The Dining Guide to Highland Park

Triple Beam Pizza

Triple Beam Pizza

 |  Photo:  Joshua Lurie

Highland Park is the Los Angeles neighborhood of the moment thanks to a recent renaissance that has bolstered its community of small, local businesses. Long-standing, family-run shops have been joined by trendy new restaurants, bars and boutiques. Enjoying superb accessibility from other parts of L.A. thanks to the Metro Gold Line, Highland Park has become a culinary destination with global cuisines thanks to longtime residents and young newcomers.

With so many choices, it might be hard to know which food and drink stops are the highlights. Read on for a cross-section of Highland Park restaurants that reflect the area's rich diversity.

Eastern Bacon Cheeseburger at Burgerlords in Highland Park

Eastern Bacon Cheeseburger at Burgerlords in Highland Park | Photo: @burgerlords, Instagram

Burgerlords - Highland Park



Following their original stand in Chinatown, Burgerlords expanded to a window at the Hi Hat on York in 2017, then closed it in May of the following year. In March 2019, they took over the former Good Girl Dinette space with a glass-fronted retro design and their signature single and double burgers. The menu also includes veggie-friendly items like the popular Eastern Bacon Cheeseburger, vegan milkshakes, tofu nuggets, and a vegan Caesar salad.

Cafe Birdie



Cafe Birdie offers a warm ambiance, seasonal food menu, and eclectic craft cocktail menu. Art Deco finishes put the polish on exposed wood and concrete with a colorful mix of tile and wallpaper. The menu is mostly small plates and meant for sharing - perfect for a great time out with family and friends.

Donut Friend

Donut Friend | Photo: Donut Friend, Facebook

Donut Friend



Known as one of the best donut shops in Los Angeles, Highland Park is all the better for having Donut Friend on York Boulevard. Donuts are made to-order, with signature varieties, limited edition versions, and all around entertaining punny band names to match each impeccably delicious fried circle of dough.

Super Huarache at El Huarache Azteca

Super Huarache with carne asada at El Huarache Azteca | Photo: @ifindfood, Instagram

El Huarache Azteca



It’s not often when the tenure of a restaurant reaches - let alone exceeds - 20 years, but the family-run El Huarache Azteca qualifies as one of those Highland Park gems. They’re open from breakfast through dinner, with huevos dishes and chilaquiles (dried tortilla strips in tomato sauce and cheese), antojitos (street food), fajitas and enchiladas. But you’d be remiss if someone in your party didn’t get the house specialty: the huarache is a tasty dish made with a fried masa dough base and topped with salsa, meat, cheese, and other ingredients.

Barbecued quail at HiPPO in Highland Park

Barbecued quail at HiPPO | Photo: @gourmet_gary, Instagram

HiPPO

Opened in July 2018, HiPPO is a collaboration between James Beard Award-winning Chef Matt Molina and Silverlake Wine partners, Joe Capella and Randy Clement. The 80-seat HiPPO (as in "Highland Park Post Office") features a bow truss ceiling, open kitchen, and a marble-topped bar. The menu is divided into starters, pastas, meat/fish/game, and desserts. Highlights include Griddle'd Cauliflower to start; freshly made pasta like fettuccini with heritage pork ragu; and barbecued quail wrapped in pancetta with treviso and honey.

The bar program is helmed by Clare Ward, who creates locally inspired cocktails like the Angeleno 75 (Mulholland Gin, lemon, Amaro Angeleno, bubbles) and the Bergamot Station Mule - vodka, bergamot, pear, lemon and ginger beer. The recently launched $10 cocktail menu is a fantastic bargain in a neighborhood filled with great happy hours.

Kimchi Fried Rice at Jane in Highland Park

Kimchi Fried Rice at Jane in Highland Park | Photo: @goodvibes.goodhealth, Instagram

Jane



Located on York Boulevard, Jane serves up delicious breakfast until 3 p.m. daily (except Mondays) in a charming yellow Craftsman home with a delightful brick patio. Choose from classic breakfast dishes, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, salads, pastas and rice bowls. Generous portions, a bustling atmosphere and friendly service are all capped off with a variety of Four Barrel coffee brews available.

Chilaquiles with Tofu Scramble at Kitchen Mouse

Chilaquiles with Tofu Scramble at Kitchen Mouse | Photo: @russelleats, Instagram

Kitchen Mouse



The menu alone at Kitchen Mouse is reason for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diners to rejoice. The creatively flavorful weekday breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner options include toasts, pancakes, tacos, bowls, sandwiches, and more. Eggs are also on the menu as a welcome exception (plus the organic milk in the coffee menu) to the otherwise vegan restaurant. With a play area inside, the cozy restaurant is also family- and kid-friendly.

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo at La Fuente Restaurant

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo at La Fuente Restaurant | Photo: @htwonbusiness, Instagram

La Fuente Restaurant



Homestyle Mexican is the specialty at La Fuente Restaurant, with friendly, attentive service and generous portions. Their salsas are first rate and a pleasure to dress your chilaquiles, tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more. Go as early as 8 a.m. for breakfast, or as late as 8 p.m. for dinner. Cash only.

Tacos at La Estrella Taco Truck

Tacos at La Estrella | Photo: @steinmalvey, Instagram

La Estrella Taco Truck



La Estrella Taco Truck at York and Avenue 54 is a Highland Park landmark, known for flavorful asada and al pastor meats housed in double tortilla tacos. You won’t find chicken tacos here, either. Their salsas pop, and with each taco priced less than $1.50, you can always eat like a king.

Puttanesca at Maximiliano in Highland Park

Puttanesca at Maximiliano in Highland Park | Photo: @maximilianohp, Instagram

Maximiliano



This fantastic Italian restaurant by Chef Andre Guerrero, a native of Northeast L.A., is great for dinner and weekend brunch. Though pastas like the Puttanesca reign supreme, there are plenty of other delicious must-gets like meatballs (also available in a sub), a wide variety of pizzas, salads and other vegetable dishes, and main dishes like the pork chop and short ribs. The price points are reasonable and the atmosphere is relaxed but chic, making Maximiliano a great destination to drop-in for a bite to eat.

Carnitas Surtida Taco at Metro Balderas

Carnitas Surtida Taco at Metro Balderas | Photo: Jay K, Yelp

Metro Balderas Restaurant



Tacos and burritos are just two of the items on the huge menu at Metro Balderas, an authentic, non-descript joint with a brightly hued interior. The restaurant is named after a busy subway stop in Mexico City. Also on order are pambazo tortas, huaraches, sopes, gorditas, quesadillas and more. Pork enthusiasts and adventure seekers can get cuts of mixed pork for maximum bovine tastiness. Metro Balderas is real gem - with a parking lot in the back, to boot.

Triple Beam Pizza in Highland Park

Triple Beam Pizza

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Triple Beam Pizza



Wine pro Randy Clement and chef Matt Molina were hired two days apart at Campanile, L.A.’s late, great bastion for Cal-Italian cuisine. Years later, they’re re-teamed with mentor Nancy Silverton (now of Mozza fame) on Triple Beam Pizza in Highland Park. Silverton wanted to serve Roman-style pizza for years, and finally got the chance with her long-time colleagues. Long and lean slabs bake in a four-deck Polin gas oven, resulting in crispy crusts with good chew. Pizza ($0.95 to $1.50 per ounce) is cut and weighed to order. Cartoon hands over the counter instruct customers to “Show Us How Much Pizza You’d Like” ranging from I’m Hungry (3-5 oz.) to I’m Very Hungry (6-8 oz.) and I’m Really Hungry (9 oz.). Pizzas are made using non-GMO flour, local DiStefano mozzarella, and organic Dinapoli tomatoes. In addition to classic Margherita, you’ll find combos like wild nettles with mozzarella, Fontina, and borage flowers; and crumbled sausage with mozzarella, spicy farm greens, onion, panna, and fennel pollen. Clement and wife/partner April Langford also run Highland Park Wine next door.