19 must-try eateries near Metro

Chow, fare, grub — when you think of Los Angeles, great climate and beautiful beaches usually come to mind. But let’s not forget about the great food options this city has to offer.

Whether you enjoy Korean, French, Jamaican food, or a west coast spin on some down home southern cooking, chances are there is a dish here somewhere with your name on it. And the best part is most of it can be found close to a Metro bus stop or train station. That’s right! You can get your fill by simply going Metro.

To make things easier, my colleagues and I have put together a list of eateries in different areas of the city that you absolutely have to try. Feel free to share your favorite food experience near Metro or restaurants you think we should check out in the comments below. Now let the food festivities begin!

1. Grand Central Market

Perfect for tourists and locals, the market offers great social vibes and plenty of food choices that won’t disappoint! Our suggestions: try Eggslut (yes, that’s the name), Sticky Rice, Bombo, Horse Thief BBQ and Sarita’s Pupeseria. (Metro Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station, exit towards 4th/Hill)

2. Langer’s Deli

It’s an old-fashioned deli serving up warm and juicy pastrami sandwiches since 1947. Our suggestion: you won’t go wrong with anything on the menu, especially the #19 hand-cut pastrami with Swiss cheese and house coleslaw — it’s legendary. (Metro Red or Purple Line Westlake/MacArthur Park Station to Alvardo/7th)

Langer's via isaidiine instagram

3. Q

If you’re looking for an intimate, high-end dining experience, Q sits in the Financial District just a few blocks away from two Metro Rail stations. It’s been named one of the most traditional sushi restaurants in L.A. and serves omakase style only — where the chef gets to choose your meal. Let your taste buds be pleasantly surprised and book a reservation today! (Red, Purple, Blue or Expo Line to 7th St/Metro Center, Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station)

Salmon Festival Roll via qsushi instagram

4. 10e

Nestled in a historical fine arts building, 10e is an ornate yet comfortable eatery with popular Mediterranean foods such as mezze, grilled kabobs, shared vegetarian plates and seafood. (Metro Red, Purple, Blue or Expo Line to 7th St/Metro Center)

Brunching via 10e_dtla instragram

5. Jitlada

Affordable and authentic southern Thai food in a modest space, Jitlada is a city treasure known for its super-long menu and super spicy cuisine. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Western Station and walk 10 minutes south on Western Avenue, then east on Sunset Boulevard)

photo via Jitlada Thai Restaurant

6. Mama Shelter

Great food, colorful decor and a rooftop deck with amazing views stretching from downtown L.A. to the pacific ocean! You might hear the sounds of African-funk or old school hip-hop during dinner. Be sure to check out the variety of cocktails on the menu as Thrillist named it one of the best places to have a drink outdoors. (Metro Red Line Hollywood/Vine Station, then walk about seven minutes to Selma/Wilcox)

7. Wexler’s Deli 

They’ve got the real deal Jewish deli foods — hand crafted pastrami, smoked salmon, bagels and a variety of sandwiches. Go Metro and get your fill! (Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica Station or Big Blue Bus Route 10 to Santa Monica/6th St.)

Reuben from Wexler's Deli Instagram

8. Cassia

East-meets-west with uncommonly paired Southeast Asian and French cuisine. Some popular choices on the menu: Vietnamese sunbathing prawns, chickpea curry with clay oven bread and Vietnamese pot-au-feu. (Metro Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica Station or Line 704 or Big Blue Bus Route 10 to Santa Monica/Lincoln)

9. Young Dong Restaurant

A simple, family style restaurant with some of the best Korean food in town! Our suggestion: satisfy your tummy with the seafood or pork dumpling tofu soup. (Metro Purple Line to Wilshire/Western Station or Line 20 to Wilshire/Saint Andrews)

yummy goodness via koreatown instagram

10. Racion 

An Old Pasadena eatery combining traditional dining and rich flavors from the Basque region of Spain and France. This place is practically always on food critic Jonathan Gold’s 101 best restaurants list. (Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station or Del Mar Station)

Bone-in rib eye steak from Racion instagram

11. Pasadena Sandwich Co. 

Family-owned and operated serving up hearty sandwiches worth every penny. They’ve got veggie sandwich options, too! Our suggestion: try the turkey supreme or the New Yorker. (Metro Gold Line to Sierra Madre Villa Station)

photo via pasadenasandwichcompany instagram

12. T.O.T 

T.O.T. stands for Teishokuya of Tokyo and serves traditional Japanese cuisine with a wide variety of tempura, sushi, udon and soba noodles and grilled fish. My suggestion: try the tonkotsu shoyu ramen with a side of spicy tuna rolls! (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station)

Pork Ramen, Tuna Roll via theminty instagram

13. Howlin’ Ray’s

Nashville-style hot chicken with different chicken options and heat levels ranging from country (no heat) to howlin’ spiked with Carolina reaper peppers (named the world’s hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records since 2013). Order it if you dare… (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station)

photo via howlin'ray's instragrma

14. Beer Belly

There’s much more to this place than the brew! It’s also a casual spot for interesting comfort foods such as duck fries (below), Beer Belly grilled cheese, pork cheek chili cheeseburgers and more! (Metro Purple Line to Wilshire/Western Station, then a short stroll to 6th/Western)

Duck Fat Fries via beerbelly_la

15. California Donuts

A fun, 24-hour bakery with sweet and savory muffins, croissants and donuts to satisfy your sweet tooth. (Metro Red Line to Wilshire/Vermont Station or Line 204, 754 or 16/17/316 to 3rd/Vermont)

via CaliforniaDonuts1 instagram

16. The Jerk Spot

This place could easily go under the radar thanks to its strip mall exterior, but don’t let that steer you away. Inside there are decorative accents and a variety of authentic Jamaican food you won’t be able to get enough of. Try any of the jerk meats (jerk chicken for me, please!) with plantains, reggae bread, rice and beans. (Metro Expo Line to Culver City Station or Line 16/17/316 or Big Blue Bus Route 17 to Venice/Robertson)

The Jerk Spot via singultation instagram

17. LocoL

Healthy, great tasting fast food under $10 bucks is what you’ll find at this spot, Brekkie (breakfast), Foldies (cross between taco and quesadilla), Crunchies (nuggets) and Burgs (burgers and sandwiches) are some of the menu options. My suggestion: get the fried chicken burg, pictured below. You’ll thank me later. (Metro Blue Line to 103rd/Watts Towers Station)

18. Highland Park Bowl

Great for date night or a fun outing with friends, the bowl was restored this past April and now features vintage decor, craft cocktails and a wood-fire oven turning out Neapolitan-style pizzas. (Metro Gold Line to Highland Park Station, then a short walk to Ave 57/Figueroa)

Pizza from Highland Pk Bowl via jal6ch6 instagram

19. Chunju Han-il Kwan

It’s not just your average Korean cooking. They serve large, family-style bowls of stew and are famous for their budae jjigae, or army base stew. Other options to try: seafood pancakes and dumpling soup. (Metro Purple Line to Wilshire/Normandie Station or Wilshire/Western Station)

Korean Army Stew via misscutiefoodie instagram

For more help navigating our system, click the handy links below. Happy eating!

4 replies

    • After ‘several years’ of not eating at the GCM I visited three weeks ago. What a shock – it seems to have been completed ‘hipsterized’. That applies to most of my former haunts downtown.

      Cheap eats RIP :-(.

  1. During the Disney Hall season, I typically split my pre-concert dining between 10e (which I’m glad to see made the list), Clifton’s, and occasionally the Pantry. Given how convenient 10e is to 7th/Metro, it’s gotten to a point where some staff members even recognize me. Regrettably, Clifton’s has gotten just a bit “hipsterized” itself, and my favorite sight-gag in the decor (a carved figure of a bear, fishing in a stream, using a fishing pole) is gone, but the new owners are starting to get the idea. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s even possible to “hipsterize” the Pantry.

    During the Hollywood Bowl season, I split my pre-concert dining among four places that didn’t make the list: Spice (at the Best Western Hollywood Plaza: tiny place, but good food, nice people, and it’s less than a 20-foot detour from a direct walk from the Red Line station to the Bowl), Musso & Frank, Miceli’s, and occasionally the Pig & Whistle.