LA Marathon: Where to eat and drink along the route
As runners race the LA Marathon, those on the sidelines can eat and drink along the 26.2-mile route while cheering them on.
Thu Feb 13 2014
The LA Marathon is always exhilarating, whether you're running the race or cheering from the sidelines. If you're part of the latter group, you may want a refresher station of your own. We've found 30 such spots—all right on the course—from Downtown and Silver Lake to Hollywood and Santa Monica. These restaurants and bars are great spots to grab a bite before the runners hit the road, view the pack as it races by or celebrate the day afterward. All spots are open marathon day, just be sure to arrive early.
Miles 1-5: Downtown
It's early and you need sustenance. Good thing there are breakfast options aplenty Downtown, and on the cheap. Grab a group and head to Chinatown's Ocean Seafood or Won Kok for your dim sum fix of steaming stacks of dumplings and buns.
Early risers can also enjoy comforting bowls of hot noodle soup (and beat the lines) at two of the city's shrines to ramen, Daikokuya and Shin-Sen-Gumi, both with cult followings. For a more traditional breakfast plate, head to the beloved, Philippe the Original, where you'll find families, tourists and locals alike. The French-dip sandos may be legendary, but we love the greasy-spoon orders (with old-school prices).
Miles 6-8: Echo Park/Silver Lake/Los Feliz
In Echo Park, grab a beer—choose from over 70 taps of local brews—at Mohawk Bend (9:30am-midnight). There are burgers and vegan-friendly options for noshing, or follow the runners along Sunset and stop for a bite at Guisados, (10:30am-5pm) the new outpost of Boyle Heights' favorite artisan tortilleria and taco shop.
Want a pick-me-up? Sunset Junction's Intelligentsia has you covered—as long as you don't mind the line—or check out Caffe Vita, Seattle's cult-coffee brand that just landed in California with its Silver Lake storefront.
Brunch-goers can laze at Cafe Stella over French press and fancy morning eggs. For more casual fare, opt for the Black Cat across the street for gastropub bites and beers or Malo for an alfresco, South-of-the-Border international brunch. Start with a margarita and guac—opt for the addictive half-fried, chewy tortilla chips—and chow down on chilaquiles, Mexican French toast and signature ground beef and pickles tacos.
Miles 9-11: Hollywood
As the club kids of Hollywood Blvd clear out from their post-party feasts, take their spot at Thai town favorites Ruen Pair and Sanam Luang, where you can get your morning sweat from a bowl of spicy curry or mouth-numbing stir-frys.
If jostling elbow-to-elbow on the sidelines isn't your thing, hit the Hungry Cat. Grab a seat at the bar or wait for a table—Sundays see a large brunch crowd—and dive into seafood towers and the best damn Bloody Marys in town.
Miles 12-14: West Hollywood
Yes, you'll have to queue up at this popular morning destination, but you'll have prime viewing along Sunset Boulevard at Griddle Café. Decadent French toast and oversized pancakes in all colors and flavors, such as cream cheese frosting-swirled red velvet, provide carb-loading at its finest.
After all that tough spectating, swing by the Standard. Lay poolside for some fun in the sun or follow all the pretty young things into the 24/7 diner, serving breakfast all day.
If watching the runners gets tiresome, grab a drink on the back patio at Eveleigh, which offers stunning views of the city from a barnyard-chic patio, or continue your people watching at the front bar and patio over a stiff, seasonal cocktail.
Miles 15-26: Westside
Marathoners should have runner's high by now, so match their euphoria with a sugar rush. Snag a sweet confection at the world's first cupcake ATM, a 24-hour cupcake dispenser from Sprinkles bakery. But be prepared for a long line of cupcake enthusiasts and their dogs (yep, there are even cupcakes for Fido are on offer).
After cheering on runners from Wilshire Blvd to Little Santa Monica, escape to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for proper afternoon tea (there's even a harpist to serenade) in the Living Room or for a Scotch at the Club Bar.
Forgo parking lot rage and make a beeline for Brentwood Country Mart where you’ll find ample parking and families, locals (and the occasional famous face) re-fueling. Grab an espresso and pastry from Caffe Luxxe for a morning spike, or dig into fancy-pants brunch at Farmshop. Or take a treat to-go from Sweet Rose Creamery, so you can hold your cone in one hand and cheer the runners with the other.