This is part of a series of late-night city guides supported by The Sexton Irish Whiskey and inspired by the The Sexton Midnight Club, an intimate event series for chefs who want to eat and drink well after a late-night shift.
At the very center of the age-old rivalry between Los Angeles and New York City is that vital party person question: which city does, in fact, never sleep?
Any real Angeleno will contend that LA is just as nocturnal as anywhere; you just have to know how and where to look. Not only does the City of Angels boast a robust semi-legal after-hours scene seven nights a week, plus world-class clubs that keep the party going though sunrise, it is also home to some of the best, most diverse, and most affordable late-night and 24-hour eats of any city anywhere. So, next time your “only in New York” friends start going on about their favorite 24-hour diner, just show them this guide—that oughta shut them down real quick.
Leo's Taco Truck
Sunset Boulevard at Western Avenue (multiple locations)
Leo’s Tacos Sunset Boulevard truck keeps the massive trompos (veritable towers of mouthwatering marinated pork) spinning until 3 a.m. on weekends, serving up arguably the finest al pastor tacos in the city. Prepare to wait in line regardless of the hour.
Sun Non Dang
3470 W 6th St. #7, Los Angeles, CA 90020
This all-night home-style Korean restaurant was a favorite of the late beloved food icon Jonathan Gold, as well as LA adopted son David Chang. The heaping bowls of galbijjim—short rib stew—are the best in the city. For a bit of dinner theater, make sure to order yours with cheese, blowtorched with great fanfare tableside.
5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
At Ruen Pair, the pad thai is tender, never too sweet, and just what the doctor ordered to satiate you, especially when paired with their refreshing papaya salad.
3002 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Spicy Korean-style fried chicken and dangerously smooth soju is the name of the game at this old-school Koreatown hangout. You will undoubtedly leave stuffed, happy, and with plenty of leftovers.
470 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048
LA’s most iconic diner is such a perfect example of the West Coast’s love affair with Googie architecture that it secured Historic-Cultural Monument status in 2015. Even if you have no interest in Instagramming your experience, NORMS is still worth a visit for its massive menu of very passable diner classics and its 24/7 hours of operation.
419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
There is quite possibly no faster way to sober up after a crazy night out on the town than with a pastrami sandwich stacked high, chased with a cup of matzo ball soup. Make sure to buy a bag of rugelach and any other pastries on your way out that catch your eye for the painful morning after.
The Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
A downtown destination for nostalgia-inspiring food since 1924. You can grab a seat at the counter, open 24 hours a day, and enjoy diner classics like pancakes or steak and eggs.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
3465 W 6th St #20, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Yes, the Seoul-headquartered barbecue restaurant from pro wrestler and comedian Kang Ho-dong is technically a chain restaurant, but its consistency and dedication to quality meats has ensured it a passionate fan base from coast to coast, as well as in Korea itself. The 1:30 a.m. closing time secures its place as best late-night Korean barbecue joint in the city. Don’t leave without tasting the cheesy corn, and save room for the fried rice, shaken tableside in a metal box with a punchy, deeply savory chili paste.
Original Tommy's Hamburgers
2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
No self-respecting selection of LA restaurants would be complete without Original Tommy’s. Every Angeleno has their personal 3 a.m. order inscribed on their hearts. Here’s ours: a California classic burger with chili fries and a chili cheese dog. 3 a.m is no time for shame or self-respect.
3198 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
It’s not too much to say that The Prince represents everything we love about LA. A Korean fried chicken joint in an old-school red-boothed steak joint, serving the best Korean bar food this side of Seoul and open until 2 a.m. every morning. That déjà vu you’re feeling might be because this is where all the bar scenes were filmed for the first season of New Girl. Doesn’t get more LA than that.
800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Very few simple edible pleasures in life can rival chowing down on a mountain of golden-brown, twice-fried pommes frites; a juicy grilled sausage on top of a bun; and a tall glass, filled to the brim, with a great ale. At Würstkuche, you can also go crazy and get a sausage with rattlesnake in it (it tastes like chicken).
1850 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Like Samuel Johnson said of London: if you’re tired of Fred 62, you are tired of life. The all-night faux diner in bustling Los Feliz is the standard-bearer for Los Angeles 24-hour dining. Their expansive menu covers everything from gluten-free and vegetarian fare to flaming cheese balls (don’t ask, just order) and juicy lucys. They also serve draught beer and wine until 2 a.m., making Fred 62, not only a favorite for the end of the night but to keep the party going.
Cactus Taquerias #1
950 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Los Angeles is a city that runs on Mexican food, but its late-night Mexican options are surprisingly thin on the ground. All the more reason to be grateful for Cactus, the basic, if picturesque, stand turning out Mexican classics in Hollywood until 3:30 a.m. every weekend. Grab a plate of tacos, and settle in for some world-class people watching, even in the wee hours.
1721 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Is there anything more LA than a window serving as-good-as-Bangkok Thai takeout in the back of a cocktail and magic show experience bar? That’s what you’ll find at Crying Tiger in Black Rabbit Rose. The cooking is from the team behind the excellent Luv2Eat Thai Bistro, so you know the food will be amazing—even if you find magicians hard to stomach. Service stops at 1:30 a.m.
8412 w 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Sometimes you just need a lobster pizza at 3:30 in the morning. For nights like those, there’s Berri’s—the self-described Mediterranean restaurant and oddly fancy pizza purveyor that keeps West Hollywood’s night-owls in California cuisine all night (until 4 a.m. every night). Apparently, Berri’s is prime for celebrity sightings, though we’ve never seen one.
Pacific Dining Car
1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
This OG fancy spot hasn’t closed its doors since 1923. It is the type of place where you go to splurge on a $38 6-ounce filet mignon at 3 a.m., ‘nuff said.
4339 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Garage Pizza is the answer to any New Yorker who claims that LA doesn’t have any good late-night pizza options. Their pies are old school, thin-crust, and overflowing with cheese and sauce; we never see anyone complaining.
259 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
Late night food options in Burbank are few and far between and Crawford’s Pass is undoubtedly the best of the rare bunch. Keep your buzz going at the full bar while eating hot chicken that's miles better than it needs to be.
7205 California Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90046
There’s a certain kind of hunger that only heaping plates of red sauce Italian can satisfy. When that kind of hunger hits late at night, there’s only one real option: Jones Hollywood. Their spaghetti and meatballs, gin martini, and “famous” apple pie for two (for one) is maybe our favorite post-drink, pre-breakfast snack in the city.
101 Coffee Shop
6145 Franklin Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
Hollywood has no shortage of late-night diners, but consensus holds that 101 Coffee Shop is the best. It boasts both killer throwback diner ambiance and excellent food. With a 3 a.m. closing time, it is our preferred destination for a post-binge breakfast in the area.
Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles
5006 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
This landmark that preaches the gospel of peace, love, and chicken grease needs no introduction. However, now you know that it is open until midnight and that maple syrup on top of fried chicken tastes best right before you pass out.
327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of LA’s best ramen spots, Daikokuya has been serving Angelenos world-class bowls of porky goodness for over a decade. If you want your tonkatsu rich AF, ask for the kotteri option.
24/7 Restaurant at The Standard
550 South Flower, Los Angeles CA 90071
The Standard’s downtown Los Angeles location serves up deft versions of comfort classics all night long at its trendy 24/7 Restaurant. The menu is a nice mix of high and low-brow late night fare (we like the steak and eggs). The particular charm of the place is trickier to pin down. A meal there always makes us feel like a bounty hunter from the future who might have tried cocaine once or twice—but you know, trendy.
13130 Sherman Way North Hollywood, CA 91605
Hollywood’s Thai Town gives even Koreatown a run for its money when it comes to late night dining, and Krua Thai is one of the best. The food itself varies (though the noodles are almost always excellent), but it is redeemed by the sheer breadth of its offerings, serving up a wealth Thai dishes of that will please everyone in even the largest, most hammered of groups. Open every night until 3:30 a.m.
1138 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
The South Bay’s late-night options are limited but even if they weren’t, Manhattan Beach’s 24-hour stalwart The Kettle would still be a hit, thanks to big portions of hearty fare running the gamut from red-sauce classics to steak house hits and bar food like buffalo tenders and onion rings. There’s something for everyone as long as everyone is hungry and maybe a little bit drunk.
Dan Sung Sa
3317 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Want to get your out-of-town friends to consider a move to LA? Just take them to Dan Sung Sa, a restaurant so weird, wonderful, and raucous it could only exist in Los Angeles. The North Korean tavern serves up maybe the best bar food in the city—the wok-fried blood sausage with glass noodles and seafood pancakes are especially satisfying.
1433 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Is Izzy’s the best Jewish deli in Los Angeles? No. But the portions are ample—considerably more than ample, truth be told—there is parking, and it stays open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That they are in Santa Monica, in the historical late-food desert of the Westside, is all the more reason Izzy’s deserves to be celebrated.
3498 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Haemaru Sullungtang might actually save your life. Sometimes all that will get you through the night is a bubbling, fortifying marrow-thick broth of soup. That Haemaru serves up some of the best soup anywhere and is open until 4 a.m. nightly seems somehow better than we deserve. Even if you’re not in a soup mood, Haemaru is worth a visit for its exceptional bossam—enough pork to feed four, and more than enough for your (possibly) drunk ass.
1512 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA 90291
We’ll leave the ethics of a Mao-themed restaurant—a man whose reign, you’ll remember, cost as many as 45 million people their lives—to somebody else. All we know is Mao’s serves tasty, stoner-friendly American Chinese classics as late as 3 a.m. on the weekends, in Venice no less.
BCD Tofu House
3575 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
BCD Tofu House is your safe haven on a late night out in Koreatown. The expansive 24-hour spot works like a well-oiled machine. Within minutes of sitting down, you’ll be happily snacking on banchan before your order hits the table.
337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This is perhaps the most low-key spot on this list, and that is an extremely good thing. Duck in here after drinking around downtown LA for some late-night udon, Japanese curry, and many other homestyle Japanese favorites.
El Oaxaco Taqueria y Antojitos Oaxaqueños
318 N La Brea Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302
There’s a reason taco stands like El Oaxaco Taqueria y Antojitos Oaxaqueños in Inglewood are the pride of Los Angeles. Expect large portions of simple, well-prepared food on the cheap into the early morning hours. Nothing fancy, just friendly faces serving up just what you need after the bars close.
Crispy Pork Gang
5253 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Thai Town is a hotbed of delicious late-night dining options, but only Crispy Pork Gang keeps the woks hot 24 hours a day. The fried pork is the obvious move here—especially the crispy pork belly. But believe it or not it is the cravings for the morning glory greens (only available seasonally) that keep us up and out at night.
7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Square in the middle of Hollywood, 25° makes for a welcome (if slightly diabolical-feeling) oasis from the nocturnal depravity outside. The glammed-up décor in this Roosevelt Hotel Lobby stalwart, belies a menu of no-fuss classics. Nothing fancy here, but burgers and shakes done right and served 24 hours a day.
1608 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Much focus is put on the needs of drunk people when discussing 24-hour dining, but god bless kitchen24 for keeping the nocturnal pothead close to its heart. Yes there are healthy options on the menu—inevitable, considering its length—but if you want to be healthy you really have no business being in a place like kitchen24. Better to spring for the chocolate chunk pancakes or the “Fricken Waffle,” fried chicken served on a bacon cheddar waffle and smothered in gravy.
6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Du-par’s is justifiably famous for their pancakes, and that’s what you should order no matter what time of day or night it is. If you must have something more savory, may we suggest the creamed English muffin welsh rarebit with bacon, or the beef stew in a brioche bread bowl—sure at the very least to put you soundly to sleep.
3470 W 6th St #5, Los Angeles, CA 90020
We keep coming back to Mountain for the soulfulness of its cooking and the breadth of its menu. There’s something for everyone at this Koreatown home-cooking destination, making it great for groups or for first dates that linger past the dinner hour. Still, the fortifying soups and simple heartfelt Korean classics make it the right choice for dinner-for-one if you need a little solace in the long, lonely Los Angeles night.
639 S. Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
LA Café, always open and serving right in the middle of the chaos of downtown’s Spring Street, is a lifesaver for DTLA’s party people. It is also a lifesaver for the neighborhood’s residents who sometimes just need a slice of banana cream pie, and some carne asada tater tots to get them through a 4 a.m. Six Feet Under binge.
Tony's Donut House
3216 E Florence Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255
LA is a donut town. And we don’t mean those hipster bacon and Fruity Pebble donuts either. We’re talking the kind of donuts you dip in your coffee, the kind homicide detectives eat. The kind they serve 24 hours a day at Tony’s Donut House. Just don’t be a dick and order the cupcake.
La Cabana Restaurant
738 Rose Ave, Venice, CA
You know that feeling when the bars are closed, you’re hungry, and you don’t feel like going home but you have that creeping suspicion that you’re too messed up to be out in public? Well, head on down to La Cabana where we assure you you’ll feel right at home, no matter your degree of intoxication. Plus, their massive plates of rib-sticking Mexican-American food—served every night until 3 a.m.—might just be what it takes to save your reputation.
11992 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA, 91604
Crave Café is tricky to categorize: Studio City’s favorite 24-hour eatery offers everything from popular crepes, and sandwiches, to breakfasts, burgers, and even pizza. Despite a reputation for never closing, the staff does stop serving on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 in the morning, so plan your trip accordingly.