Cheap Eats in Los Angeles

It may be known for pricy meals, but there are bargains to be found in and around the City of Angels. Here are our picks for the best culinary bang for your (U.S.) buck.

Double Cheeseburger at Hinano Cafe


Photograph by Diephuis.

Although many places claim to have the “best burger in town,” few are steps from the sand like this beachside café that serves burgers charred to perfection, topped with classic cheddar and served on spongy egg buns.

15 Washington Blvd, Venice,

Hot and Sour Soup at Joy


Photograph courtesy of Joy.

Inspired by Taiwan’s street food culture, this casual Highland Park eatery has seen a lineup outside its door since opening in 2018. The hot and sour soup, US$4 to $10.50 depending on size, is bursting with spices and packed with huge chunks of silky tofu, making it the ultimate comfort food.

5100 York Blvd., Los Angeles,

Fried Fish Tacos at Neptune’s Net


Photograph by Diephuis.

Not everything in Malibu breaks the bank. Founded by aerodynamicist and engineer Eastman Jacobs in 1956, Neptune’s Net serves bargain seafood with a million-dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. The trio of fried fish tacos with pineapple slaw and avocado lures crowds from both sides of the Ventura County line.

42505 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu,

Burrito Libre at Taco Libre


Photograph by Sam Diephuis.

Mexican food is part of Los Angeles’ DNA, and Taco Libre adds a unique flare to traditional fare. The Burrito Libre is a favourite thanks to juicy shrimp nestling among black beans, rice and avocado—but it’s the smoked chipotle sauce made with mayo and a secret ingredient that really sets these monsters apart.

135 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica,

Grilled Sausage and Peppers Hot Sandwich at The Original Giuliano’s Delicatessen


Photograph by Diephuis.

Owned and operated by the Giuliano family since 1952, this delightful deli brings a microcosm of Italian culture to the South Bay. The smell of fresh bread permeates the neighbourhood and envelops Giuliano’s iconic 12-inch grilled sausage and pepper sandwich, which oozes provolone cheese and marinara sauce.

1138 W. Gardena Blvd., Gardena,

Chicken Tarna Plate, Zankou Chicken


Photograph courtesy of Zankou Chicken.

When the Iskenderian family brought their flame-broiled chicken recipe from Beirut, Lebanon, to L.A., they converted millions of Angelenos to its secret garlic sauce, which has since achieved legendary status. The popular Mediterranean platter teams up marinated white chicken meat, warm pita, hummus, tahini and pickled turnips.

7851 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles,

[This story appears in the January 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]