Where To Find The Country's Best Eats — Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Photo: Courtesy of A-Frame.
L.A. is a city of transplants. Of course, there are a few fabled born-and-bred Angelenos out there, but most of us come from somewhere else — be it another state or even another country. Whether you’ve lived here for a decade (and consider yourself an honorary L.A. native), or you're just settling in to your first month in the city, there’s always a little part of you that will belong to your hometown.

We know it firsthand: that nostalgic pang that affects even the most well-adjusted of L.A. transplants when we catch a scent of our native grub. Fortunately, since many of the city's culinary purveyors hail from all over, we don't have to leave town to get a taste of home. We’ve put together a list of the best dining spots that will immediately transport you to a different state (and state of mind) — all within city limits.

From authentic Tex-Mex and Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, to New England-style seafood and authentic Hawaiian bites, these restaurants will take you back to your roots — or somewhere new altogether. So, say hello to your new home away from home! (And, for all you international transplants, stay tuned: We’re cooking up a list for you, too!)

Photo: Courtesy of Hart and the Hunter.
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North Carolina

The Hart and the Hunter serves up Southern-inspired cuisine, but North Carolina natives experiencing a twang of homesickness will feel a particular affinity for this menu. With dishes like Carolina Gold “not so dirty rice,” cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes, and the restaurant's much-raved-over butter biscuits, The Hart and The Hunter is sure to hit the spot.

The Hart and The Hunter, 7950 Melrose Avenue (near North Hayworth Avenue); 323-424-3055.

Hawaii
Longing for the Island? Then Roy Choi’s recent Hawaiian revamp of A-Frame is just what the doctor ordered. With tropical cocktails, inventive pupus, and classic dishes like Spam-covered musubi and huli-huli chicken, A-frame has just the right mix of traditional Hawaiian fare and modern interpretation to get you feeling that aloha vibe.

A-Frame, 12565 Washington Blvd (near Boise Avenue); 310 398-7700. 

Photo: Courtesy of Wexler's Deli.
New York
Housed in DTLA’s bustling Grand Central Market, Wexler’s Deli is the perfect stop for a homesick New Yorker to dig into an unbeatable hand-cut pastrami sandwich or a bagel topped with house-smoked fish. Pair the food with the experience of fighting for a place to sit in the crowded market, and you'll swear you were back in the buzzing Big Apple.

Wexler’s Deli, 317 S Broadway Street (near East 3rd Street); 213-624-2378.

Illinois
If nostalgia tastes like a big ol’ slice of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, there’s no place better than Masa of Echo Park. This cornmeal-crusted baby is 2 inches thick and can be topped with everything from sweet Italian sausage to Chicago imports like Scala's authentic hot giardiniera. Be prepared to wait, though: A pizza this thick takes 40 minutes to cook to cheesy perfection. But, trust us — it’s well worth the wait.

Masa of Echo Park, 1800 Sunset Boulevard (at Lemoyne Street); 213-989-1558
Photo: Courtesy of Connie and Ted's.
Maine
East Coast natives know to head to Connie and Ted’s when craving of a taste of New England. With a menu that includes clams on the half shell, Jo’s wicked good chowda, and a New England broiler dinner, Connie and Ted’s brings a Northeast take on seafood across the country to the West Coast.

Connie and Ted’s, 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Havenhurst Drive); 323-848-2722.

South Carolina
Nestled on Abbot Kinney, Willie Jane’s particular style of Southern cuisine is just the thing to feel like you’re back in Lowcountry. Head to the restaurant's backyard patio and feast on South Carolina favorites like deviled eggs, pork ribs with black eyed peas, beer steamed clams with Andouille sausage, and shrimp and grits. All you need is a bourbon cocktail in hand, Sugar, you’ll practically be able to smell the magnolias.

Willie Jane, 1031 Abbot Kinney Boulevard (near Westminster Avenue); 310-392-2425.

Photo: Courtesy of Charcoal BBQ.
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Missouri
Bringing a bit of Kansas City to Silverlake, this new addition to the L.A. food scene has all the bourbon, hand-cut brisket, dry-rubbed ribs, and tomato-based BBQ sauce you need to sate any tummy grumblings of homesickness into a happy, down-home food coma.

Charcoal BBQ, 2611 N Hyperion Avenue (near Griffith Park Boulevard); 323-300-5500.

Texas
This revered outpost is as much a staple in L.A. food culture as it is a beacon of perfectly done Texas-style BBQ. Serving everything from Angus beef ribs to brisket, chicken, and hot links, Bludso’s has all you could ever want from your favorite BBQ spot. Head to the original location in Compton for the real deal and order the Texas sampler — it’ll cover all your cravings in one fell swoop. (There’s also a location on La Brea for all you Hollywood locals.)

Bludso’s BBQ, 811 S Long Beach Boulevard (near East Alondra Boulevard); 310-637-1342.

Photo: Courtesy of Boo's Philly Cheesesteaks.
Pennsylvania
Owned and operated by a family of East Coast transplants, Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks brings the City of Brotherly Love right to L.A. Go for the classic, with thinly-sliced steak and grilled onions on an authentic Amoroso roll and your choice of American, Provolone, or Cheez Wizz, just like back home.

Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks, 4501 Fountain Avenue (near North Virgil Avenue); 323-661-1955.

Texas (A state this big calls for two spots!)
HomeState’s take on Tex-Mex is nothing short of magical. Not only do they dole out some of the best Tex-Mex breakfast tacos in the city, they also serve brisket sandwiches, queso, frito pies, and artisan Cuveé Coffee brought over from Austin.  

HomeState, 4624 Hollywood Boulevard (near Vermont Avenue); 323-906-1122.

Photo: Courtesy of Honey's Kettle.
Georgia
With golden fried chicken, mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, and warm pecan pie, Culver City’s Honey’s Kettle has all your favorite dishes from the Peach Sate. But really, does anyone need an excuse to get in on a plate of ultra crispy chicken?

Honey’s Kettle, 9537 Culver Boulevard (at Watseka Avenue); 310-202-5453.

Louisiana
Part deli, part grocery store, The Little Jewel of New Orleans has everything you need to feel right in the middle of NOLA. With all your favorite Acadian products — including po’ boys made with bread imported all the way from New Orleans for that perfectly authentic bite — this spot lives up to its name and then some.

The Little Jewel of New Orleans, 207 Ord Street (near New High Street); 213-620-0461. 
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