The hit USA series Suits—coming back for a third season on July 16—might have put actress Meghan Markle, who plays Rachel Zane, in the spotlight, but it also took her out of her element.
Markle, a Los Angeles native, spends eight months a year shooting Suits in Toronto. Considering that her husband and home are in L.A., it’s safe to say the 31-year-old actress gets just a bit homesick. Another thing she’s especially nostalgic for is her hometown food scene.
“So much of my being a California girl is having grown up with farm-to-table dining before it was this huge thing,” Markle says. “Toronto’s food scene is incredible, but what I start to miss about California is the familiarity of the restaurants. They might not be the trendiest, but it’s consistent good food that always brings back memories.”
With a mid-season break coming up—”it’s such an exciting season,” the actress says, “I think people are going to be really surprised by some of the twists and turns we’ve taken”—Markle is planning a trip home, and she’s already got big plans.
“I’ll be in L.A. for two weeks, and during that time of course I’m going to hit up my favorite spots and try a lot of new places that have opened up,” she says. “I really pride myself on being the restaurant go-to girl.”
Below, Markle shares 11 of her L.A. favorites with DuJour, founded by Jason Binn.
“My favorite sushi spot in L.A.—and it’s in a strip mall off of Sunset Boulevard. There are no California rolls and no attitude. Sit at the sushi bar and have omakase.” 8539 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-652-0523.
Real Food Daily
“One of the original vegan spots in town; I’ve been going since I was in high school. I’m not a vegan, but during the week I enjoy eating clean, and they make you remember how delicious food is—with or without the meat. Super casual and easy. I always see celebs here, too.” 514-516 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-451-7544, realfood.com.
“Beautiful cocktails, a great California farm-to-table menu, and I absolutely love the aesthetic. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the front of the restaurant—get a table outside in the back. It’s so beautiful and very romantic at night.” 7984 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-656-6070, laurelhardware.com.
“Basically, go to any restaurant that Josef Centeno runs. I met Josef many moons ago when he was the chef at a restaurant called Meson G, and after many late nights of eating and drinks he would make his bacos (not on the menu), and ask my thoughts. This was a vision of his since I met him eight years ago, and to see it come to fruition is incredible. He just gets it.” 408 S. Main St., Downtown, 213-687-8808, bacomercat.com.
The Spice Table
“Southeast Asian food in Downtown L.A. I literally have dreams about their beef rendang. I wish I was kidding.” 114 S. Central Ave., Downtown, 213-620-1840, thespicetable.com.
Musso and Frank Grill
“An old Hollywood institution. My dad used to bring me here for lunch when I was a little girl after tap and ballet class, and I still love everything about it. The history, the vibe, the straightforward Americana menu. Get a nice table for dinner, or sit at the grill and chat with the guys who work there.” 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-467-7788, mussoandfrank.com.
“It feels so on-the-nose to say it, but it’s just a perfect go-to for awesome food in Venice. Their pizzas are awesome, and their brunch is so yummy. Go for a bike ride on the beach after.” 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-450-1429, gjelina.com.
Fresh Corn Grill
“I order lunch from this place constantly. It’s inexpensive and their salmon tacos—yes, salmon tacos—are a staple of my diet when I am in L.A. Also, Freddo at the West Hollywood location could be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” 8714 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-855-9592, freshcorngrill.com.
“I love a burger and their’s is my favorite. Their fries also remind me of Balthazar’s in NYC—they’ve probably been fried in peanut oil to give them that extra bit of perfection. Great spot, great wine list, and cocktails are also wonderful. The Penicillin is a favorite of mine.” 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-1104, commecarestaurant.com.
“Yes, yes, obviously Batali and Nancy Silverton’s gem of a restaurant. It’s popular because it really is that good. Best plate of pasta in L.A.” 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-297-0100, osteriamozza.com.
“The most innovative meal I’ve had in years, interesting and inspired. I read Anthony Bourdain’s book and he said never order mussels at a restaurant unless you know the chef. I don’t know Michael Voltaggio, but this is the place you order the mussels, regardless. You will be blown away at how he reinvents this dish. It’s genius.” 8360 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, 323-655-7225, mvink.com.