Bäco Mercat

408 S. Main St.
downtown, CA 90013
Critics' Pick
Best Of
B&aumlco Mercat +

Anne Fishbein Amergaz Picada bäco with lamb sausage, horseradish and cucumber


  • Mon.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5:30-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-mid.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
One day the city of Los Angeles may well rename this part of downtown “Centenoville” for the delicious influence chef Josef Centeno has brought to the couple of blocks where his five restaurants reside. Bar Amá, his ode to Tex-Mex, is as fun a place to eat and drink as any in town. Orsa & Winston delivers one of the most interesting, thoughtful tasting-menu experiences around. Ledlow is a model for the modern neighborhood cafe, and PYT, his newer ode to vegetables, will show you how to appreciate a turnip as you’ve never appreciated a turnip before. But Bäco Mercat stands resplendent as Centeno’s original vision for what downtown needed: a place that reinvented the sandwich (or is it a taco? A wrap?) in the form of a bäco, a flatbread/pita arrangement that smooshes soft bread with tangy sauce with meaty meat, whether it be beef tongue schnitzel or oxtail hash. The rest of the menu darts all over the globe and reveals more about Centeno’s point of view than it adheres to any particular trend or style. Hamachi crudo with Abkhazian chili spice is tangy, fresh and pert; vegetable dishes such as roasted romanesco with treviso and pea tendrils remain utterly original in the face of an onslaught of derivative vegetable arrangements elsewhere. Be it yam, pea and pomegranate on a spiced beef flatbread or a yellowtail collar with yuzu kosho and walnut vinaigrette, something at Bäco Mercat will get you, and get you good. —Besha Rodell
Read our full review.

Related Stories (22)

  • The 10 Best Restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles
    Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 6:24 a.m. by Besha Rodell

    Downtown's explosive growth has been one of the most widely discussed topics in the restaurant world for the past few years. Now we are beginning to see those planted seeds bear delicious, delicious fruit. What was once a scattered ...

  • 6 Tongues You'll Actually Want to Eat
    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 1:09 p.m. by Liz Biscevic

    At first, the thought of eating an animal's tongue might make you squeamish. Then you think about what this organ meat actually is. The cow's tongue is a muscle, just like more common cuts of meat like lamb shank, filet mignon ...

  • 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 9:40 a.m. by Besha Rodell

    Our 99 Essential Restaurants issue dropped last week, and in celebration, we're making a few lists to help you narrow down which essential restaurants you ought to hit up. We already pointed out 10 essential restaurants where you ca...

  • 10 Great L.A. Restaurants That Stay Open Later Than You Think
    Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 5:54 a.m. by Heather Platt

    Los Angeles has plenty of late night dining. If you’ve ever bellied up to the counter at Cafe 101 in Hollywood for a waffle brownie sundae, waited in line at 3 a.m. for a “Jucy Lucy” burger from Fred 62 in Los Feliz or piled into a ...

Load More Articles


View All

More Contemporary Restaurants in Downtown

  • Little Bear
    Best Of

    Distinguished yet casual, this Belgian beer cafe fits in comfortably in the Warehouse District do...

  • Orsa & Winston
    Critics' Pick

    Downtown L.A.'s Orsa & Winston chef Josef Centeno offers a six-course menu, 10-plus-course om...

  • Located on the quiet end of Hill Street, The Stocking Frame features a small but ambitious cockta...

View All

More Contemporary Restaurants in Los Angeles


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >