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Greekman's assorted food
Photograph: Courtesy Andrea D'AgostoGreekman's

The best Silver Lake restaurants

Just as hot now as it was ten years ago, this trendy L.A. neighborhood is home to some of the city's coolest restaurants.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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There are plenty of things to do in Silver Lake, but the most important thing seems to be eating. Walking around this trendy, hilly L.A. neighborhood will probably work up an appetite, but there are countless eateries, coffee shops and bars hoping to sate your hunger or thirst at a moment's notice. These days, the area's full-tilt transformation to gentrification is nearly complete (peep the Shake Shack, Sweetgreen and even Habit Burger along Sunset Boulevard), but just as many locally owned independent restaurants are still thriving in Silver Lake, so we rounded up the best of them—and man, was it difficult to choose—for the neighborhood's best grub options. 

RECOMMENDED: See more in our neighborhood guide to Silver Lake

Grab a bite at our favorite Silver Lake restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Taking over from the Happy Foot/Sad Foot clinic, this Indian pizza parlor in Silver Lake is a razor-sharp distillation of everything great about dining in Los Angeles: fun, not too expensive and, best of all, gloriously unfussy. Though billed as a sports bar with giant flatscreen TVs, Pijja Palace's destination-worthy appeal lies in its playful, delicious menu of South Asian-inspired pizza, pasta, wings and cocktails. (It's also made the red-hot new restaurant busy at all hours, so it's best to try to snag a reservation or walk in right at opening.) Rich in spice, though not necessarily spicy, each simple-but-complex dish tastes fresh and exciting, from the dosa onion rings dipped in mango chutney to vodka sauce-like malai rigatoni.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Always packed and always delicious, All Day Baby is the modern diner of our dreams. Run by Lien Ta and Jonathan Whitener of Here's Looking at You, this Silver Lake daytime spot offers chef-driven takes on American comfort foods like their famous biscuit sandwich smothered with strawberry jam and their blueberry-topped hotcakes. Though they also have a Vietnamese-inspired alter-ego named Tet-a-Tet at night, we found ourselves less than impressed by the mediocre-tasting dishes, so we still primarily recommend ADB as a breakfast and brunch spot. To round out the daytime indulgence, there's also pastry chef Thessa Diadem’s amazing baked goods, including a standout ube coconut pie and weekends-only cinnamon rolls slathered in labneh frosting.

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  • Restaurants
  • Taiwanese
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Vivian Ku's Taiwanese restaurant first opened in 2014, and the lines for Pine & Crane's solidly delicious chilled appetizers, dumplings, noodles and rice bowl haven't seemed to let up since. Though Highland Park's Joy and a second, roomier Pine & Crane outpost in Downtown L.A. have divided the flow of customers away from the Silver Lake original, this eight-year-old counter-service eatery still does a brisk business serving up nourishing bowls of mapo tofu, the most centrally located shengjianbao in L.A. (though by no means the best) and the best boba drinks in the area. Take one bite of the scallion pancakes or beef rolls, and you'll easily understand why Pine & Crane has long been the go-option for Taiwanese/Chinese takeout or a casual dine-in meal among neighborhood locals.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Now with four locations, including one in Las Vegas, Kris Yenbamroong's nationally renowned new-school Thai joint might be a mini-empire today, but the second outpost in Silver Lake ("song" means two in Thai) retains the bold, brash DIY quality that drew Millennials to Night + Market like a moth to a flame back in 2014. Inspired equally by the street foods of Bangkok’s night markets and the pork-centric cuisine of northern Thailand, Song offers a menu of salt-forward dishes that practically beg for a glass of natural wine or ice-cold beer; every drinking-oriented dish goes all gas, no brakes on salt, spice and umami flavors, including the signature "party wings" and fried chicken sandwich.

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • Silver Lake
  • price 3 of 4

With a raucous, party-like atmosphere, excellent Spanish cuisine and an even better drink selection, Bar Moruno (formerly at the Original Farmers Market) is the tapas spot Silver Lake never knew it needed. Tables fill up nightly with diners feasting on imported Iberian fish—also available at its daytime-only shop Rápido—confit-style pan con tomate and a must-order tortilla española. Casual yet stylish, the restaurant knows its flighty target audience; as a result, you’d be equally happy whether stopping in for tapas at the walk-in-only bar or enjoying a multi-course dinner. Book ahead to guarantee little to no wait for a table, and make sure to splurge on the hefty, chorizo-filled Scotch egg.

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Formerly known as Freedman's, this Silver Lake restaurant channels the breeziness of Greek island tavernas with a Mediterranean menu that features delicious souvlaki (meat skewers, including a vegan-friendly oyster mushroom option) and other tasty small bites like smoked cauliflower with spicy labneh and grilled octopus. An all Greek wine list showcases a side of vino not normally seen in Los Angeles—though, of course, the unique curation comes at premium price. The expanded patio parklet also transforms into a string-lit oasis after dark, giving the everyday strip mall eatery an unexpectedly romantic feel for date night.

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  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Health-conscious, airy and bright (but with a tad bit of grunge), this all-day eatery is essentially Silver Lake incarnate. Since opening Botanica in 2017, owners Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling have built a dedicated following with flavorful, light dishes like Turkish eggs and white bean hummus by day and shaved celery root salad and roast chicken with romesco by night. Throw in the cute, well-curated market out front for natural wines and gourmet goods, the occasional author talk or wine tasting event and a bevy of floral, herbaceous-leaning cocktails and you've got the recipe for an ideal Silver Lake neighborhood restaurant with a little bit of something for everyone.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Silver Lake
  • price 3 of 4

Though no longer the hottest thing in Silver Lake, Zach Pollack's neighborhood Italian restaurant still wows with signatures like the tortellini in brodo, radiatori with kale and fennel pollen and the beautifully crispy chicken Milanese sandwich (also available "red hot" style). The minimalist, casual interiors belie the higher than average price point, but if you're fine with spending over $50 a head on delicious small plates like a white bean and emmer soup served with griddled bread and saffron risotto tater tots, there's no better place in Silver Lake for pasta and aperitivo than Alimento.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Silver Lake

While the pizza at this strip mall spot is completely vegan (a boon for those who eat, or try to eat, fully plant-based), it’s also just damn good. Located in northern Silver Lake—close to Frogtown and Atwater Village—Hot Tongue offers delicious, freshly made pies both whole and by the slice. Pick from the eclectic neon pink shop’s thick Detroit-style squares, New York triangles and a gluten-free option, plus a small menu of salads and apps. All dishes are made with housemade plant-based cheese and toppings that lean more towards seasonal vegetables, rather than commercial faux-meats. Thus far, neighborhood locals and vegans have already gravitated toward the place, and you should too—the next time you find yourself in the area.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Silver Lake
  • price 1 of 4

One of L.A.'s most beloved bagel pop-ups now operates out of a tiny Silver Lake storefront, where Maury's serves its pliable, chewy boiled treats with plenty of cured fish options. The shop is about as old-school charming as it gets: There are metal baskets of piles upon piles of the chewy, yeasty bagels, while black-and-white signs display the daily selection of house-made schmears and bagel sandwiches like whitefish salad and kippered salmon. 

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