6 Great Places For Tinned Fish In LA
Step to the back, charcuterie boards.
April 11, 2023
No longer confined to that can of sardines you forgot about in the back of your cupboard, tinned fish is having something of a renaissance moment in LA restaurants. Smoked mackerel, pickled mussels, grilled octopus—name a seafood and somebody right now is probably serving it from a tiny metal box with wine and crackers. But unlike some recent food trends that emerge from the most annoying corners of TikTok and quickly recede, this one has staying power. At least we hope so. People have been eating fish out of cans for hundreds of years, it's good for the environment, and most importantly, ordering a tinned fish board is a sexy-as-hell power move that's bound to catch the attention of whoever is sitting across from you. Here are the best places in town to pop some tins.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
If you want to eat tinned fish in an LA restaurant, Saltie Girl is the holy grail. This upscale seafood spot on the Sunset Strip has a dedicated tinned fish booklet with hundreds of varieties ranging from smoked king salmon to grilled octopus to sardines in sardines in spicy tomato sauce. It's an overwhelming list even to experienced tin-eaters, but don't stress. Saltie Girl's staff will walk you through everything and offer suggestions as well. After you select a tin (or tins), it’ll come on a fancy little board with crusty french bread, pepper jam, butter, and three kinds of sea salt.
photo credit: Garrett Snyder
Kippered is a wine bar from the same people behind DTLA Cheese in Grand Central Market that skips the usual charcuterie boards in favor of tinned fish, lots of tinned fish in fact. There are over 50 cans on the menu and the platters they come with are fantastic—ask the staff for suggestions and you’ll be digging into Spanish octopus in olive oil with a pile of crackers, olives, good butter, and hot sauce. But even if you aren't someone who wakes up dreaming about preserved seafood, Kippered has a great selection of sparkling wines and cheeses as well, including a soft rind cheese from France served with a glug of Champagne poured over the top—if that doesn't pique your interest, we have nothing in common.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
This upscale Spanish spot in Silver Lake was one of the first full-service restaurants in town to put tinned fish front and center on their menu, and a great reminder that ordering a conserva board is an ideal way to kick off dinner. Bar Moruno's selection isn't the biggest in town (there are usually six or so varieties on the menu at any given time), but it still covers a lot of the tinned fish spectrum. Options range from mussels in pickled sauce to cockles in brine to sardine paté—all on an impressive spread of house pickles, butter, and thick, crunchy bread. Pair it with the absinthe-and-maraschino-kissed Tuxedo martini.
photo credit: Anne Fishbein
If you want to eat tinned fish without having to sit through a full meal at a restaurant, Rapido is a great option. Located next door to Bar Moruno in Silver Lake (it's owned by the same people), this tiny Spanish-leaning market/wine shop is probably no more than ten square feet, but is packed with every kind of dinner party essential and fancy snack you could want: packaged and prepared foods, fresh bread, canned cocktails, natural wines, and of course, tons of tinned fish. Definitely keep Rapido in mind if you need to pick up something quick, but if you have time to kill, the staff will gladly open a bottle of wine and/or a can of sardines that you can enjoy at one of the tables on the tiny sidewalk patio.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
We've been waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of Otoño Mercat, a conversa and wine bar from the owners of Otoño that's scheduled to open in Highland Park later this year. But until then, the original Otoño on Figueroa is already a great place to dip your toes into the world of tinned seafood. The menu features a short list of cans from Spanish producers—such as baby squid in ink, olive oil-cured tuna, and pickled mussels—served with warm bread from Bub & Grandma's. Enjoy them with a glass of vermouth and a few tapas and pretend you're taking in the street life in San Sebastián.
photo credit: Jolly Oyster
As you'd guess from the name, most people head to this small raw bar counter inside Culver City's Citizen Public Market for their excellent Baja-raised oysters. But after a quick half-dozen, you should check out their selection of tins, too—they're usually got a small display of reasonably-priced tins from West Coast brands like Fishwives, Scout, and Patagonia Provisions, which you can order with a side of bread, pickles, and lemon. They also serve beer and wine and a handful of larger seafood dishes, in case you want to turn a snack into a larger meal.
16 of our favorite places to eat fish, oysters, and uni in LA.
9 great spots in LA serving fresh seafood tostadas.
Places where you can walk in and say "shuck me up."