The 25 Most-Instagrammable Dishes in L.A.
If you are what you eat, you’re probably as fresh and appealing as these La La Land dishes.
Photo By: @whatcouldbebutter
Eggslut’s Breakfast Sandwiches
Dangling noodles, dribbling ice cream cones and stretchy cheese pulls are one thing, but oozing yolks are undoubtedly the power move on Instagram. And the indomitable Eggslut gleefully disseminates yolk porn by way of four LA locations (not to mention spots in Las Vegas and NYC), amassing well over 100K insta followers, eager to sop up images of stacked egg, meat and cheese sammies, made with burnished rounds of brioche.
Meatzilla's Meatza Burgers
When you order a pizza (make that meatza) burger, don’t for a moment think you’re merely getting a patty topped with mozzarella and sauce. In lieu of a top bun, you can order any burger — such as the Kim Park Lee with kimchi slaw and jalapeno cheese sauce, or the Notorious P.I.G., anointed with salsa, tater tots and bacon — crowned with an actual mini pizza. So what if Meatzilla ravages waistlines like Godzilla taking on Tokyo? It’ll make for a hell of an instagram shot.
Kogi's Korean Tacos
Arguably one of the most-influential eateries in all of L.A., Roy Choi's Kogi is responsible for the food truck revolution, and has helped play a role in the ascension of Asian fusion (inspiring a sea of Korean taco imitators), the rise of fast-casual cuisine and, in a roundabout way, the popularity of indulgent late-night bites as social media fodder.
Sqirl's All-Day Eats
Not only is it a critically acclaimed crown jewel of L.A.' s esteemed restaurant scene, Sqirl helped spark a nationwide obsession with all-day cafes; not to mention the endlessly photographable dishes associated with them. Think tartines and toasts (like their famed jam and ricotta), savory porridges and rice bowls (flavored with sorrel pesto and lacto-fermented hot sauce), oozy egg sandwiches and market salads, and utterly gorgeous sweets, such as edible petal-topped cakes.
Little Damage's Charcoal Ice Cream
Even the most body-conscious Californians can feel free to indulge at Little Damage, where soft serve is flavored with activated charcoal - a super-ingredient claimed to aid in digestion, counteract toxins and even whiten teeth. You can also order your inky dessert deposited in a pitch black cone; a rather noir treat for sunny, shiny Los Angeles.
Since sushi innately involves incredible levels of artistry, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort from an amateur photographer, to compose a compelling shot. The fact that Sugarfish was conceptualized by a cult sushi master, but is priced gently enough for the masses is also a siren call for social posters, especially since the meticulously constructed rolls of maki and pristine commas of nigiri easily rival those of the swankiest omakase spot.
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse's Cruffins
L.A. may be notoriously carb-conscious, but that hasn' t kept the crowds from descending on the gleefully gluten-centric Bakehouse. Not only are they credited with popularizing the cruffin - a laminated croissant/muffin hybrid, filled with everything from apple tamarind jelly to hay-smoked vanilla cream - the Aussie-run shop has remained a hotbed of pastry innovation. Think doughnuts bursting with grilled-lemon curd, danishes daubed with gorgonzola and shitake mushrooms, and seriously gonzo croissants; the "Just Try It" features housemade pastrami, pickled oranges and pumpkin seeds, while the "California" is an ode to sushi, bursting with smoked salmon, ginger and wasabi, and served with a side packet of soy sauce.
Bia's Rose Latte
Who' d have thought that tumblers of brown liquid could make for the most-breathtaking Instagram still-lifes? To be sure, coffee has come a long way from diner mugs. At Bia, former florist Sibia Lee has certainly added her imprint to L.A.'s stable of unicorn lattes and waffle-cone mugs. As intoxicating in appearance as they are in aroma, concoctions like the rose latte feature organic flowers steeped into syrup and layered with espresso, then garnished with extra petals and a fairy dusting of rose powder.
Orochon's Special #2 Ramen
Orochon may not pump out a ton of its own images, but the ramen joint is no stranger to socially motivated snaps, thanks to their Spicy Ramen Challenge. Though visitors can opt for nine varying levels of heat - ranging from Non-Spicy to Impact, Hyper and Extreme - only the fire-red Special 2 comes with an Eat at Your Own Risk disclaimer. Successfully consume it in a half hour and you' ll get a victory photo on the ramen-ya' s Wall of Bravery. Needless to say, it warrants a shot on your social wall, too.
Sumo Dog's Asian-Inspired Hot Dogs
Thank Kogi for kicking off the East-meets-West obsession, and Sumo Dog for helping it evolve into the hot dog realm. All-American hot dogs (including beef from Snake River Farms, and pork sourced from Olympia Provisions) are adorned with Asian accoutrements to exceedingly camera-ready effect - try the Miso Katsu crusted in panko and doused in tonkatsu, the Bacon Banh Mi crowned with pickled carrot and daikon, and the Loco Moco, smothered in beef gravy, mushrooms and a sunnyside egg.
Cosa Buona's Mozzarella Sticks
Cleverly calibrated by Chef Zach Pollack, to achieve ultimate crunch and ooze on every level, the smoked mozzarella sticks at Cosa Buona are utterly ideal for executing an on-camera cheese pull. Bonus points for an artfully drippy dunk, in garlic-forward saucers of marinara sauce.
The Bazaar's Philly Cheesesteak
Nothing is as it seems when it comes to a menu devised by the relentlessly creative Jose Andres - one of the forefathers of the molecular gastronomy movement. So while a Philly cheesesteak may seem a blue collar anomaly, amidst dishes gussied up with caviar, truffle and foie gras, it' s actually a perfectly snug fit; referring to bite-sized canoes of wagyu A4 strip loin, slicked with onion jam and set atop oven-puffed "air bread" filled with Fiscalini cheddar espuma. No wonder Bazaar is an Instagram star.
Cafe 86's Ube-Based Baked Goods
It’s all about the ube —a popular purple yam that hails from the Philippines — at this trio of Cali cafes. Not only does dabbling in Filipino cuisine make the establishment entirely on trend, their judicious tuber use assures their baked goods are all dyed the color of the moment; from truffles, leche flan cupcakes and cream cheese muffins, to milkshakes, white chocolate brownies and macapuno pop tarts.
Great White’s Blue Smoothie Bowl
Basically an edible Venice Beach, this internet-breaking bowl mimics the aquamarine of the Pacific, with a base of blended, blue algae-tinted fruit. Inlets of hemp seeds, chia and housemade granola only up the nutrient content... and supreme Instagrammability.
Alfred Coffee & Kitchen's Alfred Cone
Intricate latte art is a reliable way to attract eyeballs on instagram. But even Alfred' s cups are photogenic; considering they're actually 4-ounce, milk chocolate-rimmed waffle cones, cradling espresso shots or foamy macchiatos.
Chomp Eatery's Unicorn Melt
By deftly combining two social signatures - rainbow-tinted dishes and elaborate cheese pulls - this Santa Monica juicery may have just dropped the mic on Las Vegas' ROYGBIV lattes, and NYC' s technicolor bagels.
Mason's Den's Elote
If any foodstuff was ripe for unicornification, it just had to be, well, corn! Elote to be exact, the eye-popping hallmark of this husband-and-wife-run pop-up. Their grilled, Mexican-style ears are effortless attention-getters, being coated either in electric orange Cheetos or fire-engine red Takis Chips, or slathered in pigmented cotija cheese, mayonnaise and butter, to create stick-held edible rainbows.
Republique's Millionaire's Bagel
It's hard to tell what gets more Instagram action; this La Brea boite' s gorgeous interiors and exteriors (Yakal wood, hand-wrought metalwork and 5,000-some odd tiles, in a Gothic, Spanish-influenced structure believed to be built by Charlie Chaplin), or its babelicious brunch. Most notably, pineapple and bacon bomboloni, kaluga caviar-slathered bagels, and kimchi fried rice, supporting succulent beef short ribs sauced with soft farm eggs.
BäcoShop's Baco Sandwiches
This fast-casual spin-off of the famed Baco Mercat is a showcase for Chef Josef Centeno' s luscious handmade flatbreads, which come grilled and folded around fillings like coffee-rubbed steak, chile-and-mint-spiked shrimp, green herb-enlivened chicken and verdant fava fritters. Translation: You' d be hard-pressed to find a sexier sammie ' gram.
Shrimp Daddy's Hawaiian Style Garlic Butter Shrimp
Sometimes Smorgasburg can look like an advertisement for Shrimp Daddy's, with patrons strolling the weekend food flea market clutching pineapple boats brimming with Hawaiian-style garlic butter shrimp. The stand' s epic lines attest to the its consummate instagrammability.
Badmaash's Chicken Tikka Poutine
Though the name translates to "naughty rascal," "deviant," or "villain," Badmaash has become something of a DTLA hero, for its tongue-in-cheek approach to Indian food. Yes, you' ll find traditional items aplenty on the menu, but the eatery frequently reveals a gleefully subversive streak, via chile cheese naan and chicken tikka poutine; masala fries topped with curds, beef gravy, and clods of tandoori-singed poultry.
Bottega Louie’s Macarons
This 255-seat cafe and patisserie opened an adjoining 15,000-square foot factory six years into their run, to keep up with production of all manner of intricate pastries. But chief amongst them are macarons - in fact, five pastry chefs are tasked solely with making the Crayola-bright shells, while another five oversee fillings. At least Instagram serves as a standing memorial of their dedicated hard work.
Sage's Avocado Toast
While there's no denying the click appeal of cheese-engulfed burgers and over-the-top ice cream, organic, vegan food can take a star turn, too. This farm-to-table bistro has the wholesome, crunchy granola beat down. Look for a cornucopia of plant-based creations, such as avocado toast, buffalo cauliflower wings and jackfruit "tuna" sushi, plus requisite layered acai bowls.
Native's Community Hour
A happy, daily occurrence for both one' s wallet and Insta account, you can affordably flood your feed during happy hour with beautiful bites from critically adored Chef Nyesha Arrington, such as gochujang-glazed bacon bites, seasonal fish ceviche and berbere-spiced deviled eggs.
Having almost single handedly catapulted cupcakes into the social media stratosphere with their cupcake concept, Sprinkles, Candace and Charles Nelson have turned their attention to another universally beloved food: pizza. Marrying Neapolitan technique with So-Cal seasonality, the wood-fired, thin-crust rounds include a taco-inspired pie and the Corbarina, alluringly topped with cherry tomatoes, burrata, gremolata, and tender squash blossoms.