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Piccalilli Culver City exterior
Photograph: Courtesy Piccalilli

The best restaurants in Culver City

From award-winning Southern cuisine to imports from New York and the Midwest, there's plenty to love in this once-sleepy Westside neighborhood.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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The self-proclaimed “Heart of Screenland,” Culver City is a historic moviemaking town once located on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Today, it’s the current home of Sony Pictures Studios, as well as a growing hub for digital media and tech companies. Entertainment, media and tech’s outsized influence on downtown Culver City have kept the quiet Westside neighborhood’s main dining scene catering primarily to employees of Sony, Amazon, Apple, HBO and TikTok, while the major E Line-adjacent shopping hub Platform Culver City continues to showcase a handful of excellent, but pricey, dining options, like New York export Roberta’s.

When it comes to restaurants, there’s plenty to love in Culver City, both old and new alike, with newcomers like Citizen Public Market and all-around L.A. favorites like Hatchet Hall forging a peaceful coexistence alongside local favorites like Tito’s Tacos and S&W Country Diner. While it remains to be seen whether the small city will ever become a true Los Angeles-wide dining destination, here’s where to dine, drink and snack in Culver City—from the sleepier Mar Vista-adjacent outskirts to the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown Culver.

The best of Culver City dining

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Culver City
  • price 3 of 4

Rustic, live-fire Southern cooking gets the seasonal California treatment at Hatchet Hall, one of the city’s best restaurants. The airy expanded patio and moody, dim-lit interiors provide the perfect sort of ambience to enjoy new executive chef Wes Whitsell’s blended mix of new delights and old favorites, like Hatchet Hall’s classic shishito cornbread, which arrives to the table oozing with honey and butter. A phenomenal pork chop is combined with a bite of blackened peach, everything drizzled with fig and brown butter maple jus. For drinks alone, head to the back, where Old Man Bar serves a slew of great old-fashioneds.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Culver City
  • price 3 of 4

Situated in the new Shay Hotel complex in Culver City, Etta is the first West Coast outpost of an Italian-ish Chicago restaurant known for its housemade pasta, large-format roasted meats, and last but not least, its noteworthy “porron and a polaroid.” Using a Spanish-style wine decanter, diners can spend an entire evening pouring wine down each others’ throats while snapping photos with a provided Fujifilm Instax Mini—the ultimate way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or job promotion. Founded by Michelin-starred chef Danny Grant, it’s an upscale wood-fired kitchen concept fit for date night, special occasions, and those hoping to impress their coworkers and friends.

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  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • Culver City

Downtown Culver City’s Citizen Public Market is a smaller food hall located in a revamped Beaux-Arts-slash-Art Deco 1920s building once home to a local newspaper. Here, you’ll find some newer outposts from top L.A. culinary talent, including personal pizzas from Nancy Silverton’s Pizzette and chef-driven fried chicken from Hinoki & the Bird’s Brandon Kida. Those in need a morning pick-me-up can order specialty coffee and chapati rolls from goodboybob downstairs, while upstairs plays host to Bar Bohemien, the most low-key rooftop bar in the city. Though there’s no food offered on the second floor, Jolly Oyster, Mexicology and WEHO Sausage Co. all offer excellent pre-bar bites: sustainable oysters, tacos, and sausage patty burgers.

  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Located at the corner of downtown Culver City’s Main Street, Piccalilli offers Southeast Asian-inspired Californian cuisine in a eclectic indoor dining room, small patio and expansive outdoor seating section courtesy of extended pandemic-era street closures. The food served by chef-owners Macks Collins and Bryan Kidwell is similarly wide-ranging, from a Thai chicken katsu to a namesake bread plate with Indian pickled butter. The restaurant’s excellent happy hour (available daily until 6pm) includes their must-order miso pork jowl, as well as bargain-priced beers, wines and cocktails.

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  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Culver City
  • price 1 of 4

This neighborhood market and deli is Culver City’s best-kept secret, if you discount the weekday rush of hungry Sony employees around lunch hour. An extensive hidden patio complete with bubbling koi pond complements Jackson Market’s excellent deli sandwiches and tiny array of pastries, but the real gem is the market’s specialty snack and drink selection. Build your own midday meal or snack and relax out back under the trees.

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Culver City
  • price 1 of 4
If your ideal brunch runs more along the lines of a greasy spoon than an upscale mimosa joint, this cash-only diner in downtown Culver City is the place for you. Delicious, hearty dishes like biscuits and gravy and country fried steak are most people’s go-to orders here, though you’d be equally as happy with one of their platter-sized pancakes generously studded with chocolate chips or blueberries. Plus, unlike most other breakfast and brunch restaurants in town, S&W’s retro ambience and everyday crowd dials way, way back on the tryhard L.A. vibes, making this locals-only spot our favorite place to let our hair down before 2pm.
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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Alexander Phaneuf and Or Amsalam have brought their incredible baking skills to Culver City with Lodge Bread, a small bakery dedicated to big loaves. Their dedication to organically grown, seasonal whole grains put through a naturally levened process results in a selection of bread that has drawn raves from chefs and ordinary eaters alike. At the counter, you’ll find cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, a muesli bowl and cookies, along with loaves of seeded country, whole wheat, spelt and red quinoa wheat. Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll find their Full Proof Pizza nights running nightly from 5 to 8pm—just be sure to get there early, since pies typically sell out fast.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Culver City
  • price 3 of 4

No detail goes unaccounted for at Jordan Kahn’s Destroyer, where the presentation, architecture and ingredients all come together to create this minimalist breakfast and lunch spot from the same mastermind behind nearby Michelin-starred Vespertine (currently takeout only). The pricey, aesthetic-leaning daytime café draws a similarly upscale, stylish crowd on weekends, so be prepared to wait for your beautifully plated food—and to jockey for the limited metered street parking.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Culver City
  • price 3 of 4

In and around Los Angeles, every restaurant that’s been around for more than a couple of decades seems to declare that Frank Sinatra was a regular. In the case of Dear John’s, this was actually true—and the steakhouse was a haunt for the crooner and his cronies from the time it opened in the early ’60s. Now, chef Josiah Citrin and the couple behind Rockenwagner Bakery have given the Rat Pack era steakhouse new life, with an old-school-cool ambience and delicious menu of classics with a twist, including a must-order chicken parm and “bougie” tots topped with creme fraiche, caviar and salmon roe.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Culver City

One of Brooklyn’s most beloved pizza joints has finally hit the West Coast, serving wood-fired pizzas in Culver City’s Platform outdoor mall. Of course that’s not all Roberta’s is bringing us: In addition to their cult-classic pizza rossa and marghertia, there are punnily named seasonals like the Olive Laugh Love—a white pie topped with olive tapenade, garlic, arugula and lemon. Plus, the L.A. outpost boasts a spacious outdoor patio, a tiny-but-mighty pasta list and the convenience of Platform’s adjacent paid parking lot.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Mayura’s cuisine is inspired by Kerala, a coastal city in South India. Cuisine from this area is heavy on the spices and sour sauces, so expect flavorful, fragrant dishes rich with cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom, and creamy stews that sway more sour than sweet. You’ll also find uthappam: a pizza-like concept that features various toppings cooked into dosa batter. Other fantastic options include palak paneer, puttu (steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut), upma (porridge cooked from semolina and vegetables), and classic dishes like chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo and vegetable biryani.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Culver City
  • price 1 of 4
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“The only thing better than a Tito’s Taco—is two!” Since 1959, this beloved Culver City walk-up taco joint has served American cheese-covered hard shell meat tacos, excellent chicken tamales and some of the most addicting chips and tomato salsa in town. Authentic Mexican food this isn’t, but that’s hardly the point at Tito’s, where affordability and nostalgia combine for one of the best lowbrow meals on the Westside.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4
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This dinnertime Japanese vegan spot with locations in Little Tokyo and Culver City is a hidden gem for anyone who can appreciate flavorful, creative plant-based cuisine. At Shojin (named after the Shinto Buddhist vegan diet), you’ll find a range of inventive, all-organic dishes delivered in an intimate, upscale-casual setting with lightly playing jazz music and relaxed clientele. Unlike its eastward location, Shojin Culver City also features a well-appointed patio where servers dole out a vegan white tablecloth experience fit for special occasions. Highlights include Shojin’s spicy “tuna” dynamite roll, made with tofu and avocado, as well as their Purple Treasure, which swaps out raw fish for pieces of buttery eggplant on top of asparagus and carrot maki rolls.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Simple, delicious Italian family recipes are the cornerstone of Pasta Sisters, an airy indoor-outdoor restaurant in the Helms Bakery building. Though the family-run shop also has a smaller, takeout-friendly Mid-City location, the Culver City location is much bigger and better-looking, with the same fresh pasta made in-house daily and complimentary foccacia on every table. Unlike other spots, you’re encouraged to build your own meal here, picking a noodle to go with your choice of sauce. Though you can’t go wrong with any combo, we particularly enjoy the tagliatelle with tomato and basil, plus a supplemental dollop of creamy burrata.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Culver City
  • price 1 of 4
Established in 1952, Johnnie’s Pastrami continues to serve thin slices of tenderness at their cash-only Culver City location with the original booths, counters and countertop jukeboxes intact for a truly retro diner feel. If you go with the pastrami dip, the meat is dipped in their special sauce before being stuffed into a fluffy French roll, perfect for trapping all the meat and juices. The sandwich is also available on rye but without the dip action, because two slices of rye would fall apart under the au jus. Though Johnnie’s iconic sandwich will set you back $14.95, but the cozy, old-school ambience and on-site parking lot more than make up for its not-so-old-school prices.
  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Culver City

Housed in the former Bacoshop/Amacita space in Culver City, Wise Sons Jewish Deli is the first L.A. area location of a popular San Francisco deli chain. Started by Ventura native Evan Bloom and his brother, Ari, this prime corner spot now serves a solid array of latkes, bagels, pastrami sandwiches and other Jewish deli favorites to a neighborhood crowd hungry for a decent brunch-time nosh. Wise Sons’ menu also pays homage to Langer’s with a No. 19 pastrami sandwich, as well as offering sweeter dishes like challah French toast and à la carte sides of babka and rugelach. Don’t miss out on their latkes: Ordered by the piece, they come with a side of sour cream and a smooth, chutney-like applesauce.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Meat butchered on premise, brisket smoked over peach wood logs, a pitmaster from Texas—Maple Block Meat Co. is checking off all the right BBQ boxes. Chef Adam Cole, who grew up eating ’cue in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina, is paying tribute to his roots at this Culver City spot, where lunch and dinner options range from chopped pork shoulder to ranch beans seasoned with meat drippings. Before you even get to the entrées, smoked chicken wings appear under the menu’s snack column, small in size but packing a flavorful punch. Other smoked meats include a pork chop, prime rib and incredibly tender brisket, but the pork spare ribs are the standout choice. Sporting a beautiful rub, the ribs alone are worthy of sitting through 405 traffic.

  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Before sinking your teeth into a leg or thigh of Honey’s Kettle fried chicken, give it a moment to cool: the golden pieces come out piping hot, with a skin that crackles under each bite and tender meat that is perfectly cooked. Diners who frequent this spacious Culver City spot can choose from pre-constructed meals or have the option to select their own assortment of fried chicken pieces, plus sides—we’re partial to the decadent macaroni salad. One item you shouldn’t skip out on: Honey’s biscuits, which has a cornmeal-esque texture and comes with a side of maple syrup, which you can drizzle into the dimple on top.

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  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Whether you’re visiting the Culver City or Santa Monica location, a convivial buzz fills Father’s Office with hungry diners jonesing for a burger and craft beer. The 30-plus beers on tap mainly come from California microbreweries; there’s also a nice range of wines. Food-wise, forgo the middle-of-the-road tapas in favor of the fabled Office Burger. Just be prepared to eat it in the way the menu suggests: no additions and no substitutions. And definitely no ketchup. Note that the Culver City location is 21-and-over, with no children or dogs allowed.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Culver City
  • price 1 of 4

As one of the few traditional Danish bakeries in L.A., this Culver City shop dedicated to dough is not for those who shy away from carbs. You’ll want to eat everything in sight here—the braided cinnamon rolls, the macaroons, the nougat crowns straight out of the oven. The kringle, filled with almond paste and custard, is a must-try, though you really can’t go wrong with anything behind the case. Open early Wednesday through Sunday, with plenty of hot coffee in tow, a stop at Copenhagen Pastry is a great way to start your morning off right.

Our other favorite eateries on the Westside

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