Trust Us, the Best Restaurants in Silver Lake Are Worth Braving the 101 For

Updated 06/19/19
The best restaurants in Silver Lake
Emily Knecht

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting food cities in America—but don't just take our word for it. After all, we're admittedly biased considering MyDomaine headquarters is located in the heart of West Hollywood. To support our bold claim, we turned to the experts seeking validation. Zagat claimed that Los Angeles is finally being "taken seriously as a top food town." Anthony Bourdain deemed the city of angels' food scene "wildly underrated." And Food & Wine even hailed L.A. as "one of the best food cities in the world."

To round out our restaurant guides showcasing the cuisine of the city esteemed late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold called home, we're extending our view beyond the sunny spots of Santa Monica and the buzzy bars of Downtown to the trendy eateries of Silver Lake. Spanning a bustling Thai joint to an up-and-coming vegetable-forward cafe, these restaurants are proof that L.A. is indeed one of the best food cities in America. Keep scrolling to find out which of the best restaurants in Silver Lake are actually worth braving the 101 for.

Alimento

Alimento interior
Dylan + Jeni

Arguably one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles (not just Silver Lake), Alimento balances laid-back bistro ambiance with powerfully delicious dishes. Chef Zach Pollack's "menu here is modest but clever," praised late food critic Jonathan Gold in the Los Angeles Times.

Quick Tip

Come back often just to see what he may be up to next.

Must-order dish: Tortellini in brodo

Alimento tortellini in brodo
Dylan + Jeni

El Cochinito

El Cochinito interior
Alex Lark

El Cochinito is a Silver Lake institution that's been serving up some of the best Cuban fare in Los Angeles for over 30 years. The casual family-run restaurant even took home a coveted national award for its famed Cuban sandwich, which showcases its signature slow roasted pork (or lechon asado) at its finest.

Must-order dish: Cuban sandwich

El Cochinito cubano sandwich
Alex Lark

Ma'am Sir

Ma'am Sir interior
Fried Chicken Sandwich Studios

Ma'am Sir's modern Filipino-inspired dishes are further proof that Southeast Asian flavors are still tantalizing Angelenos' taste buds. While the spicy ramen of Sawtelle and the saucy barbecue of Koreatown tend to steal the spotlight when locals are ranking the best Asian-inspired food in the city, you'd be remiss if you overlooked this new Silver Lake eatery.

Must-order dish: Pancit deviled eggs

Ma'am Sir shrimp deviled eggs
Fried Chicken Sandwich Studios

Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song interior
Lin and Jirsa Photography

Northern Thai dishes like pad thai, hot pot soup, and spicy curry shine at Night + Market Song, the bustling Silver Lake outpost of Chef Kris Yenbamroong's popular Los Angeles chain. Pro tip: Order the creamy Thai iced tea to help soothe your taste buds if you're ordering fiery dishes at this Jonathan Gold-beloved restaurant.

Must-order dish: Pad thai

Night + Market Song shrimp pad thai
Marcus Nilsson

Pine & Crane

Pine & Crane interior
Courtesy of Pine & Crane

Seating is first-come, first-serve at Pine & Crane—and we suggest arriving early. The casual Taiwanese-Chinese eatery is a go-to spot for Silver Lake locals—and it's not hard to see why. The seasonal menu features freshly harvested produce straight from the family's local Asian vegetable farm resulting in unrivaled flavor and quality in their dishes.

Must-order dish: Spicy shrimp wontons

Pine & Crane spicy shrimp wontons
Courtesy of Pine & Crane

Trois Familia

Trois Familia interior
Courtesy of Trois Familia

As you may have guessed from the name, Trois Familia serves up French-Mexican fusion fare. "This is the most Silver Lake restaurant imaginable, down to the mostly vegetarian menu, the chugging '70s funk on the stereo, and the possibility of running into the guitarist from Bad Religion," observed Jonathan Gold in his review of the popular cafe for the Los Angeles Times.

Must-order dish: Beet tartare tostada

Trois Familia cheese plate
Courtesy of Trois Familia

Wolfdown

Wolfdown interior
Joanne Kim

The Asian-inspired menu at Wolfdown ranges from delicate silken tofu and scallop crudo to heartier crispy pork belly ddukbokki and spicy pork spare ribs. Tucked off the main Sunset strip on the sleepier Rowena Avenue, it's worth the battle to find street parking to snag a table at this Silver Lake restaurant.

Must-order dish: Silken tofu

Wolfdown silken tofu
Dylan + Jeni

Botanica

Botanica interior
Alan Gastelum

A new staple to the Silver Lake restaurant scene, the vegetable-forward cafe Botanica features a seasonal menu informed by fresh farmers market produce. It's the type of spot you'd expect to find loyal Healthyish readers hanging out on a Sunday morning (and you wouldn't be disappointed).

Must-order dish: Rice noodle salad

Botanica rice noodle salad
Alan Gastelum

Kismet

Kismet interior
Joshua White

Kismet, a casual, all-day eatery that falls under the same restaurant group as meat-focused Animal, Italian-inspired Jon & Vinny's, and seafood-centric Son of a Gun, is where locals head for Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fare. Boasting a brunch menu with freekeh polenta and shakshuka, there's usually a line around the block.

Must-order dish: Turkish-ish breakfast

Kismet turkish-ish breakfast
Jake Lindeman

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