There’s no dearth of cheap food in L.A., especially on the Eastside. So if you’re looking for somewhere in Echo Park to host a celebratory meal—or drown your sorrows—after a Dodgers game, check out our list of the best budget places to eat and drink near Dodger Stadium, from dive bars and taco trucks to alfresco dining and fancy brews. No matter your budget or your palate, there’s a spot on here that’s sure to please—unless you’re rooting for the opposite team, in which case, our advice is to get out of the ’hood as fast as you can.
Best affordable bars and restaurants near Dodger Stadium
Past the pupusa and hot dog street stands sits a black box of a bar, with a blazing red “cocktails” sign as its only marker. Inside is a divey hub for hipsters in bandanas and baseball fans in Dodgers caps to enjoy unpretentious atmosphere while sipping libations. The retro hangout is most known for its popular, disco ball-bedecked dance room and cheap drinks. Just a fifteen minute walk from Dodger Stadium, there’s no better place to delight in a post-game night out.
This Echo Park bistro is where locals go for dinner, lunch and weekend brunch, and is a great place to stop before or after a game—especially if you’ve got parents or out-of-town visitors in tow. The menu is solid, with eclectic offerings such as Szechuan fried calamari, seafood fideos, roast chicken and spaghetti and meatballs. Wednesday is the popular (read: super crowded) half-price burger night. They’ve recently updated their patio, which makes alfresco dining here a delight. And if you want to escape the sweltering heat in the summer, the Park has some much-appreciated AC.
What better way to celebrate the home team’s win (or mourn their loss) than to stroll ten minutes west of Dodgers stadium and tuck into some authentic Mexican eats? El Compadre serves up homemade tortilla chips and salsa that rival any you’ll find south of the border, and their flaming margaritas are a must-try. The moody lighting, mouth-watering menu and live Mariachi make the El Compadre experience a spicy one. There’s also no better spot to relive the glory (or hash out what went wrong) than the bar here—two big TVs play everything Dodgers-related, and vocal fans hang at the bar with micheladas and lots of opinions.
This beer store and bar offers a gigantic selection of brewskies, from West Coast microbrews to rare Belgian ales and small production specialty bottles. (There’s also wine, and a pretty good little selection, but we rarely see anyone drinking it here.) There are refrigerated cases from which you can grab bottles to go, or get one opened at the bar (for a small corkage fee) and hang out with a plethora of Eastside beer nerds and Dodgers blue-bedecked baseball fans. There’s also a decent pizza place next door to help you soak up all that delicious booze.
Dinette is a petite cafe from Cafe Stella’s Gareth Kanter, where you order from a counter after perusing cake stands filled with quiches and tarts and cookies, all separated by a sleek glass window. There is no indoor seating area, only scattered chairs and tables in a small alcove bound by plants and the sidewalk lining Sunset Boulevard.
Since 1987, the Two Boots mini-chain has been serving innovative pizzas named after pop-culture figures (example: the Dude from The Big Lebowski)—offering diners a leg up at Trivial Pursuit in addition to a tasty slice. The original Two Boots is in New York, but we think their slices taste better here (if only because they lack the fierce competition of Big Apple pies). It’s the perfect place to grab a quick, cheap dinner after a game. Bonus: Stop by in the afternoon for the after-school special: a cheese slice and small soda for $2.50.
The Boyle Heights taco institution, Guisados, launched its second taqueria in Echo Park back in 2013. Snag a table on the outdoor patio or sit inside to watch the kitchen in action as you dig into the mouthwatering tacos ($2.75)—we like the moist tinga de pollo, rich and juicy mole poblano and flavorful cochinita pibil topped with spicy red onions—washed down with refreshingly tart jamaica aqua fresca or creamy, spiced horchata. Can’t decide what to order? The six-taco sampler offers two-bite tastes, while spice fanatics can’t miss the chiles toreados—it’s muy caliente.
Whatever you want to call it—restaurant, bar, arcade—Button Mash has created a category all its own in L.A. The food, which comes from once-underground-restaurant Starry Kitchen, is fantastic. Diners will recognize Starry Kitchen’s famous crispy tofu balls, but there is far more on the menu to explore: incredible Vietnamese spring rolls, a decadent double cheeseburger, and a selection of rice dishes, noodles, sandwiches and larger plates, to be enjoyed at the bar or in the dining room. The drink menu includes a unique list of beer and wine, and Button Mash has over 100 arcade cabinets from the ’70s to ’90s, but they keep around 50 on the floor at one time.
This is a perfect spot to go post-game if you’re out with clients or a date. The cozy, family-owned vibe at Masa matched with a mouth-watering menu of classic Italian and Chicago-style edibles (vegan options too!) turns an average night out to dinner into a hug on the inside and out. The Chicago deep dish at Masa of Echo Park is the real deal, folks. You’ve got your 2" deep pan, your fresh cornmeal crust, your cheesy sauces and chunky fillings for days. Wash down your ’za with a bottle of pinot, and don’t forget dessert.
Baseball and BBQ go together pretty well, and this spot is just south of the Stadium on Temple—enough of a walk to get your appetite up. Run by the Concordia family, who have been mastering the art of BBQ for generations, The Park’s Finest spices up traditional American cuts with Filipino flavor. Known for their “50% mom, 50% pop, 100% L.A.” mantra, this one-of-a-kind BBQ restuarant has grown from a small catering company (in 2009) to a popular eatery near Downtown L.A. (since 2012).
This former dive bar brings a little bit more joie de vivre (and upgraded digs) to Echo Park. When the bar’s coveted seats (14 in total) are taken and the only two booths in the joint are at capacity, standing room allows for old-fashioned mingling in the fairly small space and a game of pool—get your name on the chalkboard early. The drink menu is straightforward—full bar with standard bottle selections—with eight beers on tap, including a brew called the “Glutenator” for gluten-free imbibers.
Whether you’re in need of a casual dinner or a late night bite, Taco Zone is a Mexican food fan favorite. From burritos to quesidillas, what sets these authentic meals apart is the salsa. And with $2 taco, it’s hard not to wait in the late night line that wraps around Echo Park. Just make sure you hit an ATM before, because this fun food joint is cash only.
Who would have thought that a venerable French country cuisine restaurant established in 1927 would feature such progressive bookings as Moris Tepper, Double Naught Spy Car and Flourescein? Taix boasts an extensive wine collection (more than 400), exquisite bread and nightly dinner specials along with smart music in a genteel setting. For the more casual diner, there’s the 321 Lounge, serving Taix pale ale, bottomless spit pea soup and offering live music and comedy on the regular. The laid-back lounge is also a popular spot pre- and post-Dodgers games.