The list of best restaurants in Los Angeles to see celebrities is a tough thing to pin down. A-listers are notoriously unfaithful and whether they deem a place “cool” seems to change with the wind. Still, there are a solid handful of eateries that they would never abandon, at least not anytime soon.
Los Angeles Restaurants for Celebrity Sightings
If you’re looking to see a star in L.A., head to one of these 10 hangouts of the Hollywood elite—if you can get in, that is.
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Catch LA is, by far, the coolest new kid in town. This West Coast outpost of the hip New York seafood eatery opened in West Hollywood in 2016 and immediately became the city’s most popular celebrity hot spot. The brick-and-wood rooftop space is filled with plants—and L.A.’s most beautiful people.
Sitting high above Melrose Avenue, stars of every stripe (Kardashians, Mariah Carey, Kate Upton, Cuba Gooding, Jr., David Beckham, Cindy Crawford, Quincy Jones, Paris Hilton, and so on) order sustainable seafood, or request the vegan menu, then stay for the see-and-be-seen nightlife, since closing time isn’t ‘til 2:00 a.m.
Be warned, though—it’s very tough to get in if you’re not famous, gorgeous, or quite wealthy.
The Magic Castle
Really a private club rather than a public restaurant, the Magic Castle is where entertainers come to be entertained. Its ornate, Victorian-style dining room serves standard American fare (steak and the like) but the food isn’t the star attraction—that would be the spectacular magic shows in the castle’s theater, which is why you’re more than likely to have a celebrity sitting a seat over.
Since 1963, the Academy of Magical Arts—guests must be members or invited by one—has hosted Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Penn and Teller, David Blaine, Johnny Carson, Dick Clark, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jason Alexander, and Neil Patrick Harris, the academy’s former president.
Resourceful travelers to L.A. set on getting in could stay at the Magic Castle Hotel or reach out to one of the performing magicians for an invitation.
The Restaurant at the Chateau Marmont
This André Balazs hotel right off Sunset Boulevard may as well be the official country club for Hollywood stars, especially hard-partying musicians and actors big on drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll. It certainly has one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles to see celebrities—and is notorious for being a place where famous folks act out.
Its reputation for drama and debauchery started back in the 1930s, when Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were regulars. Over the years, the restaurant has also fed Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, John Lennon, John Belushi, Jim Morrison, and Heath Ledger. These days, you’re likely to see Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Courtney Love, Salma Hayek, Lindsay Lohan, Denzel Washington, or Britney Spears sitting a table over.
The restaurant, known more for its ambiance and celebrity sightings than its food, serves a standard American menu offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, plus a late-night menu and full bar. Dine in the intimate indoor space, or outdoor on the lush garden terrace.
Paparazzi station themselves just outside the door of this hip vegan haven—all the better to snap shots of regulars like Natalie Portman, Ellen Degeneres, Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba, Amy Adams, Jesse Metcalfe, Olivia Munn, and Sophia Bush. They—vegetarians and omnivores alike—come to West Hollywood for chef Chandra Gilbert’s fresh, flavorful Mexican food made from all-organic ingredients.
There’s a long menu of worthwhile craft cocktails, including a few made with cannabis. Friendly servers bring them out to patrons enjoying the airy white space indoors, or sitting outside on the charming Melrose Avenue courtyard.
The Polo Lounge
Ensconced in the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Polo Lounge is almost as famous as its regular patrons. Since Hollywood’s early days, dealmakers have been having their power lunches here, while starlets and socialites enjoy the classy American food and full cocktail menu. In this, one of the very best restaurants in Los Angeles to see celebrities, the dining room’s ceiling is run with iconic green-and-white stripes, while the patio is flowery and sunny.
Being a hotel restaurant, it’s open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner—come evening, live piano or jazz music accompanies your meal. Back in the day, the Polo Lounge crowd included the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, and Clark Gable.
Among the eatery’s famous faces these days: Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Diane Keaton, Taylor Swift, Chris Rock, Calvin Klein, and Janet Jackson.
The Palm Beverly Hills
Four decades ago, Fred Astaire tap-danced on the bar at this legendary restaurant’s previous West Hollywood location. In late 2014, the Palm’s owners moved their bona fide celebrity hot spot into its new Beverly Hills location, on Restaurant Row, and the stars have not stopped streaming in.
Among those who’ve chowed down on the Palm’s steaks and seafood: Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, and Alyssa Milano.
Augustine Wine Bar
This one’s our little secret: All the way out in Sherman Oaks—yes, that’s the San Fernando Valley—is a little-known spot where chances are good that you’ll see more than one famous person during dinner. Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, and Channing Tatum have all been spotted at this under-the-radar celebrity hot spot.
The kitchen offers a small, solid menu featuring salads, soups, pastas, steak, and seafood, plus your choice of cheese trays and charcuteries. Decor is charming and straightforward—this is the type of place where specials are written on chalkboards.
This popular coffee shop sells organic coffee and fine teas alongside its hearty, healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, made mostly from local, sustainable ingredients.
It has multiple locations, but you’ll want to go the one on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood if you want a side of celebrity sightings with your meal. Regulars here include Jake Gyllenhaal, Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Caitlyn Jenner, Lana Del Rey, and Amanda Seyfried.
It doesn’t get more casual than Canter’s. This famous Jewish deli, founded in 1931 and still operated by the Canter family, is an old-time diner with no decor to speak of, on an unassuming stretch of Fairfax Avenue. And yet, despite this total lack of trendiness or fanciness, it’s one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles to see celebrities.
Since it’s open 24 hours a day, stars fill the booths at all hours of the night, scanning Canter’s book-length menu for massive meat-filled sandwiches, what many swear is the world’s best matzo ball soup, bagels and lox with house-made pickles, beloved waffles, and many other varieties of Jewish comfort food.
Popular shows have filmed scenes here, including Mad Men, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm; and clientele over the years have included Marilyn Monroe, Jack Benny, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Sydney Poitier, Mel Brooks, Larry King, Mick Jagger, Barack Obama, Sarah Silverman, Rachael Ray, John Travolta, Prince, Conan O’Brien, Roseanne Barr, Julia Roberts, and Steven Tyler.
Musso and Frank Grill
Musso’s looks like a place Dick Tracy would come to think. And drink. It’s manly, moody, dimly lit—outright noir, in fact. And, since 1919, this iconic watering hole has been one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles to see celebrities.
As you’d expect, martinis are stiff and dry, the menu lists mostly steak and seafood, and the red-jacketed waiters have worked here for many decades. Back in the day, the regulars were Charlie Chaplin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Humphrey Bogart, and the actual Warner brothers. Today, don’t be surprised if, nestled into the mahogany booths, you spot Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Mila Kunis, Nicolas Cage, Tom Selleck, or the Rolling Stones.
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– Original reporting by Avital Andrews