DTLA Power Lunch: Mid-Day Meals Downtown Can’t Afford to Miss

Engine co 28

Having lunch in the big city has always been a welcomed break from the office, or a special time to sightsee, network, or get together with family and friends. 

This daytime culinary adventure should not only be prepared quickly, leaving enough time to sit leisurely and enjoy the meal before heading back to the office, but it should also be affordable and nutritious to get us through the day. 

Here’s a list of top DTLA Power Lunch picks with mid-day meals Downtown can’t afford to skip.

Hero’s Welcome at Engine Co. 28

If the DTLA crowd is ever in a panic over what to eat for lunch, Engine Co. 28 is here to rescue them with their mouth-watering options. It’s like having a fire fighter rush to our aid, ready to put out the flames of our hunger. 

When DTLA needs to put out those hunger flames for good, lunch at Engine Co. 28 is here to save the day. It’s no wonder that Engine Co. 28 has become a DTLA staple and a favorite meetup for power lunches. 

With its impressive menu and reputation for being a hot spot for doing business, Engine Co. 28 sounds the alarm with plates of hot Southern-style pan-fried Chicken and sides of steamy mixed vegetables. 

DTLA taste buds get carried away over their signature Meatloaf and New York Steaks not to mention Engine Co’s flaming Firehouse chili, happy hour Flatbreads, BBQ Ribs and Wagyu Burgers. 

Engine’s Caesar Salad is a perfect lunch option for those who want a quick meal that won’t leave them feeling heavy. This salad offers a refreshing and light experience, with its crispy romaine hearts, creamy Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan, and satisfying croutons that provide a satisfying crunch. www.engineco28.com

Turning Ravenous at PI^ LA

What makes PI^LA popular lunch spot is the unique is the ability to place and fill a full size pizza order in less than five minutes and of course, it’s tantalizing slices of deep pan, gourmet style pizzas that have the ability to send the eater into ravenous rage until there’s not so much as a crumb is left. 

The good folks at PI^LA want the DTLA community to know they are welcome to enjoy their new lunch hours from 11:30 to 5:30 by offering an 18% discount off any full sized pizza until April. 

The feeling of going back in time inside PI^LA’s retro diner coupled with the location’s Alley way obscurity keeps the curious lunch goer eager to discover this hidden pizza gem while rememberable flavors of Cupped Pepperoni, Spicy Smoked Fried Chicken, Roasted Spice K-Town Pork, Fennel Pollen Sausage, Pineapple and Jalapeños keep diners coming back. Vegan pizza options are also available. www.213pila.com

The World’s Oldest Lunch at Ootoro Japanese Sushi & Sashimi

Little Tokyo of DTLA is a hearty plate of affordable delicious lunch options, yet only a few allow DTLA to really escape into the realm of new Japan as much as Ootoro Sushi. 

For seafood lovers on a lunch break, Salmon Ikura Bowl is commonly favored during lunch from 11:30 am – 1:40 pm on weekdays.

Bento Boxes are considered an art form in Japan and include the diner’s choice of miso soup, salad, and rice. Ootoro’s Sushi Box gifts Tuna slices, salmon, yellowtail, tuna sashimi and one surprise Chef’s choice Sushi Roll. 

Serving Ootoro Sushi Bowls during an office party make great lasting impressions on coworkers. The presentation of the bowls is visually stunning, with colorful and artfully arranged ingredients that are sure to impress. www.Ootorosushi.com

It’s Curry in a Hurry at Tulsi Eatery 

Tulsi Eatery is a vegetarian’s dream. This plant-based Indian Eatery on 4th and Main brings healthy and flavorful Indian dishes from all the regions of India. Serving lunch from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays, Tulsi Eastery has just introduced the Curry Lunch Bowl. Curry Lunch Bowls come in three curry bowl varieties with rice or bread option packed with a variety of locally sourced vegetables, lentils, fragrant herbs and spices for around $9. The DTLA restaurant location has a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for seating one, two or an entire office. 

What makes Tulsi such a powerful lunch option is it’s affordability. With most menu items able to fill the stomach without emptying the wallet, Tulsi is DTLAs most affordable healthy lunch option. www.tulsieatery.com

A Taste of History at Garo’s Deli

Garos Deli

St. Vincent’s Alley, originally the location of St. Vincent’s College (now Loyola Marymount University), served various purposes before being refurbished by its new proprietors, Bullocks Department, in 1957. The renovation converted the alley from a functional area into a delightful village-like environment of small buildings painted in vivid hues, verdant foliage, and ornate plaster figures perched atop simulated balconies. The objective of the restoration was to evoke the atmosphere of an ancient European village, inviting visitors to relish its allure and character. 

Today, the alley is home to several Armenian-owned businesses, restaurants, cafes, including a bakery, and a junction to numerous jewelry stores. 

Garo’s Deli is one such restaurant that has been a staple in the Historic St. Vincent Alley for over 33 years. Garo’s opens at 8:30 am for breakfast and usually greets regulars sitting outside, chatting, and enjoying their meals.

Lunchtime sees an influx of locals and tourists. Tourists from around the world seek out their popular sandwiches include pastrami, turkey, ham, salami, Soujouk Armenian sausage, tuna, grilled chicken and steak salad. The deli also serves their New Habibi Shisk Kebabs and sides of chicken noodle and lentil soup, along with a variety of beverages including coffee, tea, and soft drinks. And of course, no deli would be complete without a dessert such as the best baklava ! 

Garo’s Deli also offers catering services for small and large events. DK is constantly working on the menu, adding new items and tweaking old ones to perfection. After three decades, Garo’s Deli remains a beloved spot in the community, serving delicious food and providing a space for people to gather and enjoy each other’s company. www.Garosdeli.com

Rappahannock Oyster Bar


It’s lunch time in the Warehouse District, as workers from Row DTLA anxiously await their daily lunch break at Rappahannock Oyster Bar. 

Grab a stool, there’s only one mid-day hour to ingest RappBar’s selection of Chesapeake Bay-farmed oysters, fresh crab, clams, scallops, shrimp, and of course, Chef Wilson Santos’ Award-Winning Lobster Roll. 

Yet, within that one hour, lunch-goers can also enjoy BRUNCH ALL DAY! with menu choices that include: Lobster Benedict, the Chef’s Breakfast Waffle with bacon and eggs any style, and the Breakfast Rapp, a burrito with Eggs Avocado, bacon and taters. www.RappBarDTLA.com

Author: Keri Freeman

Military mom and proud parent, artist, writer, musician and film maker. Cocktail connoisseur. Publisher of DTLA Weekly.

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