Nothing’s better than a piping hot bowl of savory soup to fight off winter’s bitter chill. Okay fine, in LA it’s more “winter’s gentle breeze,” but even when it’s warm out, soup still hits the spot. We’ve put together a rundown of the best kid-favorite soups, from plain ol’ noodle to a gooey French onion dripping with cheese and where to get them, stat. Mmmm, mmmm good.
photo: Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen via Facebook
Best Matzo Ball Soup – Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen
A Beverly Hills institution, Nate ‘n Al Deli, has been serving up deliciousness to LA families since 1945, giving them plenty of time to perfect their legendary matzo ball soup. Many Angelenos believe they’ve absolutely set the bar for everything matzo ball soup should be: a simple, light broth accompanied by cloud-like, melt-in-your-mouth matzo balls that are flavorful and comforting without tasting too chicken-ish. In other words, perfect for picky eaters. Beyond the incredible food, Nate ‘n Al’s longtime staff is extremely welcoming, treating each family that stops by like their very own.
Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen
414 N. Beverly Dr.
photo: Connie and Ted’s via Facebook
Best Clam Chowder – Connie & Ted’s
We can’t imagine even New England does clam chowder any better than Connie and Ted’s in WeHo. Creamy, decadent with just the right amount of clams and potatoes, this is the perfect starter to any meal or can be meal in itself. Be sure to check out their Jo’s Wicked Good Chowda’ sampler which includes cups of three different chowders on the menu: New England, Manhattan and Rhode Island Clear served with oyster crackers on the side, so kids can see what camp they fall in (because any good New Englander knows, if it’s red, it’s not chowda).
Connie and Ted’s
8171 Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: Barney’s Beanery via Facebook
Best Chili – Barney’s Beanery
Barney’s Beanery is well-known for their “Famous Chili” which is actually totally deserving of that title. From Classic, Turkey, Vegetable, Texas-style and Fireman’s chili, your kiddo’s bound to find something that tickles their fancy. And if they can’t decide on one, no problemo. A Famous Chili sampler with all five flavors and tortilla chips on the side is available for the taking as well. While your tots are waiting for their food, they’ll love checking out the restaurant’s air hockey table and video games in back, just be sure to bring some extra cash and your game face.
8447 Santa Monica Blvd.
Tip: There are six Barney’s Beanery locations throughout the LA area, but WeHo is the OG.
photo: The Kettle via Facebook
Best French Onion Soup–The Kettle
Are you and the tykes searching for a French Onion soup with that certain je nais se quoi? Look no further, mes amis. For 40 years, The Kettle in Manhattan Beach has been one of the most popular dining spots in the South Bay. Part of the draw is mouthwatering dishes like their famous French Onion soup covered in ooey gooey cheese–it’s truly some of the very best around. The other part is the warm, old-fashioned service with a smile that’s been a mainstay generation after generation.
1138 Highland Ave.
Best Pozole – Loteria Grill
There’s not much Loteria Grill ever gets wrong and their Pozole Rojo is no exception. Blending pork and hominy in a chile-guajillo broth served with fresh radish, cabbage, Mexican oregano, powdered chile de arbol, onion, cilantro and lime on the side, it’s one of the yummiest authentic pozoles this side of the border. An extremely filling dish, the cup size should be more than enough for pint-sized appetites, while mom and dad may prefer diving into a whole bowl. Get the kids the Queso Fundido on the side; the gooey cheese delight will become a family mainstay.
Loteria Grill (at Original Farmer’s Market)
6333 W. 3rd St.
Tip: There are five additional Loteria Grill locations so you’re bound to find one near your hood.
photo: Phorage via Facebook
Best Pho – Phorage
LA is blessed with a swell selection of pho options. But one of the kings on our list is Phorage a modern take on Vietnemese dining in Culver City. There are so many well-crafted options on the menu, but when it comes to their pho noodle soups, there are just three to choose from, and you can’t make a bad decision. Washugyu Beef, Mary’s Free Range Chicken and Natural Oxtail pho are featured, but a safe bet for less adventurous tots is to go with the chicken which doesn’t disappoint one bit.
3300 Overland Ave.
photo: Cafe Gratitude via Facebook
Best Vegan Soup – Cafe Gratitude
Vegan hotspot Cafe Gratitude is changing the way even meat-eaters feel about plant-based, sustainable dining. It can actually be delicious! Especially the shop’s Thriving (or cooked) Soup of the Day. If you’re very lucky, you’ll hit a day when they’re serving their to-die-for butternut squash soup, the tastiest we’ve ever had. Fresh, extremely flavorful and good for you to boot, it can convince even the most dedicated carnivore kid to eat, or slurp, their veggies.
639 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Tip: There are also Cafe Gratitudes in Venice and Downtown, but when dining with kids, we love the family friendly atmosphere of Larchmont Blvd.
One Last Tip: For fantastic ramen that little ones can order on an iPad, be sure to swing by Tatsu featured here.
What are your fave soup spots in town? Let us know in the comments below!