Whether you're a super-fan decked out in Dodger blue or just tagging along with your baseball-loving friends for the beer, the stadium's famous hot dogs can lose their novelty, and peanuts and Cracker Jack sometimes just don't cut it. Luckily, the neighborhoods surrounding Dodger Stadium, Echo Park and Chinatown, are prime eating destinations.
Here are eight Dodger Dog alternatives within three miles of the stadium for every taste and budget:
WHERE: Taco Zone Truck, North Alvarado Street and Montana Street, Echo Park
GOOD FOR: Late-night eaters
WHY: If you need something quick and cheap to soak up those extra-inning beers, swing by Taco Zone, the most popular taco truck in Echo Park. There might be a line stretching from the silver, sticker-clad trailer into the Vons parking lot next to it, but the carnitas tacos and carne asada mulitas are worth the wait.
WHERE: Pok Pok Phat Thai, 727 N .Broadway #130, Chinatown; (213) 628.3071, pokpokphatthaila.com
GOOD FOR: Traditionalists
WHY: Chef Andy Ricker's L.A. outpost of the famous Portland, Oregon, stir-fried noodle shop specializes in recipes straight from street vendors and home kitchens in Thailand. The tiny shop's namesake dish — thin rice noodles cooked in rendered pork fat, served nearly bare with your choice of meat and a side of condiments — is delicious. And if you prefer your noodles wider, there is phat sii ew (which is also available vegetarian), along with a handful of other street-food favorites such as hoi thawt (crispy broken crepe with mussels, eggs and bean sprouts) and phak buung fai daeng (water spinach stir-fried with garlic and chile).
WHERE: Taix, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 484-1265, taixfrench.com.
GOOD FOR: Carpoolers (and French food lovers)
WHY: Taix has been serving reasonably priced, classic French country cuisine such as coq au vin, tureens of potato leek soup and escargots de Bourgogne to devoted diners since 1927 (several members of the staff have been working there for decades). But the charmingly vintage vibe isn't the only reason to dine at the old-world Sunset Boulevard haunt. If you meet at Taix before the game, you can leave your car in its parking lot as long as you pick it up before the restaurant closes (10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends).
WHERE: Sage Vegan Bistro, 1700 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 989-1718, sageveganbistro.com
GOOD FOR: Baseball fans who don't eat meat
WHY: There is a serious lack of plant-based food options at Dodger Stadium, so if that's your game, save your appetite for Sage's locally sourced vegan menu. Trade the greasy hot dog for a "Bowl of Soul" — vegetables, beans and quinoa topped with a gluten-free mac-and-cheese ball. Sage is BYOB, too, so stop at nearby Sunset Beer for a bottle beforehand. If you're already in detox mode, the fresh-squeezed juices are killer.
WHERE: Ostrich Farm, 1525 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 537-0657, ostrichfarmla.com
GOOD FOR: Escaping the chaos
WHY: Fans looking for a relaxing dinner before or after the hustle of game day would do well at this relatively new spot on Sunset Boulevard near Echo Park Avenue. Ostrich Farm is a welcome addition to a neighborhood hungry for more upscale dining options. Chef-owner Jaime Turrey serves French- and Italian-inspired comfort food such as Brussels sprouts with pancetta and egg, pork osso buco and rib-eye steak with fries.
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GOOD FOR: Discerning cheapskates
WHY: Roy Choi's Chinatown spot isn't fancy, and waiting in line there won't feel much different than the lines for beer at Dodger Stadium. But there is nothing as exciting on the tatesbuds (or easy on the budget) as Choi's unlikely combinations of Korean flavors. A mere $8 will get you the Kimchi Spam Bowl: butter-fried kimchi, Spam, scrambled eggs and bok choy with toasted sesame. For just $4 enjoy the Korean-fried 3PM Meatballs, served with shaved green onions, sesame and a fried polenta patty.
WHERE: Masa, 1800 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 989-1558, masaofechopark.com
GOOD FOR: Pizza parties!
WHY: Those who travel in packs to Dodger games should stop at Masa. Sure, you can get pizza at the stadium, but it's not authentic, Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza baked with a cornmeal crust in a vintage revolving oven. These deep-dish pies are good enough to make even a Cubs fan jealous, but they do take a nice chunk of time to prepare, so call ahead if you're planning to buy in bulk.
WHERE: El Compadre, 1449 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; (213) 250-4505, elcompadrerestaurant.com
GOOD FOR: Keeping the party going
WHY: Looking for a party after the game? Head to El Compadre's Echo Park location, where you can nosh on freshly fried tortilla chips, guacamole and taquitos until 2 a.m. The famous flaming margaritas will dazzle — and if they do their job, you'll end up annihilating the dance floor at the Short Stop bar next door afterward. Whether the Dodgers win or lose, El Compadre is always an upbeat end to the night.