Griffith Park and its iconic observatory are prominent Los Angeles landmarks and hiking any of Griffith’s myriad trails is a beloved pastime for locals and a must-do for visitors. Offering panoramic views of the city, the sprawling, rugged park inspires a new appreciation for the diverse landscape of this expansive city.
Of course that scenic workout is bound to build up an appetite and you’re likely to find yourself in workout clothes with a post exercise must-eat-now hunger.
With that in mind, we put together a choice list of delicious and casual places in close proximity to Griffith where no one will mind if you show up in sweatpants and hiking boots.
1. Trails Cafe
The menu at Trails is not extensive. But when you walk up to the window of the little hut in the woods, the hearty quiche, plump homemade scones, simple avocado and sprouts sandwich reminiscent of the ones your hippy mom made in the 80s and picturesque apple pie are suddenly all you could possibly think about eating. This might also be because trails is the only brick and mortar cafe inside of Griffith Park, making it a popular destination in and of itself. The coffee is good, not perfect, but when you’re sitting on a tree stump in the forest, latte art doesn’t seem appropriate.
2. Fred 62
Fred 62 is one of those always-busy 1950s style eateries with a rather large yet standard diner menu. Any time of day or night you can have an omelette. Since it’s L.A. there are “healthy” vegan options like the “Seitan Freshwich.” Their signature burger, The Juicy Lucy, though not the best burger in town, is probably the most satisfying thing you can find to eat at 3 a.m. The other thing that makes Fred 62 noteworthy in addition to its convenient always-open policy, is its proximity to Griffith Park.
3. The Deli at Little Dom’s
If you feel like eating at the neighborhood’s favorite Italian spot, but feel underdressed for the sit-down lunch, head to the adjacent sandwich shop where you can grab and go with all of the tasty flavors that make Little Dom’s famous. Hot meatball and provolone sandwiches, arugula and parmesan salads and Italian wedding soup taste even better with a hike induced appetite.
4. Sandwiches from Proof Bakery in Atwater Village
Sometimes less is more. Take Proof in Atwater Village, for example. Apart from a selection of sweet baked goods, the adorable bakery doesn’t have a bona fide lunch menu. But at noon until they run out everyday, the most perfect mini-baguette sandwiches in Los Angeles are available at the tiny coffee shop. Regulars loiter around the sidewalk at this time waiting for the white paper-wrapped treats to appear behind the glass display counter. The varieties change daily and though there are usually only three options, choosing between fresh heirloom tomato with cheese and spicy mustard, salami with chive butter, Manchego and arugula or a classic French ham and Brie seems difficult. Thankfully, they are rather small, so ordering all three is perfectly reasonable. Also, you just hiked Griffith Park, so you’ve earned it.
5. Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada
There’s nothing quite as delicious as a fish taco. Combine that with the hunger of hiking to the top of Griffith Park and you have the most delicious meal imaginable. The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada is located on Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz very close to the park. Now stopping for that perfect fish taco on your way home from a hike in the morning, noon or night is imperative.
6. Tacos Villa Corona
If you’re an early morning hiker, you must end your hike with breakfast. And by that we mean, a breakfast burrito. Tacos Villa Corona is located on the south east corner of the park in Atwater Village and is only a few miles from where you worked up that appetite. It boasts some of the best breakfast burritos in town.
7. All’ acqua
The relatively new Italian eatery on Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village is a welcome addition to an ever-blossoming neighborhood. Dinner there is pleasantly vibrant with locals chowing down on wood-fired pizzas and house-made pastas. All’ acqua is only a few miles from Griffith Park, and its lunch vibe is casual and welcoming, making it a great post workout spot for hikers with a high-end appetite.
8. Messhall Kitchen
If you’re too hungry to think about where to go after hiking, head to Messhall Kitchen on Los Feliz Boulevard. Its less than a mile from the park, making it the quickest fix for post-hike hunger.
9. Cafe Figaro
A French bistro might sound too fancy for an after-workout meal. But snag a sidewalk table at the neighborhood cafe, and enjoy a selection of French specialties like moule frites or a croque madame while people watching on the always bustling and very casual Vermont Avenue. If you’re lucky enough to finish your hike in the late afternoon, head straight to Figaro for their happy hour menu. The $3 beers, $4 wines and food specials can’t be beat.
10. Lucifers Pizza
Don’t be intimidated by the devilish name. Lucifer’s pizza is good. For those with dietary restrictions, Lucifers provides some of the best gluten-free and vegan pizza in the city. Stop by for that quick-fix New York-style slice of pie or order a whole one to take home for dinner. After all, who has the energy to cook after hiking all day?
11. Alcove Cafe and Bakery
Due to its central location on the busy Hillhurst Avenue, sprawling outdoor seating area and large menu, Alcove Cafe and Bakery is a popular Los Feliz neighborhood hangout. Order from a big menu of classic American fare and relax outside on the garden patio. The homey, family-friendly feel makes it a a perfectly casual spot for a post workout brunch, lunch or snack.
12. Pine & Crane
Decidedly one of the best restaurants in Silver Lake, Pine and Crane has a lovely balance of a casual atmosphere paired with excellent food. Located in the heart of Silver Lake, it’s a bit further from the park. But worth the extra minutes drive for the farm fresh produce driven menu. And eating Taiwanese cabbage and spinach sautéed with fresh garlic and salt won’t make you feel like you’ve just undone the benefits of your workout.
13. Momed Atwater
Momed is located away from the main drag of Glendale Boulevard that makes Atwater Village famous. But don’t let that keep you from heading there for lunch or dinner. Only a few minutes from the south east corner of Griffith park, the east side outpost of the Beverly Hills mediterranean kitchen is affordable conveniently casual.
14. The Village Bakery and Cafe
Located on the south east side of Griffith Park on Los Feliz Boulevard, The Village Bakery and Cafe is an easy go to for standard breakfast, lunch and baked goods. The menu is unpretentious, reasonably priced and the atmosphere is as casual and welcoming as it gets.
15. The Oaks Gourmet
The Oaks Gourmet is the post-hiking pit stop for those headed towards Hollywood or farther west. After hiking some of the more western trails up Bronson Avenue, stop at The Oaks for gourmet sandwiches, brick oven pizzas, elaborate salads and fresh smoothies. While you’re at it, stock up on wine, craft beers, cheese and fine food items for your home kitchen.
16. Olive and Thyme
Griffith Park is an enormous, 4,310 acres swath of land. So when it comes to describing where to eat around the park, it is necessary that we encompass all sides of the land. Olive and Thyme is located off of the north west side of the park in Burbank. So if you’re headed in that direction, take note of Olive and Thyme’s extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The lovely cafe is also a marketplace, making it a great place to stop after a hike for a quick snack and grocery shopping for dinner.
Where are your favorite spots to eat after a great hike in Griffith Park? Share your recommendations below!