If Los Angeles is a culinary universe dotted with every delicious cuisine imaginable, then Eagle Rock and Highland Park are shining stars. Our little corner of the cosmos is home to several eateries that are so delicious, Angelenos are known to travel long distances to visit them.
Oxy senior and resident foodie, Halley Crane '16, shares a few of her favorite eats around Oxy.
Food has always been my greatest passion. Growing up, I watched the Food Network instead of cartoons, and started preparing my own meals as soon as I could reach the kitchen counter. I am striving to become an expert in everything about food—from nutrition to sustainability practices to the sociology of food to culinary arts. I’m excited to continue this journey as I document my discoveries on my blog, IMajorInEating.com. I am always excited to try new recipes, restaurants and cooking techniques, and on a typical Friday night I’m usually out to dinner or cooking up a storm.
5102 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042
Elsa’s is one of the oldest establishments in Highland Park, and the best coffee shop to study at on York Boulevard. Aside from being a full-service panaderia, Elsa’s recently launched a full breakfast and lunch menu, serving up fresh, homemade Mexican favorites like enchiladas, tacos and sopas. Elsa’s owner, Ermundo, took over the business last year, and since then has strived to make Elsa’s an active member of the Highland Park and Occidental College community. Elsa’s regularly donates pastries to campus events, and as a Harvard grad and UCLA professor, Ermundo is always available for homework help. All of the pastries are delicious and fresh, especially when paired with one of their signature Mayan Mochas.
1576 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
Cacao made Jonathan Gold’s 2014 “Top 101 Restaurants in L.A.” list, and Oxy students sure do show their support. The restaurant serves creative twists on Mexican favorites, including duck carnitas and fig mole. Happy Hour is a must for any Oxy student of age, and their margaritas are only $5. Unlike many Mexican restaurants, Cacao’s dishes are always fresh and far from greasy.
Max City BBQ
4729 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
One of the newest additions to the Eagle Rock food scene, Max City has already become an Oxy student favorite by serving up some of the best BBQ in town. Try the tri tip sandwich or rotisserie chicken with a side of their insanely delicious mac and cheese. Trust me, don’t pass up the mac and cheese.
Other Local Highlights
Auntie Em’s: “The very best homemade dishes this side of Kansas.” Pasadena Weekly
Cacao Mexicatessen: “A duck carnitas taco is about as much happiness as $3 can be expected to buy.” L.A. Weekly
Casa Bianca: An Eagle Rock institution since 1955 (and an Obama favorite). “Some claim it makes the best pizza west of Brooklyn.” Los Angeles Times
The Coffee Table: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late hours in an Art Deco landmark.
El Huarache Azteca #1: “As close as it gets to the simple cooking found deep in Mexico.” Los Angeles Times
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop: Choose from 500 hard-to-find sodas and a huge inventory of retro candy. Goo Goo Cluster, anyone?
Highland Cafe: Just because a restaurant has named a breakfast dish after Oxy doesn’t mean we have to love it, but we do! It’s also one of L.A.’s best spots for a tuna melt.
Veggie Pho: A great bowl of pho (at a great price).
My Taco: “My Taco’s plate of carne asada fries is the Mt. Everest of gabacho cuisine.” L.A. Weekly
The Oinkster: "Oinkster stands out, even in a city full of fantastic burger shacks." L.A. Weekly
Pat and Lorraine's Coffee Shop: Location for opening scene in Reservoir Dogs. Breakfast and lunch at your own risk.
Pete's Blue Chip Burgers: A great $5.95 garden burger basket.
Señor Fish: Mexican seafood, famous for fish and scallop tacos.
Spitz: Doner kebab by two young Oxy alums: “Sublime.” Los Angeles magazine
Swörk : Late-night studying, Internet access, live entertainment, outdoor tables in the heart of Eagle Rock.
Taco La Estrella Truck: “A pretty damn delicious taco.” The Great Taco Hunt
The York: "On weekends, the L-shaped bar is often five deep with floppy-haired students from Occidental College nearby, local women in short skirts and high heels and artist types from Silver Lake with shaggy beards and trucker hats." New York Times
Food on Wheels
Whether you’re in the mood for bibimbap, beefy burgers or barbequed tofu, the best way to get a sampling of L.A.’s culinary culture is by catching one of the city’s many food trucks either close to campus or anywhere around town. While these restaurants on wheels have taken the country by storm, they originated here and can be found all over the city.