Credit: Adriana Alvarez

LA’s Best-Kept Secrets: How These 6 Backyard Restaurants Are Taking the Culinary Scene by Storm

These Unassuming Locations Are Whipping Up Delicious, Homemade Cuisine

Los Angeles has mastered the art of food trucks, fancy restaurants and quaint cafes. However, did you know that some of the best food in LA can be found at local backyard businesses? From traditional Persian food in a cozy yard to freshly baked pan dulce made in a garage in Compton, these low-key gems provide an entirely new layer to the LA culinary scene. No matter what part of town you’re in, some of the best cuisine can be found in a low-key kitchen or at a backyard BBQ. That said, don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try something new next time you’ve caught a craving for some homemade cooking. Stop by one of these backyard “restaurants” to see exactly why they are taking Los Angeles by storm!


Fun-Diggity Funnel-Cakes

Curb your craving for something sweet with a trip to Fun-Diggity Funnel-Cakes in Compton. These gourmet funnel cakes went from being a local secret to a famous treat after skyrocketing in popularity due to their over-the-top toppings and unbeatable batter. The funnel cakes are perfectly crispy on the outside and decadently soft on the inside, and there are several different flavors and creations to explore. If you want to build your own, consider topping it with strawberries or peaches before indulging in a cream cheese drizzle and ending with whipped cream and deep-fried Oreos.

Location: Compton



There’s nothing like a homemade smash burger to put a smile on your face. Located in Whittier, Smashed-Up was started by two college besties who decided to sell their backyard grilled burgers to locals for a fair price. However, soon after launching, Smashed-Up became a smash hit, and people were flocking from all over the city to get their hands on one of these tasty smash burgers. In addition to the main course, you can complete your meal with some crispy tater tots before ending on a sweet note with a chocolate or strawberry milkshake. 

Location: Whittier


Campo é Carbón

Best Backyard Restaurants LA
Credit: Adriana Alvarez

Campo é Carbón operates out of an unassuming residential location in La Puente. This one-of-a-kind dining experience is the first of its kind in the area, serving up refined and elevated cuisine that showcases the beauty of cooking over a wood-fired grill. Considered to be an “underground dining experience,” Campo é Carbón is a full-service pop-up restaurant that requires reservations. Though there are a handful of rotating signature dishes, the menu is altered at each dinner, ensuring that even those who dine twice are in for a plethora of surprises. Whether you’re dining with a group of two or six, Campo é Carbón offers an unforgettable meal in a cozy and homey setting.

Location: La Puente


Bee Taqueria

What could be better than Michelin-grade tacos? Bee Taqueria was created by Michelin-starred chef Alex Carrasco in the heart of the historic West Adams neighborhood. The open-air courtyard in the residential area has only a handful of covered picnic tables, creating a very cozy and laid-back ambiance that will make you feel as though you’re dining in your best friend’s backyard. Obviously, the tacos are the star of the show, with some local favorites being the slow braised pork tacos and the crisp seafood tacos filled with scallops and shrimp.

Location: McManus



NAWAL started as a weekend-only restaurant that operated out of a home right next to Dodgers Stadium in Solano Canyon. However, it has since transitioned into a nomadic eatery that pops up all around Los Angeles. To know where you need to be to try some of this authentic Syrian cuisine, keep a close eye on NAWAL’s Instagram account. This Syrian street food eatery serves masterful takes on everything from fatteh to labneh crisp, allowing you to get your fix for a pretty low price. If you’re new to Syrian cuisine, NAWAL is a great source to explore, and though the menu is small, it is mighty. 

Location: Pop-Ups Around LA


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Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.




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