20 Best Restaurants in Downey, CA

This article was written by local contributor Erica Holmes & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Downey, CA

Being a Downey local with a longstanding passion for food, I'm excited to be your guide on a food trip through our beloved city.

Located right in the center of the Gateway Cities region in southeastern Los Angeles County, Downey is a foodie's paradise offering dishes to satisfy every taste bud.

What sets us apart is the cultural fusion evident in our food landscape.

Whether you're craving authentic tacos that resonate with the city's Latino roots or some fine sushi highlighting our Pacific Rim diversity, Downey has got you covered.

Did you know that Downey was the birthplace of the Apollo space program?

In the same way, the program reached for the stars, so does our culinary scene.

Despite our size — we're a cozy city of about 110,000 folks — the food culture in Downey can hold its own against the big players in the Golden State.

The adventurous spirit of California is perfectly encapsulated in our food, where it's not unusual to find fusion dishes sitting comfortably alongside classic ones.

Here in Downey, you can take a global culinary tour by trying different bites.

So, are you all set to chow down your way through our top local eateries?

Because here in Downey, we're not just serving food — we're dishing up an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Here are the best restaurants in Downey, California:

Lock & Key Social Drinkery + Kitchen

Burger at Lock & Key Social Drinkery + Kitchen

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Lock & Key Social Drinkery + Kitchen in Downey.

The menu offers a variety of American eats, such as burgers, steaks, and other delicious dishes, all paired with a fantastic selection of craft brews.

For my meal, I decided to go with the Doc Holiday burger, packed with beef, pork belly, onion rings, American cheese, and applewood smoke.

Each bite was an explosion of flavors, and the pork belly was so good that it could stand on its own.

I also had the chance to try their elite ribs, which were corn-prepared like ribs - such a unique and tasty dish!

When it came time for dessert, I couldn't resist their bread pudding, which was delicious and had a stunning presentation, complete with a little fire on top.

The Olive RestoBar

Shrimp at The Olive RestoBar

Last week, I had the pleasure of dining at The Olive RestoBar with some friends after work.

We started with some refreshing drinks - I had a delicious concoction with fresh raspberries and tequila.

The extensive menu offered mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine, and we couldn't resist trying their spicy hummus and pita bread as an appetizer.

For my main course, I ordered the shrimp skewer plate with couscous, and it was by far the best I've ever had.

The Olive RestoBar is a family-owned and operated establishment, and they take pride in serving the highest quality Mediterranean cuisine using clean ingredients with no additives or preservatives.

Their commitment to healthy dining and quality is evident in the deliciousness of their dishes.

Stinkin Crawfish of Downey

Lobster at Stinkin Crawfish of Downey

If you're a seafood lover, you must visit Stinkin Crawfish of Downey.

I'm a huge fan of the place, and it never disappoints!

Not only do they serve the best seafood, but their oysters and lobster tail are also simply divine.

The first time I visited Stinkin Crawfish, I was greeted with great food and service.

The menu offers popular dishes like snow tiger lobster, and they even serve delicious micheladas.

One thing I particularly love about Stinkin Crawfish is the quality of their shrimp.

They constantly check up on you and even offer complimentary fried Oreos and ice cream for checking in.

Gaucho Grill Argentine Steakhouse

Steak at Gaucho Grill Argentine Steakhouse

My family and I decided to spend an evening at Gaucho Grill Argentine Steakhouse in Downey to celebrate my parents' anniversary.

The modern restaurant design, spacious patio, and outdoor seating create an enjoyable dining experience.

Our evening started with some delicious traditional Argentine meals and cocktails, as Gaucho Grill offers a variety of options to choose from.

One thing that caught our attention was the fire feature, which added a cozy touch to the already great ambiance.

The service we received that night was exceptional.

The food was amazing - we couldn't get enough of the flavorful dishes and perfectly cooked steaks.

Narai Thai Cuisine

Soup at Narai Thai Cuisine

I went to Narai Thai Cuisine on a friend's recommendation, and I couldn't be happier with the experience!

The ambiance was relaxing, and the menu offered a wide range of traditional Thai dishes, including meat, seafood, and veggie options.

The restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients to create healthy and appetizing Thai dishes like curries, noodle dishes, seafood specialties, and vegetarian options.

They also offer private parties, catering, take-out, and delivery services.

I started my meal with the Tom Kha soup, which was savory and well-seasoned, filled with mushrooms, lemongrass, and chicken.

For my main course, I chose Pad Thai, and it did not disappoint.

The dish was packed with tofu, assorted veggies, and chicken, offering a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

My friend ordered the Pineapple Fried Rice, which was equally delicious, full of pineapple, cashews, and an enticing aroma that filled the table.

California Fish Grill

Shrimp bowl at California Fish Grill

I decided to treat myself to a delicious seafood meal at California Fish Grill, which did not disappoint.

I was particularly impressed with the wide variety of menu options, including plant-based dishes for those following a vegan lifestyle.

I ordered the Swai with Cajun seasoning, white rice, and sweet potato fries, and the flavors were simply amazing.

I couldn't help but also try the Dynamite Shrimp Bowl and the Ahi Poke.

Each bite was an explosion of flavor, and the freshness of the seafood truly shone through.

My dining companion opted for the tender Branzino and highly recommended the Brussels sprouts as a side dish.

What I appreciated most about California Fish Grill is its commitment to sourcing its seafood responsibly and partnering with reputable fisheries to ensure the freshest wild-caught and farm-raised fish.

The Hummus Factory

Kabob plate at The Hummus Factory

The Hummus Factory is a local Mediterranean counter-serve chain located in a small plaza with plenty of parking.

As I walked in, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it shares its space with a Mexican restaurant so you can choose from two cuisines.

I opted for the Mediterranean menu and ordered the Chicken Kabob Plate.

The portion size was generous, and the dish was absolutely delicious.

It came with chicken, salad, hummus, and a choice of white or brown rice, all topped with a flavorful white cream sauce.

Fatima's Grill

Shawarma platter at Fatima's Grill

Fatima's Grill is a casual spot serving halal Lebanese-Mexican cuisine.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed the unique decor and fun ambiance.

They even had an arcade area for the kids and TVs playing NBA games, making it a great spot to hang out with friends and family.

The menu offered a variety of dishes, from burritos and quesadillas to their famous Cheetos fries.

I decided to try the shawarma platter, and it was nothing short of amazing.

The flavors were perfectly balanced, and the dish was beautifully presented.

While visiting Fatima's Grill, I also tried their Asada Burritos, which were equally delicious.

One thing that stood out to me was their commitment to offering a diverse menu catering to various dietary preferences.

Fatima's Grill is vegan and vegetarian-friendly, making it a suitable option for those with dietary restrictions.

Moreover, the family-owned and operated business has been around for two years, and it's evident that they take great pride in their food and service.

Poached Neighborhood Kitchen

Waffles at Poached Neighborhood Kitchen

When I arrived at Poached Neighborhood Kitchen, I was greeted by a friendly gentleman at the door who explained the ordering process to me as I was new there.

I ordered some classic breakfast items and found a nice seat by the window where I could people-watch.

The waffle was crisp and delicious, and the vanilla cream wasn't overly sweet, which I loved!

It was evident that Poached Kitchen uses real eggs and ingredients, making the meal even more enjoyable.

The produce they use is organic, and their beef, chicken, pork, and dairy products come from high-quality, non-GMO, organic, and humanely raised farms.

As I sat there enjoying my food, I noticed that the place steadily got busier, showcasing its popularity among the community.

The atmosphere was relaxed, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a weekend brunch.

They even have an outdoor seating area where people had brought their dogs along, which added to the overall friendly environment.

Tokyo Garden

Sashimi at Tokyo Garden

Tokyo Garden, I must say, has quickly become one of my favorite dining spots in the neighborhood.

The atmosphere was relaxed, with TVs in the dining area, making it a great spot for both casual and fine dining.

The impeccable service made me feel right at home in this locally owned and operated establishment.

Tokyo Garden's menu offers a variety of healthy dining options, including vegetarian-friendly dishes.

I was particularly impressed with their albacore sashimi topped with crispy onion, which was incredibly fresh and flavorful.

I also tried the Truffle Tako, and the soup it came in was delightful.

The Toyota Roll and Oh my god roll were also delicious, and I appreciated the beautiful presentation of each dish.

This sushi and Japanese-fusion spot also caters to large groups and families with children, making it an ideal location for gatherings or simply enjoying a meal with loved ones.


Gyro at PITA GR

Just the other day, I decided to visit PITA GR for a quick meal with a friend, and I must say, it was a fantastic experience.

It had a modern and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a casual dining experience.

We finally ordered the gyros pita and the souvlaki pita, accompanied by some tzatziki dip.

The souvlaki pita was equally delightful, with tender pieces of marinated chicken, lettuce, and a flavorful sauce.

The tzatziki dip was a perfect accompaniment, adding a tangy and creamy element to the meal.

In addition to the mouthwatering pitas, we also tried their desserts, which were a heavenly treat.

The baklava was flaky and sweet, with just the right amount of honey and nuts – a perfect ending to our meal.

Pop's Cafe

Pancakes at Pop's Cafe

I recently visited Pop's Cafe and absolutely loved the experience.

The cafe is located in a cozy and unfussy setting, which adds a charming and welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.

I decided to try their famous pancakes, which were fluffy and delicious, topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

The portion size was generous, and I found it t great value for the price.

My dining companion opted for the classic eggs benedict, which was also a hit.

The eggs were perfectly poached, and the hollandaise sauce was rich and creamy - we were both delighted with our choices.

Arthur's Restaurant

Steak at Arthur's Restaurant

I finally decided to try Arthur's Restaurant last weekend after hearing so many great things about it from friends and reading numerous positive reviews on Yelp.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

One of the standout dishes that I ordered was their signature steak.

The steak was cooked perfectly, just as I like it - medium rare.

The flavors were vibrant, and the sides complemented the dish perfectly.

I also couldn't resist trying their famous lobster bisque, which was as delightful as I expected.

Rich, creamy, and full of succulent lobster meat, it was tindeeda treat for the taste buds.

The dessert selection at Arthur's Restaurant was equally impressive.

I couldn't decide between the chocolate lava cake and the raspberry cheesecake, so the waiter kindly suggested I try their dessert sampler.

Downey Pizza Company

Pizza at Downey Pizza Company

One of my favorite go-to spots for a delicious and satisfying meal is Downey Pizza Company.

This no-frills establishment is perfect for a laid-back evening with family or friends.

The straightforward thin-crust pizzas have always been a hit for me, and the wings and pasta options are just as delectable.

The moment I walked through the door, I was greeted with a warm and friendly atmosphere, making me feel right at home.

I cannot recommend their thin-crust pizzas enough.

Each one I've tried has been cooked to perfection, and the toppings are generous and flavorful.

The wings are also a must-try, with their mouthwatering sauces and succulent meat.

Kyoto Sushi

Rolls at Kyoto Sushi

If you're looking for a cozy and unpretentious spot for some delicious sushi, Kyoto Sushi is the place to be.

I remember the first time I stepped in, I was immediately drawn to the warm and inviting atmosphere of this neighborhood eatery.

The interior is simple but well-designed, making you feel right at home.

They have Kyoto Sushi, which offers a variety of Japanese standards, but their sushi is definitely the highlight.

Each piece is expertly crafted, with the perfect balance of rice, fish, and seasoning.

La Barca Restaurantes

Food at La Barca Restaurantes

La Barca Restaurantes has a contemporary and casual atmosphere, which made me feel right at home.

The blend of Mexican and American dishes on the menu was a pleasant surprise, as I've always enjoyed both cuisines.

I decided to try their huevos rancheros, which were cooked to perfection.

The combination of eggs, beans, and salsa had my taste buds dancing with joy.

I also couldn't resist trying their chilaquiles, which were equally delightful.

The savory flavors of the tortilla chips smothered in spicy sauce and topped with eggs were a delicious way to start my day.

I couldn't leave without trying something from their American cuisine, so I opted for their juicy burger.

Golden Corral Buffet & Grill

Food at Golden Corral Buffet & Grill

One of my favorite places to take the family for a meal is Golden Corral Buffet & Grill on Lakewood Boulevard.

This family-friendly buffet chain offers all-you-can-eat American fare, along with salad and dessert bars, making it the perfect dining destination for families or groups with diverse tastes.

As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by the mouth-watering aroma of freshly cooked food and a welcoming atmosphere.

The buffet selection is incredible, with plenty of options for everyone's preferences.

I usually start by making a visit to the extensive salad bar, which offers a variety of fresh, crisp greens and an assortment of toppings and dressings to create the perfect salad.

Moving on to the main courses, I am always impressed by the various dishes available.

From the juicy carved meats to the flavorful and tender pot roast and even a delicious seafood selection, there's always something new and tasty to try.

The sides are equally as delicious, with options like creamy mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and the ever-popular macaroni and cheese.

Tropicana Bakery & Cuban Cafe

Sandwich at Tropicana Bakery & Cuban Cafe

Since I first visited Tropicana Bakery & Cuban Cafe in 1999, I have been a regular at this family-owned fixture in the neighborhood.

The flavors of Cuba and other Latin American countries come alive in their mouthwatering sandwiches, scrumptious desserts, and refreshing drinks.

As you step into the bakery, you're greeted with a warm and friendly atmosphere, making you feel right at home.

I have tried many of their offerings, but my absolute favorite has to be the Cubano, a classic Cuban sandwich with perfectly roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

The bread is always fresh and crispy, making each bite a delightful experience.

In addition to their delicious sandwiches, Tropicana is also known for its delectable desserts.

One of my favorites is their Tres Leches cake, which is moist and has the perfect sweetness.

I also enjoy their flan, which is silky smooth and has a wonderful caramel flavor.

Their drink selection is equally impressive.

One of my go-to choices is fresh-squeezed orange juice, which is a perfect way to start the day.

I also enjoy their Cuban coffee, which is strong and aromatic.

If you're looking for something a bit different, their refreshing guava smoothie is a must-try.

Tropicana Bakery & Cuban Cafe has been a staple in the community for over two decades, and I can't imagine my neighborhood without it.

Fernando's Restaurant

Pollo Saltado at Fernando's Restaurant

I recently visited Fernando's Restaurant for the first time, and I was blown away by their incredible selection of traditional Peruvian dishes.

The moment I stepped inside, I was greeted with a warm and cozy atmosphere that made me feel right at home.

After being seated by their friendly staff, I decided to order the Pollo Saltado – a delicious stir-fry dish with chicken, onions, tomatoes, and French fries, all cooked to perfection.

The flavors and textures were simply amazing, and as a fan of Peruvian cuisine, I found it to be one of the best versions of this dish I've ever tasted.

I couldn't resist trying their other traditional offerings as well, so I also ordered the Lomo Saltado – a similar dish to Pollo Saltado but made with tender strips of beef instead.

The beef was cooked just right, and the combination of flavors was equally delightful.

To accompany my meal, I chose a refreshing glass of Chicha Morada – a traditional Peruvian drink made from purple corn, pineapple, and spices.

It was the perfect beverage to complement the bold flavors of my dishes.

Stox Restaurant Bakery & Bar

I've been a regular at Stox Restaurant Bakery & Bar for quite some time now, and I must say, it has never disappointed me.

The atmosphere is cozy, and the staff always greets me with a warm smile as soon as I walk through the door.

One of the things that keep me coming back to Stox is their delicious comfort food.

The fried chicken, in particular, is a must-try.

It's perfectly crispy on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.

The taste is simply incomparable to any other place in town.

I also enjoy their chops, which are seasoned and cooked to perfection, making them an absolute delight to savor.

But the star of the show at Stox has to be their house-baked pies.

The variety they offer is impressive, and every single one of them is mouth-watering.

I've tried several of their pies, but my favorite is the apple pie.

It's served warm with a golden, flaky crust and a filling that's just the right balance of sweet and tart.

Aside from the excellent food and service, the bar at Stox is also worth mentioning.

Final Thoughts

Downey, California, is a melting pot of culinary delights, offering amazing local and international cuisines to cater to every discerning palate.

As someone who has lived here, I can personally attest to the vibrant and diverse dining scene that this city has to offer.

From mouth-watering Mexican dishes in Fonda Maria to authentic Thai flavors in Narai Thai Cuisine, I have explored and discovered a world of flavors within the borders of our beautiful city.

So, whether you are a fellow resident or just passing through, I highly recommend giving these incredible eateries a try!

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