Best Los Angeles Food Court: Saint Vincent’s Court
Food courts in Los Angeles, and all across the country for that matter, have a way of following the same formula. It is as if they were all built by the same developer, or they all copied one they considered successful. Not so with Saint Vincent’s Court.
I stumbled upon it by accident when I was exploring down in the old Historic Broadway Theatre District. The quaint food court is actually an alley that runs north from 7th Street between Hill and Olive. In the jewelry district of downtown Los Angeles, the court resembles a quiet European street – complete with a cobble stone street, sidewalk cafes and charming architecture.
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Though, while everyone calls it “European” I don’t know how European it is to have a 1960’s Pink Cadillac on the awning above the Bonjour Cafe!
A plaque in the court reads: “This was the site of Saint Vincent’s College from 1868 to 1887. The College, now Loyola University, was founded by the Vincentian Fathers in 1865 and was the first institution of higher learning in Southern California.”
Currently listed as California State Landmark #567, today this area is home to a mixture of European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisines, a traditional-style barber shop, and other small shops. This whimsical, eclectic, alleyway will make you forget you are in the congested downtown section of Los Angeles.
Apparently the outdoor seating at one time took up much more of the alley than it does today. While dining in the alley itself has always been illegal, the city overlooked it. That is until the owner of the Los Angeles Theatre complained that the sidewalk tables were blocking access for the large equipment trucks used when it was rented for movie productions and he was loosing millions of dollars a year in business. The tables now remain confined to the sidewalks directly in front of each cafe.
Restaurants and Cafes In Saint Vincent’s Court:
Seven Garden Kebab House
Restaurant doling out kebabs, seafood & other Mediterranean specialties in understated quarters.
One of the best Middle Eastern, Persian restaurants in town
Mediterranean counter serve providing grilled kebabs, sandwiches & more for takeout.
Cozy Italian pizza parlor on the entrance to the alley
Snug counter-serve with outside-only seating preparing espresso drinks, sandwiches & salads.
Saint Vincent Deli
One of the ‘older’ places where you can get good food
Mima’s Mediterranean and Homemade Food
Reviewers say they have the best Mediterranean food in Los Angeles
Delicious, affordable deli sandwiches
Arto’s Broadway Deli
Friendly, delicious deli foods
You may have noticed a theme here. They restaurants here tend to be delis or places that specialize in Mediterranean foods, and many are small counter serve places with outdoor seating.
I wouldn’t tell you to drive across town to eat here. But if you are in downtown Los Angeles this is the place to eat. As soon as you step into the court you enter a different world. The noise and rush of the city is left behind and you can enjoy a few moments to relax, recharge your battery, and enjoy some good food with the company of a friend!
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