Looking for trip advice- San Fernando/Sylmar

Hi, onions- my family of 2 adults and 2 sprouts will be heading from our native Boston out your way next week. We’re staying in an Air BnB in San Fernando while visiting old friends in Sylmar. I have no familiarity with the area and appreciate any intel. We’ll have a car, and our days will be spent working with horses and cycling, so we’ll be pretty hungry. Everyone eats everything. We should probably aim to bring a large amount of take out food to our friends for one dinner, other than that we need meals for the 4 of us including some lunches which can be packable. One nicer restaurant is doable, but we’ll also be in Santa Barbara for a few days and it looks like there’s a recent thread on that which we can pull tips from, and probably more likely to find our nicer meals there. So just good tasty food recs appreciated. A quick google search shows almost exclusively Mexican restaurants and fast food. Anything else local and special? Although we eat everything, we tend to get out of sorts if we eat no vegetables while traveling. At least I myself am prone to salad deficiency. Thanks & I promise to report back.


I’m no expert in that area but I’ve been wanting to check this spot out; the video in the link is enticing.

Have a great time !

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Unfortunately, San Fernando and Sylmar are not the best areas of Los Angeles for food.

There are a lot of good mexican spots and seafood coctel joints all around that area…ive been to some a bit away from there. quick looks says these might be worth checking out

Ceviches Mariscos Estilo Nayarit | San Fernando, CA 91340 | Menu | Order Online (ordercevichesmariscosestilonayarit.com)

ROSARITO FISH MARKET (easystoremanager.com)

Papa Juan’s Baja Grill San Fernando - Official Site & Menu - Order Online (papajuansla.com)

these kind of seafood coctels are great/that’s kinda what I’d be looking to try out if I were in San Fernando; maybe some other folks have some experienced recs up there.


Both San Fernando and Sylmar have excellent food, and writing them off is a mistake.

If you are around on a weekend and want to hang out in a lovely backyard enjoying gorditas stuffed with guisados estilo Aguascalientes, I highly recommend Lupita’s, which is actually in Pacoima but very close and very worth it:

There is a long row of food trucks and sidewalk vendors that line Glenoaks Blvd. on days that the San Fernando Swap Meet is active (Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday), just south of that big event. I find the best of the bunch to be Betty’s Tacos Y Quesadillas:

MichexGod in Sylmar is absolutely heavenly for sure, and they can make non-alcoholic versions for the kids if desired. They are not in this trailer anymore and have a bricks and mortar now, but here is more about them:

Kop Jai Lai is also very close and very good, and your only chance for Lao food without driving to Orange County:

Since San Fernando has freeways galore, you can get to many other places in the Valley pretty fast. Bring two tank tops and pairs of underwear for everyday though because its hot hot hot! Enjoy :slight_smile:


No white people food :rofl:

The original poster asked for recommendations for cuisines other than Mexican.

You recommended three Mexican restaurants and a Laotian restaurant that doesn’t offer on-site dining.

Los Angeles is famous for traffic jams with good reason.

Bunch of Peruvian spots up there worth checking out too

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Not a term we have in New England, although we have ceviche and quite a poke explosion the past few years. Will definitely seek out a coctel. Thanks!


This looks amazing! Unfortunately, we’ll be there during the week, including 4th of July which I imagine might make finding anything open a bit difficult. But perhaps we can find this dish somewhere else.

I love Lao food, so maybe take out from Kop Jai Lai.


The no dine-in was based on a 31 December 2020 visit. I would assume they’ll be fully open now.

I actually missed the part about Mexican food in the original post somehow, but I assure you as someone who also used to live on the east coast for some time, it is definitely not something to stay away from here. Completely different cuisine with all its regional differences :slight_smile:


Sorry- I guess I was unclear. We’re not avoiding Mexican food- in fact, I’m guessing 2/3 of our meals will be tacos or burritos, and especially when we move on to the coast for the second part of the trip I’m looking forward to tons of seafood with Mexican flare. It’s just that it looks like it will be super easy to find the Mexican places, and I may need your help with finding anything else worth seeking out.

I’m more than happy to have your Mexican recommendations as well, but only if they’re geographically close as we probably won’t go out of our way for those.


Oh and San Fernando Brewing Company is one of my favorites in Southern California, if that is your thing. They sometimes have vendors for food but you can also bring outside food.

You are making incorrect (and rude) assumptions about my palate. Within a ten minute drive from my house (without having to get on a freeway) I have:

A Brazilian grocery store with a take out Brazilian restaurant inside.
Two Middle Eastern grocery stores.
A Mexican grocery store.
Two Indian grocery stores.
Two Japanese grocery stores.
A Himalayan restaurant.
Sawtelle Boulevard which has a wealth of Japanese restaurants and some Korean and Chinese restaurants .
An Iraqi falafel stand.
An Indonesian restaurant.
A Salvadorean pupusa restaurant.
Persian restaurants and ice cream stores.
A 99 Ranch Market coming soon.

I frequent all of these businesses except the 99 Ranch Market which I will as soon as it opens.

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Horchateria Rio Luna in the town of San Fernando is a unique horchata beverage / coffee shop to check out

Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima for goat stew, a longtime favorite of mine

Shi Dok Rak in Northridge (a bit further away ) is a good KBBQ spot if you’re not up for a schlep into K-town. The stews are good too.

Corner Kebab (Persian / Mediterranean) in San Fernando does a decent job for kebabs

Wat Thai Weekend Thai Food Market in Sun Valley


It sounds like you eat well, and can afford Westside living, and that’s great! Congratulations.

But your initial comment was this:

And that comment does not add any nuance for your point about not recommending Mexican food. It could even be considered rude (or more!), something you are accusing of @Sgee of being.

A better way of interacting with a thread where someone asks about Sylmar and San Fernando recommendations would be to ignore it, since you clearly have none. See? Easy!


Love horchata that’s a good call for someone not local I hope to try that spot myself when I’m up that way.

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Regrettably not everyone can afford to live in (or travel to) the wealthier westside neighborhoods which offers the wonderful bounty of dining options you listed. We have to just make do with local options in our little corner of LA county. Which does have some gems to offer.

The original poster specified that they were looking for restaurants that weren’t Mexican.

Now you folks are making assumptions about my finances in addition to making assumptions about my eating habits. Wow.

For the record, every place I listed is inexpensive except for the Japanese grocery stores and restaurants.

This spot has a great menu too I’m a huge fan of coctels especially when it’s hot out.


Have fun !

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