“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”
No doubt the L.A. restaurant scene now rivals every major city in the world. We are in no shortage of fancy dining experiences begging you to drop $300 for two on any given night. Don’t get me wrong, I love a tasting menu, an impossible-to-get reservation, a celebrity chef, an $18 craft cocktail. Who doesn’t? But I also like a date night spot that doesn’t make me break out into a sweat when the bill arrives. A place that isn’t a dive, has great food and allows two people to get out the door for under $100*. If that sounds absurd, it is! Let me tell you, L.A. is severely lacking in cool, affordable restaurants we want to return to over and over (R.I.P Canele). For this reason, I am sharing my list of the best affordable restaurants in Los Angeles that are good enough for a date night.
And please, I beg of you, share your favorite places with me in the comments! It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially in your own neighborhood. What are your favorite affordable L.A. date night restaurants? You get extra points if it’s not Italian!
Top 10 Best Affordable Restaurants in Los Angeles—Even for a Date Night
- Osteria Mama (South East Hollywood/Hancock Park): From the bufala mozzarella pizza to the grilled chicken to the linguine al vongole, you’ll be hard pressed to find better Italian, especially at this price. Highly recommend a reservation.
- Freedman’s (Silver Lake): A modern take on the Jewish deli. This is a cozy, stylishly decorated little spot in a stripmall, with a beautiful bar and great food. You’ve never had matzo ball soup like this.
- Black Cat (Silver Lake): I love that there is no small plate concept, and it’s great for a date or even with a group. This is a hot spot on the weekends, so reservations are needed.
- Zinqué (Weho): I love having wine and charcuterie on the outdoor patio any time of day. The Le Bowl is a must-try, but there is definitely something for everyone.
- Le Petit Marche (Hollywood): This newly-opened French restaurant, bar, and gourmet marketplace is exactly what we needed in Hancock Park. While there are more expensive items on the dinner menu, the house burger and moules frites are extremely reasonable.
- Market Provisions (West Hollywood): This used to be Cooks County. They have a really good happy hour every day from 5:30p.m.-7:30p.m. at the bar, and I love their Fried Chicken dinner on Sunday nights.
- Pura Vita (Weho): This is the restaurant that has most surprised me in 2019. It is a vegetarian Italian restaurant, and I was shocked that I didn’t miss having meat at all. They have a wonderful wine list and cozy ambience. Highly recommend!
- Petit Trois (Hollywood & Sherman Oaks): Cozy and perfect for a date. I love the omelette and the pea tartine (when in season). The drinks are pricey, so watch it or your bill will well exceed $100.
- Ostrich Farm (Echo Park): We like to go early and sit at the bar, share a cheese board and a few small plates. The cocktails are off the chart.
- HIPPO (Highland Park): I am kind of obsessed with this place. And though it’s a little far for you Westsiders, it’s well worth the drive. The cocktails are incredible and seasonal. Do not miss the Rigatoni with spicy pickled peppers. In fact, stick to the pastas, which are incredible and will help keep the price to a minimum.
*The under $100 price is based on getting one drink each and not going crazy with how many dishes you order.
Removed from August Edition that are still worthy:
- Osteria La Buca (South East Hollywood/Hancock Park): I love the Carbonara and a glass of Prosecco.
- Le Petit Greek (Larchmont): We share appetizers in lieu of an entree.
- Wurstkuche (DTLA + Venice): I love the bratwurst with extra sauerkraut. Go early and sit outside.
- Night + Market Song (Silver Lake): While the ambience isn’t my favorite, it’s very hip and some of the best Thai you’ll get in town.
- SugarFish (Multiple Locations): Trust me 😉
Photo by Ashley Burns Photography