Tucked into an industrial area, Zinc Cafe & Market brings another wonderful culinary addition to Downtown L.A. The restaurant, located in the Arts District, boasts a spacious open-air patio, indoor dining area, and private event room, all of which were packed when I dined there this past weekend. When I first arrived, the wait was 45 minutes long– granted, it was just in time for Sunday brunch over a long weekend. Luckily, however, Zinc offers the option for customers to order from the counter versus being waited on, and the menu is the same either way.
As soon as I saw someone devouring the Citrus Creme Linguine, I knew I had to try it for myself; like many of their meals, Zinc Cafe & Market can create both regular and gluten-free versions of this dish. I opted for the gluten-free pasta, which didn’t taste any different than the traditional kind– in other words, it was mouthwateringly delicious. I also tried their incredible Banh Mi Sandwich, which consists of egg crepe, seitan (meat substitute), picked carrots, jalapeño, hoisin sauce, fresh herbs, and butter mayonnaise. Although the restaurant caters toward vegetarians and vegans, meat eaters can easily find something to eat. Some other delectable alternatives include the Deviled Eggs, Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad, and Spinach Lasagna. I also highly recommend ordering the Iced Matcha Tea Latte; it’s one of the best I’ve ever had!
The eatery also includes a beautifully curated gift shop filled with a wide variety of items ranging from cookbooks to cutting boards to random knickknacks. Another great aspect of Zinc Cafe & Market is the interior design, which fosters a rustic yet modern atmosphere. The service is fantastic, and within 15 minutes of ordering my food, all of it was delivered to the table. Also, there’s entertaining people-watching at Zinc Cafe; I bet a lot of conversations at this restaurant have made it onto the infamous Instagram account, Overheard L.A. Fun (and funny) fact: students at my high school also started their own page modeled after Overheard L.A.
Ultimately, Zinc is a fantastic place for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Whether you need a unique gift for a friend’s birthday (check out their gift shop!!) or are craving high-quality comfort food, Zinc Cafe & Market has all the answers. Finally, there are several Insta-worthy locations right outside of the restaurant. I snapped some photos underneath a cherry blossom tree, and there are also several street art murals next to Zinc Cafe & Market.
The restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. You can find Zinc Cafe & Market at 580 Mateo Street between Willow and Palmetto.