The Best Sausages in Los Angeles

Celebrate Oktoberfest with sausages from around the world
Sausage plate at Sahag's Basturma | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Sausage is a time-tested tradition that takes off-cuts of meat and transforms them with spices and seasoning into encased flavor bombs. Oktoberfest first started in 1810 in Munich and has since become a hotbed for communal beer and sausage consumption. That legacy continues locally at places like Torrance’s Alpine Village. Thankfully, people don’t need to rely on that raucous stretch of time in September and October to get sausage drunk. Sausage traditions also extend far beyond Bavaria, around the globe. Discover 11 places to enjoy house-made sausages in L.A.

Sausage at Bludso's Bar & Cue | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Bludso's Bar & Que



Bludso’s, the Hollywood interpretation of Compton pitmaster Kevin Bludso’s smoked meat emporium from partners James Starr and Jason Bernstein, features a full bar and welcoming communal seating. Erik Black, co-founder of Ugly Drum, developed a pair of “lunch meats” that received Bludso’s blessing before going on the menu. Their chicken sausage is a peppery blend of thigh meat, jalapenos, garlic, mustard seed, and spices that oozes molten Tillamook cheddar. Texas red hot is a coarse beef sausage crafted with chuck, plate, and brisket meat that displays more snap, chile heat from paprika and cayenne, and fire red color that tries to warn you. Bludso’s smokes red hots for 4-5 hours using a combo of oak, pecan and apple woods, and chicken sausage gets buffeted with the same wood smoke for one hour.

Red chorizo breakfast burrito at The Chori-Man | Photo by Joshua Lurie

The Chori-Man



Humberto Raygoza continues his family’s chorizo-making traditions that started in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. He previously ran a booth at The Wall Farmers Market in Downtown L.A.'s Flower District. In July 2017, he teamed with longtime customer Mandy Barton Clark to open a San Pedro storefront with a single shaded picnic table. Raygoza griddles tacos and burritos starring either Zacatecan red or Tolucan green chorizo. His red sausage features chicken leg and thigh meat seasoned with guajillo chile, garlic, and spiced vinegar. The green alternative touts pork butt and neck meat that’s stained and flavored with Poblano chilies and cilantro. Each taco comes with pickled onions, roasted scallion and garlic sour cream, and crumbled cotija cheese. Their signature Chori-Man breakfast burrito is bursting with roasted potatoes, two scrambled eggs, molten mozzarella, and a choice of meat. [Spoiler: go with chorizo.] Their salsa bar features chunky jalapeno relish folded with chopped onions and spicier, fire-red habanero salsa blended with roasted vegetables.

Debreciner at Continental Gourmet Sausage Co. | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Continental Gourmet Sausage Co.



The green façade of Continental Gourmet Sausage Co. on Glendale’s northwest border resembles something out of a Bavarian village. The business has been open since 1954, and wurstmacher (sausage maker) William Roche helps carry on the new owner’s encased traditions. Choose rye bread or French roll for sandwiches, including Polish, knackwurst, wiener & kraut, cheese sausage (kaisekrainer), spicy Andouille, or debreciner, a longer beef and pork sausage seasoned with black pepper. No matter which wurst you choose, each sandwich comes with mustard, mayo, and choice of side - sauerkraut, German potato salad, macaroni salad, or wurst salad, a meaty mix of cold cuts folded with relish, pickles, mustard and mayo. A cold case also contains links of weisswurst (Swiss bockwurst), Nurnberger bratwurst, jalapeno cheddarwurst, and Hungarian kolbasa, which are available to take home.

Chicken cilantro sausage at Jeff's Gourmet Sausage Factory | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory



Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory has been a force for good (sausage) since 1999 in Beverlywood, with owner Jeff Rohatiner creating Kosher links in-house. A glass-fronted space with white, blue and yellow tiles features a grab-and-go sausage case, but many people eat on-site. Clearly, you won’t find pork, but they do offer a wide variety of eastern European and Mediterranean sausages, all served on buns. Options include Russian beef and garlic sausage and Polish beef and garlic kielbasa, both paired with deli mustard and punchy sauerkraut. Spicy Moroccan beef and lamb sausage comes with refreshing Mediterranean salad co-starring diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Still, chicken cilantro sausage is your best bet, with juicy herb-flecked chicken sausage made with breast and dark meat. The sausage appears with Caesar salad on a sturdy French roll.

Boudin blanc at Little Jewel of New Orleans | Photo by Joshua Lurie

The Little Jewel of New Orleans



At their ode to regional Cajun and Creole cuisine in the center of Chinatown, New Orleans native Marcus Christiana-Beniger and partner Eunah Kang serve sausages that would make a homesick Louisianan cry. Christiana-Beniger and his uncle developed recipes that Louie Chavez has been executing since 2014. Beer-poached boudin blanc is one of their more remarkable sausages, featuring pork, moderately funky pork liver, rice, scallions, bell peppers, and spices like thyme, with two links plated with toasted French bread and Creole mustard. Chaurice is another sausage you likely won’t find in L.A. - patties of house-made Creole hot sausage are flecked with parsley, shallots, and scallions. Other sausages available in po’ boy sandwiches include Andouille at two spice levels, Louisiana hot links, and Italian sausage.

Maple Block Meat Co. | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Maple Block Meat Co.



Divide + Conquer partners Daniel Weinstock and Mike Garrett, who also run Lunetta and Lunetta All Day in Santa Monica, have turned Maple Block Meat Co. into a Culver City barbecue destination. Their modern smoked meat emporium features beer and wine and takes a hands-on approach to cooking. For instance, plump pork and beef brisket sausages are crafted with spices like smoked paprika and fennel seeds and stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked low and slow for up to three hours with peach wood. Opening chef Adam Cole created the recipe and still consults for Maple Block. Links are available by the piece with mustard sauce and tangy rust-colored BBQ sauce; on a lunchtime sandwich with creamy slaw, pickled sweet peppers, and mustard sauce; or as a dinnertime snack with pickled sweet peppers and more mustard sauce.

Sausages at Mikkeller DTLA | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Mikkeller DTLA



Renowned Copenhagen-born gypsy brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø finally centralized Mikkeller beer production in San Diego in 2016. He also runs several outposts in cities like Seoul and San Francisco. To start 2017, he teamed with prominent Bay Area bar owner Chuck Stilphen on Mikkeller DTLA. Their most ambitious location spans 7,600 square feet and replaces a century-old auto repair shop with a coffee bar, bar with 60 taps, and ambitious kitchen from executive chef Enrique Cuevas. Chef Andrew Horza from Warpigs Brewpub in Copenhagen consulted on white oak-smoked meats, including several different sausages. Thuringer is a regional German sausage that combines pork shoulder, fat back, and proprietary spices, served on a baguette with whole-grain mustard. Knackwurst is another traditional sausage that blends veal shoulder, pork shoulder, Himalayan pink salt, and spices and teams with cabbage and diced apple on a brioche bun. Beef fat and bone marrow help enrich atypical rabbit sausage that’s seasoned with thyme, garlic, and black pepper that join chanterelle mushrooms and rabbit jus. Lamb links loop in shoulder and belly meat, raw garlic, tomato confit, rosemary, chili, and olive oil and come topped with ratatouille on a roll. The most outlandish encased meat is a play on breakfast. Chorizo con huevos incorporates pork shoulder, bacon, adobo, spices, and red wine vinegar and supports scrambled eggs and pan-fried potatoes on Mexican birote.

Pork longganisa at RiceBar

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

RiceBar



Talk about accomplishing more with less. RiceBar, the Filipino rice bowl concept from chef Charles Olalia and business partner Santos Uy, spans just 275 square feet in Downtown L.A. The tiny space features an L-shaped counter and a colorful sunrise mural. GMO-free, fair trade rice varietals like Kalinga Unoy, Tinowan Fancy and Cotabato black rice come from the Philippines. Olalia relies on a recipe from his uncle to make the restaurant’s standout longganisa. Beet powder stains this pork sausage bright red. Each plump link is pocked with fat, seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar, and griddled before serving with pickled vegetable strands and crumbled fried garlic. Embellishments are minimal, though you can add a fried farm egg or chile vinegar.

Sausage plate at Sahag's Basturma | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Sahag’s Basturma



Little Armenia now bleeds into Thai Town and vice versa, but Sahag’s Basturma remains a neighborhood stalwart, and not just for the titular Armenian cured beef. Harry Tashyan, a native of Kasseri, Turkey, took over the business for cousin Sahag. An amazing photo on the wall depicts his great grandfather handling meat back in 1900, part of his family’s 300-year tradition of making basturma and sausage. Soujouk is a beef sausage with beef casing that’s loaded with garlic, cumin, clove, allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper. Maaneg is a smaller veal sausage with lamb casing that utilizes 11 types of spices and pine nuts. Tashyan won’t reveal any more details about either sausage since he supplies local restaurants. Regardless, both sausages are pan-fried at Sahag’s Basturma and served on pressed sandwiches.

Smoked Polish sausage at Schreiner’s Fine Sausages | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Schreiner’s Fine Sausages



This Sparr Heights institution dates to the ’50s, with three generations of Walter Schreiners responsible for sausage making. Schreiner’s Fine Sausages features a cafe area with floor-to-ceiling wood, blackboard menus and five umbrella-shaded sidewalk tables. Sandwiches come on French rolls with mustard, mayo, pickles, and if you’re smart, melted Swiss cheese and punchy house sauerkraut. Hardwood-smoked Polish pork sausage is a popular option, as are beef and pork knackwurst, which the counterwoman described as “overstuffed hot dogs.” Schreiner’s also grills bratwurst on Saturdays and sells a variety of sausages from a nearby deli case to take home, including Hungarian sausage, jalapeno sausage, and extra hot Polish.

Spicy pork sausage at Seoul Sausage Co. | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Ted Kim, Yong Kim and chef Chris Oh encourage customers to “Make Sausage Not War” at two L.A. outposts. Their Little Tokyo location at the base of a glass and steel complex called AVA offers more sausage preparations than the smaller original in Sawtelle Japantown. You’ll still find a kalbi sausage from the opening menu - a sausage stained flame red with chile paste and spices that joins kimchi relish, garlic jalapeno aioli, and fried shallots on a soft bun. Sweet and spicy chicken sausage provides a milder profile, with apple cabbage coleslaw and almond slices. The Angelino tempers a spicy hot link with bacon bits, black bean puree, cooling avocado crema and pico de gallo. Seoul Sausage even offers a banh mi tribute with chicken apple sausage slathered with liver pate and piled with pickled vegetables, mortadella, and peanuts.