There are few things in Los Angeles more satisfying than a hike. The Southland is littered with trails that offer scenic overlooks of the entire city, ocean horizon lines and year-round waterfalls tucked into steep canyon cliffs. And after a miles-long trek through the dust and chaparral, you can return to civilization by stuffing your face at a nearby restaurant.
That's really what it's all about, right? Working off the calories so you can eat whatever you want and not feel bad about it. That's what these four great post-hike eateries offer: the chance to enjoy yourself, unabashedly, after you've huffed, puffed and sweated yourself dizzy for a few miles. Maybe you want fried food, or a nice meaty burger, or a pulled pork sandwich made by a real life cowboy. With these hikes -- and the eateries that exist near them -- you've got all of those options, and more.4. Malibu Seafood near Solstice Canyon
Some hikes offer interesting scenery, others emanate a picturesque view; and then there are the ones that make your legs burn. You can have all three, if you want them, at Solstice Canyon, which sits just off of the PCH near Malibu. For the uninitiated, there's a loosely paved, flat pathway that works through the canyon's greenery to the ruins of an old mansion, complete with old fireplace. If you're up for the challenge, take the high road through the hills for sweeping ocean views and some fat-burning action. That's probably the path for you, considering you're about to lay your hands on some fish and chips.
Malibu Seafood is one of the best spots for fish and chips in all of Los Angeles, and it's just south of the canyon on the Pacific Coast Highway. The locals know how good they've got it, so expect a line on the weekends for their insanely fresh cod that comes squared off and thickly fried. It's greasy fare that will leave your fingers shining as you snack away on one of the bright red picnic tables that have their own ocean views. Starchy, warm, tender and satisfying, Malibu Seafood's cod fish and chips are the perfect rejuvenation after your Solstice Canyon hike. Or the best reason for a nap in the sand. 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-456-3430.
See also: 10 Best Fish & Chips in Los Angeles
If your whole goal with hiking is to shed some pounds, the Scenic Overlook in Baldwin Hills will certainly get you there. Even the paved, winding path for weak-willed hikers is a lesson in humility, especially during a hot summer day. But real death-wishers opt for the stairs, a grueling set of stone blocks that are higher and deeper than your average staircase. Imagine doing lunges for a quarter mile ... up a hill ... That's what the stairs at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is like. And when you're done, you can re-up on your protein levels with a big, meaty burger.
About a mile north of the trailhead is JNJ Burger Shack on West Adams, a throwback stand that's a hybrid burger joint and BBQ walk-up. You can order from either side, really, but if you really want to go all out, stick to the burger side and opt for the Four Finger Burger. It's a 20 minute wait, but what arrives is a tower of ground beef that is as unstoppable as it is delicious. Imagine two burger patties, two American cheese slices, strips of bacon and a split hot link on top, plus an egg for anyone keeping score. You should also imagine bringing a friend along for the hike and the burger, because you're going to want some company around for both. 5754 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-934-5390.