I'm a long-time San Fernando Valley resident. Compared to Los Angeles city proper, the Valley offers good schools, more real estate for the money, and endless options for good food -- and best of all -- plenty of parking compared to other areas of Los Angeles. It's no surprise that many celebrities and notable people call the San Fernando Valley their home.
The Best Restaurants in the San Fernando Valley
Mercado Buenos Aires - Steak and eggs, empanadas, Argentine-style pizza, any recommended beef dishes
Breadologie - Croissants (Viennoiserie)
Joan's on Third - Morning bun, grilled cheese sandwich
Lodge Bread - Sourdough artisan bread
Boneyard Bistro - Barbecue, craft beer on draft and bottle list This place is so underrated. They have excellent barbecue and some the best craft beer selection in Los Angeles.
Handy Market - Baby back ribs and beef ribs on Saturday mornings
The Hungry Fox - chicken and waffles The best chicken and waffles in Los Angeles.
Carrillo's Tortilleria - Mexican breakfast Get the tamales with mole and the pozole.
AJ's Tex-Mex & Barbecue - Brisket breakfast tacos The best breakfast tacos I've tasted outside Texas.
Athenian Grill - Breakfast burrito One of the best breakfast burritos in Los Angeles. You won't be disappointed.
La Tapachulteca - El Salvadorean breakfast Get the #4 or #5 with handmade tortillas and an ensalada agua fresca. Thank me later.
Robin Hood Pub - Fish and chips and bangers Probably the best British fish and chips in LA. Head next door and get the frozen bangers to cook at home.
Chilenazo - Chilean tamal
Sam Woo - Cantonese-style barbecue This chain serves dependable Chinese to a Chinese audience. You'll find items you find at Chinese-American restaurants. I get the barbecue plate or the crispy deep-fried squid.
A&W Seafood - dim sum Dim sum is served every morning. I'm a regular here for their shu mai and shrimp flat rice noodles. Tip: Call ahead and put your name on the list.
Mandarin Deli - Juicy steamed dumplings, scallion pancakes, beef noodles soup (handmade) Dishes that you might find in the San Gabriel Valley without the drive. They also have a location in the SGV.
Johnny Pacific - Empanadas The best empanadas you will taste in your life from a fine dining chef inspired by the food stands during his time working in the Caribbean.
Cha Cha Chicken - Coconut chicken
Sazón Colombia - breakfast, cheese bread
La Taverna Cubana - Cubano sandwich The best cubano I've tasted in Los Angeles.
Versailles - Shredded pork, oxtail, tongue My family usually sticks to the shredded pork plate, oxtail, and the tongue.
Horseless Carriage - Prime rib dinners including pie, lobster omelet, clam chowder I've had many satisfying meals here. They're known for their prime rib deal for under $20 which includes pie. Probably the best value in Los Angeles. The best clam chowder I've tasted in Los Angeles.
Lilan's Bread & Sweets - Ukoy, hard-to-find regional Filipino dishes, empanadas This is probably my favorite Filipino restaurant in the Valley tucked inside a car wash.
Lechon de Manila - Cebuchon, housemade longanisa, and liempo If you're a pork lover, this is a destination restaurant
Goto at Silog - Goto (porridge)
Jollibee - Fried chicken with white rice and gravy, peach mango pie Some of the best fried chicken you will ever taste and peach mango pie (which is my dad's recipe -- not kidding)
Barrio Fiesta - Crispy pata and kare-kare They are known for these two dishes. Don't sleep on ordering these.
Petit Trois Le Valley - Croque madame or monsieur Go for the buzzy scene and cocktails rather than out of the ordinary food. This is French bistro fare, so if you've been to France, this place will take you back. Chef Ludo is known for his omelet which you can try to make at home. Not a fan of their pastry or bread.
Cafe Bizou - Short rib plate Old Valley stand by for French food at reasonable prices.
Firehouse Restaurant - Chicken gyros This is their most popular dish.
The Great Greek - Amazing pita bread and saganaki (flaming cheese dish) Festive and loud Greek restaurant. If you want a lively atmosphere at dinner, this is it. Opa!
Restaurante Amalias - Garnachas, plato Amalias
Fab Hot Dogs - You can't go wrong with the ripper or any of their hot dogs and their tater tots
Dog Haus - Hot dogs in Hawaiian bread
Vicious Dogs - Sweet and spicy dog
McConnell's - Farm-to-table ice cream
Salt & Straw - Unusual, gourmet flavors from this spot from Portland. Look for the local chef series.
Wanderlust Creamery - Ice cream flavors inspired by flavors of the world. Don't miss the Filipino flavors.
La Michoacana in San Fernando - Mexican-style ice cream, mangeonadas, and paletas
India's Sweets & Spices in Canoga Park - Ask for recommendations The prices are low and always crowded with Indians. Always a good sign if you see where Indians eating Indian food. I'll eat anything. I love their dosas. My Indian friend said the cooking here is the best in Los Angeles other than what she can get at home.
Chennai Tiffins - Dosas More "gourmet" dosas than what you'll find at India's Sweets & Spices. They also have a location in Artesia (Little India).
Hummus Bar & Grill - Hummus, fresh flat bread, falafel, shakshuka, "opening the table" Go with a large group and ask them to "open the table"
Tel Aviv Grill - Chicken schawarma, sabich, falafel, schnitzel My favorite spot for Israeli cuisine. They currently have 3 locations and is very popular.
Lido's / Chi Chi's Pizza - Housemade pasta I like their spaghetti and meatballs. Come for lunch and enjoy all you can eat pasta.
Domingo's - Housemade pasta I hear the new owners now make their own pasta.
Cavarettas - Corned beef and meatball sandwiches, lasagna, cannoli
Cricca's - Ask for any sandwich on their crunch bread The owner started at Cavaretta's and parted ways and opened Cricca's.
Domingo's - Really good sandwiches with great bread
Monte Carlo - Groceries (sardines), lasagna, meatballs, pasta with meat sauce Best grocery shopping for Italian goods then head to the restaurant for lasagna, meatballs or pasta with meat sauce.
Brent's Deli - Black pastrami reuben Some say this is the best Jewish deli west of the Mississippi. I come here if I am too lazy to head to Langer's.
Sushi Spot - Traditional sushi This is my favorite spot for traditional sushi. Try the chef's choice menu then the omakase for $75.
Sushi Iki - High-end omakase If you're feeling spendy, order the omakase which starts at $100. Expect foie gras and caviar.
Sola Japanese Izakaya - Japanese bar food
Little Izaka-Ya by Katsu-Ya - Japanese bar food
Jinya Ramen Bar - Fukuoka-style tonkotsu ramen
Ramen Nippon - Tokyo-style ramen (lighter broth)
AYCE Gogi - All you can eat Korean barbecue and craft beer, with a barcade in the back
SHIK DO RAK - Galbi
MUSSE - Bone broth soup
Leo's Taco Truck - al pastor tacos, champurrado (hot chocolate) One of best purveyors of al pastor in Los Angeles has a truck in the Valley.
Mi Ranchito Food Truck - carne asada tacos The best carne asada tacos I've tasted in California and Mexico.
La Asunción Family Restaurant - Pollo con mole Regional Mexican food from Oaxaca.
Centro Botanero Mazatlan - Shrimp tacos on tortilla de nopal
Cemitas Poblanas Don Adrian - Cemitas I'm a regular and usually get the traditional vegetarian or milanesa with papalo.
Rosie's Tamales - tamales (go early they sell out), champurrado (hot chocolate)
Mi Ranchito Veracruz - Veracruz-style tamales, Veracruz-style fish and shrimp tacos, churros The banana leaf tamales is what they are known for. This is my go-to dish. Their fish tacos are different than Ensenada style, but they are equally delicious and worth trying. I haven't had a dish I didn't like.
Mariscos Camarena Estilo Nayarit Food Truck - Shrimp empanadas, aguachile, campechana, tostadas My favorite is their shrimp empanadas and the best I've tasted so far in LA.
Sadaf - Ground chicken kabob Their specialty is the ground chicken kabob. A Persian said that this was the best Persian resto in the Valley.
Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn - New-York style pizza by the slice
LBK Pizzeria - New-York style pizza by the slice
786 Pizzeria - Neopolitan-style pizzas
Little Caesar's - Detroit-style pizza (yup, I am recommending Little Caesar's deep-dish pizza)
Natas Pastries - Natas (Portuguese egg tart)
Gasolina Cafe - Ask for recommendations. Great for breakfast and lunch.
Chai Thung - everything is good! This is where Thai families eat Thai food in the Valley. My favorite Thai restaurant in Los Angeles.
Sri Siam - crispy rice with Thai sausage Chefs in the know from all over city make the trek to the Valley to eat Thai food.
Wat Thai - Weekend food festival. Try everything. This is Thai food for Thai people. This is where all Thai families come to eat Thai food on the weekends.
Bua Siam - Inexpensive lunch menu (bang for your buck) The lunch menu is unbelievably inexpensive. Other than the lunch menu, I love their fried catfish with apple or papaya salad and sticky rice and dynamite wings. I'm a regular.