You guys know I love food. It’s my favorite pastime, my passion and my obsession. The Downtown LA scene is blowing up these days – and up until recently I haven’t had 2 seconds to put together to get myself down there and explore! Well guess what – it finally happened.
I got down to business and spent a few days exploring the best places to eat, places to grab a drink and can’t miss sights. So without further ado… bring on the pasta, pizza, tacos and cookies!! Gaby’s Guide to Downtown LA starts now!
1. Flower Market – hands down a trip to DTLA is not complete without a stroll through the flower market. While there’s nothing edible here, it’s basically a little slice of heaven with fresh blooms no matter which way you look! Go early, grab a few bunches and then make your home even more beautiful!
2. Grand Central – where do I even start? Grand central is home to some of my favorite quick bites. Madcapra is my current favorite as they are churning out the most epic falafel salads or wraps anywhere in LA! You can also hit up eggslut for breakfast and get the most delicious egg sandwich of your life. Belcampo is the perfect place to grab some meat that you can cook up for dinner! It’s your one stop shop for a great meal that’s also totally reasonably priced!! Word on the street is that an entire Pasta bar is heading their way in the very near future. And once that happens, I’ll officially be moving in. I mean pasta is basically the key to happiness, am I right? BTW – if you love pasta as much as me… be sure to check out http://passionforpasta.com/ for some major pasta inspiration!
3. Ledlow – known for its brunch scene and the Monday night fried chicken situation. It’s one of my favorite places to have a leisurely breakfast in the morning, crank out some emails and then start the day! Whatever you do – promise me you’ll try the avocado toast. GAME CHANGER!
4. Bottega Louie – While we all know Bottega Louie is home to an actual restaurant, I never make it past the pastries! They, hands down, have the most epic chocolate chip cookies in all of LA. There’s no question about it – they even top my homemade cookies. I’m hooked. They also have a macaroon case to end all macaroon cases. Every single color and flavor is available and always be sure to taste test the mac of the month. This month…. Pumpkin!! If you’re lucky enough to make it past the pastries – the Tagliatelle Bolognese is basically what dreams are made of. I’m living life to the fullest guys, so we might as well go for it! Pasta, cookies and macaroons – ummm done.
5. B.S. Taqueria – can we talk about the chips and guacamole please? OMG. to die for. That’s all you need to know. kthanksbye.
6. Verve Coffee – home of my favorite coffee beans on the planet. They make a mean mocha and have a great community working area where you can set up shop for the day and remain caffeinated ALL DAY LONG.
7. The Springs – If I’m looking for a little pick me up, I head to The Springs for a little kombucha and a tumeric shot. It’s also a great place to chill in-between meals with one of their super fresh smoothies!
8. Bestia – we all know that I’m a lover of all things pasta and pizza. And here’s the end all, be all of both in Los Angeles. Bestia is not only my favorite restaurant in all of LA, but it’s also the best pasta and pizza I’ve ever had outside of Italy. It can’t be beat but I’m willing to try any other restaurants that think they are up to the challenge! And that’s coming from a professional pasta eater – you guys know that’s all I ate from age 1-15. Pasta. Pasta. More pasta.
9. Indie Brewing – DTLA is having a moment when it comes to beer. There are epic breweries popping up all over the place but after MUCH careful taste testing, Indie takes the cake. They are putting out brews that can be purchased all over LA, but since the brewery is right over the bridge from Bestia, it absolutely deserves a spot in Gaby’s Guide to DTLA. Next time you see their gorgeous label, grab a bottle, or two, or three. You won’t be disappointed.
10. Broken Spanish – Goat Cheese Tamales. Enough said.
11. Guerilla Tacos – It’s not a true guide to DTLA without some kind of tacos am I right? Guerilla changes their menu on the daily but no matter what you order, I can assure you that the tacos will change your life. NO JOKE!!
12. Baco Mercat – Have you guys heard of a baco? It’s a delicious little sandwich that gets pretty jazzy at Baco Mercat. Imagine soft shell crab sammies, oxtail has with cheddar tater tots, pork belly avocado and turkey… I mean the list goes on. It’s lunch or dinner and it’s not to be missed.
13. The Pie Hole – who wouldn’t want to visit a restaurant dedicated entirely to pie??!? Okay, there’s coffee too… but it’s the perfect place to get through that afternoon slump and have a little pick me up before the end of the day! I can’t pick a favorite – that would be like asking me to pick my favorite child (even though I don’t have any yet) but I can promise you that they will make your heart sing.
There you have it!! My all time favorite places downtown so you can eat your way through the neighborhood and LIVE! Downtown LA is officially yours for the tasting!