Have you ever received a restaurant recommendation from a rapper?
There’s no doubt that some of the most well-known eateries in the world reside in Los Angeles, so it makes sense that some of the biggest names in Hip Hop have a place or two in mind while producing chart-topping hits. Whether it be the causality of hitting up a drive-in or putting on the fanciest fur to dine in, lyrical geniuses – such as Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Biggie Smalls – make it a point to hit up their favorite joints while in town. Here’s a list of 10 L.A. restaurants that artists love so much, they couldn’t resist rapping about them.
Where: 114 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Diplomatic Immunity” by Drake
Lyric: “Caterin’ is from Giorgio Baldi, Robyn’s favorite / Shit is nice, but I prefer Madeo / Calamari rings and tomato.”
After the drop of Drake’s single “Diplomatic Immunity,” reservations at Giorgio Baldi may be that much more difficult to book. Giving a shout out to his on-again-off-again boo, Robyn (a.k.a. Robyn Fenty, a.k.a Rihanna), it’s no longer a secret that GB is a Bad Gal Riri favorite. The super fancy, beach-adjacent restaurant is probably better known for it’s celebrity clientele rather than its Italian cuisine.
Where: 1415 E Rosecrans Ave, Compton, CA 90222. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Backseat Freestyle” by Kendrick Lamar
Lyric: “Park it in front of Lueders, next to that Church’s Chicken”
Out of all the rappers in the game Kendrick Lamar may be the most ‘humble,’ so it comes as no surprise that he would talk about a hometown favorite in “Backseat Freestyle.” If you’re in the mood for fried chicken but can’t be bothered to go to a sit-down restaurant, then this is the spot for you.
Where: 344 N Camden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Started From the Bottom (Remix)” by Drake feat. Machine Gun Kelly, Meek Mill, and Wiz Khalifa
Lyric: “In the cloud smokin’ loud on my way to Mr Chow’s”
Now that weed is legal here in California, it’s probably more common to smoke before sitting down at table in one of Beverly Hill’s hot spots – Meek Mill seems to think so! Not that you’d need the munchies to obtain an appetite for the delicious dishes. Since 1974, Mr.Chow has delivered a delicious Chinese dining experience with an overlay of art, style and celebrity status.
Where: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Who Do You Love?” by YG feat. Drake
Lyric: “Eatin’ crab out in Malibu at Nobu”
Nobu Malibu has made its feature on more than one club banger – Drizzy seems to mention the Japanese, beach-front restaurant quite often. Los Angeles is where it all began for Nobu Matsuhisa, the acknowledged king of Japanese cuisine, who now has high-end eateries all over the world. The first restaurant he opened is called Matsuhisa, a tiny place on La Cienega Boulevard.
Where: 7009 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Hit The J” by The Game
Lyric: “Never take her out to Crustacean, it be In-N-Out”
Globally known as a cult favorite on the West Coast, it’s a given that the burger joint receives recognition from time to time. Unlike other hamburger chains, the In-N-Out franchise chooses to open locations close to their headquarters because of the company’s fundamental philosophy to deliver customers with “Freshness You Can Taste!” The menu – burgers, fries and shakes – is still the same basic menu customers have enjoyed since 1948.
Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n’ Waffles
Where: 1514 N Gower St, Los Angeles, CA 90028. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Going Back to Cali” by Notorious B.I.G.
Lyric: “Frequently floss hoes at Roscoe’s”
Though there are six other locations (Inglewood, Long Beach, Pasadena, Anaheim, West L.A. and South L.A.), the original Roscoe’s resides in Hollywood. Staying open until midnight on the weekdays and until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s very likely that Biggie would stop by for an overdue chicken n’ waffles fix after a night out on the town. Naturally, the ‘Obama special’ serves as a fan favorite providing a giant yet crisp waffle and three succulent chicken wings.
Where: 1501 E Rosecrans Ave, Compton, CA 90221. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Money Trees” by Kendrick Lamar
Lyric: “That Louis Burger never be the same…”
There’s nothing better than a classic hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Surely, growing up in Compton, K Dot has a ton of go-to places when he’s feeling nostalgic and craving something ‘homemade.’ The Grammy winning artist seems to mention food quite often in his lyrics, so surely he must enjoy California cuisine as much as he enjoys woman, weed and weather.
Where: 468 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Finest Hour” by Jay Rock feat. Rick Ross
Lyric: “When I’m in LA we meet at Crustacean”
It’s not a Hollywood secret that Rick Ross is a major ‘foodie’ – he even owns a couple of franchise Wing Stops! Rozay famously has a thing for crab meat as well, so why wouldn’t he rap about this swanky house of shelled scavengers? Crustacean has deemed itself as one of the top Asian fusion restaurants in Beverly Hills for decades; and the owner has even got a secret kitchen-within-the-kitchen where only the few in the know are allowed.
Where: 2251 West Rosecrans Ave. #12, Compton, CA 90222. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube
Lyric: “No helicopter looking for a murder / 2 in the morning, got the Fatburger”
Respectively, both Biggie and Tupac endorsed Fatburger in their iconic hits, so how could Ice Cube resist mentioning the beloved fast-food chain in one of his own? Since 1952, Fatburger has gained a lot of its fame by living up to its name! Known to have some of the biggest and juiciest burgers just about anywhere in the U.S., they still utilize their well established recipes, using lean beef that’s never been frozen, only cooking the meat right as it’s ordered.
Where: 176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. See it on Google Maps.
Song: “Men of Steel” by B-REAL
Lyric: “Never up in Spago’s when we knock hoes”
Wolfgang Puck is notorious for serving his finest dishes to some of the hottest celebrities in the industry. Spago began its life in West Hollywood in 1982 and for more than 30 years has delivered consistently delicious, innovative dishes. When dining here, it’s always important to keep one eye open because you never know who you’ll see. Whether you chose to dine inside at a booth or out at a garden table, there’s not a bad seat in the house!
Also published on Medium.