One of the reasons we wanted a place of our own was to be able to cook our own meal once in a while. We liked the idea of being able to stuff the fridge with the basics and having the choice of staying in or going out, instead of being obliged to go on the hunt for every meal. Besides that we also hoped to safe some money this way.

That the US is known for their bad food and eating habits is no secret, and this is leading right back to the supermarkets. In most of them there are multiple isles with pre-packed meals and products with a lot of additives – a lot of unhealthy everything. And don't even get me started about the overwhelming amount of sweets and soda, whoa. Luckily there are more healthy options like Trader Joe’s, and if you want to go all-organic there’s Wholefoods which we usually opted for, but that also means paying a lot more.

Because cooking ourselves wasn’t necessarily cheaper, we actually went out for dinner a lot more than planned. There are tons of options in all price ranges when it comes to food and there’s a large influence of the Mexican cuisine. I’ve got some of the restaurants we liked listed for you.

Chipotle, multiple locations: A great option for a cheap Mexican lunch or dinner where you can get a pretty healthy meal if you pay attention to what you put on your burrito, bowl or salad.

Tomodachi Sushi, Westwood Village: We are a couple of serious sushi lovers, so we’re always on the lookout for a good Japanese restaurant. Though we had our doubts about the place because of the way it looked, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. And it was a big bonus that the staff was super friendly!

Water Grill, Santa Monica: This place is a great option if you’re in the mood for seafood. It’s somewhat pricy, but the food is great – I highly recommend the lobster roll, yum! – and you have a front row seat to the sunset.

The Cheesecake Factory, multiple locations (best one at The Grove): It’s not a secret that they offer some of the best cheesecake, but their food is actually pretty tasty as well. A good option for the days you don’t have a clue what type of food you’re in the mood for.

Corner Bakery, Westwood Village: With some of the best sandwiches I’ve come across in one of my favourite neighbourhoods in LA, this place is great for breakfast or lunch.

Pinkberry, multiple locations: As a frozen-yoghurt lover I just have to send you to Pinkberry, the best of them all.

Bubba Gump, Santa Monica Pier: It’s no high-end seafood, it just tastes good, but what you really come here for are the over excited staff, the atmosphere and the ‘Forest Gump’ quizzes in between courses.

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