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A young woman brings home a box of takeout food with three Coca-Colas in paper cups.
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11 L.A. Restaurants to Up Your Takeout Game

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There are plenty of reasons during “normal times” to enjoy grabbing food to go. It makes the menu easier for a family movie night, a picnic, or just a pit stop during a busy day. After work, it’s a way of decompressing — you know, allowing yourself to get home and just relax.

During “these times,” though, there’s even more to appreciate about ordering takeout or delivery. You don’t have to dirty all your dishes for the millionth night, you can grab and go, and you can treat yourself to a little taste of “normal” while supporting local businesses. These takeout spots — serving up simple dishes like pizza and tacos, and complex treats like Thousand Layer Pancakes — make dinner both simple and affordable. That’s a combination everyone could use right now.

A number of Los Angeles restaurants offer patio service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for outdoor dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit covid19.ca.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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With most dishes under $10, Highland Park’s Taiwanese emporium is already a local favorite. The Thousand Layer Pancake is a particular steal: The egg and cheese version is $8 and a perfect handheld meal while walking around the neighborhood. Add in a rice or noodle dish or two, and the entire family’s fed.

A noodle dish from Joy restaurant in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Joy

Luv2eat Thai Bistro

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A continual standout among Los Angeles’s throng of Thai restaurants, Luv2Eat serves its favorites from an unassuming strip mall storefront across from the Crossroads of the World. (Fun fact: chefs Noree Pla and Fern Kaewtathip were the Eater L.A.’s Readers Choice for Chefs of the Year for 2017.) The small dining area might be closed, but the jade noodles and selection of curries will make it home still hot and ready to eat.

Crab curry, salad, and other dishes from Luv2eat Thai Bistro in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Luv2eat Thai Bistro
Jakob N. Layman

Vito's Pizza

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There are few foods better suited for takeout than pizza, and this slice shop makes some of the city’s favorite pies. Feed the entire family with a pizza and a salad or choose from a menu of well-crafted pasta dishes, like the baked ziti and the chicken parmesan. Gluten-free pasta and crusts are both available, too.

Sweet Chick

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The New York mini-chain opened its first location in L.A. three year ago and has become a favorite among the Fairfax District’s streetwear-obsessed. The chicken and waffles pairing here is the highlight, especially the Nashville hot variety. Although the eatery was always packed in pre-COVID days, takeout now gives you space to sit down and enjoy the food.

Fried chicken, plus chicken and waffles, from Sweet Chick restaurant.
Courtesy of Sweet Chick

iki ramen

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This Koreatown outpost is known for its unique takes on, unsurprisingly, ramen: including a truffle butter tonkotsu and vegan miso ramen made in part with a vegetarian meat substitute. It’s run in part by the general manager of the famous spot n/naka; iki shares little of the expense of its pricey sibling, but much of the creativity.

Vegetables, noodles, and fish from the L.A. restaurant iki ramen.
Courtesy of iki ramen

Dino's Chicken & Burgers

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The Pollo Maniaco here not only has one of L.A.’s best dish names, but also deserves praise for its kicky garlic flavor and leftover “juices” that double as French fry condiments. Plus, it’s one of the city’s best deals. One plate comes with a half-chicken, fries, coleslaw, and tortillas, meaning that dinner one night could also end up being lunch the next day.

Tacos 1986

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This Tijuana-style taco shop features a simple-enough menu, with four “meats” (including the veggie-friendly mushroom) available as tacos, quesadillas, mulitas, and vampiros. But it’s the off-menu perron (with beans, cheese, salsa, and guacamole on a flour tortilla) that garnered a following and helped the restaurant go from a taco stand to four different locations.

A variety of tacos and salsas from the L.A. restaurant Tacos 1986.
Courtesy of Tacos 1986
@PatrickinLA

Johnny's West Adams

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This restaurant, a pastrami favorite, reopened in June after a five-year hiatus, with pastrami sandwiches, burgers, and an old-school French dip. The pastrami on the signature sandwich is thick-cut and stacked up on marble rye directly from Tartine, one of the city’s top bakeries. Couple it with the matzoh ball soup, and you can recreate the deli vibe at home. Grab a Coke or two to finish it off.

RibTown BBQ

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Set up in a parking lot, RibTown’s smoker announces itself by smell from a block away. Grab a pound of rib tips from barbecue expert Lonnie Edwards, and walk down to Shaw Park for a picnic. Or, get a combo with chicken that’ll offer enough for leftovers. Don’t skip over cobbler made by the owner’s wife, Regina, when the dessert’s available.

Mel's Fish Shack

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This second-generation West Adams favorite serves up Louisiana-style fish, shrimp, and fried oysters, alongside collard greens and hush puppies. The takeout specialists also sell fish by the pound, either fried up or fresh. (And with the Shack’s seasoning, you’ll want to get it fried.) Mondays feature Mel’s crab seafood soup, an extra-special treat.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

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A Santa Monica institution since 1925, Bay Cities is best known for its Godmother sandwich, with five different meats and provolone. But any item on the menu here, including the vegetarian Caprese, puts other sandwich shops to shame. The market makes this a two-for-one stop, as well: Either pack up some sandwiches and head to the beach, or bring home a surprise alongside the weekly shopping.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Joy

A noodle dish from Joy restaurant in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Joy

With most dishes under $10, Highland Park’s Taiwanese emporium is already a local favorite. The Thousand Layer Pancake is a particular steal: The egg and cheese version is $8 and a perfect handheld meal while walking around the neighborhood. Add in a rice or noodle dish or two, and the entire family’s fed.

A noodle dish from Joy restaurant in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Joy

Luv2eat Thai Bistro

Crab curry, salad, and other dishes from Luv2eat Thai Bistro in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Luv2eat Thai Bistro
Jakob N. Layman

A continual standout among Los Angeles’s throng of Thai restaurants, Luv2Eat serves its favorites from an unassuming strip mall storefront across from the Crossroads of the World. (Fun fact: chefs Noree Pla and Fern Kaewtathip were the Eater L.A.’s Readers Choice for Chefs of the Year for 2017.) The small dining area might be closed, but the jade noodles and selection of curries will make it home still hot and ready to eat.

Crab curry, salad, and other dishes from Luv2eat Thai Bistro in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Luv2eat Thai Bistro
Jakob N. Layman

Vito's Pizza

There are few foods better suited for takeout than pizza, and this slice shop makes some of the city’s favorite pies. Feed the entire family with a pizza and a salad or choose from a menu of well-crafted pasta dishes, like the baked ziti and the chicken parmesan. Gluten-free pasta and crusts are both available, too.

Sweet Chick

Fried chicken, plus chicken and waffles, from Sweet Chick restaurant.
Courtesy of Sweet Chick

The New York mini-chain opened its first location in L.A. three year ago and has become a favorite among the Fairfax District’s streetwear-obsessed. The chicken and waffles pairing here is the highlight, especially the Nashville hot variety. Although the eatery was always packed in pre-COVID days, takeout now gives you space to sit down and enjoy the food.

Fried chicken, plus chicken and waffles, from Sweet Chick restaurant.
Courtesy of Sweet Chick

iki ramen

Vegetables, noodles, and fish from the L.A. restaurant iki ramen.
Courtesy of iki ramen

This Koreatown outpost is known for its unique takes on, unsurprisingly, ramen: including a truffle butter tonkotsu and vegan miso ramen made in part with a vegetarian meat substitute. It’s run in part by the general manager of the famous spot n/naka; iki shares little of the expense of its pricey sibling, but much of the creativity.

Vegetables, noodles, and fish from the L.A. restaurant iki ramen.
Courtesy of iki ramen

Dino's Chicken & Burgers

The Pollo Maniaco here not only has one of L.A.’s best dish names, but also deserves praise for its kicky garlic flavor and leftover “juices” that double as French fry condiments. Plus, it’s one of the city’s best deals. One plate comes with a half-chicken, fries, coleslaw, and tortillas, meaning that dinner one night could also end up being lunch the next day.

Tacos 1986

A variety of tacos and salsas from the L.A. restaurant Tacos 1986.
Courtesy of Tacos 1986
@PatrickinLA

This Tijuana-style taco shop features a simple-enough menu, with four “meats” (including the veggie-friendly mushroom) available as tacos, quesadillas, mulitas, and vampiros. But it’s the off-menu perron (with beans, cheese, salsa, and guacamole on a flour tortilla) that garnered a following and helped the restaurant go from a taco stand to four different locations.

A variety of tacos and salsas from the L.A. restaurant Tacos 1986.
Courtesy of Tacos 1986
@PatrickinLA

Johnny's West Adams

This restaurant, a pastrami favorite, reopened in June after a five-year hiatus, with pastrami sandwiches, burgers, and an old-school French dip. The pastrami on the signature sandwich is thick-cut and stacked up on marble rye directly from Tartine, one of the city’s top bakeries. Couple it with the matzoh ball soup, and you can recreate the deli vibe at home. Grab a Coke or two to finish it off.

RibTown BBQ

Set up in a parking lot, RibTown’s smoker announces itself by smell from a block away. Grab a pound of rib tips from barbecue expert Lonnie Edwards, and walk down to Shaw Park for a picnic. Or, get a combo with chicken that’ll offer enough for leftovers. Don’t skip over cobbler made by the owner’s wife, Regina, when the dessert’s available.

Mel's Fish Shack

This second-generation West Adams favorite serves up Louisiana-style fish, shrimp, and fried oysters, alongside collard greens and hush puppies. The takeout specialists also sell fish by the pound, either fried up or fresh. (And with the Shack’s seasoning, you’ll want to get it fried.) Mondays feature Mel’s crab seafood soup, an extra-special treat.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

A Santa Monica institution since 1925, Bay Cities is best known for its Godmother sandwich, with five different meats and provolone. But any item on the menu here, including the vegetarian Caprese, puts other sandwich shops to shame. The market makes this a two-for-one stop, as well: Either pack up some sandwiches and head to the beach, or bring home a surprise alongside the weekly shopping.

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