When I first visited Los Angeles years ago a cab driver told me and my friends that Melrose Ave was the hans-down the coolest place to hang out in the city.
After living here for more than a minute, I’m not exactly ready to cosign that claim but what I have discovered is that strip of culture along Melrose contains some of the finest places to eat in all of L.A. So many, in fact, that we figured the street itself deserved its own food list. And here it is!
From the Larchmont area to Hancock Park to West Hollywood, we searched for the best places to eat along Melrose Ave and listed it out all to help you explore, eat, and enjoy.
Rundown starts after the jump, in no particular order.
1. Osteria La Buca
Whether its a delicious pasta and pizza dinner or brunch, you won’t be disappointed at this spot on Melrose and Wilton. The east Larchmont Italian restaurant cooks up some yummy pizzas like the yolk-tastic “Neighborhood Pizza” and can’t-miss pastas like the nero spaghetti and short rib ravioli.
2. Osteria Momma
The finest cusine of Italy’s Veneto Region can be found at this Larchmont Italian eatery. Popular dishes include the delicious Pappardelle al Fumo, Bigoli Neri alla Bottarga (squid ink pasta!), and the burrata felice (fresh burrata cheese with grilled eggplant and confit tomatoes).
3. The Larchmont
The Larchmont can feel like a home, literally — the restaurant is inside a hundred-year-old, two-story Craftsman house in the heart of Larchmont Village. Executive Chef Michael Bryant’s southern roots and French training shine through his fresh take on California garden-to-table cuisine. Comforting dishes like charred Spanish octopus, roasted chicken and spiced lamb shoulder are home runs.
4. Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood
You’d never think it from this unassuming Hancock Park spot, but Mario’s boasts some of the best Peruvian cuisine in L.A. Favorite dishes include the lomo saltado and a seafood fried rice. And, of course, you’ve gotta try the green aji sauce — it’s a must for Peruvian food and Mario’s version has gotten rave reviews.
5. Osteria Mozza
In addition to pastas and wine, the Hancock Park Italian restaurant has a mozzarella bar — yes, you read that right, cheese lovers. The mozzarella bar on Melrose features heavenly burrata and bacon, burricotta and spiced walnuts, Bufala mozzarella and salame salad. As for non-cheese, an Osteria Mozza favorite is the grilled octopus.
Chef Michael Cimarusti’s Hollywood restaurant has received multiple James Beard Award nominations for dishes like geoduck, wild Japanese tai snapper, Santa Barbara spot prawn, and many other seasonal and signature plates. Can’t decide what to get? Go for one of Providence’s multi-course tasting menus for lunch or dinner with wine pairings.
7. Tatsu Ramen
With locations on Melrose and Sawtelle, Tatsu Ramen has the market cornered on delicious ramen you can order and customize via iPad. And they don’t just serve ramen at their bustling locations — Tatsu also offers ramen burgers and pork buns to snack on while you slurp your noodle-filled broth.
[RELATED: 17 Spots for the Best Ramen in Los Angeles]
8. The Village Idiot
No one does pub grub quite like The Village Idiot. The Fairfax bar’s got beer (of course) along with brunch service, lunch, and supper. No matter the time of day, you can count on The Village Idiot for yummy classics like fish and chips, full English breakfast, steak and potato pie, and more.
9. Melrose Umbrella Company
It may not rain often in Los Angeles, but the Melrose Umbrella Company cocktail bar is ready anyway with its decorative umbrellas. The Fairfax bar has an old-timey feel that’ll take you back and awesome cocktails you can throwback for a fun night out. During the day, Melrose Umbrella Company now features coffee service as well.
10. Blu Jam Cafe
Before it was a thing at McDonald’s, this Fairfax cafe was doing all-day breakfast like a champ with some of the most inspired dishes in town. Chef Kamil’s breakfast comes with elbow macaroni, and there are rave reviews for the Blu Jam Benedict and Eggs Florentine. If you’re keeping it light and healthy, don’t worry — they also have a “Health & Fitness” menu, too.
11. Froma On Melrose
This Beverly Grove deli has limited seating, but not a limited menu. Froma is all about delicious cured meats, cheeses, wines, and a popular breakfast panini. They also sell many other paninis and sandwiches, flavorful pizzas, and burgers for a quite bite to eat with a classy glass of wine.
On the corner of King and Melrose, Michael Voltaggio’s renowned restaurant has been cooking up a whole lot of rave reviews for its dishes. Give the salt & charcoal potato, egg yolk gnocchi, pork cheek, and other seasonal dishes a try for a dinner to remember.
Chef Tal Ronnen’s Vegan restaurant has plant-based Mediterranean dishes for brunch and dinner. The Beverly Grove restaurant has a menu of dishes like the Crossroads Benedict, fried “chicken” and waffles, Kite Hill cheese plate, lentil flatbread, spicy “meatball” pizza, and other vegan versions of traditional favorites.
14. The Hart and the Hunter
Located at the Palihotel, The Hart and The Hunter is a little hard to find, but it’s a gem once you step inside. The butter biscuits have received raves, as well as the avocado toast, smoked trout plate, and their own spin on the breakfast sandwich with pimento cheese, breakfast sausage, avocado, and a sunny side egg on sourdough.
15. Gracias Madre
Currently the hippest WeHo vegan restaurant and with good reason. Gracias Madre is a regular celeb haunt — Jay-Z and Beyonce have been spotted here — with some of the most delicious vegan food that even non-vegans will fall in love with. Pair their plant-based Mexican cuisine with some of their creative cocktails for a meal to remember.
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s WeHo cozy spot that serves up delicious lam, braised short rib, chicken confit, and more to sink your teeth into. Be sure to stop by for Lucques’ well-known Sunday Suppers, which has a different menu every weekend. Suppers cost $45 per person for three courses, it’s worth it.
What are your favorite spots on Melrose Ave? Let us know in the comments below!