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Glendale

Neighborhood Food Guide: The 12 Best Places to Eat in Glendale

Fatteh Oberjhin. Photo via @carouselrestaurant/Instagram.

L.A. TACO is embarking on its biggest mission yet: to create a reliable taco and food guide for every neighborhood in Los Angeles! Along the way, we will also be releasing brief histories of each neighborhood to understand L.A. a little more and why each and every neighborhood makes our fine city unique. Check out the rest of our history and food guides on our neighborhood page

Glendale’s location makes it such a special Los Angeles neighborhood. It’s a skip away from downtown Los Angeles and toes the line between bustling city and lively smaller town. What once was a sleepy neighborhood on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountain, Glendale is now buzzy with activity: office buildings have popped up and drawn in workers, shopping centers are bustling year-round, and there are endless restaurants to try. 

Glendale is also home to the largest population of Armenian immigrants outside of Armenia, and this demographic reflects in the food. You’ll find Persian, Lebanese, and Georgian influences among golden saffron rice, seared kabobs, and endless hummus. Of course, Glendale has other treats, too: a well-loved mom and pop teppanyaki spot, a market slinging the freshest seafood for over 70 years, pastries galore, and, of course, tacos. 

Milk & Berries Cake. Photo via Porto’s.

Porto’s

Porto’s is a Los Angeles icon. This Cuban bakery, which now has locations scattered across the greater LA area, always has a line (and with good reason). Everything they do—from Cuban sandwiches to freshly fried potato balls to flaky cheese pastries to creamy coffee—is excellent, and worth waiting for. Bringing a box of Porto’s pastries to a party or potluck will make you the most popular person there.

315 N. Brand Blvd, 91203. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 92 or 501 - “Brand/California.”

Bird Milk Cake. Photo via Karina’s Bake House.

Karina’s Cake House

Ever since trying Karina’s famed bird’s milk cake—a layer cake filled with custard and topped with a shiny sheet of ganache—at a friend’s birthday party in high school, I’ve requested the same for my own celebrations over the past decade. This Armenian bakery opened its doors in 1999 and has been baking custom cakes, cookies, and pastries since then. While the bird’s milk cake is not to be missed, and is sold by the slice, the fruit tarts, eclairs, and kievsky cake are also worth trying.

515 S. Glendale Ave, 91205. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 90 - “Glendale/Lomita.”

Photo via Raffi’s Place.

Raffi’s Place

It’s impossible to write about Glendale without including Raffi’s Place. This iconic restaurant and LA-darling, which opened its doors the winter of 1993, has arguably the best Middle Eastern fare in the city. Everything here is a winner: herbaceous tabbouleh, creamy and rich hummus, perfectly seasoned koobideh, sides of saffron-kissed rice, and sticky baklava with strongly brewed tea. Pair that with the fact that you’re dining in a garden and the whole experience feels like magic.

211 E. Broadway, 91205. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 92, 94, 180 or 501 - “Brand/Broadway.”

Lamb chops at Mini Kabob. Phot via @Mini_Kabob/Instagram.

Mini Kabob

For food that tastes like a warm hug, visit Mini Kabob. Although the dining space is small, the flavors here are bold, big, and inviting. Combo plates arrive with generous portions of rice, hummus, lavash bread, roasted veggies resting on shaved onions, and protein of choice. The ground beef luleh kabob is the most popular, but the chicken and lamb options are equally juicy and worth trying. Phone ahead to avoid a wait (everything is made fresh to order) and bring cash.

313 1/2 Vine St, 91204. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 92, 94 or 180 - “Brand/Lomita.”

Bluefin nigiri at Fish King in Glendale.
Bluefin nigiri at Fish King in Glendale. Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.

Fish King

Fisk King calls itself the most trusted source for seafood in Southern California, and with good reason. Since 1948, this seafood market has been providing the surrounding community with fresh oysters, shrimp, fish, and crab—to take home or to eat right at their small dine-in space. There are premade sushi rolls and poke readily available, as well as a menu filled with fried favorites, like catfish, crab cakes, and shrimp. The friendly and knowledgeable staff can help with any seafood inquiries.

722 N. Glendale Ave, 91206. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 90 - “Glendale/Monterey.”

Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.
Mori Teppan Grill. Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.

Mori Teppan Grill

Benihana who? This mom-and-pop teppanyaki spot has all the flair and showmanship of a well-known chain restaurant but with a comfortable atmosphere and a generous amount of food. Yes, there will be an onion volcano and shrimp flying through the air, but there will also be seared steaks, golden scallops, and buttery fried rice. The experience can be completed with a round of sake bombs, too.

120 W. Stocker St, 91202. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 92 - “Central/Glenoaks.”

Carne Asada Fries.
Carne Asada Fries at Brick & Flour. Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.

Brick & Flour

Brick & Flour is not Mexican food like your abuela makes, but that doesn’t detract from how delicious everything is. You can get your classic tacos—carne asada, al pastor, shrimp, and carnitas are just some of the options—but their menu extends far beyond that. There’s a surf-and-turf quesadilla stuffed with steak and shrimp, fried chicken-filled tortas, and California classics like carne asada fries and thick breakfast burritos.

1015 N. Pacific Ave, 91202. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 92 - “Glenoaks/Pacific.”

Outside Taco Azteca. Photo via Google Street View.
Outside Taco Azteca. Photo via Google Street View.

Taco Azteca Original

For unfussy and affordable tacos, this unassuming stand that primarily caters to to-go orders is where to go. Burritos, quesadillas, and tortas clock in at $10 a piece, while tacos go for $2.50 each. The lengua is juicy, the cabeza is tender, and the al pastor is well-marinated. Fiery red salsa rounds off each dish.

143 S. Verdugo Ave, 91205. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 180 or 251 - “Broadway/Verdugo.”

Breakfast at Bea's and Bea's.
Breakfast at Bea's and Bea's. Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.

Bea Bea’s

Breakfast is everything at Bea Bea’s. Their expansive menu includes 22 different variations of pancakes, 42 different toppings to build an ideal omelet, and an enticing coffee and tea menu. Favorites include the green tea and black sesame pancakes (you can order a sampler trio if you want to try different flavors) and the loco moco with the burger patties subbed out for corned beef hash. Make sure to ask for their Thai hot sauce, which has a kick that goes perfectly with crispy hashbrowns and breakfast proteins.

301 N. Central Ave, 91203. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 92 or 501 - “Brand/California.”

A sandwich at Mario's Deli.
A sandwich at Mario's Deli. Photo via their restaurant's Instagram account.

Mario’s Italian Deli & Market

Mario’s has been a mainstay Italian market in Glendale for over 50 years, with a selection of colorful pastas, jarred olives, and imported balsamic vinegar to parse through. There’s also an incredible deli counter complete with endless protein options for sandwiches. I am partial to the spicy combo sub, filled with a trio of spicy salami, spicy soppressata, and spicy ham. Classics like chicken parmigiana and meatball subs are available as well.

740 E. Broadway, 91205. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 90 or 180 - “Broadway/Glendale.”

Fatteh Oberjhin. Photo via @carouselrestaurant/Instagram.

Carousel Restaurant

Situated in downtown Glendale, Carousel has been cooking up Lebanese-Armenian classics for over 20 years and check all the boxes. The service is attentive, friendly, and welcoming; the food is bright and flavorful; and the environment is celebratory, often with live dancers and music. We understand why it’s one of Kim Kardashian’s favorite Armenian restaurants.

304 N. Brand Blvd, 91203. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 92 or 501 - “Brand/California.”

Zhengyalov Hatz
Zhengyalov Hatz. Photo by Javier Cabral for L.A. TACO.

Zhengyalov Hatz

For an entire brick-and-mortar business to specialize and only specialize in a single flatbread, it must be extremely unique, niche, and delicious. That is the case for this cafe that only offers one savory item on its menu: Zhengyalov Hatz. A traditional chewy flatbread stuffed with a combination of many herbs and greens beloved by Glendale’s devout Armenian community. You can have it with some chilled spiced black tea, and it’s somewhere between a snack and light lunch. It is surprisingly filling and extremely satisfying since it is made fresh throughout the day. 318 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 180 - “Broadway/Louise.” - Javier Cabral

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