There are plenty of things to do in Silver Lake, but the most important? Eating. Walking around this trendy L.A. neighborhood will work up an appetite, and with no shortage of great restaurants and bars in the area, your only obstacle will be deciding what you’re in the mood for. Is it pho? Pizza? Vegan or vegetarian? You’ve come to the right ’hood. Check out our list of the best Silver Lake restaurants and start making those reservations.
RECOMMENDED: See more in our neighborhood guide to Silver Lake.
Grab a bite at our favorite Silver Lake restaurants
By now, there has been plenty written about Alimento’s tortellini in brodo, a dish that is alone worthy of a visit to this Italian restaurant. But chef Zach Pollack’s talent doesn’t stop there. The pig in a blanket features puffy spelt pastry bookending a thick slab of mortadella, fatty and rich and piled high with stringy brovada (pickled turnips). The fried chicken sandwich is one of the best in town. And if rice pudding happens to be on the dessert menu, don’t hesitate to order it. Yes, it gets a little loud at Alimento sometimes, but you’ll be drowning out any conversation or excessive music with your own food-induced sighs of pleasure.
This charming, wood-paneled spot looks as though it were dropped into its strip-mall surroundings by way of a Brooklyn street corner. Inside, it’s just as disarmingly old-school Jewish and darling, with a vintage-inspired mishmash of patterned wallpapers, dark wood and a number of rejuvenated yet familiar favorites. It’s in Freedman’s deviations from the norm where this spot really shines (see: fried whitefish “cigars” in honey vinegar; guava cheesecake; and marrow-topped brisket), but their by-the-book classics, such as matzo ball soup and the pastrami sandwich, are always worth an order.
Fresh, produce-forward dishes, natural wines, herbaceous cocktails and the occasional author talk and wine tasting event make for one of Silver Lake’s sunniest gathering places, whether you’re stopping in for a meal of tahini French toast and Turkish eggs or hitting up the cute and well-curated market up front. Over the last few years, owners Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling managed to build a breezy, health-conscious café with all-day fare, third-wave coffee and fresh pastries, and it feels a little like Silver Lake incarnate.
When the original Night + Market arrived in West Hollywood at the end of 2010, diners were immediately taken by chef Kris Yenbamroong’s autheniticity and bold flavors. The only logical thing to do? Open a second location. At Night + Market Song, a Thai banner, beads and a random-but-fitting picture of Cindy Crawford hanging on the wall channel the streets of northern Thailand. Daily specials, a killer wine list, great late-night vibes and few vegan options are available as well, like the sweet potato massaman with yam and toasted coconut. Just be warned: this place doesn’t go easy on the spice.
Look to the brown paper bags for the hand-scrawled daily menu, which regularly sports items like hummus, roasted cauliflower shawarma, potatoes with charred lemon, and herb-covered whole branzino. Silver Lake’s Middle Eastern gem is affordable, trendy and totally tasty, but prepare to wait—there’s not much seating, and the line can wrap around the block.
Charles Olalia takes Filipino classics and turns them on their head at his lively full-service restaurant, Ma’am Sir. The beloved RiceBar chef whips up crackling sweetbreads sisig, served piping hot in cast iron; a craveable house-made longganisa sausage sandwich; uni-topped lumpia stuffed with shrimp mousse; and a deconstructed kare kare stew unlike any you’ve had before, to name a few. The vibe is casual and congenial but always bustling, and the cocktails are just as fun as the atmosphere. Take a seat under the hanging plants and just let Olalia do his thing.
Order at the counter at this Taiwanese eatery, then snag a spot to sit either inside or at picnic tables shared by neighboring businesses outside. A succint menu is comprised of cold appetizers, vegetables, small plates, noodles and rice. The mapo tofu, a traditional Sichuan dish, is on point, with well-seasoned ground pork and soft tofu that dissolves in your mouth. The beef noodle soup is packed with equally satisfying additions: thick udon noodles that only get better the longer they soak, bright green stalks of bok choy, and slightly bitter mustard greens that offset the chunks of beef shank resting on the surface. One bite and you’ll be a loyal fan for life.
White walls, an expanse of brick and low, black leather banquettes set the stage at this Vietnamese eatery, which also has a cozy downstairs seating area boasting a glass-walled wine cellar. You’re here for some of the best pho in L.A.: most options are beef-forward and contain pleasantly fatty brisket and beef balls that pack a peppery punch—satisfying and just right. And if you aren’t down with meat? There’s a stellar vegeteraian option here that appeals to just about everyone.
Cozy, dim-lit and a whole lot of fun, Same Same is the Thai spot meets wine bar that weeknights are made of. It’s still fun on weekends, but let’s just say this is where we want to be on just about any evening, catching up with friends after a long day or settling into a corner for an intimate date. The food here is spicy, and best served communal: Thai dim sum, pan-fried noodles, creamy curries and tongue-searing papaya salads all make for excellent table fare to be washed down with Old World, Oregon and California wines by the glass or bottle.
If quick and comforting is what you’re after, Tacos Delta is a colorful little stand on the corner of Lucile and Sunset that serves up chilaquiles, enchiladas and, of course, fresh tacos. The stand’s specialties range from shrimp and fish tacos to a whopper of a breakfast burrito. Get them to-go or enjoy them in Tacos Delta’s backyard sunny patio seating area.