The Best Late-Night Food -- Near Where You'll Be Drinking
We have a lot of bars in LA. Bars make people hungry. Hungry people want to eat. Here are the best late-night spots to do just that, in places you’re likely to be drinking, all open AFTER last call, and sorted by neighborhood, so when you’re stumbling, you’re not stumbling too far.
EFT knows exactly who they’re catering to, as you’ll find the truck (open till 3am every day and 4am on weekends) nestled into the gas station parking lot between The Griffin, The Roost, and Bigfoot Lodge. If you want more than the standard tacos/burritos fare, go ahead and dive into some asada fries or one of the huaraches.
Science has proven that yes, pastrami does in fact taste better after last call. This LA deli legend is open 24/7, so when you hit it up after a beautiful night at the Kibitz Room, you might forget all about whatever that Langer’s place is.
This mini-chain has become an LA fave thanks to high-quality/still affordable Italian classics, like a full espresso bar, salads, and paninis. Go for any of their prosciutto grilled sandwiches (like the Special, with brie and cantaloupe, or the Classico, with roma tomato and buffalo mozzarella). The best part? You have two full hours to make it there on Fridays and Saturdays after last call, since they close at 4am.
Bob’s has been serving the same classics 24 hours a day for 50+ years, so that should let you know just how well it works. Get the Classic Big Boy combo, which includes a burger -- a classic diner-style burger with two all-beef patties and the standard fixin's, plus their homemade red relish -- with fries and a side salad. You might just be in a good enough mood to take a picture with the Big Boy himself.
Soppy, juicy, hot, and perfect. Johnnie’s is open till 2:30am on Wednesday and Thursday, and 3:30am on the weekends, so you’ve got some time to get up in paper-thin pastrami packed with mustard (pro tip: it’s even more perfect when you dunk it in the jus). Double pro tip: cash only!
LA Cafe gets PACKED when the DTLA bars close, but that shouldn’t stop you at all. The 24/7 slew of breakfast sandwiches you can get your hands on are pretty unstoppable, like the “Tex Mex,” with scrambled eggs, carne asada, cheddar, and salsa or the probably-loved-by-Guy-Fieri “Kitchen Sink,” with scrambled eggs, cheddar, bacon, ham, and mushrooms.
No matter what burger chain you feel allegiance to, one thing is undeniable: Tommy’s is an LA institution, and so is that chili. The double chili cheeseburger is the way to go, with all beef patties, real cheese, chopped onions, big beefsteak tomatoes, and smothered, obviously, in Tommy’s famous chili.
Burrito King is open till 3am, and is just down the block from Mohawk Bend. Bonus: you’ll feel like an actual king when you spend only $5.54 on three tacos and a soda or $6 on a supreme burrito.
Persian food, late-night snacks, hookah, and, uh, sushi, after a night at the new Surly Goat? Yeah, The Spot serves all of that until 3am during the week and 4am on the weekends.
You can party with tasty treats like until 4am at ISA, which is close enough to Little Bar and Busby’s East to be a savior. If you’re with a group, go nuts and split some snacks like agedashi tofu, spicy tuna & crispy rice, and grilled saury. Flying solo? No worries, Isa can set you up with some specialty dishes like creamy ramen or Japanese chicken curry.
It always seems like Hollywood bars just feed into late-night Hollywood restaurants, and this Brazilian standby -- open until 4am -- is no exception. Bossa Nova’s portions are huge, so bring your appetite/triumphant spirit/eye of the tiger. You’ll definitely want to grab a plate, with your choice of chicken, fish, or steak and three sides (one of which will unquestionably be fried plantains).
There are myriad late-night options in K-town, but Korean tofu stew (yes, they add meat to it too) is exactly what a blurry body needs. Don’t be adverse to the idea of tofu as a main course; it’s thick, soft, and burrata-like in its texture. The restaurant also loads you up with all the delicious banchan you want, too; Koreans know that kimchi definitely helps with the morning after.
Hit Fred’s for a slightly upscale edge from the the other diners you’ll find in the Dresden-adjacent ‘hood (like House of Pies across the street). Fred 62 has an absurd menu, with everything from Vietnamese noodles, to bacon and eggs, to tuna melts. The Strawberry Beret -- aka your choice of French toast, pancakes, or a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries -- is as close to griddley perfection as it gets.
El Tauro TacosNorth Hollywood
The El Tauro truck cruises through NoHo till 3am offering typical taco truck goodness. What El Tauro also offers, though, are grand slams like fish tacos, Buffalo wings, and even empanadas -- perfect stumbling distance from North Hollywood hotspots like The Federal, The Brickyard, and The Good Nite.
Lucky Boy closes at 2am, so if you’re hanging out in Old Town, does that mean you’re done for? Not so, because Viva is serving 24 hours a day, which means carne asada fries, menudo, and chile rellenos for your eating pleasure. Viva also does a pretty excellent breakfast burrito, so, Lucky-who?
Location of the awkward “morning after” scene from Knocked Up, Swingers is a total iconic Santa Monica spot, open till 3am from Thursday to Saturday. The French toast is money, as is the bacon, and boom, they even do an open-faced hot turkey Thanksgiving sandwich.
Everybody can do late-night breakfast food, but not just everybody can do late-night crepes. If you’re out in the Valley, Crave has your sweet tooth covered with crepes full of cinnamon, sugar, Nutella, and fresh berries. If that’s not your move, you can always do one of the savory crepes, which range from savory ingredients like spinach and and mushrooms all the way up to not-so-medium-savory ingredients like beef-grilled mozzarella and salmon. Or you can skip it all and get bacon and eggs. Your call.
You’ll find Gus’s posted up outside the Cha Cha and Red Lion in Silver Lake most nights until 3am. The California burrito is practically designed for your post-last call butt, packed with your choice of meat, rice, beans, onions, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, guac, and yep, French fries. You get your choice of hot sauce too, and unless you are the Spice Master Supreme, you better think twice before ordering the hottest one they have.
If you’ve had a full night of Manhattan Beach bars, The Kettle is a worthy stop after everything’s closed. Friendly staff and diner classics 24 hours a day make The Kettle one of the South Bay’s best late night options by far. And so does the Blue Crab Omelette. That helps too.
A lot of people say that Du-Par’s fries up the best pancakes in LA, and a lot of people are on to something. Pancake lovers flock from near and far to taste ‘em, especially with that homemade boysenberry jam. Each ‘cake is huge, fluffy, and probably sent from the actual heavens above. When can you acquire these miracle snacks, you ask? All day & all night, of course.
OK, you could argue that Thai Town is either an extension of Hollywood or Los Feliz if you want to be a stickler but who cares: there are tons of late-night options right around the corner from Harvard and Stone -- and this one’s both open till 4am and has a staff that sings Thai karaoke... till 4am. Just don’t try to grab the mic yourself, or you’ll have to ignore the extremely disapproving looks as you decimate your Pad Thai.
There’s no mistaking the craving for noodles after leaving The Scene or The Tonga Hut; good thing Krua’s Pad See Ew is top-notch, and stuffed full of egg, black soy sauce, Chinese broccoli, and your choice of protein. It goes quite well with Pad Thai, or Tom Kha, or pretty much anything else your Thai-loving heart desires. And we all know Thai iced tea makes you go big and strong, right?
Of course, Hinano is Venice’s sorta late-night food of choice -- but if you miss last call there, head to Munch for guilty-pleasure snack food until 2:30am. Munch’s all-too-rare chicken Parm sandwich guaranteed to put you in your happy place, as well as crowd-pleasing bites like tacos, sliders, and fresh-baked cookies.
Open till 3am on weekdays and 4am on weekends, Astro is the greasy burger/melt/dog/gyro (yep, gyros) that you want post Boys Town raging. There will be a hefty line, but you are of sound mind and body, and you can handle it. And there’s a jukebox at each table to help you handle it, also.
Thought the only Tatsu was in Hollywood? You thought wrong! The iPad-ordering-system ramen spot on Sawtelle is open till 3am from Thursday to Saturday, so take advantage of Tatsu’s Soul Ramen (homemade tonkatsu broth) or Bold Ramen (black garlic tonkatsu). And if you live the unfortunate life of being gluten-free, they’ll take good care of you with their gluten-free noodles.
It’s all in the name. Fat Sal’s gives nary a single care to cholesterol, and serves up beastly sandwiches for UCLA’s sloppy denizens, like roast beef packed with mozzarella sticks and cheeseburgers with onion rings. How could a human being ever say no to that?
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