range chicken with bacon and honey dates.