We get it; you have places to be, meetings to get to, dogs to walk, or maybe even a parade to marshal. Whatever the situation, you’re on the go – a lot. Unfortunately, hunger waits for neither man nor woman. Luckily, Southern California is replete with incredible eateries that have concocted delicious handheld food for the active lifestyle. No silverware is required for these Instagram worthy bites.
Santa Ana, CA
At this 4th Street Market spot, everything on the menu is finger food, including sandwiches, wings and waffle fries. But, like every good sidekick, Wingman has something special up its sleeve – the Puff Daddy. Sweet and spicy chicken loaded with sauce comes stuffed inside a Hong Kong-style egg waffle wrapped up like a giant cone. Describing it is a mouthful, and so is eating it.
West Coast Fish
Costa Mesa, CA
Once you pick up the Crispy Shrimp Wrap, a delectable faux burrito of corn, watermelon pico de gallo, rice and of course, tasty crustacean, you won’t want to put it down. West Coast Fish sources its ingredients from local farmer’s markets and uses only the freshest seafood. Get some exercise and take it to go for a light and healthy lunch.
Who says you can’t have dessert first? At Diddy Riese - the beloved confectionery on the edge of the UCLA campus - students, suits and scrubs all line up to get a taste of the famous ice cream sandwiches. Patrons choose from 10 different cookies and 12 types of the cold stuff; my go to is espresso chip wedged between peanut butter. At a cost of only $2.50, you can afford to let your imagination run wild.
Santa Ana, CA
They say to never bite the hand that feeds you, but in the case of Red Envelope’s Shakin Beef Cheese Melt, it’s simply an accident waiting to happen. We say that because this sandwich - carne asada, green onion and vinaigrette salad stacked on butter toasted Texas bread - oozes cheese sauce and savory BBQ glaze. It may become difficult to discern where the food ends, and your body begins.
The Crack Shack
Costa Mea, Encinitas, Little Italy, Century City, CA
At The Crack Shack they are admittedly, a little cocky. But who can blame them, when they’ve created such exquisite chicken sandwiches for the world to enjoy. The Coop Deville takes fried chicken to a new level, accentuating the savory crunch with pickled Fresno chilies and Napa cabbage on brioche slathered with lime mayo. The Firebird turns up the heat and is comprised of spicy fried thigh, cool ranch, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll. Here, a bird in the hand truly means contentment.
You’ll have to conquer your fears at this popular Anaheim food truck, especially if you order the scarily scrumptious Attack of the Killer Potato burger. The formidable beast is piled high with cheddar cheese, bacon, golden hashbrowns, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce and roasted garlic sriracha sauce. Gripping the brioche buns will definitely take two hands as you devour the 1/3 lb. Angus beef patty. Feed the monster!
Pink’s Hot Dogs
A storied hot dog stand that became a Hollywood landmark during its 79 years of operation, Pink’s started as a successful food cart for Depression-era families. Today, even celebrities flock to the pink-walled building on La Brea and Melrose. The stars are on the menu as well, with the Martha Stewart Dog (relish, onion, bacon, tomatoes, sauerkraut, and sour cream) and the Ozzy Spicy Dog (spicy Polish sausage, nacho and American cheese, grilled onions and guacamole), but the 9” Stretch Chili Dog, a throwback to the very beginning, remains the top seller.
There’s nothing better to eat on the street than tacos, and Villa Moreliana in DTLA’s Grand Central Market brought its carnitas recipe straight from the source - Michoacán, Mexico. The slow-cooked meat is incredibly tender, the perfect filling for a crunchy flour tortilla shell. Add some rice and beans and a dash of green salsa for a mouth-watering snack to quell any rumbling stomach.
The APE Crepe at Crêpe Coop is so good it will have you singing – this sweet is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Immaculately thin pancake envelops slices of everyone’s favorite yellow fruit, peanut brittle, speculoos cookie butter, banana gelato and whipped cream. To indulge in the sugariness, only one hand is necessary, so you might as well up the ante with one of their organic teas. Bee Tea, brewed with jasmine green tea, chrysanthemum flowers and honey, will keep you happy and buzzing.
Writen By: Ben McBee