Classice Cheap Eats in LA, Flickr: LA Wad

You Guessed it! Pink's

LA is a food lover’s town. With high-end classics such as Spago, adventurous eateries like Animal, and dozens of ethnic neighborhoods dotting the metropolis, a foodie is truly in heaven here.  While sit down meals are relaxing and indulgent part of the travel experience, sometimes we are craving cheap food that we can take back to the hotel or scarf down while sitting in that legendary LA traffic. Luckily, LA has no shortage of great cheap eats. Here are some classics to try on your next Los Angeles vacation.

Pinks – Back in 1939 Paul and Betty Pink grabbed a cart, Betty’s tasty chili recipe, and made a name for themselves selling one 10 cent dog at a time. In 1946, they purchased a stand on La Brea near Hollywood and the rest is hot dog history. Pink’s is best enjoyed on a Friday or Saturday night (expect a line) after a few hours of bar hopping. A wide variety of hot dog options grace the menu including the Martha Stewart Dog (relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut and sour cream) and Bacon Burrito Dog (flour tortilla wrapped around two hot dogs, two slices of cheese, three slices of bacon, chili & onions) but the original chili dog is still the most popular.

Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Café – Most Angelinos can’t go more than a few days without scarfing down some Mexican food and not all Mexican restaurants are created equal. El Tepeyac rises to the top of the class not because of its ideally situated location (it’s Boyle Heights location is far from touristy) or trendy décor (unless you consider picnic benches and bars on the windows trendy) but because Manny knows how to make one heck of a burrito. Machaca, asada, chili verde- they are all outstanding. Feeling extra famished? Take on the Manny’s Special which weighs in at five lbs of burrito goodness.

Philippe’s The Original – One of the oldest (it was established in 1908) and most popular restaurants in all of LA, Philippe’s holds the distinction of being the original home to the French dip sandwich. Folk’s line up at this cash only eatery for a roast beef, roast pork, leg of lamb, turkey or ham on a freshly dipped roll at this cafeteria-style establishment. Ask for your sandwich “single dip,” “double dip” or “wet” and be sure to try some of their homemade hot French mustard.

In-N-Out Burger – There is no fast food establishment that Angelinos love more than In-and-Out. The concept is simple- hamburgers, fries, shakes, and soft drinks. That’s it. Want to sound like an order when you order? Ask for a Double-Double animal style, fries well, and a Neopolitan shake. You’re welcome.

Langer’s Delicatessen – New York has Katz’s and Los Angeles has Langer’s. Which is better? Head on over to the unassuming restaurant across from MacArthur Park, order up a pastrami, and taste for yourself.  Prepare to be blown aware buy the peppery meat and double baked rye and expect to leave a West Coast convert. Just don’t come on Sunday or you will be in for a big disappointment because Langer’s takes the day off.


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Photo: LA Wad

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