What to Eat (and Drink) Near Echo Park Rising

From banh mi to pizza to avo toast, here’s how to grub as hard as you rock

Echo Park Rising hits its titular neighborhood this weekend, bringing hordes of hungry concertgoers to the area. All that line standing, wristband wearing, and head bobbing is sure to work up an appetite. The festival promises a designated fleet of food trucks, but take a break from the clubs and eat like a local. There are area standbys like Brite Spot and Taix, but this is also time to venture a bit off the beaten path. Whether you want to go vegan, grab a burger, shoot some espresso (or something stronger), here are our top 10 picks for fueling up near the festival.

  1. Mohawk Bend
    Mohawk Bend’s locally sourced, vegan-friendly grub is classic Echo Park. Menu items like the Buffalo Style Cauliflower appeal to carnivores and herbivores alike, but devoted meat eaters can take heart in the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich served with radicchio slaw, jalapeno-mustard aioli, and housemade pickles. The drinks menu is equally well rounded with 72 craft beers—plus six wines—on tap. Mohawk’s brunch goes until 3 p.m. on the weekend, so late-risers can still grab a spinach and goat cheese cast iron frittata before the festival. //2141 Sunset Blvd.
  2. Two Boots Pizza
    Quick, cheap, and oily enough to sop up a day’s worth of binge drinking, Two Boots is a safe choice for concert food. Its prime location—wedged between the Echo and Origami Vinyl—means even Eastside newbies won’t get lost. Be bold and go for the Bayou Beast, which piles spicy shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapeños, and mozzarella onto an overloaded slice. //1818 Sunset Blvd.
  3. The Holloway
    At this neighborhood spot, founded by Top Chef alum Brian Huskey, ignore all distractions and go straight for the Holloway Burger. The patty is formed from the restaurant’s custom beef blend, while a brioche bun reigns in caramelized onions and a thick slice of cheddar cheese. It’s a beefy behemoth that requires a walk in the park after eating, so stay away from mosh pits during digestion. //1320 Echo Park Ave.
  4. Elf
    This vegan and vegetarian spot is seriously small, but it’s the perfect place to eat healthfully and counteract some of the weekend’s craziness. The summer dinner menu focuses on seasonal dishes like crispy halloumi with grilled lemon and fusilli rigati with corn carbonara, The selection of natural wines is impressive. //2135 Sunset Blvd.
  5. Xoia Vietnamese Eats
    At Xoia, crispy tacos are spiced with Vietnamese coriander, and lemongrass pork carnitas stuff giant bahn mi sandwiches. Traditionalists can still order steaming bowls of pho and turmeric-stained mi quang noodles, a staple dish of central Vietnam. A lengthy multi-culti beer list features brews from Germany, Thailand, and Belgium in addition to Vietnam and California. //1801 W. Sunset Blvd.
  6. Blue Bottle Coffee
    The Echo Park outpost of Blue Bottle’s coffee empire opened last Saturday, and it’s already drawing the usual crowds. But at 2,500 square-feet, the space can handle the additional influx of music lovers this weekend. Notable snacks include liege waffles and pastries, but coffee is king. Place your order at the center-island espresso bar, grab your drink (we recommend the New Orleans-style iced coffee), and get back to the music. //1712 W. Sunset Blvd.
  7. El Prado
    El Prado bills itself as “beers, snacks, records.” While the soundtrack is exclusively vinyl, the alcohol is exclusively beer and wine. Bar food includes a cheese plate with chorizo and fig jam. El Prado opens at 2 p.m. on weekends, making an ideal all-day festival oasis. //1805 W. Sunset Blvd.
  8. Dinette
    Nestled between a 99 Cent Only Store and El Clasico Tattoo Shop, Dinette’s walk-up window isn’t from the neighborhood’s main area, and its tight menu shines. Sure, there’s the avocado toast, but you’ll also find curry bowls and supersized meringues. This is the place take your friends with opposing music tastes—there’s something for everyone. The window closes at 5, so it’s lunch or bust. //1606 W. Sunset Blvd.
  9. Taco Zone
    Taco Zone is an Echo Park favorite, particularly with the after-bar crowd that packs into the Vons parking lot it calls home. Head here after the last show to end your night right, with a dripping, cheesy mulita. //Alvarado St. and Montana St.
  10. Tacos Arizas
    Let’s level: Tacos Arizas is divisive. There’s an entire contingent of Yelp-users outraged at the truck’s C rating, but they’re critically praised for basically everything on the menu—sopas, burritos, even the buche (pork stomach) tacos. Our thoughts? You gotta risk it to get the biscuit—or in this case, the burrito. //W. Sunset Blvd. and Logan St.