You know things are getting back to normal when the Boys in Blue are back at Dodger Stadium. Going to a Dodgers game is a rite of passage for any Angeleno, even if you don’t like baseball. As one of the country’s original ballparks, it’s an iconic structure with great design, a perfect backdrop for game-winning fireworks and palm tree-filled sunsets. And it’s so close to 1133 Hope, you can practically hear the cheers from here.
While everyone should have a Dodger Dog at least once, the food is pretty standard at the ballpark (with the exception of Shake Shack added this year). Best to fuel up before or after the game at one of the great restaurants near the stadium. You can even take some food into the stadium if you’ve tired of nachos served in helmets (but you still have to get those at least once a season, too).
From favorites in Chinatown to right outside the stadium in Echo Park, here’s where to go.
The historic French dip spot is usually a sea of blue and sawdust before Dodgers games, especially if it’s a day game. There’s now indoor and outdoor seating, you can get beer — we suggest a Golden Road Dodger Blonde — and it’s in close proximity to Union Station, where the free shuttles stop for stadium riders (go Metro!).
Huge belly-busting sandwiches are the draw to this family-owned deli. Opened since 1929, you’ll find everyone from sports fans to locals to lawyers — it’s popular with the City Hall crowd — lining up for meatball subs, Italian sausage and peppers, pastrami, lasagna and more.
Far East Plaza
You can line up early for Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville hot chicken (when it opens again; it’s currently delivery-only), check out the Filipino rotisserie and natural wine at Lasita, get Taiwanese street food at Lao Tao, get Macau-style pork chop buns and Hainan chicken at Pearl River Deli — point is, there are so many great things to eat at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown. Great for afternoon pre-gaming or grabbing to go to take into the ballpark.
Of course, should you crave a real New Orleans-style po’ boy, this Chinatown spot is the place to be. There are almost 20 different ones to choose from, with roast beef, fried shrimp, oysters and more stuffed inside Leidenheimer Baking Co. bread, along with the Blue Plate mayo, lettuce and pickles. There are also beignets and cafe au lait, muffalettas and overflowing hot plates of crawfish mac ‘n’ cheese, jambalaya and more.
There’s almost always a line outside this small family-run spot, everyone angling to get a fresh corn tortilla piled with the special braises and stews they’re known for. There isn’t much of a dining room, but the patio out back has lots of seating. What to order: the sampler gets you a taste of six different tacos, including two beef (bistek en salsa rojo, steak picado), two chicken (tinga, mole) and two pork (cochinita pibil and chicharron).
Many Echo Park restaurants near the ballpark are still only open for takeout and delivery, and this favorite for Italian-American staples is one of them. The mozzarella sticks are definitely worth a visit, as are any of the pizzas, pastas and salads.
If you’re feeling like a sake-soaked meal, these two spots right near the entrance of the park feature an impressive array of sake, plus Japanese fare like sashimi, chawanmushi, Japanese Caesar salads, char-grilled chicken meatballs, and so much more. Tsubaki now has limited outdoor seating, and Ototo is takeout only.
Bar Flores and Lowboy
Need to celebrate a win? Bar Flores is one of the best cocktail spots near Dodger Stadium, with a gorgeous patio out back, and things like gin, beet and grapefruit cocktails. Lowboy, within the same building, has indoor and outdoor seating for smashbrugers, crispy fried Korean-style chicken wings, and lots of other great grub. Both are open at noon on Saturdays and Sundays, perfect for day games!