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Los Angeles Trip Itineraries

Affordable Los Angeles Restaurants

Destination(s): Los Angeles

A meal at the places listed here will cost you around $8 to $15 dollars a person; plus more for alcoholic beverages.

This list started as my most frequented favorite restaurants in LA, with more expensive places screened out. I have also done some online research in an attempt to make this selection more comprehensive.

The days are organized by location:

Day 1 -- Westside
Day 2 -- West Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire
Day 3 -- East Hollywood, Los Feliz, and Silverlake
Day 4 -- Koreatown Vicinity
Day 5 -- Downtown
Day 6 -- San Fernando Valley
Day 7 -- East Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Gabriel, and Eastward read more about Affordable Los Angeles Restaurants

Joe's Pizza

Joe's Pizza

  • 111 Broadway
  • Ocean Avenue
  • tel:310 395 9222
  • Visit website
  • Santa Monica, 90401
Merkato Ethiopian African Market

Merkato Ethiopian African Market

  • 1036 1/2 South Fairfax Avenue
  • tel:1 323 935 1775
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90019
Paru's

Paru's

  • 5140 W Sunset Blvd
  • tel:(323) 661-7600
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90027-5708
Dino's Chicken and Burgers

Dino's Chicken and Burgers

  • 2575 West Pico Boulevard
  • tel:(213) 380-3554
  • Los Angeles, 90006

The specialty here is the chicken. For a modest price, you receive half a flame-grilled chicken served with fries. Coleslaw and tortillas are also included. It is a very tasty and satisfying meal, prepared with a tangy vinegary sauce. A meal like this makes you wonder: why cook?  Other people clearly think the same thing because Dino's is constantly serving many many of portions of this dish, "El Pollo Maniaco." They also serve burgers and Mexican food here.

(Please note this restaurant accepts cash only).
read more about Dino's Chicken and Burgers

Philippe The Original

Philippe The Original

  • 1001 North Alameda Street
  • At Ord St
  • tel:+1 213 628 3781
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Daichan

Daichan

  • 11288 Ventura Boulevard
  • tel:(818) 980-8450
  • Studio City, 91604

This place calls its cuisine "Japanses Soul Food" and I take this to mean homestyle Japanese cooking. Whatever you call it, the food here is delicious, healthy and affordable. The meals do have a comfort feel to them, but without being overly heavy or rich. In particular I have had a number of their soups and fish entrees and been very satisfied. Although this place does offer a lot of things you will be familiar with (sushi, udon, and soba for example), the menu here is definitely distinct from the typical Japanese-American joint. There are clearly a lot of regulars at this unique restaurant.
read more about Daichan

Pie 'N Burger

Pie 'N Burger

  • 913 East California Boulevard
  • tel:1 626 795 1123
  • Visit website
  • Pasadena, 91106
Ruen Pair Restaurant

Ruen Pair Restaurant

  • 5257 Hollywood Boulevard
  • tel:(323) 466-0153
  • Los Angeles, 90027

This affordable and authentic Thai restaurant is a long time favorite for many people. It's located in a little strip mall on Hollywood Blvd in Thai Town (the mini-mall lot is valet only, although the parking fee is very reasonable). Recommended dishes here include the green papaya salad, the morning glory, Tom Yum Goong, Nam Tok beef, and Chinese broccoli with crispy pork. The "rice soup a la carte" dishes are also supposed to be good. Jonathan Gold recommends the Thai-Chinese dishes here (maybe he is also refering to the khao tom style food?) Please note that this restaurant accepts cash only. Open until 3:30 am.
read more about Ruen Pair Restaurant

El Cholo

El Cholo

  • 1121 South Western Avenue
  • South of Olympic Blvd
  • tel:323 734 2773
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90005
Andre's Restaurant

Andre's Restaurant

  • 6332 West 3rd Street
  • tel:(323) 935-1246
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90036

Andre's restaurant has been keeping it real since 1963. This cafeteria-style Italian place delivers a solid value with their large servings and good food. Spaghetti with a variety of sauces is always available; in addition to the normal menu they have specials for every day of the week. This place is a little hard to find: it is located right between Sears and Whole Foods. If you are looking for an affordable and hearty meal near the Farmers Market or the Grove, this is the place for you.
read more about Andre's Restaurant

Sanamluang Cafe

Sanamluang Cafe

  • 5176 Hollywood Blvd
  • tel:(323) 660-8006
  • Los Angeles, 90027

The wonders of cheap and authentic Thai food in the Thai Town mini-malls on Hollywood Blvd include this great Thai restaurant, which is especially well-known for noodles. The famous dish here is the General's Noodle Soup, which always draws rave reviews. The other noodle soups here all generally get good feedback too, as do many other staples like the Pad See Ew. Cash only. Open until 4 am.
read more about Sanamluang Cafe

Tommy's Original Hamburger

Tommy's Original Hamburger

  • 2575 Beverly Blvd
  • tel:(213) 389-9060
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90057-1020
Plum Tree Inn

Plum Tree Inn

  • 937 North Hill Street
  • tel:1 213 613 1819
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Uncle Darrow's Cajun restaurant

Uncle Darrow's Cajun restaurant

  • 2560 South Lincoln Boulevard
  • (at Washington Boulevard)
  • tel:1 310 306 4862
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90292
Casa Bianca Pizza Pie

Casa Bianca Pizza Pie

  • 1650 Colorado Boulevard
  • tel:(323) 256-9617
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90041-1436
Monte Alban

Monte Alban

  • 11927 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • tel:1 310 444 7736
  • Los Angeles, 90025
Spicy BBQ

Spicy BBQ

  • 5101 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • tel:(323) 663-4175
  • Los Angeles, 90029

I have only ordered from the Northern Thai Cuisine section of Spicy BBQ's menu because it is so good that I am always coming back for more. The pork salad, spicy jackfruit and the chili pastes (with or without pork) are all delicious. The mini-mall setting is low-key. Sometimes I order to go and come by to pick up the food (as they do not deliver) to miss the crush on the 4 or 5 tables in their small dining room. If you have a taste for Northern Thai food this place is a must. (Please note they accept cash only.)
read more about Spicy BBQ

Guelaguetza

Guelaguetza

  • 3014 West Olympic Boulevard
  • tel:(213) 427-0608
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90006
Yang Chow Restaurant

Yang Chow Restaurant

  • 819 N. Broadway
  • At Alpine St., Chinatown
  • tel:213/625-0811
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Porto's Bakery

Porto's Bakery

  • 315 North Brand Boulevard
  • tel:1 818 956 5996
  • Visit website
  • Glendale, 91203
Spitz

Spitz

  • 2506 Colorado Blvd
  • tel:(323) 257-5600
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90041
Tacomiendo

Tacomiendo

  • 4502 Inglewood Boulevard
  • tel:(310) 915-0426
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90066

The best thing about Tacomienda is that there is no gimmick. This place just serves affordable and good home-cooked Mexican food. Just the salsa bar, with its big pot of beans ready for self-service, was enough to make me like this place. The quality of the food is consistently high. There is definitely an awareness of health eating here too: for example, they offer a wide variety of fancy blended fruit drinks.
read more about Tacomiendo

Skooby's

Skooby's

  • 6654 Hollywood Boulevard
  • tel:1 323 468 3647
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90028
Falafel Arax

Falafel Arax

  • 5101 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • tel:(323) 663-9687
  • Los Angeles, 90029

This small restaurant offers excellent Middle Eastern food.  The falafels are extra crispy and delicious and everything on their menu is top-knotch. This place clearly has a lot repeat customers from surrounding Little Armenia. It is great spot to pick up some food on the way home after a long day. (They accept cash only).
read more about Falafel Arax

Pollo A La Brasa (on Western Ave)

Pollo A La Brasa (on Western Ave)

  • 764 South Western Avenue
  • tel:(213) 382-4090
  • Los Angeles, 90005

Los Angeles may be full of rotisserie chicken joints but Pollo a La Brasa rules them all. You know you are getting close to this place becase the smell from the wood-fired grill spreads for blocks. And quite a grill it is, they can cook over 50 chickens at the same time on the rotating apparatus! While waiting for my order to be prepared, another customer filled me in some of the technique: they pre-cook the chickens partially to achieve the perfectly balanced smoky taste (smoky but not too smoky). The chicken orders come with a spicy Peruvian aji green sauce. Peru is supposed to be the South American capital of rotisserie chicken and Pollo a La Brasa is evidence of this. They have a small dining area here; many people order their food to go.
read more about Pollo A La Brasa (on Western Ave)

Cielito Lindo

Cielito Lindo

  • 23 Olvera Street
  • tel:(213) 687-4391
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012

Aurora Guerrero came up with the recipe for  Cielito Lindo's famous taquitos with green avocado sauce when this venerable stand opened in the 1930's.  The dish she created features a dab of guacamole inside a meat taquito and a green sauce that is like salsa verde plus avocado. It is definitely an affordable and tasty treat! This food stand is a great meal stop if you are in the Olvera Street area and want some authentic Los Angeles street food.
read more about Cielito Lindo

The Oinkster

The Oinkster

  • 2005 Colorado Boulevard
  • tel:1 323 255 6465
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90041
Pink's

Pink's

  • 709 North La Brea Avenue
  • tel:1 323 931 4223
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90036
Pure Luck Restaurant

Pure Luck Restaurant

  • 707 N. Heliotrope Drive
  • tel:323-660-5993
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90029

Welcome to Hel-Mel.  Thanks to the nearby Bike Kitchen and Orange 20 bike store, this corner may well be ground zero for the Los Angeles bicycle movement. And everyone eats at Pure Luck, the local vegan restaurant and watering hole. This restaurant takes the comfort food approach to vegan cuisine; their sweet potato fries for example are a real favorite. I also recommend the Tofu Pesto sandwich and Todd's BBQ sandwich. Pure Luck uses either tofu or jack fruit as a meat substitute; I usually go for the tofu because it is a little heartier. A wide variety of local micro-brews are served; drinking a delicious beer is part of the Pure Luck experience!
read more about Pure Luck Restaurant

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

  • 317 S Broadway
  • tel:213-624-2378
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013

Opened in 1917, this is market has rolled with times and remains an attractive and fun destination. The space is enclosed but has an open air feel to it, complete with sawdust on the floor. Inside are many prepared food vendors (Mexican, Middle-Eastern, Hawaiian, Japanese. . . .) as well as stalls selling groceries.  There is also coffee and frozen yogurt available. . . and everything is priced affordablely. With a $10 purchase here you can get validation for 1 hour parking at the DOT lot located at 308 South Hill Street. The Grand Central Market is located downtown right between the (now re-opened) Angels Flight funicular and the Bradbury Building. Overall this is a great spot to get lunch while you are exploring downtown.
read more about Grand Central Market

The York

The York

  • 5018 York Blvd
  • tel:(323) 255-9675
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90042-1714
Astro Burger

Astro Burger

  • 5601 Melrose Avenue
  • tel:1 323 469 1924
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90038
Zankou Chicken

Zankou Chicken

  • 5065 W Sunset Blvd
  • tel:(323) 665-7842
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90027
Wurstkuche

Wurstkuche

  • 800 E. 3rd St
  • tel:213 687 4444
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013
El Atacor #11

El Atacor #11

  • 2622 North Figueroa Street
  • tel:(323) 441-8477
  • Los Angeles, 90065

The potato tacos here are kinda famous. And rightly so as they are delicious. They arrive crispy and fried with a filling of mashed potatos, served over lettuce and tomatoes, and garnished with cheese and guacamole. They are a very satisfying and affordable treat to eat! This taqueria has its act together: this place is clean and they stay open really late (4am). Great spot for a cheap dinner or a late night snack.
read more about El Atacor #11

Yuca's Tacos

Yuca's Tacos

  • 2056 Hillhurst Avenue
  • tel:1 323 662 1214
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90027
Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

  • 648 South Broadway Seventh Street
  • tel:1 213 627 1673
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90014
Fatburger

Fatburger

  • 1611 North Vermont Avenue
  • tel:(323) 663-3100
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90027
The Original Pantry

The Original Pantry

  • 877 S Figueroa St
  • At 9th St
  • tel:(213) 972-9279
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90017
El Tepeyac

El Tepeyac

  • 812 N Evergreen Ave
  • tel:(323) 267-8668
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90033
Sompun

Sompun

  • 4156 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • tel:1 323 669 9906
  • Los Angeles, 90029
Nickel Diner

Nickel Diner

  • 524 South Main Street
  • tel:(213) 623-8301
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013

This well-received restaurant/diner has provided downtown with a reasonably-priced food destination. This is the kind of gentrification that I can deal with: an unpretentious, independently owned and operated business. The food is solid all-American fair, comfort food in a diner mode. You really can not go wrong with their mac and cheese; the breakfasts and sandwiches I've eaten here have all been good. They also have a good selection of deserts.
read more about Nickel Diner

Garage Pizza

Garage Pizza

  • 4339 1/2 W Sunset Blvd
  • tel:(323)668-1190
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90029
Tacos Baja

Tacos Baja

  • 5385 Whittier Boulevard
  • tel:+1 323 887 1980
  • Los Angeles, 90022