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Behold This Massive List of LA’s Oldest Surviving Restaurants

A wonderful look back.

Exterior of Bob’s Big Boy with neon signs
Bob's Big Boy in Burbank
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

As you may well know, Eater is a big fan of beloved old school restaurants, but there’s something downright impressive about this looooong list of compiled classics from the folks over at The Los Angeles Beat.

Billing itself as a master list on surviving icons (complete with more than a few great shots of original signage), there's something in the neighborhood of 200 area restaurants highlighted, from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino, and all in chronological order. There are also mini descriptions for each, plus full addresses and links to the restaurant websites, where available.

The oldest restaurant on the list is The Saugus Cafe in Santa Clarita, a 1905 legend that makes Musso & Frank Grill (1919) seem like a tween by comparison. Mitla Cafe, an important San Bernardino Mexican restaurant with a strong political background (and history of getting screwed) is far down the list of legacy stops, having only come into existence in 1937.

Mitla Cafe. Noam Bleiweiss

The full list is certainly worth a scan, and runs up through the 1980’s, ending with The Prince in Koreatown, which — while acknowledged as less than vintage considering it opened in 1991 — has an on-site history that dates back to 1927 as a garden cafe and, eventually, a French restaurant called Windsor in 1949.

Check out the full list over at The Los Angeles Beat.