Food Diary: Where to Eat in Los Angeles (for Cheap)

Following up on my L.A. Travel Diary, here’s a list of some of the places we ate during our time in Los Angeles.

Note that we spent most of our time in Downtown L.A., so the majority of our food choices were based around that area or wherever we went on day trips (i.e. Universal Studios, Santa Monica, etc.). Our trip was more activity focused than food focused! We’re not big into fancy fine dining – if the food is good, the price is right, and the place has an atmosphere; we’re happy!


In-N-Out was literally the first place we went after we picked up our rental car. There’s no In-N-Out on the east coast or in Canada for that matter, so this was a must-have for us (can’t forget the animal fries!) Funny enough, it ended up being our cheapest meal of the entire trip. Yes, L.A. is expensive!

in-n-out burger los angeles food

Tom’s Watch Bar

Tom’s Watch Bar is across the street from the Staples Center/ Arena, which was the perfect location for us prior to heading over to the Raptors v Lakers game. The food and drinks were decent, and we were pleasantly surprised to find many other Raptors fans there too! There was a great buzz there!

Cafe Fig

In the morning we went to Universal Studios, and we had breakfast at Cafe Fig. Cafe Fig is in Hotel Figueroa, which is where we stayed during our time in L.A. Surprisingly, not many places nearby do an early breakfast (before 8:30am), but Cafe Fig did, which suited our schedule. The food was good but they only had brewed coffee and no alternative milk at the time (their machine was broken).

cafe fig los angeles food

Lard Lad Donuts

I mean, of course, I had to get a giant donut from Lard Lad Donuts at Universal! Honestly, I had no expectations as I wanted it more for the photo op, but it was actually really good! (See the video at the very end of the blog for a glimpse of the donut.)

The Original Pantry

Definitely go here for a good feed or at least for the history! This place has been around since the 1920s and I can see why: good food at good prices! It’s really popular on the weekends and you can expect to line up outside. We went early (before 8am) on a Wednesday, and we were able to walk right in and get a table.

the original pantry los angeles food


We hit up Albright on Santa Monica pier after having walked the length of Venice Beach and back. Can’t beat some fish and chips (fries), by the seaside!

Le Grand

We ended up at Le Grand after the restaurant we had our eyes on was booked up. They were doing a taco Tuesday deal which was ideal! It included 3 tacos and 3 (small) margaritas. The food and drinks were good, and there was a mariachi band, which was a nice touch.

le grand taco night los angeles food


At Disneyland, we had churros not long after we arrived (gotta get that mid-morning sugar rush!), and a slice of pizza from Planet Pizza, purely for nostalgia, but it was a decent slice!

Wrapping Up on Los Angeles

Have you eaten anywhere amazing in L.A.? Let us know in the comments! Posts about San Diego coming soon!


One response to “Food Diary: Where to Eat in Los Angeles (for Cheap)”

  1. […] San Diego (and especially Pacific Beach) is a great city with lots to do – check out this quick recap video from the trip! Keep an eye out for my next post on where to eat in San Diego, or check out where to eat in L.A. […]


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